From BiblePortal Wikipedia

King James Dictionary [1]

HAND, n. L. hendo, in prehendo.

1. In man, the extremity of the arm, consisting of the palm and fingers, connected with the arm at the wrist the part with which we hold and use any instrument. 2. In falconry, the foot of a hawk and in the manege, the fore-foot of a horse. 3. A measure of four inches a palm applied chiefly to horses as a horse 14 hands high. 4. Side part right or left as on the one hand or the other. This is admitted on all hands, that is, on all sides, or by all parties. 5. Act deed performance external action that is, the effect for the cause,the hand being the instrument of action.

Thou sawest the contradiction between my heart and hand.

6. Power of performance skill.

A friend of mine has a very fine hand on the violin.

He had a mind to try his hand at a Spectator.

7. Power of making or producing.

An intelligent being coming out of the hands of infinite perfection.

8. Manner of acting or performance as, he changed his hand. 9. Agency part in performing or executing. Punish every man who had a hand in the mischief. We see the hand of God in this event. 10. Conveyance agency in transmitting. 11. Possession power. The estate is in the hands of the owner. The papers are in my hands. 12. The cards held at a game hence, a game. 13. That which performs the office of the hand or of a finger in pointing as the hand of a clock the hour hand, and the minute hand. 14. A person an agent a man employed in agency or service. The mason employs twenty hands. 15. Form of writing style of penmanship as a good hand a bad hand a fine hand. 16. Agency service ministry.  Exodus 4Lev 8 17. In Scripture, the hand of God, is his eternal purpose and executive power.  Acts 4 18. The providential bounty of God.  Psalms 104 19. The power of God exerted in judgments or mercies, in punishing or defending.  Judges 2 .  Psalms 32 20. The spirit of God divine influence.  1 Kings 18 . 21. The favor of God, or his support.  Nehemiah 2Luke 1 .

At hand, near either present and within reach, or not far distant.

Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet.

1. Near in time not distant.

The day of Christ is at hand.  2 Thessalonians 2

By hand, with the hands,in distinction from the instrumentality of tools, engines or animals as, to weed a garden by hand to lift, draw or carry by hand.

In hand, present payment in respect to the receiver.

Receiving in hand one year's tribute.

1. In a state of execution. I have a great work in hand.

At my hand, at his hand, &c., denote from the person or being.

Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?  Job 2

Of hand, in present possession as,he has a supply of goods on hand.

1. Under one's care or management.

Jupiter had a farm on his hands.

Off hand, without delay, hesitation or difficulty immediately dexterously without previous preparation.

Out of hand, ready payment with regard to the payer.

Let not the wages of any man tarry with thee but give it him out of hand.

To his hand, to my hand, &c., in readiness already prepared ready to be received.

The work is made to his hands.

Under his hand, under her hand, &c., with the proper writing or signature of the name.

This deed is executed under the hand and seal of the owner.

Hand over head, negligently rashly without seeing what one does. Little used.

Hand over hand, by passing the hands alternately one before or above another, as to climb hand over hand also, rapidly, as to come up with a chase hand over hand used by seamen.

Hand to hand, in close union close fight.

But from hand to hand is from one person to another.

Hand in hand, in union conjointly unitedly.

To join hand in hand, is to unite efforts and act in concert.

Hand in hand, fit pat suitable.

Hand to mouth. To live from hand to mouth, is to obtain food and other necessaries, as want requires, without making previous provision, or having an abundant previous supply.

To bear in hand, to keep in expectation to elude. Not used.

To bear a hand, to hasten a seaman's phrase.

To be hand and glove, to be intimate and familiar, as friends or associates.

To set the hand to, to engage in to undertake.

That the Lord thy God may bless thee, in all thou

settest thine hand to. Dest 23

To take in hand, to attempt to undertake.  Luke 1 . Also, to seize and deal with.

To have a hand in, to be concerned in to have a part or concern in doing to have an agency in.

To put the last hand or finishing hand to, to complete to perfect to make the last corrections, or give the final polish.

To change hands, to change sides to shift.

Hand, in the sense of rate, price, terms, conditions, as used by Bacon, Taylor, &c., is obsolete as, "to buy at a dear hand " "accept the mystery, but at no hand wrest it by pride or ignorance." So in the sense of advantage, gain, superiority, as used by Hayward and in that of competition, content, as used by Shakespeare.

To get hand, to gain influence, is obsolete.

A heavy hand, severity or oppression.

A light hand, gentleness moderation.

A strict hand, severe discipline rigorous government.

Hands off, a vulgar phrase for keep off, forbear.

pour water on the hands, in the phraseology of the Scriptures, is to serve or minister to.  2 Kings 3 .

To wash the hands, to profess in innocence.  Matthew 27

To kiss the hand, imports adoration.  Job 31

To lean on the hand, imports familiarity.  2 Kings 5

To strike hands, to make a contract, or to become surety for another's debt or good behavior.  Proverbs 17

Putting the hand under the thigh, was an ancient ceremony used in swearing.

To give the hand, is to make a covenant with one, or to unite with him in design.  2 Kings 10

The stretching out of the hand, denotes an exertion of power. But,

The stretching out of the hand to God, imports earnest prayer or solemn dedication of one's self to him. Ps.68, and 143.

The lifting of the hand, was used in affirmation and swearing, and in prayer imported a solemn wishing of blessings from God.  Genesis 14Lev 19

To lift the hand against a superior, to rebel.  2 Samuel 20

To put forth the hand against one, to kill him.  1 Samuel 24

To put one's hand to a neighbor's goods, to steal them.  Exodus 22

To lay hands on in anger, to assault or seize, or to smite.  Exodus 24Is 11

To lay the hand on the mouth, imports silence.  Job 40

The laying on of hands, was also a ceremony used in consecrating one to office.  Numbers 27;  1 Timothy 4

It was also used in blessing persons.  Mark 10 .

Hiding the hand in the bosom, denotes idleness inactivity sluggishness.  Proverbs 19

The clapping of hands, denotes joy and rejoicing. But in some instances, contempt or derision, or joy at the calamities of others.  Psalms 47;  Ezekiel 25

A station at the right hand is honorable, and denotes favor, approbation or honor. A station on the left hand is less honorable.  Matthew 20

's standing at the right hand of men, imports his regard for them, and his readiness to defend and assist them.  Psalms 16

Satan's standing at the right hand of men, imports his readiness to accuse them, or to hinder or torment them.  Zechariah 3

Clean hands, denotes innocence and a blameless and holy life.  Psalms 24

A slack hand, denotes idleness carelessness sloth.  Proverbs 10

The right hand, denotes power strength.  Exodus 15

HAND, To give or transmit with the hand.

Hand me a book.

1. To lead, guide and lift with the hand to conduct. 2. To manage as, I hand my oar. 3. To seize to lay hands on. Not used. 4. In seamanship, to furl to wrap or roll a sail close to the yard, stay or mast, and fasten it with gaskets.

To hand down, to transmit in succession, as from father to son, or from predecessor to successor. Fables are handed down from age to age.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

Amongst the members of the body, the hand (χείρ) is named by St. Paul as being superior to the foot, and necessary to the eye ( 1 Corinthians 12:15;  1 Corinthians 12:21). The work of human hands has its definite limitations, whether the product be idols ( Acts 7:41;  Acts 19:26) or temples ( Acts 17:24; cf. Ep. Barn . xvi. 7); but, within its true sphere, manual labour belongs to man’s dignity and duty ( Ephesians 4:28,  1 Thessalonians 4:11). St. Paul could display his toil-marked hands to the Ephesian elders, as evidence of his example of unselfish service ( Acts 20:34; cf.  1 Corinthians 4:12). To defend themselves from political suspicion as descendants of David, the grandchildren of Jude showed their horny hands of toil to the Emperor Domitian (Eus. HE [Note: E Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.).]III. xx. 5).

The hand is employed in significant gestures both of ordinary life and of religion. It hangs down in despair ( Hebrews 12:12), is outstretched in oratory ( Acts 26:1) or appeal (of God,  Romans 10:21), is waved to gain silence ( Acts 12:17;  Acts 13:16;  Acts 19:33;  Acts 21:40), is lifted in prayer ( 1 Timothy 2:8; cf.  Psalms 134:2) or in taking an oath ( Revelation 10:5; cf.  Genesis 14:22). The giving of the right hand (δεξιός) in token of fellowship ( Galatians 2:9; cf.  Proverbs 6:1) is not a specially Jewish custom, and may be due to Persian influences (cf. Lightfoot, ad loc. ). The Odes of Solomon show the early practice of prayer with arms extended in the manner of the cross: ‘I stretched out my hands, and sanctified my Lord; for the extension of my hands is His sign’ (xxvii. 1; cf. xxi. 1 and J. H. Bernard’s notes in Texts and Studies viii. 3 [1912] ad loc. ). In a similar spirit of symbolism, continuing that of OT prophecy, Agabus ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) binds his own hands and feet with St. Paul’s girdle ( Acts 21:11; see articleFeet). Those who belong to the Apocalyptic Beast receive his mark on hand and forehead ( Revelation 13:16;  Revelation 14:9;  Revelation 20:4). Deissmann has given evidence for connecting this mark with the Imperial seal placed on documents of this period ( Bible Studies , Eng. translation, 1901, p. 241f.). We may perhaps compare the three seals placed on the disciple of Mani, i.e. on mouth, hand, and bosom, as a converse dedication of the members to purity.

The term ‘hand’ is employed in a number of graphic or figurative phrases, relating either to man ( Acts 2:23;  Acts 12:1,  Hebrews 8:9,  1 John 1:1,  James 4:8) or to God. The Hand of God appears in the activities of creation ( Acts 7:50,  Hebrews 1:10; Ep. Barn . v. 10, xv. 3; 1 Clem. xxvii. 7, xxxiii. 4), or of providence ( Acts 4:28;  Acts 11:21,  1 Peter 5:6), or of judgment ( Acts 13:11,  Hebrews 10:31;  Hebrews 10:1 Clem. xxviii. 2).

The most striking and important references to the hand in apostolic Christianity occur in connexion with the ‘laying on of hands.’ This occurs for three purposes, which help to elucidate each other. By contact with apostolic hands is wrought healing of the sick ( Acts 3:7;  Acts 5:12;  Acts 9:12;  Acts 9:41;  Acts 14:3;  Acts 28:8), transmission of the Spirit ( Acts 8:17;  Acts 8:19;  Acts 19:6), and ordination to ‘office’ or special work ( Acts 6:6;  Acts 13:3,  1 Timothy 4:14;  1 Timothy 5:22,  2 Timothy 1:6,  Hebrews 6:2). If these passages are approached, as they should be, from the general standpoint of the OT, and from the particular circle of ideas which constitutes primitive and ancient psychology, the imposition of hands will probably be seen to imply more than an outward sign (contrastSwete, The Holy Spirit in the NT , 1909, p. 384). In each of the three applications, the conclusion reached by Volz in regard to the OT seems fundamental in regard to the NT also: ‘the laying on of hands is the process by which the sacred substance is conducted from one body into another … the power passes not primarily through the spoken formula, but through the physical contact itself’ ( ZATW [Note: ATW Zeitschrift für die alttest. Wissen schaft.], 1901, pp. 93, 94; cf. P. Volz, Der Geist Gottes , 1910, p. 115).

H. Wheeler Robinson.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

sometimes denotes the vengeance of God: "The hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod," after they had taken the ark,  1 Samuel 5:6-7 . To pour water on any one's hands, signifies to serve him,  2 Kings 3:11 . To wash one's hands, denotes innocence: Pilate washed his hands to denote his being innocent of the blood of Jesus,  Matthew 27:24 . To kiss one's hand, is an act of adoration,  1 Kings 19:18 . "If I

beheld the sun when it shined, and my mouth hath kissed my hand,"  Job 31:27 . To fill one's hands, is to take possession of the priesthood, to perform the functions of that office; because in this ceremony, those parts of the victim which were to be offered, were put into the hand of the newly created priest,  Judges 17:5;  Judges 17:12;  1 Kings 13:33 . To lean upon any one's hand, in a mark of familiarity and superiority. The king of Israel had a confidant on whom he thus leaned,  2 Kings 7:17 . The king of Syria leaned on the hand or arm of Naaman when he went up to the temple of Rimmon,  2 Kings 5:18 . To lift up one's hand, is a way of taking an oath which has been in use among all nations. To give one's hand, signifies to grant peace, to swear friendship, to promise entire security, to make alliance,  2 Kings 10:15 . The Jews say, they were obliged to give the hand to the Egyptians and Assyrians, that they might procure bread, 2Ma_13:22; that is, to surrender to them, to submit. To stretch out one's hand, signifies to chastise, to exercise severity or justice,  Ezekiel 25:7 . God delivered his people with a high hand, and arm stretched out; by performing many wonders, and inflicting many chastisements, on the Egyptians. To stretch out one's hand, sometimes denotes mercy: "I have spread out my hands," entreated, "all the day unto a rebellious people,"

 Isaiah 65:2 . Hand is also frequently taken for the power and impression of the Holy Spirit felt by a prophet: "The hand of the Lord was on Elijah,"

 1 Kings 18:46 . It is said that God gave his law by the hand of Moses, that he spoke by the hand of prophets, &c; that is, by their means, by them, &c. The right hand denotes power, strength. The Scripture generally imputes to God's right hand all the effects of his omnipotence: "Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy,"  Exodus 15:6 . The Son of God is often represented as sitting at the right hand of his heavenly Father: "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,"  Psalms 110:1; thou hast done thy work upon earth, now take possession of that sovereign kingdom and glory which by right belongeth unto thee; do thou rule with authority and honour, as thou art Mediator. The right hand commonly denotes the south, as the left does the north; for the Hebrews speak of the quarters of the world, in respect of themselves, having their faces turned to the east, their backs to the west, their right hands to the south, and their left to the north. For example: "Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds, in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?" in Hebrew, "on the right hand of Jeshimon." The accuser was commonly at the right hand of the accused: "Let Satan stand at his right hand,"   Psalms 109:6 . And in  Zechariah 3:1 , Satan was at the right hand of the high priest Joshua, to accuse him. Often, in a contrary sense, to be at one's right hand signifies to defend, to protect, to support him: "I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved,"  Psalms 16:8 . To turn from the law of God, neither to the right hand nor to the left, is a frequent Scripture expression, the meaning of which is, that we must not depart from it at all. Our Saviour, in  Matthew 6:3 , to show with what privacy we should do good works, says that our left hand should not know what our right hand does. Above all things, we should avoid vanity and ostentation in all the good we undertake to do, and should not think that thereby we merit any thing. Laying on hands, or imposition of hands, is understood in different ways both in the Old and New Testament. It is often taken for ordination and consecration of priests and ministers, as well among the Jews as Christians,  Numbers 8:10;  Acts 6:6;  Acts 13:3;  1 Timothy 4:14 . It is sometimes also made use of to signify the establishment of judges and magistrates, on whom it was usual to lay hands when they were entrusted with these employments. Thus when Moses constituted Joshua his successor, God appointed him to lay his hands upon him,  Numbers 27:18 . Jacob laid his hands on Ephraim and Manasseh, when he gave them his last blessing,  Genesis 48:14 . The high priest stretched out his hands to the people, as often as he recited the solemn form of blessing,  Leviticus 9:22 . The Israelites, who presented sin offerings at the tabernacle, confessed their sins while they laid their hands upon them,  Leviticus 1:4 . This testified that the person acknowledged himself worthy of death, that he laid his sins upon the sacrifice, that he trusted in Christ for the expiation of his sins, and that he devoted himself to God. Witnesses laid their hands upon the head of the accused person, as it were to signify that they charged upon him the guilt of his blood, and freed themselves from it,  Deuteronomy 13:9;  Deuteronomy 17:7 . Our Saviour laid his hands upon the children that were presented to him, and blessed them,  Mark 10:16 . And the Holy Ghost was conferred on those who were baptized by the laying on of the hands of the Apostles,  Acts 8:17;  Acts 19:6 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

The references to “hand” in the Bible often encompassed the idea of parts of a hand. Thus, in  Genesis 41:42 , when Pharaoh took his signet ring “from his hand” and placed it “upon Joseph's hand,” “hand” was used in the place of “finger.” Likewise, in  Ezekiel 23:42 , hand was used to mean wrists: “. . . which put bracelets upon their hands.” The context in which the word appears determines the meaning and usage of the word.

The largest number of figurative uses of “hand” relate to God. The “hand of God” or “in thine hand” is an idiom referring to the supreme and almighty power and authority of God ( 1 Chronicles 29:12 ). In  Isaiah 59:1 , God's hand was described as mighty.  Exodus 13:3-16 described God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt by His “strong hand.” The creative work of God involved the use of His hands to make the heavens and the earth (  Psalm 8:6;  Psalm 95:5 ). God uses His hand to uphold and guide the righteous ( Psalm 37:24;  Psalm 139:10 ). Punishment and affliction come from the hand of God ( Exodus 9:3;  Deuteronomy 2:15;  Judges 2:15;  1 Samuel 7:13;  1 Samuel 12:15;  Ruth 1:13 ).

The hand of God can be upon someone in either a good or bad sense. In a good sense, it meant to bring aid, while the negative connotation meant to hinder or distress ( Amos 1:8 ).

The phrase “into someone's hand” was used figuratively to convey the idea of authority involving responsibility, care, or dominion over someone or something ( Genesis 9:2 ). Examples of this concept include: Sarah's authority over Hagar ( Genesis 16:6 ,Genesis 16:6, 16:9 ), Joseph's administration of Potiphar's house ( Genesis 39:3-8 ), and the role of Moses and Aaron as leaders of Israel ( Numbers 33:1 ). Victory and deliverance were portrayed also by the use of this phrase. “Victory over someone” was conveyed by the phrase “delivered into hand of” ( Genesis 49:8;  Joshua 6:2 ), while deliverance was understood as “out of the hand of” ( Exodus 3:8 ).

Functions of the hand were often used by biblical writers to identify certain uses of the word. Since a person takes possession of objects with the hand, the Biblical writers adapted “hand” to mean possession. A literal translation of  Genesis 39:1 would include the statement that Potiphar brought Joseph “from the hand of the Ishmaelites.” In   1 Kings 11:31 , Jeroboam was told that the Lord was about to tear the kingdom “from the hand” of Solomon.

“To give the hand” meant that one had pledged or submitted to another, as in  2 Kings 10:15 and   Ezra 10:19 . Submission to the Lord is implied in  2 Chronicles 30:8 , where “yield to” is literally, “give hand to.”

“To stretch the hand” was used to convey two thoughts: attacking the enemy in battle ( Joshua 8:19 ,Joshua 8:19, 8:26 ) and an intense desire for communion with God ( Psalm 143:6 ).

Work or the action in which one is involved is expressed by the words “works of thy hand” ( Deuteronomy 2:7;  Deuteronomy 30:9 ). In  1 Samuel 23:16 Jonathan's helping David is literally, “he strengthened his hand in God,” that is increased his faith and hope in God's help.

The Hebrew phrase “high hand” indicated willful rebellion against God ( Numbers 15:30; see  Deuteronomy 32:27 ) but also military power ( Exodus 14:8;  Micah 5:9 ). A similar image is projected by the phrase “shaking the hand” ( Isaiah 10:32;  Isaiah 11:15 ). The movement of the hand was interpreted as a sign of contempt and displeasure, or lack of respect. When used in reference to God, it symbolized God's warning and punishment.

Hebrew “to fill the hand” expressed the consecration of a priest ( Judges 17:5 ) or a congregation's dedication ( 2 Chronicles 29:31 ).

The word “hand” was used in a number of specialized ways. It came to mean “side,” perhaps because of the location of the hands and arms on the body. A peculiar use was that of hand for “monument” ( 1 Samuel 15:12 ). The spreading of the hands denoted a large “space” ( Genesis 34:21 ).

The numerous passages in the Bible in which “hand” appears is evidence of the significance of the term. “Hand” is most often associated with power, the power of God as well as of man. See Work; Worship; Laying On Of Hands .

James Newell

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [5]

Symbol of skill, energy, and action. "Strength of hand." Also control. To "kiss the hand" expresses adoration ( Job 31:27). "Fill one's hand" is consecrating him a priest ( Exodus 28:41 margin,  Judges 17:5;  1 Kings 13:33). To "lift up the hand" is to swear ( Genesis 14:22), the hand being raised in appeal to God above; also the attitude of benediction ( Leviticus 9:22). To "give the hand" assures of faithfulness and friendship ( 2 Kings 10:15); also submission, "she hath given her hand," i.e. surrendered to her conqueror ( Jeremiah 50:15;  Lamentations 5:6). The hand of God is His eternal purpose and executive power ( Acts 4:28;  Acts 4:30); His providential bounty ( Psalms 104:28); His firm hold preserving His saints ( John 10:28-29;  Deuteronomy 33:8). His "heavy hand," affliction ( Psalms 38:2).

God's "right hand" denotes His omnipotence. "The right hand," being more proficient than the left hand, is the place of honour ( Psalms 110:1;  Matthew 25:33), "the left" is the place of dishonour ( Matthew 26:64). The Hebrew in reckoning the four quarters faced the E. So "in front" or "before them" was E.; "at the back," or "behind," W.; "the right hand," S.; "the left hand," N. The accuser in a trial stood "at the right hand" of the accused, so Satan at Joshua's right hand ( Zechariah 3:1;  Psalms 109:6); but the Advocate Messiah also is at the believer's "right hand," to defend his cause effectively ( Psalms 16:8;  Psalms 109:31); therefore Paul could say ( Romans 8:31;  Romans 8:33-34), "If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." "The hand of the Lord on" the prophets is the Holy Spirit's extraordinary and powerful impulse, His felt impression inspiring them ( 1 Kings 18:46;  2 Kings 3:15;  Ezra 1:3;  Ezra 3:14). His "good hand upon" His people means His gracious help ( Nehemiah 2:8;  Luke 1:66). "Laying on of hands" was usual in blessing; as the Lord Jesus blessing the infants ( Mark 10:16), Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh ( Genesis 48:14); also in laying guilt and punishment upon persons accused ( Deuteronomy 13:9;  Deuteronomy 17:7); also in constituting magistrates, as Moses did in appointing Joshua his successor ( Numbers 27:18); also setting apart the Levites ( Numbers 8:10).

Also the offerer put his hand upon the head of his burnt offering ( Leviticus 1:4), thereby identifying himself with it, and making it his representative to bear typically the death which his sin deserved. Also in ordaining ministers ( Acts 6:6;  Acts 13:3;  1 Timothy 4:14;  2 Timothy 1:6). The impartation of the Spirit was connected with the symbolical laying on of hands; "Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, FOR Moses had laid his hands upon him" ( Deuteronomy 34:9). The "gift" in Timothy was "BY (did,) the putting on of Paul's hands" as the chief instrument ( 2 Timothy 1:6), but "WITH ( Meta ) the laying on of the hands of the presbytery," implying accompaniment rather than direct instrumentality.

Compare  Acts 8:17;  Acts 9:17;  Acts 19:1-6; the apostles and others specially appointed by God had powers of miraculously conferring spiritual gifts and qualifications, such as have not been transmitted; so in confirming those already baptized. Bishops in confirming and ordaining now can only pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be bestowed on the candidates, not give it.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

HAND is EV [Note: English Version.] tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of Heb. yâd , ‘the open hand,’ kaph , ‘the closed hand,’ and Gr. cheir , ‘hand.’ Sometimes it is idiomatic, e.g. ‘at hand’ (  Isaiah 13:6 etc., Heb. qârôb ,   Matthew 26:18 etc., Gr. engys , lit. ‘near’). In determining the directions in the Orient, the face is turned to the east, not to the north as with us. So it comes that yâmîn , ‘right hand,’ and semô’l , ‘left hand,’ like the Arab. [Note: Arabic.] yamîn and shimâl , denote respectively ‘south’ and ‘north.’

In prayer the hands were stretched up ( Exodus 17:11 ,   1 Kings 8:22 ,   Psalms 28:2 etc.). To lift the hand to God signified a vow (  Genesis 14:22 ). To put the hand under the thigh of one to whom a vow was made, constituted a binding form of oath (  Genesis 24:2;   Genesis 47:29 ). Blessing was conveyed by laying hands upon the head (  Genesis 48:14 ). Out of this probably grew the practice in ordination see Laying on of Hands. To ‘fill the hand’ (  Exodus 28:41 etc.) was to set apart to the priesthood. Sin was supposed to be conveyed to the head of the victim for sacrifice (  Exodus 29:10 etc.), especially to that of the scapegoat (  Leviticus 16:21 etc.), by laying on of the priests’ hands. Washing the hands was a declaration of innocence (  Deuteronomy 21:6 ,   Psalms 26:6 ,   Matthew 27:24 etc.). Clean hands were a symbol of a righteous life (  Job 22:30 ,   Psalms 18:20;   Psalms 24:4 etc.). To smite the hands together was a sign of anger (  Numbers 24:10 ). To pour water on another’s hands was to be his servant (  2 Kings 3:11 ). To join hand in hand was to conspire together (  Proverbs 11:21 etc.). To strike hands sealed a compact (  Proverbs 6:1 etc.). Folded hands he token slumber (  Proverbs 24:33 ). Left-handedness seems to have been common among the Benjamites (  Judges 20:16 ), and once it was of signal service (  Judges 3:15;   Judges 3:21 ).

‘The hand of the Lord,’ and ‘a mighty hand’ ( Deuteronomy 2:15;   Deuteronomy 4:34 etc.), stand for the resistless power of God. ‘The hand of the Lord upon’ the prophet signifies the Divine inspiration (  Ezekiel 8:1;   Ezekiel 37:1 etc.). ‘The good hand of the Lord’ (  Ezra 7:6 etc.), ‘my hand’ and ‘my Father’s hand’ (  John 10:28-29 ), denote the providential, preserving care of God.

It appears that certain marks or cuttings in the hand were evidence of what deity one served ( Isaiah 44:5 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] , cf.   Galatians 6:17 ). The mark of the beast ‘upon their hand’ (  Revelation 20:4 ) is probably an allusion to this custom. See Cuttings in the Flesh, and Marks.

In court the accuser stands on the right hand ( Psalms 109:6 ,   Zechariah 3:1 ). The left hand bears the shield, leaving the right side exposed in battle. The protector, therefore, stands on the right hand (  Psalms 109:31 etc.). Perhaps on this account honour attaches to the right hand, the place given to the most favoured guest. The seat of the Redeemer’s glory is at the right hand of God (  Psalms 110:1 ,   Luke 22:69 ,   Romans 8:34 etc.).

Thrice ( 1Sa 15:12 ,  2 Samuel 18:18 ,   Isaiah 56:5 ) yâd clearly means ‘monument’ or ‘memorial,’ probably a stone block or pillar; a hand may have been carved upon it, but this is uncertain.

W. Ewing.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [7]

Yâd (יָד, Strong'S #3027), “hand; side; border; alongside; hand-measure; portion; arm (rest); monument; manhood (male sex organ); power; rule.” This word has cognates in most of the other Semitic languages. Biblical Hebrew attests it about 1,618 times and in every period. The primary sense of this word is “hand”: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life …” (Gen. 3:22—the first biblical occurrence). Sometimes the word is used in conjunction with an object that can be grasped by the “hand”: “And if he smite him with throwing a stone [literally, “hand stone”] …” (Num. 35:17). In a similar usagethe word means “human”: “… He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand [i.e., human agency]” (Dan. 8:25; cf. Job 34:20)—.

In Isa. 49:2, “hand” is used of God; God tells Moses that He will put His “hand” over the mouth of the cave and protect him. This is a figure of speech, an anthropomorphism, by which God promises His protection. God’s “hand” is another term for God’s “power” (cf. Jer. 16:21). The phrase “between your hands” may mean “upon your chest”: “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands [upon your chest]?” (Zech. 13:6). Yâd is employed in several other noteworthy phrases. The “lifting of the hand” may be involved in “taking an oath” (Gen. 14:22). “Shaking” [literally, “giving one’s hand”] is another oath-taking gesture (cf. Prov. 11:21). For “one’s hands to be on another” (Gen. 37:27) or “laid upon another” (Exod. 7:4) is to do harm to someone. “Placing one’s hands with” signifies “making common cause with someone” (Exod. 23:1). If one’s hand does not “reach” something, he is “unable to pay” for it (Lev. 5:7, RSV). When one’s countryman is “unable to stretch out his hand to you,” he is not able to support himself (Lev. 25:35).

“Putting one’s hand on one’s mouth” is a gesture of silence (Prov. 30:32). “Placing one’s hands under someone” means submitting to him (1 Chron. 29:24). “Giving something into one’s hand” is entrusting it to him (Gen. 42:37).

A second major group of passages uses yâd to represent the location and uses of the hand. First, the word can mean “side,” where the hand is located: “And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside —the way of the gate …” (2 Sam. 15:2). In 2 Chron. 21:16, the word means “border”: “Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near [literally, “by the hand of”] the Ethiopians.” A similar use in Exod. 25 applies this word to the “banks” of the Nile River: “And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river, and her maidens walked along by —the [Nile].…” In this sense, yâd can represent “length and breadth.” In Gen. 34:21 we read that the land was (literally) “broad of hands”: “These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them.…”

Second, since the hand can receive only a part or fraction of something, the word can signify a “part” or “fraction”: “And he took and sent [portions] unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s [portion] was five times so much as any of theirs” (Gen. 43:34).

Third, yâd comes to mean that which upholds something, a “support” (1 Kings 7:35ff.) or an “arm rest” (1 Kings 10:19).

Fourth, since a hand may be held up as a “sign,” yâd can signify a “monument” or “stele”: “… Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place [monument], and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15:12).

Fifth, yâd sometimes represents the “male sex organ”: “… And art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it [you have looked on their manhood ]” (Isa. 57:8; cf. v. 10; 6:2; 7:20).

In several passages, yâd is used in the sense of “power” or “rule”: “And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates” (1 Chron. 18:3). “To be delivered into one’s hands” means to be “given into one’s power”: “God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars” (1 Sam. 23:7; cf. Prov. 18:21).

“To fill someone’s hand” may be a technical term for “installing him” in office: “And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them [literally, “fill their hands”], and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Exod. 28:41). Yâd is frequently joined to the preposition |beand other prepositions as an extension; there is no change in meaning, only a longer form: “For what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?” (1 Sam. 26:18).

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [8]

The word "hand" occurs about1046 times in the Bible. It is used in approximately20 different ways as types of various attitudes and actions. The Scriptures are too numerous for us to list them all, but we will seek to arrange them in groups in a way that will be helpful and profitable to the reader. The arrangement will not be an alphabetical one, but will rather be placed as the thoughts are found in the Scriptures. A typical Scripture reference will be used in each case.

The hand represents human power.  Genesis 9:2;  Genesis 39:6.

The hand represents divine power.  Exodus 6:1;  Exodus 13:3.

The hand represents conquering power.  Exodus 14:8;  Numbers 33:3.

The hand represents a position of service2Ki3:11.

The hand when washed represents innocency.  Deuteronomy 21:6;  Matthew 27:24.

The hand when kissed represents loving affection, or deceitfulness or hypocrisy.  Job 31:27.

The hand when it is the right hand sometimes represents honor and favor.  Psalm 110:1;  Romans 8:34.

The hand when it is the right hand may indicate security and peace.  Psalm 16:8;  Psalm 109:31.

The hand when it is given is a sign of friendship, confidence and trust2Ki10:15.

The hand when it is lifted up may represent an act of supplication to GOD, and of dependence on GOD.  Exodus 17:12;  1 Timothy 2:8.

The hand when Laid on, indicates the imparting of spiritual gifts on the part of a leader of GOD's people to one who is less able and less prominent.  Acts 6:6;  1 Timothy 4:14. This seems to have been done only by Apostles and those in authority.

The hand when stretched out indicates that mercy is extended and offered.  Proverbs 1:24;  Romans 10:21.

The hand when leaned upon is a type of confidence and familiarity2Ki7:2;  2 Kings 5:18.

The hand when it is GOD's hand may signify divine power.  Acts 4:28; probably the Holy Spirit,  Acts 8:18; divine retribution  Judges 2:15; sovereign disposition  Psalm 31:15; divine sufficiency  Psalm 104:28;  Psalm 145:16.

The hand when it is man's hand may represent evil power;  Exodus 18:9; personal possessions1Ki  11:31; counselor agreement2Sa  14:19; personal sufficiency  Proverbs 3:27.

 Isaiah 49:16 (a) This shows the wonderful love and the constant care of GOD for those who have trusted their lives and their souls to Him. His wounded hands are ever before Him to remind Him of the children of GOD whom He has saved. The work which He does is always connected with His people. The engraving on those hands was done by the nails at Calvary.

 Isaiah 59:1 (a) This is a picture of the blessed, far-reaching power of GOD to save both the soul and the life of everyone who believes GOD.

 Isaiah 65:2 (a) Here is a figure of GOD's constant call to His enemies to come unto Him for salvation and restoration.

 Hebrews 10:31 (a) This figure reveals the terrible sufferings of that one who fails to kneel as a suppliant for mercy at the feet of the Lord Jesus The terrible wrath of an angry GOD will fall upon him in judgment.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [9]

It was so much the custom in the eastern world to do great and interesting actions by the motions and signs of the hand, that we find in Scripture continued expressions to this amount. The "giving of the hand," as in the instance of Jehu and Jehonadab. ( 2 Kings 10:15) The "washing of the hands," as in the case of Pilate. ( Matthew 27:24) The "stretching out of the hands," by way of entreaty, as mentioned  Proverbs 1:24 and again  Isaiah 65:2. All these, and much more to the like import, plainly shew, that the manners of the east were such as to carry on important concerns by the ministry of the hand. Indeed, in the western world, and in our own country, the action of the hand is not unfrequently made use of to testify the consent of the mind. The ceremony of putting the fight hand on the New Testament in the administration of oaths, and the ordinary salutation of friends, by the shaking of the hand, are proofs in point. But what I would yet more particularly remark on this subject, is the sacredness of the action in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. The right hand of Jehovah is well known to be one of the names by which the Mediator, as Mediator, is mentioned in Scripture. ( Exodus 15:6) And his return to glory is spoken of under this expression of "sitting down on the right hand of God." ( Psalms 110:1;  Hebrews 1:3) Hence, therefore, with an eye to Christ, the church is represented as looking to Jesus, and stretching forth the hand to Jesus, in all those expressions of the word of God where the ministry of the hand is used, in all the earnest actions of faith. "I have set the Lord always before me; for he is on my right hand, that I shall not be moved." ( Psalms 16:8) So again it is said, "The Lord shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul." ( Psalms 109:31.) I only detain the reader yet farther to remark, what a peculiar blessedness is in the subject, considered with reference to the hand of Jesus over his people. All that we read in the word of God of the hands, and eyes, and ears of the Lord, as continually engaged for his church and redeemed, is spoken of Christ in his human nature; and most blessed are those things in relation to Christ. By thus representing the Lord Jesus in those familiar acts of our own nature, it implies, what the church never should lose sight of, that sympathy of Jesus to our nature, whose hands are unceasingly stretched forth to lead, guide, and defend, and whose ears are always open to the cries of his redeemed, and whose eyes are upon them for good, for his delight, and their happiness. How sweet to this purpose are those Scriptures: "I know the thoughts I think towards you, saith the Lord; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." ( Jeremiah 29:11. So again,  Jeremiah 32:41) "Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly, with my whole heart, and with my whole soul."

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) Handwriting; style of penmanship; as, a good, bad or running hand. Hence, a signature.

(2): ( n.) Personal possession; ownership; hence, control; direction; management; - usually in the plural.

(3): ( n.) An index or pointer on a dial; as, the hour or minute hand of a clock.

(4): ( v. i.) To cooperate.

(5): ( v. t.) To furl; - said of a sail.

(6): ( v. t.) To pledge by the hand; to handfast.

(7): ( v. t.) To seize; to lay hands on.

(8): ( v. t.) To manage; as, I hand my oar.

(9): ( v. t.) To lead, guide, or assist with the hand; to conduct; as, to hand a lady into a carriage.

(10): ( n.) Power of performance; means of execution; ability; skill; dexterity.

(11): ( v. t.) To give, pass, or transmit with the hand; as, he handed them the letter.

(12): ( n.) That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in man and monkeys, and the corresponding part in many other animals; manus; paw. See Manus.

(13): ( n.) That which resembles, or to some extent performs the office of, a human hand

(14): ( n.) A limb of certain animals, as the foot of a hawk, or any one of the four extremities of a monkey.

(15): ( n.) A bundle of tobacco leaves tied together.

(16): ( n.) A measure equal to a hand's breadth, - four inches; a palm. Chiefly used in measuring the height of horses.

(17): ( n.) Side; part; direction, either right or left.

(18): ( n.) The small part of a gunstock near the lock, which is grasped by the hand in taking aim.

(19): ( n.) Actual performance; deed; act; workmanship; agency; hence, manner of performance.

(20): ( n.) An agent; a servant, or laborer; a workman, trained or competent for special service or duty; a performer more or less skillful; as, a deck hand; a farm hand; an old hand at speaking.

(21): ( n.) A gambling game played by American Indians, consisting of guessing the whereabouts of bits of ivory or the like, which are passed rapidly from hand to hand.

(22): ( n.) Agency in transmission from one person to another; as, to buy at first hand, that is, from the producer, or when new; at second hand, that is, when no longer in the producer's hand, or when not new.

(23): ( n.) Rate; price.

(24): ( n.) That which is, or may be, held in a hand at once

(25): ( n.) The quota of cards received from the dealer.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Psalm 9:16 Job 9:30 Isaiah 1:15 1 Timothy 2:8 Psalm 26:6 73:13 Matthew 27:24 1 Corinthians 6:11 Isaiah 51:16 Psalm 24:3,4 Psalm 77:2

The right hand denoted the south, and the left the north (  Job 23:9;  1 Samuel 23:19 ). To give the right hand was a pledge of fidelity ( 2 Kings 10:15;  Ezra 10:19 ); also of submission to the victors ( Ezekiel 17:18;  Jeremiah 50:15 ). The right hand was lifted up in taking an oath ( Genesis 14:22 , etc.). The hand is frequently mentioned, particularly the right hand, as a symbol of power and strength ( Psalm 60:5;  Isaiah 28:2 ). To kiss the hand is an act of homage ( 1 Kings 19:18;  Job 31:27 ), and to pour water on one's hands is to serve him ( 2 Kings 3:11 ). The hand of God is the symbol of his power: its being upon one denotes favour ( Ezra 7:6,28;  Isaiah 1:25;  Luke 1:66 , etc.) or punishment ( Exodus 9:3;  Judges 2:15;  Acts 13:11 , etc.). A position at the right hand was regarded as the chief place of honour and power ( Psalm 45:9;  80:17;  110:1;  Matthew 26:64 ).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [12]

1: Χείρ (Strong'S #5495 — Noun Feminine — cheir — khire )

"the hand" (cp. Eng., "chiropody"), is used, besides its ordinary significance, (a) in the idiomatic phrases, "by the hand of," "at the hand of," etc., to signify "by the agency of,"  Acts 5:12;  7:35;  17:25;  14:3;  Galatians 3:19 (cp.   Leviticus 26:46 );  Revelation 19:2; (b) metaphorically, for the power of God, e.g.,  Luke 1:66;  23:46;  John 10:28,29;  Acts 11:21;  13:11;  Hebrews 1:10;  2:7;  10:31; (c) by metonymy, for power, e.g.,  Matthew 17:22;  Luke 24:7;  John 10:39;  Acts 12:11 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [13]

Often put of strength, power; so to be "in the hand" of any one, is to be in his power. Joining hands, or striking hands, is a very common method of pledging one's self to a contract or bargain; just as persons among us often shake hands in token of an agreement. To "lift the hand," means to make oath. "At the right hand of God," is the place of honor, power, and happiness,  Psalm 16:11   45:9   110:1   Matthew 26:64   Colossians 3:1 . The right hand meant towards the south, the Jews being wont to speak as if facing the east. The "laying on of hands," signified consecration to office, and the bestowal of a blessing or of divine gifts,  Genesis 48:14   Numbers 8:10   27:18   Mark 10:16   Acts 6:6   19:6   1 Timothy 4:14 . The hands of the high priest laid upon the scapegoat, as if transferring the guilt of the people to his head, represented the work wrought by Christ in order that the sinner might not be "driven away in his wickedness." See Washing .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

( יָד ,yd, the Open palm; כִּ , kaph, the Hollow of the partly-closed hand; Greek Χείρ ; יָמַין , Yanin', the Right hand, Δεξιά ; שְׂמוֹל , Semel', The Left hand, Ἀριστερά , Εὐώνυμον ), the principal organ of feeling, rightly denominated by Galen the instrument of instruments since this member is wonderfully adapted to the purposes for which it was designed, and serves to illustrate the wisdom and providence of the great Creator (The Hand, Its Mechanism And Vital Endowments, As Evincing Design, by Sir Charles Bell). Considering the multiplex efficacy of the human hand, the control which it has given mail, the conquest over the external world which it has enabled him to achieve, and the pleasing and useful revolutions and improvements which it has brought about, we are not surprised to read the glowing eulogy in which Cicero (De Nat. Deor. 2, 60) has indulged on the subject, nor to find how important is the part which the hand performs in the records of divine revelation. The hand itself serves to distinguish man from other terrestrial beings. Of the two hands, the right has a preference derived from natural endowment. (See Lefthanded).

Hands are the symbols of human action; pure hands are pure actions; unjust hands are deeds of injustice; hands full of blood, actions stained with cruelty, and the alike ( Psalms 90:17;  Job 9:30;  1 Timothy 2:8;  Isaiah 1:15). Washing of the hands was the symbol of innocence ( Psalms 26:6;  Psalms 73:13). Of this Pilate furnishes an example ( Matthew 27:24). It was the custom of the Jews to wash their hands before and after meat (see  Mark 7:3;  Matthew 6:2;  Luke 11:38). Washing of hands was a symbol of Expiation, as might be shown by numerous references; and of Sanctification, as appears from several passages ( 1 Corinthians 6:11;  Isaiah 1:16;  Psalms 24:3-4). (See Washing Of Hands). Paul, in  1 Timothy 2:8, says, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, Lifting Up Holy Hands," etc. (see  Job 11:13-14). The elevation or extension of the right hand was also the ancient method of voting in popular assemblies, as indicated by the Greek term Χειροτονέω ( Acts 14:23;  2 Corinthians 8:19). In  Psalms 77:2, for "sore," the margin of our version has "hand;" and the correct sense is, "My hands in the night were spread out, and ceased not." To smite the hands together over the head was a gesture of despairing grief ( 2 Samuel 13:19;  Jeremiah 2:37). The expression in  Jeremiah 2:37, "Thy hands upon thy head," may be explained by the act of Tamar in laying her hand on her head as a sign of her degradation and sorrow ( 2 Samuel 13:19). The expression "Though hand join in hand" in  Proverbs 11:21, is simply "hand to hand," and signifies through all ages and generations, ever: "through all generations the wicked shall not go unpunished."

To the right hand signified to the south, the southern quarter, as the left hand signified the north ( Job 23:9;  1 Samuel 23:19;  2 Samuel 24:5). The term hand is sometimes used for a monument, a trophy of victory ( 1 Samuel 15:12); a sepulchral monument, "Absalom's Place," literally Absalom's Hand ( 2 Samuel 18:18; see Erdmann, Monunentum Absalomi, Helmst. 1740). So in  Isaiah 56:5, "to them will I give a place within my walls a monument (or portion) and a name" (Gesenius, Thesaur. Heb. p. 568).

To give the right hand was a pledge of fidelity, and was considered as confirming a promise or bargain ( 2 Kings 10:15;  Ezra 10:19); spoken of the vanquished giving their hands as a pledge of submission and fidelity to the victors ( Ezekiel 17:18; Jeremiah 1, 15;  Lamentations 5:6); so to strike hands as a pledge of suretiship ( Proverbs 17:18;  Proverbs 22:26;  2 Chronicles 30:8, margin). The right hand was lifted up in swearing or taking an oath ( Genesis 14:22;  Deuteronomy 32:40;  Ezekiel 20:28;  Psalms 144:11;  Isaiah 62:8); similar is the Arabic oath, "By the right hand of Allah." (See Taylor's Fragments, No. 278.)

Hand in general is the symbol of power and strength, and the right hand more particularly so. To hold by the right hand is the symbol of protection and favor ( Psalms 18:35). To stand or be at one's right hand is to aid or assist any one ( Psalms 16:8;  Psalms 109:31;  Psalms 110:5;  Psalms 121:5); so also "man of thy right hand," i.e. whom thou sustainest, aidest ( Psalms 80:17); "my hand is with any one," i.e. I aid him, am on his side ( 1 Samuel 22:17;  2 Samuel 23:12;  2 Kings 23:19); and to take or hold the right hand, i.e. to sustain, to aid ( Psalms 73:23;  Isaiah 41:13;  Isaiah 45:1). So the right hand of fellowship ( Galatians 2:9) signifies a communication of the same power and authority. To lean upon the hand of another is a mark of familiarity and superiority ( 2 Kings 5:18;  2 Kings 7:17). To give the hand, as to a master, is the token of submission and future obedience. Thus, in 2 Chronicles 30:8, the words in the original, "Give the hand unto the Lord," signify, Yield yourselves unto the Lord. The like phrase is used in  Psalms 68:31;  Lamentations 5:6. "Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God"( Psalms 123:2), which refers to the watchful readiness of a servant to obey the least sign of command (Kitto's Daily Bible Illust. ad loc.). To kiss the hand is an act of homage ( 1 Kings 19:18;  Job 31:27). To pour water on any one's hands signifies to serve him ( 2 Kings 3:11). To "seal up the hand"( Job 37:7) is to place one in charge of any special business, for which he will be held accountable. Marks in the hands or wrists were the tokens of servitude, the heathens being wont to imprint marks upon the hands of servants, and on such as devoted themselves to some false deity. Thus in.  Zechariah 13:6, the man, when challenged for the scars visible on his hands, would deny that they had proceeded from an idolatrous cause, and pretend that they were the effects of the wounds he had given himself for the loss of his friends. The right hand stretched out is the symbol of immediate exertion of power ( Exodus 15:12); sometimes the exercise of mercy ( Isaiah 65:2;  Proverbs 1:24).

The hand of God is spoken of as the instrument of power, and to it is ascribed that which strictly belongs to God himself ( Job 27:11;  Psalms 31:16;  Psalms 95:4;  Isaiah 62:3;  Proverbs 21:1;  Acts 4:28;  1 Peter 5:6). So the hand of the Lord being upon or with any one denotes divine aid or favor ( Ezra 7:6;  Ezra 7:28;  Ezra 8:18;  Ezra 8:22;  Ezra 8:13;  Nehemiah 2:8;  Isaiah 1:25;  Luke 1:66;  Acts 11:21); further, the hand of the Lord is upon or against thee, denotes punishment ( Exodus 9:3;  Deuteronomy 2:15;  Judges 2:15;  1 Samuel 7:13;  1 Samuel 12:15;  Ezekiel 13:9;  Amos 1:8;  Acts 13:11). In  Job 33:7, "My Hand shall not be heavy upon thee," the original term is אֶכֶ , Ekeph; and the passage signifies "my Dignity shall not weigh heavy upon thee"(Gesenius, s.v.). The hand of God upon a prophet signifies the immediate operation of his Holy Spirit on the soul or body of the prophet, as in  1 Kings 18:46;  2 Kings 3:15;  Ezekiel 1:3;  Ezekiel 3:22;  Ezekiel 8:1. As the Hand, so also The Finger of God denotes his power or Spirit (see  Luke 11:20, and comp.  Matthew 12:28). Thus our Savior cast out devils or daemons by his bare command, whereas the Jews cast them out only by the invocation of the name of God. So in  Exodus 8:19, the Finger Of God is a work which none but God could perform. (See Arm).

The hands of the high priest were laid on the head of the scape-goat when the sins of the people were publicly confessed ( Leviticus 16:21). Witnesses laid their hands oil the head of the accused person, as it were to signify that they charged upon him the guilt of his blood and freed themselves from it ( Deuteronomy 13:9;  Deuteronomy 17:7). The Hebrews, when presenting their sin-offerings at the tabernacle, confessed their sins while they laid their hands upon the victim ( Leviticus 1:4). To "fill one's hands," is to take possession of the priesthood, to perform the functions of that office; because in this ceremony those parts of the victim which were to be offered were put into the hand of the new-made priest ( Judges 17:5;  Judges 17:12;  Leviticus 16:32;  1 Kings 13:33). Jacob laid his hands on Ephraim and Manasseh when he gave them his last blessing ( Genesis 48:14). The high priest stretched out his hands to the people as often as he recited the solemn form of blessing ( Leviticus 9:22). Our Savior laid his hands upon the children that were presented to him and blessed them ( Mark 10:16). (See Tiemeroth, De Χειροθεσίᾷ , Χειρολογιᾷ , Erford. 1754.)

Imposition of hands formed at an early period a part of the ceremonial observed on the appointment and consecration of persons to high and holy undertakings. In  Numbers 27:19, Jehovah is represented as thus speaking to Moses, "Take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight," etc.: where it is obvious that the laying on of hands did neither originate nor communicate divine gifts; for Joshua had "the spirit" before he received imposition of hands; but it was merely an instrumental sign for marking him out individually, and setting him apart; in sight of the congregation, to his arduous work. Similar appears to be the import of the observance in the primitive Church of Christ ( Acts 8:15-17;  1 Timothy 4:14;  2 Timothy 1:6). A corruption of this doctrine was that the laying on of hands gave of itself divine powers, and on this account Simon, the magician ( Acts 8:18), offered money, saying, "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands he may receive the Holy Ghost," intending probably to carry on a gainful trade by communicating the gift to others. (See Imposition Of Hands).

The phrase "sitting at the right hand of God," as applied to the Savior, is derived from the fact that with earthly princes a position on the right hand of the throne was accounted the chief place of honor, dignity, and power: "upon thy right hand did stand the queen"( Psalms 45:9; comp.  1 Kings 2:19;  Psalms 80:17). The immediate passage out of which sprang the phraseology employed by Jesus may be found in  Psalms 110:1 : "Jehovah said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Accordingly the Savior declares before Caiaphas ( Matthew 26:64;  Mark 14:62), "Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven;"where the meaning obviously is that the Jews of that day should have manifest proof that Jesus held the most eminent place in the divine favor, and that his present humiliation would be succeeded by glory, majesty, and power ( Luke 24:26;  1 Timothy 3:16). So when it is said ( Mark 16:19;  Romans 8:34;  Colossians 3:1;  1 Peter 3:22;  Hebrews 1:3;  Hebrews 8:1) that Jesus "sits at the right hand of God," "at the right hand of the Majesty on high," we are obviously to understand the assertion to be that, as his Father, so he worketh always ( John 5:17) for the advancement of the kingdom of heaven, and the salvation of the world.

In  Colossians 2:13-14, "the law of commandments contained in ordinances"( Ephesians 2:15) is designated "the Handwriting of ordinances that was against us," which Jesus blotted out, and took away, nailing it to his cross; phraseology which indicates the abolition, on the part of the Savior, of the Mosaic law (Wolfius, Curce Philolog. In N.T. 3, 16).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

( יד , yādh , "hand"; כּף , kaph , "the hollow hand," "palm"; ימין , yāmı̄n , "the right hand"; שׂמאל , semō'l , "the left hand"; χείρ , cheı́r , "hand"; δεξιά , dexiá , "the right hand"; ἀριστερά , aristerá , "the left hand" (only   Luke 23:33;  2 Corinthians 6:7 ), or euphemistically (for evil omens come from the left hand; compare Latin sinister , German linkisch , etc.); εὐώνυμος , euō̇numos , literally, "having a good name"): The Hebrew words are used in a large variety of idiomatic expressions, part of which have passed into the Greek (through the Sepuagint) and into modern European languages (through the translations of the Bible; see Oxford Hebrew Lexicon , under the word " yādh "). We group what has to be said about the word under the following heads:

1. The Human Hand: Various Uses

The human hand (considered physically) and, anthropopathically, the hand of God ( Genesis 3:22;  Psalm 145:16 ): The hand included the wrist, as will be seen from all passages in which bracelets are mentioned as ornaments of the hand, e.g.  Genesis 24:22 ,  Genesis 24:30 ,  Genesis 24:47;  Ezekiel 16:11;  Ezekiel 23:42 , or where the Bible speaks of fetters on the hands ( Judges 15:14 , etc.). On the other hand, it cannot seem strange that occasionally the expression "hand" may be used for a part, e.g. the fingers, as in  Genesis 41:42 , etc.. According to the lex talionis , justice demanded "hand for hand" ( Exodus 21:24;  Deuteronomy 19:21 ). We enumerate the following phrases without claiming to present a complete list: "To fill the hand" ( Exodus 32:29 m;   1 Chronicles 29:5 margin) means to consecrate, evidently from the filling of hands with sacrificial portions for the altar. Compare also   Leviticus 7:37;  Leviticus 8:22 ,  Leviticus 8:28 ,  Leviticus 8:29 ,  Leviticus 8:31 ,  Leviticus 8:33 , where the sacrifice, the ram, the basket of consecration are mentioned. "To put or set the hand unto" ( Deuteronomy 15:10;  Deuteronomy 23:20;  Deuteronomy 28:8 ,  Deuteronomy 28:20 ), to commence to do; "to put forth the hand" ( Genesis 3:22;  Genesis 8:9 ); "to stretch out the hand" ( Ezekiel 25:13 ,  Ezekiel 25:16;  Zephaniah 2:13 ); "to shake or wag the hand upon" ( Isaiah 10:32;  Zephaniah 2:15;  Zechariah 2:9 ), to defy. "To lay the hand upon the head" ( 2 Samuel 13:19 ) is an expression of sadness and mourning, as we see from Egyptian representations of scenes of mourning. Both in joy and in anger hands are "smitten together" ( Numbers 24:10 ), and people "clap their hands" at a person or over a person in spiteful triumph ( Job 27:23;  Lamentations 2:15;  Nahum 3:19 ). "To put one's life into one's hand" is to risk one's life ( 1 Samuel 19:5;  1 Samuel 28:21 ). "To lay hands upon" is used in the sense of blessing ( Matthew 19:13 ), or is symbolical in the act of miraculous healing ( Matthew 9:18;  Mark 8:23;  Acts 28:8 ), or an emblem of the gift of the Holy Spirit and His endowments ( Acts 8:17-19;  Acts 13:3;  1 Timothy 4:14;  2 Timothy 1:6 ); but it also designates the infliction of cruelty and punishment ( Genesis 37:22;  Leviticus 24:14 ), the imposition of responsibility ( Numbers 8:10;  Deuteronomy 34:9 ). Thus also the sins of the people were symbolically transferred upon the goat which was to be sent into the wilderness ( Leviticus 16:21 ). This act, rabbinical writings declare, was not so much a laying on of hands, as a vigorous pressing. "Lifting up the hand" was a gesture accompanying an oath ( Deuteronomy 32:40 ) or a blessing pronounced over a multitude ( Leviticus 9:22;  Luke 24:50 ), a prayer ( Psalm 119:48 ). "To put the hands to the mouth" is indicative of (compulsory) silence ( Job 21:5;  Job 40:4;  Proverbs 30:32;  Micah 7:16 ). To "slack one's hand" is synonymous with negligence and neglect ( Joshua 10:6 ), and "to hide or bury the hand in the dish" is descriptive of the slothful, who is tired even at meals ( Proverbs 19:24;  Proverbs 26:15 ).

2. The Hand as Power

The hand in the sense of power and authority: (compare Assyrian ı̂du , "strength");   Joshua 8:20 margin, "They had no hands (the Revised Version (British and American) "power") to flee this way or that way";   Judges 1:35 , "The hand of the house of Joseph prevailed";  Psalm 76:5 , "None of the men of might have found their hands";  Psalm 89:48 margin, "shall deliver his soul from the hand (the Revised Version (British and American) "power") of Sheol";   2 Kings 3:15 , "The hand of Yahweh came upon him";  Exodus 14:31 margin, "Israel saw the great hand (the Revised Version (British and American) "work") which Yahweh did upon the Egyptians";   Deuteronomy 34:12 , "in all the mighty hand ... which Moses wrought in the sight of all Israel."

3. The Hand for the Person

The hand used ( pars pro toto ) for the person: "His hand shall be against every man" (  Genesis 16:12 ). "Slay the priests of Yahweh; because their hand also is with David" ( 1 Samuel 22:17 ). "Jonathan went to David into the wood and strengthened his hand in God" ( 1 Samuel 23:16 ). In this sense penalty is exacted "from the hand" or "at the hand" of the transgressor ( Genesis 9:5;  Ezekiel 33:8 ).

4. Hand, Meaning Side

The hand in the sense of side: "All the side (Hebrew "hand") of the river Jabbok" ( Deuteronomy 2:37 ); "by the wayside" (Hebrew "by the hand of the way,"  1 Samuel 4:13 ). The manuscripts have here the error יך , yakh , for יד , yādh  ; compare the Hebrew of  Psalm 140:5 (6) ( ליד־מעגּל , leyādh ma‛gāl ); "On the side (Hebrew "hand") of their oppressors there was power" ( Ecclesiastes 4:1 ); "I was by the side (Hebrew "hand") of the great river" ( Daniel 10:4 ).

5. English Idiom

Mention must also be made here of the English idiom, "at hand," frequently found in our versions of the Scriptures. In Hebrew and Greek there is no reference to the word "hand," but words designating nearness of time or place are used. The usual word in Hebrew is קרב , ḳārabh , "to be near," and קרוב , ḳārōbh , "near"; in Greek ἐγγύς , eggús , "near," and the verb ἐγγίζω , eggı́zō , "to come near." Rarely other words are used, as ἐνέστηκεν , enéstē̄ken , "has come," the English Revised Version "is now present" (  2 Thessalonians 2:2 ), and ἐφεστηκεν , ephéstēken , "is come" ( 2 Timothy 4:6 ).

Frequently the words refer to the "day" or "coming of the Lord"; still it must not be forgotten that it may often refer to the nearness of God in a local sense, as in  Jeremiah 23:23 , "Am I a God at hand, saith Yahweh, and not a God afar off?" and probably in  Philippians 4:5 , "The Lord is at hand," though many, perhaps most, commentators regard the expression as a version of the Aramaic marán athá ( 1 Corinthians 16:22 ). Passages such as  Psalm 31:20;  Psalm 119:151;  Matthew 28:20 would, however, speak for an interpretation which lays the ictus on the abiding presence of the Lord with the believer.

Note . - T he ancients made a careful distinction of the respective values of the two hands. This is perhaps best seen from  Genesis 48:13-19 , where the imposition of the hands of aged Israel upon the heads of Joseph's sons seems unfair to their father, because the left hand is being placed upon the elder, the right hand upon the younger son. The very word euōnumos proves the same from the Greek point of view. This word is a euphemistic synonym of aristera , and is used to avoid the unlucky omen the common word may have for the person spoken to. Thus the goats, i.e. the godless, are placed at the left hand of the great Judge, while the righteous appear at His right ( Matthew 25:33 ). We read in  Ecclesiastes 10:2 , "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left," i.e. is inclined to evil. As the Jews orientated themselves by looking toward the rising of the sun (Latin oriens , the east), the left hand represented the north, and the right hand the south ( 1 Samuel 23:19 ,  1 Samuel 23:24;  2 Samuel 24:5 ). The right hand was considered the more honorable ( 1 Kings 2:19;  Psalm 45:9 ); therefore it was given in attestation of a contract, a federation or fellowship ( Galatians 2:9 ). It is the more valuable in battle; a friend or protector will therefore take his place at the right to guard it ( Psalm 16:8;  Psalm 73:23;  Psalm 109:31;  Psalm 110:5;  Psalm 121:5 ), but the enemy will, for the same reason, try to assail it ( Job 30:12;  Psalm 109:6;  Zechariah 3:1 ). It was also the unprotected side, because the shield was carried on the left arm: hence, the point of danger and honor. The right hand is also the side of power and strength ( Psalm 60:5;  Psalm 63:8;  Psalm 108:6;  Psalm 118:15 ,  Psalm 118:16;  Psalm 110:1;  Matthew 22:44;  Matthew 20:21 ,  Matthew 20:23 ). Both hands are mentioned together in the sense of close proximity, intimate association, in  Mark 10:37 .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

Hand, the organ of feeling, rightly denominated by Galen the instrument of instruments, since by its position at the end of the forearm, its structure and its connection with the mind, the hand admirably executes the behests of the human will, and acquires and imparts to man incomparable skill and power. By the peculiarities of its conformation—the inclination of the thumb to the palm, the comparative length of the thumb and of the fingers, 'the hollow of the hand,' and the fleshy protuberances by which that hollow is mainly formed—this member is wonderfully adapted to the purposes for which it was designed, and serves to illustrate the wisdom and providence of the great Creator. The hand itself serves to distinguish man from other terrestrial beings. No other animal has any member comparable with the human hand. Of the two hands the right has a preference derived from natural endowment. Its universal use, as the chief instrument in acting, serves to show that its superiority is something more than an accident. But the preference which it holds is only a part of the general advantage which the right side has over the left, not only in muscular strength, but also in its vital or constitutional properties.

From the properties already described, the student of Scripture is prepared to see the hand employed in holy writ as a symbol of skill, strength, and efficacy. As a part of that general anthropomorphism, without whose aid men in the early ages could probably have formed no conception of God, the Deity is frequently spoken of in the records of revelation as if possessed of hands.

The phrase 'sitting at the right hand of God,' as applied to the Savior of the world, is derived from the fact that with earthly princes a position on the right hand of the throne was accounted the chief place of honor, dignity, and power:—'upon thy right-hand did stand the queen' (; compare; ). The immediate passage out of which sprang the phraseology employed by Jesus may be found in : 'Jehovah said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' Accordingly the Savior declares before Caiaphas , 'Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven;' where the meaning obviously is that the Jews of that day should have manifest proofs that Jesus held the most eminent place in the divine favor, and that His present humiliation would be succeeded by glory, majesty, and power . So when it is said (;;;;; ) that Jesus 'sits at the right hand of God,' 'at the right hand of the Majesty on high,' we are obviously to understand the assertion to be that, as His Father, so He worketh always for the advancement of the kingdom of heaven, and the salvation of the world.

As the hand is the great instrument of action, so is it eminently fitted for affording aid to the mind, by the signs and indications which it makes. Thus to lay the hand on any one was a means of pointing him out, and consequently an emblem of setting any one apart for a particular office or dignity. Imposition of hands accordingly formed, at an early period, a part of the ceremonial observed on the appointment and consecration of persons to high and holy undertakings (see;;; ). A corruption of this doctrine was, that the laying on of hands gave of itself divine powers; and on this account Simon, the magician offered money, saying, 'Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands he may receive the Holy Ghost,' intending probably to carry on a gainful trade by communicating the gift to others.