by Tony Badillo 

Properly understood, Jacob’s dream at Bethel (Genesis 28:10-15) is one of the keys to understanding the secrets of the Holy of Holies (kodesh kodashim) in Solomon’s Temple, a room also known as the Most Holy Place, Inner Sanctum, or Shrine. Elsewhere in my website,
Temple Secrets, I’ve already noted that the Temple itself was designed  in the hidden form of a tripartite man who is Jacob, the Levitical High Priest and King Messiah. Basically, the Temple was modeled after Jacob’s body as he slept at Bethel while using a stone for a headrest, or pillow stone, as some say.

Jacob’s Body as the Temple

In view of this, 1) the Holy of Holies relates to the head, 2) the short stairway leading to the Holy of Holies to his neck/throat, 3) the Holy Place to his torso, and 4) the Temple’s twin pillars named Jachin and Boaz to his legs. The relation of his arms, hands and feet also appears below. The place where the dream occurred was named Luz, but Jacob renamed it Bethel (v. 19), meaning House (of) God, a later designation for the Temple.

The Holy of Holies was built directly over the rock upon which Abraham nearly offered Isaac; and this rock is symbolized by Jacob’s “pillow stone”. And because the Holy of  Holies was over Isaac’s rock, its floor was somewhat elevated, requiring a short stairway or ramp to ascend, which  relates to Jacob’s neck or throat, as seen above.

When Jacob arose, he said, “This is none other than the House of God and this is the gate to heaven,”  28:17. Since Bethel corresponds to the entire Temple, to what does the “gate to heaven  relate? – the golden doors of the Holy of Holies! What else? And this means that the stairway behind the golden doors also corresponds to Jacob’s ladder that was set on earth and whose “top reached heaven,” v. 12, which implies that the Holy of Holies depicts heaven, while the Holy Place relates to the earth below. And these two places – heaven and earth – are head and body; and that which joins or unites both, is the stairway, symbol of  a messianic office or task, as shown in the diagram below:

The above also relates to Genesis 11:4 where disobedient mankind says, “Let us make for ourselves a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens” in order to avoid diffusing worldwide, as they had  been ordered. Except that in Jacob’s case, the stairway reaching up was the Lord’s doing, not the action of  rebels.

According to I Kings 6:31, the entrance to the Holy of Holies was constructed of olive wood doors carved with palm trees, flowers and cherubim and then overlaid with gold. And behind these was a curtain of  blue, purple, crimson and fine linen (white), 2 Chronicles 3:14. These doors with their doorposts were Solomon’s version of Jacob’s “gate to heaven” which the patriarch had seen at Bethel. Moses’ tabernacle had only curtains, no golden doors. But because the Temple had curtains, some scholars say that the Chronicles writer added them to create agreement with the Torah, because the golden doors made the curtains unnecessary, they reason. This shows that some biblical scholars do not understand what they are reading.  Solomon, rather, always intended


having the curtains installed. But he also wanted to show that the way to a paradise (heaven) was open or could be so, just as it had been to his ancestor, Jacob. However, Mosaic law did not permit open curtains. What was the solution? The golden doors!  – because they always remained open. In this manner, the entrance was in  compliance with the law (curtains closed), while portraying an open and inviting way (golden doors open) to the Lord’s celestial paradise.

The Ark’s Extended Poles and the Curtain

You will notice that in the middle of the curtains there are two circular impressions. These are made by the twin poles of the Ark of the Covenant pressing against the other side of the curtains; the poles were intentionally drawn forward for this purpose. This what it means where we read that the the Ark’s poles could be seen from the Holy Place, I Kings 8:8; 2 Chronicles 5:9. How could they “be seen” if the curtain  blocked the view? The rabbis say this means the priests saw only the impressions made against the curtains by the tips or ends of the poles. Also, it is believed that during Solomon’s time the Ark was fitted with new, longer poles – long enough to reach the curtains. This is because the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle was 10 x 10 cubits square, whereas the Temple’s was 20 x 20. The Ark was posted in the center of the Holy of Holies. For more details on these longer Ark poles, see Secrets of the Holy Ark.

The Baffling Golden Chains Across the Entrance

We now pose a problem that has baffled biblical scholars: What was the purpose of the golden chains across the entrance to the Holy of Holies (I Kings 6:21)? There are various opinions, with some bordering on the ludicrous. The most popular is that they were security chains meant to keep the priests from going into the Holy of Holies, for only the High Priest could enter there and he only once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Of course, we could dismiss the whole question by claiming they were simply decorative, which in part they were; but this is not the whole answer.

Whatever security they provided was incidental and minimal, keeping in mind that the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies  did not have them at all, whether for security,  decoration  or any other purpose. So why did Solomon install them? The answer is in the Temple’s hidden human form, especially its messianic one (see King Solomon’s Astonishing Temple Secrets and his Metallic Messiah). Since it has already been explained that the neck/throat is the ladder or stairway, it follows that the point where the stairway descends into and joins with the Holy Place, corresponds to the human collar, because that’s where the head (Holy of Holies) is joined to the human torso (Holy Place). Hence, the chains across the Holy of Holies entrance are not “security chains” but, rather, a necklace around the collar!  Why? – because such gold chains were worn by Ancient Mid-East monarchs and other important persons as signs of their office and/or authority. Here are two examples: After saving Egypt from disaster, Pharaoh puts a gold chain around Joseph’s neck and makes him second-in-command, Genesis 41:42, 43. And in Daniel 5:29, Belshazzar places a gold chain on the neck of Daniel the prophet and proclaims him as one of three rulers. Therefore, the golden chains across the Holy of Holies entrance depict a royal  necklace, revealing Temple Man as King Messiah, while signifying his future world rule and authority as the one who unites earth with heaven, as did Jacob’s stairway.

The Holy of Holies Entrance, Larger View

Below is a view of the Holy of Holy entrance as seen from the Holy Place, minus the golden Incense Altar. Please note a small place atop (red letters) that scholars call the attic, upper area, or upper chamber, II Chronicles 3:9.

Below is a cut-away side view showing  the priestly cells and upper treasure rooms, a portion of the Holy Place with the Incense Altar emitting a cloud of sweet smoke, the stairway leading up to the Holy of Holies, the Ark with its poles extended forward and pushing against the curtain, the two large gold cherubim Solomon added, the Golden Attic and the Shekinah, also referred to as the Presence, Divine Spirit, Cloud or Glory Cloud.