Where does the expression “with a high hand” come from and What does it mean?

The expression “with a high hand” means: Overbearing in manner; arrogantly.

In the Bible, Numbers xxxiii, 3, the chronicler used the expression in the sense of “triumphantly,” in the description of the departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage:

“And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.”

In fact, it was through Wyclif’s translation of the Bible in 1382 that we have the metaphor, “Therfor thei goon forth in an hig hoond.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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