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The expression “with a high hand” means “overbearing in manner¹.”

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But where does it come from?

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From the Bible–but not until more than 600 years ago.

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For a bit more, use the door.

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[MORE]

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   Some modern translators have replaced it, but the old King James Version reported departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage as:

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

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   This–if you’ve got a good imagination–morphed out of Wyclif’s translation of the Bible in 1382 that gave us the metaphor–”Therfor they goon forth…in an hig hoond.”

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   ¹ Charles Earle Funk, Jr., 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions (Galahad Books, 1993). This book, by the way, that two decades ago I received from my 10-year-old son for Christmas, was the same book I (unknowingly) bought  and gave him that same Christmas!  Further, we each bought this book at a different store!