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Matthew 22:41-44 (ESV):

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

Hebrews 1:13 (ESV):

13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

Mark 14:62 (ESV):

62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Do the multiple mentions of Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God indicate that God literally has a right hand? Or should we rather see the expression "right hand" as a figure of speech?

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  • You could also ask: What exactly is the שֵׁ֣בֶט scepter in His Right Hand? Apr 26 '21 at 14:13
  • Although I do believe that God has hands, feet, a face, etc., it is not on the basis of these verses. ("On the right hand of" being an expression used a few different ways). The view that God is without body, parts, or passions, is IMHO a modern adaptation of Docetism. A few interesting verses include Genesis 1:26-27, Exodus 33:11, Isaiah 6:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-3. We are made in the likeness of God. Apr 26 '21 at 23:12
  • In the context of that Question, of course. In that context, God literally has whatever you could think of - warts and all. On the other hand - no pun intended - "Sit at my right hand" has never been restricted to two-armed people. It has nothing to do with "hands" and means only, "sit on my right side…" Apr 27 '21 at 1:52
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In all the references quoted by the OP, the word "hand" is NOT in the text. There are many places where this idea is present. Possibly the most complete is in Rev 5:1 which has the phrase (similar to most such references):

ἐπὶ τὴν δεξιὰν τοῦ καθημένου ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου = "on the right of the one sitting on the throne"

Again, note that "hand" is absent in the text.

The right side of ancient royal thrones was the place reserved for king's son and heir who often ruled when the king became either old or decided to allow the son to take over. There are many examples of co-regencies in the kings of Judah.

This highly Messianic expression of Jesus sitting on the right of the throne in heaven occurs many times in the NT such as Heb 1:3, 8:1, 12:2, Acts 2:33, 7:55, 56, Rev 5:1, 7, Mark 14:62, 16:19, Luke 22:69, Col 3:1, 1 Peter 3:22, etc.

In all cases, the reference is an idiomatic phrase signifying the exalted dignity of Jesus as ruler of the kingdom of Heaven seated on the eternal throne of God.

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  • A very perceptive answer indeed. Question: Is your position that Christ rules on His Throne at this very moment, as is mine?
    – Xeno
    Apr 26 '21 at 22:51
  • @Xeno - the Rev 5 appears to be a depiction of the enthronement of Jesus after the resurrection (highly symbolic of course) in which case Jesus and the Father share the same throne. See Rev 22:3, 7:15, 17, 5:6, etc.
    – Dottard
    Apr 27 '21 at 0:59
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Psalm 18:35 shows God's right hand of protection:

You have given me Your shield of salvation; Your right hand upholds me, and Your gentleness exalts me.

God is spirit (John 4:24). The psalms (Psalms 63:8, 18:35, 73:23) show the right hand of God as an anthropomorphic image for our finite brain to comprehend this aspect of God: He holds us up with his right hand.

Deuteronomy 9:29 shows another example of anthropomorphism:

But they are Your people, Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your great power and outstretched arm."

This is the image of the outstretched arm of God's power.

Does God literally have a right hand?

No, not in His spiritual essence. God's right hand is a figure of speech of anthropomorphism so that we finite humans can have some understanding of the infinite God.

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  • Then how should we interpret the phrase "sit at my right hand"? Apr 26 '21 at 14:28
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    Also, angels are spirit beings, and yet they still have bodies and hands. I don't see how being a spirit and having hands are mutually exclusive, in fact, the scriptural evidence seems to indicate that the two are quite compatible. Apr 26 '21 at 14:31
  • "angels are spirit beings, and yet they still have bodies and hands" References?
    – Tony Chan
    Apr 26 '21 at 18:20
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    They were being manifested physically at the time.
    – Tony Chan
    Apr 26 '21 at 20:02

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