The tower was symbolic of unity and wealth and purpose of man without God. Essentially it was idolatry. It was an image or representation in their minds that they considered to be a way to God. 'A Tower' 'To HEAVEN'. Mans fallen nature completely misunderstands the way to Heaven. The way to heaven is through the SEED of the woman...
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall [a]bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
By faith in Christ we find access to heaven. Jacobs ladder represents the true stair to heaven in that it directs our minds and hearts to the promise teaching us that salvation is found by faith in the promise and not by the works of mans hands.
New International Version (NIV)
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[a] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[b] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” And yet his head rested on a stone. The builders of babel would have considered Jacobs ladder a joke. There was no great city, no great tower, no mass of people joined together to display their wealth and strength, it was just Jacob and a stone to rest his head on. No pomp and ceremony of a visible nature. The gate of heaven was spiritual and not of this World.
The tower of Babel represented 'the work of mans hands'. In Jeremiah 44:8 we read 'Why do you provoke me to anger with the work of your hands'..Mans hands can be used for good or for evil. In this case the people who built the Tower of Babel angered God. Their minds were clearly expressed by their wish to find another way to heaven other than that way that God had already determined. That fallen mind was so debased, that it thought it could reach God, by physical means, by the work of mans hands.
The significance of the recording of this event is no small matter. Many lessons are taught in it. If we read the account merely as a historical event and an explanation of the disunity of language in the World we may miss the whole point. The tower of babel is a way mark or a datum point in History. It reveals very clearly the nature of man and his broken relationship with God. That nature is always fighting for unity in opposition to God. Today we see this Babylonian tower in the emergence of a one world Government with the English language as a unifying language. It is interesting that in the book of revelation the end time World is portraid as Babylon the great.
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Fall of Babylon the Great
18 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily[a] with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached[b] to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you,[c] and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges[d] her.
The only thing that reaches to heaven, when we think we can find salvation by works, is our sin. When our sin reaches heaven, God will come down to see what is happening and make a judgement. That judgement is always the scattering of mans works, when they are opposed to Him..The disabling of evil mechanisms, contrary to the express declaration of God, in Creation and in His Word, Jesus Christ(Romans 1), will always be shattered and scattered.