Studia Antiqua


Kelsie Cannon


Psalms, Prayer, Inducement Motif, Hebrew Bible, Hands, Palms, Iconography


Two hands raised in the air is a commonly portrayed gesture in the Hebrew Bible and broader ancient Near East. Synthesizing previous research done on the same topic, this paper will strive to examine the gesture in order to show that its purpose is to induce and elicit divine favor from a superior being—typically a deity or king-like figure. The conclusion will be reached by first generally surveying the raised hands motif in the Hebrew Bible and then specifically examining the gesture in Psalms. This study will be complemented by exploring relevant extrabiblical textual and iconographic evidence within the ancient Near East.



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