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.
10241. 'Their hands and their feet' means the person's interiors and exteriors. This is clear from the meaning of 'hands' as a person's interiors, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'feet' as a person's exteriors, thus his natural things since these are exterior; for natural things, thus those belonging to the exterior man, are meant by 'feet', see 2162, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 9406. But the reason why interior things are meant by 'hands' is that the higher parts of the body extend into the hands and come to an end in them, so that whatever exists with a person, also the power he possesses, is meant by 'hands', see the places referred to in 10019. But when both hands and feet are spoken of, whatever exists in the internal man and also in the external man, or spiritual things and natural things, is meant. This explains why 'lifting up the hand' means power in the spiritual, while 'lifting up the foot' means power in the natural, 5327, 5328. Furthermore the extremities of a person mean everything within him, 10044, and the hands and feet are extremities. From all this it becomes clear why it was that Aaron and his sons had to wash their hands and feet whenever they went into the tent of meeting or approached the altar to minister.