This Broken Reed

Who is this little chap, neatly sheltering in the bosom of a ram? He is the great Pharaoh Tarharqa and the ram is Amun, his favourite god, from whom he seeks protection. It is he who is referred to in Isaiah 36:5-7, when King Hezekiah of Judah seeks an alliance against the common Assyrian foe instead of trusting in the Lord his God:

I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. (New King James Version)

Somehow, this statue makes him look weaker, not stronger, because the god in whom Tarharqa huddles is made-up. The inscription beneath reports that he

fully satisfies the heart of his father Amun

Well might the Living God have considered such a man a ‘broken reed’. One is only as strong as that in which one trusts and leans upon:

“No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God". 1 Samuel 2:2