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Feb 16 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Some ways that the Hebrew Scriptures use the word ‘hand’

The Hebrew word yad appears at least 1600 times in the
Old Testament and has a wide variety of meanings

  • A person’s hand can be with someone – to join, support, or assist (1 Chr. 4:10)
    – also, “to give the hand” – join in partnership (2 Ki. 10:15)
  • A person’s hand can be upon someone – either to give help or to be against
  • by the hand of means “to come through someone,” by the agency of (1 Sa. 11:7)
  • take from the hand of is  to rescue or deliver someone
    – (Ex. 2:19; Isa. 51:22)
  • to place the hand on or over ones mouth is to silence ones self
    – stop ones self from saying anything (Job 40:4)
    – the last place that a word can be prevented from being spoken
  • in my hand means to own or have with me, in my possession (1 Sa. 24:10)
  • into your hand means something is given to someone (Ge. 9:2)
  • work of the hand is something produced or accomplished by a person (Ps. 135:15)
  • to open the hand is to give to another (freely, De. 15:8)
  • my hand or my own hand is  frequently an ego boast (Isa. 10:13-14)
  • a hand that falls limp or becomes slack indicates a person’s exhaustion or loss of strength (Isa. 13:7; 35:3)
  • to hold the hand is to help through difficulty (Ps. 37:24)

The hand is also symbolic of

  • things that provide support, such as posts or stands (Ex. 26:17, 19 – “tenons”)
  • measurement (1 Ki. 7:26) or the partial measure of a whole – a handful (1 Ki. 17:12)

Psychologically the hand

  • refers to a person’s power, strength, or influence
  • acting with courage and deliberation, “Let your hands be strong” (2 Sa. 2:7)
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