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What does the phrase mean, "with a strong hand and an outstretched arm"?

Psalm 136:12 "with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;"

Psalms 136:1 - 26

ESV - 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 26 2022 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
God is a spiritual Being, but the cited verse is applying anthropomorphic (human-like) attributes to Him (since, as the Bible notes, He created humans in His image) to describe Him and His actions in terms that humans can more readily understand or comprehend.

Just as humans (especially sizable and physically strong humans) would use their arms and hands to their maximum reach, strength, and gripping power in the performance of a task (particularly an important or urgent task), God (who is omnipotent) had similarly displayed His might on behalf of His chosen people during their history -- and particularly with respect to events such as freeing them from their bondage in Egypt when he defeated the military forces of Pharaoh.

(As Moses told the people of Israel at that time when they were fearful of Pharaoh's pursuing forces, all they would have to do was stand and watch how God would act on their behalf (Exodus 14:13).)

May 26 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
The expression ''with a strong hand and an outstretched arm'' is usually understood as being an expression of the power of God. It is used in this psalm, Psalm 136:12, referring to the powerful deliverance of His beloved people, Israel, from their bondage in Egypt. 

But a very similar expression is used, "I [God] will fight against you you with a strong hand and a powerful arm, for I am very angry" (Jeremiah 21:5). I noticed this verse reading through The One Year Bible. And here it obviously means that God is/will be furious (this is a prophecy) with His people for rejecting Hiim. Wikipedia puts it this way:

"The phrase is used many times in the Bible to describe God's powerful deeds during the Exodus: Exodus 6:6, Deuteronomy 4:34 5:15 7:19 9:29 11:2 26:8, Psalms 136:12.

The phrase is also used to describe other past or future mighty deeds of God, in the following sources: II Kings 17:36, Jeremiah 21:5 27:5 32:17, Ezekiel 20:33 20:34, II Chronicles 6:32." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_a_strong_hand_and_an_outstretched_arm

August 20 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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