528. The Arm an Emblem of Power

Isaiah 59:1; Numbers 11:23; Isaiah 50:2
As the arm is an emblem of power, so shortness of arm signifies diminished power, and length of arm an increase. Thus it is said that Artaxerxes Longimanus, that is, the Long-handed, was so called, not because of any peculiarity of body, but because of the vast extent of his power. There is an ancient Egyptian sculpture in which the same bold figure is employed as the one used by the prophet in the text. It represents Thannyras, the son of Inarus, whom Artaxerxes had made Satrap of Egypt, worshiping the sun as his god. In this he disregarded the religion of his own people, and adopted that of their conquerors. The sun is represented as sending his rays down on the earth, and at the end of every ray is a hand.