Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner (Exodus 17: 15)

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Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner (Exodus 17: 15). (Exodus 17: 15) says, “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi.”

Throughout Scripture, Jehovah, or “Yahweh” (originally spelled without vowels – YHWH ) is the name used for God more than any other, We’ll look at this specific name on Day Nine of this study. Combined with “Nissi”, today’s name means “The Lord My Banner”.

This name of God appears only once on Sripture, in (Exodus 17: 15) “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi”. The word translated “banner” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “something lifted up, standard, signal, signal pole, ensign, banner, sign.”

Although this specific name for God is used only once in Scripture, the ides appears throughout. For example, in (Isaiah 59: 19) we read. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” The word translated “standard” here is “nuwc”, which has the idea of putting something or someone to flight. The Spirit of God puts the enemy to flight.

Again in numbers 21, we read of the plague of serpents sent against the Israelites for their complaining and speaking against God. In a very interesting precursor to our ultimate salvation that would come through Christ on the cross, God tells Moses, “Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall love. And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze, he lived”. (V. 8-9)

Interestingly, what’s the most widely recognized symbol of the medical profession today? A snake on a pole. While some trace this symbol of healing to Greek mythology, the history of the Israelites pre-dates the rise of Greek mythology.

In the New Testament again, we see Jesus being “lifted up” for our salvation. In (John 3), Jesus says “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.

When Moses acknowledged God as Jehovah Nissi, it was within the context of victory over the Israelites’ enemies. This same God our Banner is the One who was lifted up for our salvation and who causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Cor.2: 14).

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