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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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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."

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Hand'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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