GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

1 Timothy 2:8– Lifting up benign hands

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

I am intending, then, that men pray in every place lifting up benign hands, apart from anger and reasoning.

Paul returns here to the subject he started with in verse 1: prayer. Here it is mainly the public prayer in which men are expected to take the lead. The instruction here is not that men should pray in every place, but that in every place they pray, they should do so with integrity. Nor is it instructed that men should raise their hands when praying. That attitude is not commanded here, but assumed. The prayer position of raised hands (not necessarily raised arms) is often encountered in Scripture (Ps.134:2; Isa.1:15). It depicts hands pointed towards God.

The point of Paul’s instruction is not that men raise their hands in prayer in every place, but that where they raise them, they do so with benign hands,  hands of integrity. Integrity means: sound, in one piece. The Greek word here (hosios), is often used in the same breath as ‘righteousness’. Where men raise their hands and lead in prayer, there is no urge to dominate others through verbally aggressive or dominant behavior. There is of course no room for such expressions if one focuses with integrity on the one God.