Happy “International Left-handers Day.” Yes, it’s an annual celebrated day, established in 1976. Studies suggest that approximately 10% of the world’s population is left-handed.
• Use the right side of the brain the most.
• Twice as likely to be a man.
• Better at multitasking.
• Of the eight most recent U.S. Presidents, four have been left-handed.
• Less able to roll their tongue than a righty (fun facts to share with your friends).
What does the Bible say about being left-handed? In the Hebrew “left-handed” is itter and only mentioned two times in scripture (Judges 3 & 20) and literally means “not of the right hand”—thus, left-handed.
Judges 20: In short: There was a very icky situation and due to it, war broke out between the tribe of Benjamin and all the rest of the tribes of Israel. “Among all these were 700 chosen men who were left-handed…” (v16). These lefties were in addition to 26,000 gathered men of the tribe of Benjamin. “Chosen” is a keyword. The Benjamites went looking for left-handed men.
Back up to Judges 3. Israel had again went about doing “evil in the eyes of the Lord” (Boooo!) God allowed the bad king Eglon of Moab to help teach the Israelites a lesson. A lesson through warfare. Israel cried out to God, and He sent Ehud (of the tribe of Benjamin) who just happened to be left-handed. Left-handed Ehud goes on to defeat the bad king. (YAY!) Moab became subject to Israel and there was peace in the kingdom for 80 years. (Ahh!) All of Israel knew the story of the left-handed Benjamite—Ehud!
THAT is why the Benjamites went looking for lefties—in hope of having a military advantage. They were known for being able to “sling a stone at a hair and not miss” (Judges 20:16). But the Benjamites, however, did lose the battle. Guess the lefties missed. (Oops!)
Although interesting left-handed facts, what a lesson for us, a true principle to help guide us. We can’t always reach from our past in hope that what worked before will work now. God used the left-handed man to show the Israelites that when they are in fellowship with Him, He takes the least (one man) and makes the MOST. His lessons take on a new angle with each battle. Left-handed or right-handed, new battle, new battle plan. God’s plan.
Side note: Throwing in Jewish custom/culture: Right opposed to left: When offering a blessing, the right hand is extended (I.e. Genesis 48, Jacob blessing Joseph’s sons, he crossed his arms). Also, the “right” parts of the body play an important role in sacrifices (see Leviticus) such as the right thigh, right ear, right thumb. The “right” generally expressed strength such as the “right hand of God” (Ex. 15:6, 12; Isa. 62:8; Ps. 17:7) and which was worthy of the Psalmists’ praises (Ps. 98:1; 118:15, 16).
If the left is considered weak (as opposed to the right/strength) it is quite ironic that after the Israelites turned back to God, He chose the weak handed man Ehud to deliver them.
*Empathetic Disclaimer: Please know, being left or right-handed does not determine value! Left-handed vs right is more symbolic than anything.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).