Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stretched Forth His Hand

While reading Mosiah 16:1 this morning (in Spanish), I read a phrase that struck me in a different way.  In Spanish the phrase is "extendió la mano"  In English the phrase is "stretched forth his hand".  As I've read that phrase my whole life in English, the visual thought in my mind is that of a prophet putting his hand up in the air as if to emphasize a point for dramatic effect.  But in reading it in Spanish, it connotes a different visual thought - that of someone holding his hand out as if to help someone else - like pulling someone up out of a hole.

This second visual thought makes more sense when you read Jacob 5:47: But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?

In this context, the Lord is holding out a hand of rescue.  I now think that whenever a prophet stretches forth his hand before speaking, his hand is reaching out as if to help someone out of a hole, not reaching his hand to the sky.

Another context to think about is the veil at the temple.  The next time you go, listen for those words and note the actions.

Lastly, there are a few references of hands being stretched forth in the New Testament one of which is the Lord rescuing Peter after Peter's faith begins to falter while trying to walk on water.