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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” (Isa.63:5).
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 ones.”
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 in.

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 been revealed?”
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 26:64)

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 them.”

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 save me.”

Ps. 89:13 “You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand.”

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 hear me.”

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 does valiantly.”

Ps. 139:10 “Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”

Isa. 62:8 “The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength”


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