hand

hand

Literally, an appendage at the end of a person’s arm. The term occurs approximately fifteen hundred times in the Bible, often with metaphorical or figurative meaning. Offering one’s hand indicates a token of sincerity and willingness to help another (2Kgs 10:15). Conversely, the hand is the means of murder (Gen 4:11) and retaliation (Exod 21:24; Deut 25:11). The hand’s ability to seize, control, or manipulate explains its association with strength or power. The hand of God, a prominent Jewish symbol and popular motif for later Christian iconography, symbolizes God’s sovereign power (Deut 3:24; Job 19:21; Heb 10:31; 1Pet 5:6). God’s hand governs the forces of history (Exod 13:3; Exod 13:14; 1Sam 5:9; Ps 8:7) and strengthens believers (Mark 6:2; Acts 5:12). The NT places Jesus at the right hand of God, the side of authority and power (Mark 12:36; Acts 2:25; Heb 1:3; Ps 110:1; Ps 110:5; Dan 7:13). As a ritual the “laying on of hands” occurs frequently in the sacrificial cult (Lev 16; Num 8) and serves as a form of ordination (Num 27:18; Deut 34:9; 1Tim 4:14). It may also impart a blessing (Gen 48:18; Isa 44:3; Matt 19:13). Healing the sick is closely associated with the hand in the NT, indicating the transference of spiritual and physical wholeness (Mark 1:31; Mark 5:23; Luke 13:13).

2Kgs 10:15

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Gen 4:11

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Exod 21:24

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Deut 25:11

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Deut 3:24

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Job 19:21

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Heb 10:31

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1Pet 5:6

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Exod 13:3

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Exod 13:14

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1Sam 5:9

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Ps 8:7

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Mark 6:2

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Acts 5:12

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Mark 12:36

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Acts 2:25

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Heb 1:3

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Ps 110:1

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Ps 110:5

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Dan 7:13

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Lev 16

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Num 8

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Num 27:18

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Deut 34:9

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1Tim 4:14

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Gen 48:18

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Isa 44:3

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Matt 19:13

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Mark 1:31

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Mark 5:23

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Luke 13:13

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