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Name of God - Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord My Banner

Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord My Banner

Daily Verse: “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi.”

Exodus 17:15 KJV


Let's Talk About It: Originally, there is not a hyphen between Jehovah and Nissi. To make it more readable and distinguishable between the two words being used, a hyphen is normally used in modern day. There are actually three Hebrew words that translates to the English term “banner”; degel, ‘ôt, and nēs (or nissi).

Degel is more often translated as banner or flag. ‘Ôt, according to Strong's definitions, is a feminine noun that means a signal flag (figuratively or literally), beacon, monument, etc. Nissi or nēs is a masculine noun in Hebrew that translates, according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, as lifted up or exalted. Given the incident that happened prior to building the alter, it is more than likely the name Nissi was used instead of Degal or ‘Ôt.

Banners back in antiquity were not like the flags we use today. They were usually carved figures of an animal, bird, or reptile on poles, or they were carved/shaped out of other materials and placed on poles. An example would be the tribe of Judah using the banner of a lion and the Roman Empire using the banner of an eagle. These banners were lifted high so all could see who the people behind the banner represented and or maintained their allegiance to.  

It was also used in battles as a rally point (a place designated by the leader where the unit, squad, platoon, etc. is to reassemble and reorganize if they become dispersed). In Exodus 17, Moses is on top of a hill, with Aaron and Hur, over-watching the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites. He held his staff (the same one he struck the Nile with) the up in the air. When his arms were raised, the Israelites were winning and when he grew tired he dropped his arms. When his arms were down, the Israelites began to lose the battle. So Aaron and Hur helped Moses by getting a rock for Moses to sit on to rest and each one held up his arms up (Exodus 17:12).

When I was in the U.S. Army, every base I was stationed at (over 7) held company, battalion, brigade, and post runs. These runs involved every eligible soldier that could run, minus those needed for essential duties. We would usually form up by 5:30AM in our physical fitness uniform. Each formation had that unit’s leader and banner (flag) holder in front. When we ran, the leader and banner were always up front. Everyone who saw that unit coming would know who they represented. Many of the flags held streamers. The streamers represented outstanding accomplishments by that unit in wartime battles, post events, deployments, and even physical readiness.

As we would run 3-5 miles, the banner holder (guidon barrier) would lift the flag above the unit’s eye level and occasionally run around the entire formation, sparking pride and motivation within the tired unit. Due to this, the banner holder would become fatigued more quickly. There were usually a few soldiers designated within the formation to assist the fatigued banner holder by taking it from him, so his arms could rest while continuing the run. This would go on throughout the run w/the original banner holder receiving help and the banner returning back to Him. That seemed so long ago.

Now I get up each morning under a new banner. The banner of my God. When Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, He was lifted up on that old rugged cross for all to see. He is the rallying point for us believers. When we wear the Cross around our necks and wear clothing with His name or Scripture on them, we are displaying in whom our allegiance lies and in whom we represent…we are displaying our Nissi. The scars we wear from persecution and/or attacks from the influence of unclean spirits are our streamers. Jesus is our banner; JEHOVAH-NISSI. What banner do you operate under? - Kevin

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