Spiritual Meaning of
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That to stretch out the hand denotes the rule of power, is because the hand or arm has power when it is stretched out; and therefore when it is said of Jehovah that He stretches out the hand or arm, there is signified power unlimited or infinite in act. This is the reason why Jehovah so often said to Moses when miracles were to be done, that he should stretch out his hand or rod, as in the following passages:--
Stretch out thy hand over the waters of Egypt, and they shall be blood (Exod. 7:19).
Stretch out thy hand over the streams, and cause frogs to come up (Exod. 8:5).
Stretch out thy rod and smite the dust of the land, and it shall be lice (Exod. 8:16).
Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, and there shall be hail (Exod. 9:22).
It would never have been so said unless by the stretching out of the hand, in the supreme sense, there was signified the omnipotence of Jehovah.
 So with what was said to Joshua, that he should stretch out his spear, as we read in that book:--
Jehovah said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand against Ai; and when Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand against Ai, those in ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he stretched out his hand, and came unto the city, and took it; Joshua drew not back his hand which he stretched out with the spear until he had given all the inhabitants of Ai to the curse (Josh. 8:18, 19, 26);
as this was a representative of Divine omnipotence, it therefore had force, as had all representatives at that time, when commanded.
 In many passages also omnipotence is described by Jehovah stretching out His hand, as also by His outstretched hand, and by His outstretched arm--by Jehovah stretching out the hand, in the following passages:--
The anger of Jehovah is kindled against His people, and He hath stretched out His hand over them, and hath smitten them, and the mountains quaked (Isa. 5:25).
I will stretch out My hand against him, and will destroy him (Ezek. 14:9, 13).
I will stretch out My hand against thee, and will give thee for a spoil to the nations (Ezek. 25:7).
I will stretch out My hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it, I will stretch out My hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off (Ezek. 25:13, 16; Ezek. 35:3; Isa. 31:3; Zeph. 1:4; 2:13).
Omnipotence is described by an outstretched hand in the following passages:--
The hand of Jehovah is stretched out upon all nations, and who shall press it back? (Isa. 14:27, 28).
I will fight with you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury (Jer. 21:5).
His hand is stretched out still (Isa. 9:12, 17; 10:4).
Also by an outstretched arm in these passages:--
I have made the earth, the man, and the beast, by My great power, and by My stretched out arm (Jer. 27:5).
Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power, and by Thy stretched out arm, no word is impossible before Thee (Jer. 32:17).
That in these passages by an outstretched arm is signified omnipotence, is manifest; and so in many other passages, where it is said by a strong hand and a stretched out arm (Deut. 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 9:29; 11:2; 26:8; 1 Kings 8:42; 2 Kings 17:36; Jer. 32:21; Ezek. 20:33, 34).
 It is also said of Jehovah that He stretches out the heaven, and here also by stretching out is signified omnipotence; that is, that He enlarges the boundaries of heaven, and fills its inhabitants with life and wisdom, as in the following passages:--
Jehovah who stretcheth out the heavens as a tenuity, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in (Isa. 40:22).
Jehovah that stretcheth out the heavens that spreadeth out the earth, that giveth soul to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein (Isa. 42:5).
Who maketh the earth by His power, He prepareth the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretcheth out the heavens (Jer. 51:15).
Jehovah stretching out the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, and forming the spirit of man in the midst of him (Zech. 12:1).
Besides elsewhere, as in (Isa. 44:24; 45:12; Ps. 104:2. From all this it can now be seen why Moses was commanded to stretch out his hand and rod, and that then miracles were done; and that thus by stretching out the hand is signified the rule of power, and in the supreme sense omnipotence.
from AC 7673
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|