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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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The finger of God. This is a very common expression in Scripture, to denote the works of God. Thus the magicians in the court of Pharaoh were compelled to acknowledge the finger of God concerning several of the ten plagues of Egypt which the Lord brought upon the Egyptians. It appears, that the Lord permitted the magicians, in certain instances, to be led into the persuasion, that their arts produced similar effects to the works of Moses and Aaron. Such as in the case of the rods becoming serpents; but even here, is if to draw the striking difference, Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. (Exodus 7:10-12) So in the turning the river into blood. (Exodus 3:19; Exo 3:21-22) But this permission was evidently intended to the better conviction of their minds in other instances; and accordingly we find the magicians themselves openly confessing, in the case of the lice on man and beast, "This is the finger of God." Exodus 8:19. Our blessed Lord, in the days of his flesh, speaking of his miracles, made use of the same phrase. "If I (said Jesus) with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt, the kingdom of God is come upon you." (Luke 11:20. See Exodus 31:18)

The expression of the finger, for the whole action, is not to us in the western world a circumstance so generally understood; but it appears, that in the east the greater part of the transactions in common life were carried on by those means. The silence observed by them would to us be astonishing. Servants seldom spoke in the presence of their masters. They received, for the most part, all their commands by signs; and in their approach to their lord observed the most profound silence. By the gesticulation of the body, the motion of the eye, or the expression of the finger, directions were conveyed, and never misunderstood.

Some writer of ancient date hath interpreted one of the psalms of David (the hundred and twenty-third), under this view; and indeed, if read with an eye to this custom in the east, the beauty of it becomes abundantly more striking. Suppose David in that psalm had reference to the great humility and awe with which the lowest servants approach their lord, the expressions of his soul in that sweet psalm would strike the mind as if thus speaking: "Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress, even so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy upon us."

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Finger'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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