Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands free to carry things, use tools, fight, work and touch each other. Having hands made intelligence important, leading to larger brains and, at some point, true humanity through spiritual existence.
We’ve been using our hands the same way ever since; they are the primary way we can put our thoughts and intentions into action. That was true in centuries past, as farmers, warriors, craftsmen and artists were all dependent on their hands. And while it might be slightly less true thanks to technology today, we still use primarily our hands to interface with machines through instruments and keyboards.
It makes sense, then, that hands in the Bible represent power, the force with which things are put into action. To be specific, they represent the power of spiritual good – which is the love of others and serving others – expressed through spiritual truth – which is an understanding and knowledge of what it is to love and serve others. This is in contrast to the feet, which represent power on the natural level, and a “rod,” which represents the power of the hand passed down into external or natural ideas.
In a few cases in the Bible, hands also represent communication and a drawing together. This is true when people lift their hands to heaven or to Jehovah, and also when the Lord touches children or touches people to heal them.
By Rev. Jonathan Rose
This video is a part of the Spirit and Life Bible Study series, whose purpose is to look at the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible through a Swedenborgian lens.
Title: Jesus the Creator, Jehovah the Redeemer
Summary: We explore the unity and trinity in God--how the "Father" relates to the "Son," the "Word," and the "Holy Spirit." Fairly absurd concrete analogies are brought to bear on these important but mystical truths.
Use the reference links below to follow along in the Bible as you watch.
1 John 5:7-8
Psalms 19:14; 78:35; 130:7-8
Isaiah 43:1, 3, 11; 44:6
Revelation 1:11, 17; 22:13
Isaiah 44:22-24; Isaiah 48:17, Isaiah 48:20; 49:7, 26; 54:5, 8; 59:20; 60:6; 63:16
John 1:1, 3, 14
Revelation 4:11; 11:8
Spirit and Life Bible Study broadcast from 11/2/2011. The complete series is available at: www.spiritandlifebiblestudy.com