Last Easter, I preached about Jesus’ resurrection and his exaltation to the right hand of God. With phrases like “right hand man,” the right hand is universally acknowledged as a place of honor, authority, and power. As one of the most significant symbols in the Bible, I’ve decided to find the answer to one question that is often overlooked when talking about the right hand: “How many times is the right hand mentioned in the Bible?”
In the New International Version Bible, the right hand is mentioned up to 137 times. It is mostly used figuratively when describing God’s power, strength, and sovereignty. As a result, the right hand in the Bible is a symbol of power, authority, strength, and protection.
In this article, I’ll explore the meaning of the right hand of God, what the Bible says about the right hand, and what it symbolizes. Read on to learn more about the biblical meaning and symbolism of the right hand.
The Bible mentions the right hand of God when referring to the position of authority, power, and honor that Jesus occupies on God’s throne. In Ephesians 1:19–21, the apostle Paul preached that when God raised Jesus from the dead, he seated him at his right hand in heaven, which is a position above all rule and authority, both in the present age and in the time to come. Also, 1 Peter 3:22 describes the right hand of God as a place from which Jesus rules over angels, authorities, and powers.
Theologians suggest that since God does not possess a physical body, the right hand of God is usually used figuratively in the Bible to indicate where Jesus is now (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; Colossians 3:1). Therefore, the right hand of God is a position of the highest authority and power and a place of proximity to God.
The Bible associates the right hand with honor, authority, strength, power, and protection.
In Genesis 48:13–20, Joseph asked his father Jacob to bless Manasseh with his right hand, for he was the firstborn. However, Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim, the younger son, saying that Ephraim would be greater than Manasseh. Jacob put his right hand on the son with greater honor and authority, even though he was the younger one.
In Exodus 15:6, the Israelites praised the Lord for shattering their enemies with his right hand. The Psalmist recognizes that when God is at his right hand, he will not be shaken (Psalms 16:8–11). He also proclaims that God’s right hand is filled with righteousness (Psalms 48:10) and that it has done mighty things (Psalms 118:16).
In Isaiah 41:10–13, the Lord encourages us not to be afraid or dismayed, for he will uphold us with his righteous right hand. Jeremiah lamented that God had withdrawn his right hand when the enemies approached the Israelites, signifying the strength and protection that God’s right hand provides (Lamentations 2:3).
Revelations 1:16–17 suggests that John saw a vision of Jesus Christ holding seven stars in his right hand, which are the angels of the seven churches. When John fell at his feet, Christ placed his right hand on him and told him not to be afraid.
Therefore, the Bible suggests that the right hand is a symbol of power, authority, strength, and protection.
In the Bible, the right hand symbolizes:
New Testament writers suggest that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, which is a place of great power, honor, and authority (Ephesians 1:19–21; Hebrews 10:12–13; 1 Peter 3:22). Also, King David proclaimed that God’s right hand has done mighty things (Psalms 118:16).
The Bible suggests that God used his right hand to protect the Israelites from their enemies (Exodus 15:6; Lamentations 2:3). In Isaiah 41:10–13, God promises to uphold us with his righteous right hand in times of trouble.
Genesis 48:13–20 implies that the Israelites blessed the first-born sons with the right hand to signify their authority over the other siblings. Jacob, however, blessed Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son, with his right hand and Manasseh, the older one, with his left hand. When Joseph tried to correct him, Jacob said that Ephraim would be greater than Manasseh; hence, he signified Ephraim’s authority over his older brother by blessing him with the right hand.
These are some of the Bible verses about the right hand of God:
- Acts 2:33: After the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ disciples on the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter proclaimed to the crowd that Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God, just as David had said.
- Psalms 48:10: David proclaimed that the right hand of God is filled with righteousness.
- Luke 22:69: During his mock trial before the council of elders, Jesus declared that from then on, the Son of Man would be seated at the right hand of God.
- Acts 7:55–56: Before Stephen was stoned to death, he looked up to heaven and saw that Jesus was standing at the right hand of God.
- Hebrews 10:12: The Bible suggests that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, where his enemies will be made his footstool.
In the New International Version Bible, the right hand is mentioned up to 137 times to indicate God’s power and sovereignty.
For example, the right hand is mentioned in Ephesians 1:19–21 to express the place of power, authority, and honor that Jesus now occupies next to God. Paul preached that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, a position that gives him eternal authority and power over everything else.
The right hand is mentioned in Isaiah 41:10–13 to assure Christians of God’s presence and protection during uncertain or challenging times. His right hand will uphold us and give us the strength to overcome the challenges that life might throw our way.
Also, the right hand is mentioned in Habakkuk 2:16 to warn the wicked about God’s ability to exact judgment against them. A cup from God’s right hand would bring them disgrace and shame instead of glory.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.