Skip to content

Hamsa Hand Meaning in Christianity: What Does the Hand with the Eye Mean in the Bible?

The Hand of God, the Hamsa Hand, the Hamesh, Chamsa, or Khamsa as it is sometimes spelled, is an ornate amulet, shaped like an open hand, often with a green or blue eye embedded in the palm. Perhaps, you have seen a similar hand-shaped figurine hanging from a car rearview mirror or as a decoration in someone’s home. Many people wear the Hamsa Hand as a pendant or charm on a necklace or a bracelet. Some believe it has mystical powers and the ability to ward off evil spirits.

Surprisingly, variations of the Hamsa Hand can be found in almost every religion and culture. Jewish people refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, who was the sister of the biblical Aaron and Moses. Muslims claim it is the Hand of Fatima, the daughter of Mohammad. Some Christians have called it the Hand of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In each case, the hand-shaped figure is believed to be a spiritual talisman bringing good fortune and protection to those who wear or display it.

However, should we rely on a man-made trinket or good luck charm to protect us from evil or bring us good fortune? Is there anything overtly evil about wearing or displaying “the Hand of God”? What does the Hamsa Hand mean in Christianity? And What does the Bible say about the Hasma Hand?

Hamsa Hand Meaning in Christianity: What does the Hamsa Hand Mean in the Bible?

Hamsa Hand Meaning in Christianity: What does the Hand with the eye mean in the Bible?

The Hamsa has an uncertain and mysterious origin that archeologists and historians claim predates most of the world’s civilizations or religions. There are no biblical references to a hand-shaped pendant. While the word “hamsa” is similar to the Hebrew word “hamesh” which means five, the Bible does not use the word “hamsa” or “hamesh” to describe any type of religious icon or symbol. However, modern Sephardic Jews assert that it refers to the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), while Muslims claim it represents the Five Pillars of Islam.The Sephardic Jews are migrants from Israel to Spain, and one of the oldest symbols of the Hamsa can be found on the Gate of Judgment (Puerta Judiciaria) on a fourteenth century Spanish fortress known as the Alhambra.  

Some scholars believe the Hamsa originated in Mesopotamia, the birthplace of the biblical Abraham. It would be mere speculation, but it is possible that Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, buried a Hamsa along with his wives’ other foreign idols under an oak tree at Shechem (See Genesis 35:4).

Are there any other instances in which the Bible specifically identifies the Hand of God? Definitely. However, those passages are in direct reference to the spiritual nature of God’s presence in our lives. Most of the time, they describe God’s “hand of blessing” or “hand of punishment” depending upon the circumstance (For instance, see Deuteronomy 11:12). These references to God’s hand, or His eyes, or the “strong arm of the Lord” are known as anthropomorphisms, the literary device of attributing human characteristics to God. However, these attributes are never meant to be literal in that God, as a Spirit, does not have an actual hand, mouth, or eyes.

hamsa hand of mary meaning in christianity

For those who believe in the Hamsa’s power, an upward facing hand is a sign of protection that stops evil and negativity, while a downward facing hand represents blessings and goodness upon your life. Those who believe in the ability of the Hamsa to ward off evil, also claim that the eye in the palm of the hand can repel the ayin hara (עין הרע) or “evil eye.” Yet, these people have no explanation for the reasons why bad things may still happen to them. The answer can be found in the Bible which rightly proclaims that man-made idols have no mystical power. In Isaiah 45:20 (CEV) God says, “to every survivor from every nation: ‘Gather around me! Learn how senseless it is to worship wooden idols or pray to helpless gods.”

Psalm 135:15-18 (MSG) declares that these good luck charms, like the Hamsa, are nothing more than useless trinkets: The gods of the godless nations are mere trinkets, made for quick sale in the markets: Chiseled mouths that can’t talk, painted eyes that can’t see, Carved ears that can’t hear—dead wood! cold metal! Those who make and trust them become like them. In Psalm 115:4-8 (NIV) we read a similar declaration:

But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

One of the most humorous scenes in the 1999 movie The Mummy occurs as a frightened archeological guide and antiquities thief named Beni Gabor encounters the resurrected mummy, Imhotep. As the mummy lurches toward him, Beni pulls a necklace from his shirt containing a myriad of amulets and talismans from every major religion. As he holds forth a gold cross Beni cries, “May the good Lord protect and watch over me, as a shepherd watches over his flock.” When this seems to have no effect on Imhotep, Beni grabs the crescent shaped symbol of Islam as he recites the Shahadah “lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadur-rasūlu-llāh” (“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet”). Again, Imhotep seems unfazed, and Beni holds up a tiny Buddah as he shouts, “Qiú qiú púsà bǎoyòu wǒ, bùnéng ba” (“I beg the Buddha protect me, I beg not.”). In one last desperate plea Beni prays in Hebrew as he holds a Star of David, “Al tastir paneicha mimeni” (“Do not hide Your face from me” meaning, “Oh God, do not deny me of Your protection!). The Egyptian mummy, Imhotep, recognizes the prayer as that of the Hebrew slaves and halts his advance only to take Beni as his own servant. This scene depicts the absurdity of relying upon an amulet as a source of protection. A talisman, like the Hamsa is not capable of warding off evil or invoking a blessing.

In Ezekiel 13:20 (NIV), God warns people of the evil and destructive nature of these charms which He describes as a trap, “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds….” A talisman, like the Hamsa, can be a snare for people who think that they possess a mystical power that can be used for their own personal gain instead of relying on the protection and blessing of God Himself. There is no need for a Christian to wear a good luck charm or magic talisman to protect oneself from evil. 

Instead, we should place ourselves under the protection of the true hand of God. Psalm 31:5-8 (NIV) proclaims – “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.”

Dr. Richard Sams is a top Biblical and Religious educator, who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (Evangelism and Church Growth emphasis) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He has two masters’ degrees (Master of Divinity and Master of the Arts of Religion) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg and also serves on the Pastoral Leadership Advisory Board of Liberty University. Moreover, Richard Sams has been serving as a pastor (Pastoral Ministry) at Calhoun Baptist Church in Calhoun, KY, from the past Nineteen years. He loves practically imparting biblical truths to the next generation, while occasionally conduct spiritual challenges on his facebook page