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The arm and right hand of the Lord
There are examples of God using His arm, which is a symbol of His power to reach
into the affairs of man. The arm was used representing God in His agency of
strength. When the Bible refers the Arm of the Lord it is consistently about the
Son, as God reaches into the Earth to do His work. The Lord redeemed Israel
“with an outstretched arm”(Exod.6:6), “To who has the arm of the Lord been
revealed” (Isa.53:1), “Therefore my own arm brought salvation for me”
In a similar manner his hand is used to most often symbolize an activity of
service. It certainly does not mean God has arms or hands like humans do. These
are anthropomorphic descriptions. Isa.48:13 tells us, “His hand laid the
foundation of the Earth, and My right hand spanned the heavens.” “The Lord has
sworn by His right hand, and by His arm of strength” (Isa.62:8). “The Lord's
hand is not shortened that it cannot save” (Isa.59:1). We also have numerous
Scriptures combining both the arm and hand. “So the Lord brought us out of Egypt
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deut. 26:8; Deut.5:15, 7:19, 11:2;
Ps.44:3; Jer.32:21; Ez.20:33). This deliverance was accomplished by The Angel
(messenger) of the Lord. God upholds and saves with His right hand (Ps. 108:6;
138:7; 139:10; Isa.41:10).The phrase the “arm of the Lord,” brings salvation.
Ps 80:15 “And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and the branch
that You made strong for Yourself.
Zech. 13:7: “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My
Companion, (literally my equal) “says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little
This is related to Ps. 80:17: “Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.”
The Son of man was a Messianic term for the Messiah, God coming in human flesh.
In anthropomorphic terms the right hand of God points to his exalted position.
There are numerous things that need to be considered to understand this phrase.
The phrase right hand is both a metaphor and a position; God exercises His
authority by His right hand. It explains His exalted position He is now active
John 12:38: “that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he
spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord
John is identifying Jesus in Isaiah.
Isa. 53:1-7: “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD
been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root
out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is
no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man
of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from
Him; he was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and
afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we
are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to
his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.He was
oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a
lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He
opened not His mouth.
Isa.48:13 tells us, “His hand laid the foundation of the Earth, and My right
hand spanned the heavens” (Isa.62:8). The right hand and arm are a poetic form
identifying the Messiah.
This right hand is also a place, Heb. 10:12 “But this Man, after He had offered
one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (also
Heb.12:2; 1 Pt.3:22). The phrase “at the right hand of God,” “at” in Greek is
“en;” a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state),
and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a
relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537); “in,” at, (up-) on, by,
etc. (Strong’s Concordance). Every time it describes Jesus with God in heaven it
emphasizes the place of His being at His right hand. The phrase right hand is a
symbol of power and strength (Ps. 60:5; Isa. 28:2) meaning a place of
prominence, recognized as the highest place of honor (Ps 45:9; 80:17; 110:1; Mt
Some of the many examples in Scripture:.
Exod 15:3-6 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name. Pharaoh's chariots
and his army He has cast into the sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in
the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they sank to the bottom like a
stone.”Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; your right hand, O
LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
The right hand can execute judgment. Exod 15:11-12 “Who is like You, O LORD,
among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing
wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; the earth swallowed them.”
Ps 21:8 “Your hand will find all Your enemies; your right hand will find those
who hate You.”
Or it can show mercy. Ps 17:7 “Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right
hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against
Ps 18:35 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; your right hand
has held me up, your gentleness has made me great.
Ps 20:6 “Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; he will answer him from
His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.”
Ps. 44:3 “For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor
did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light
of Your countenance, because You favored them.”
Ps. 48:10 “According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the
earth; your right hand is full of righteousness.”
The right hands symbolizing the Messiah’s work in salvation: Ps 60:5 “That Your
beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me.”
Ps 138:7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; you will
stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will
Ps. 89:13 “You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right
Ps. 98:1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; his
right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.”
Ps. 108:6 “That Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and
Ps. 110:1-2 The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your
enemies Your footstool.” The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of
Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Ps. 110:5-6 The Lord is at Your right hand; he shall execute kings in the day of
His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, he shall fill the places with dead
bodies, he shall execute the heads of many countries.”
Ps. 118:16 “The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD
Ps. 139:10 “Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold
Isa. 62:8 “The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength”