SPECIAL TOPIC: HAND (ILLUSTRATED FROM EZEKIEL)

The word "hand" (BDB 388) has several connotations and usages.

1. literal (i.e., hand of a human)

a. symbol of the entire person, Ezek. 3:18; 18:8,17; 33:6,8

b. symbol of human weakness, 7:17,27; 21:7; 22:14

c. symbol of foreign enemies, 7:21; 11:9; 16:39; 21:31; 23:9,28; 28:10; 30:12; 34:27; 38:12; 39:23

d. literal hand, 8:11; 12:7; 16:11; 37:17,19,20

e. symbol of false leaders' power, 13:21,22,23; 34:10

f. symbol of a nation, 23:31,37,42,45; 25:14; 27:15; 28:9; 30:10,22,24,25; 31:11; 39:3

2. anthropomorphic of deity

a. reception of revelation, Ezek. 1:3; 3:14,22; 8:1; 33:22; 37:1; 40:1 (2:9 is another metaphor – scroll on a hand)

b. YHWH's power in judgment, 6:14; 13:9; 14:9,13; 16:27; 20:33; 25:7,13,16; 35:3; 39:21

c. YHWH Himself (His personal Presence), 20:22

d. YHWH's power to deliver, 20:34 (possibly key usage from Exodus, cf. 3:20; 4:17; 6:1; 7:19; 13:3)

3. anthropomorphic of Cherubim, Ezek. 1:8; 8:3; 10:7,8,12,21

4. anthropomorphic of destroying angels, Ezek. 9:1-2; 21:11

5. symbol of a pledge or oath, Ezek. 17:18; 20:5 (twice), 6,15,23,28; 36:7; 44:12; 47:14

6. symbol of joy, Ezek. 25:6

7. anthropomorphic of an angel, Ezek. 40:3,5; 47:3

 

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