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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Banner, Ensign, Standard

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BANNER, ENSIGN, STANDARD . That the Hebrews, like the Egyptians (Wilkinson, Anc. Egyp . [1878] I. 195, illust.), Assyrians, and other ancient nations, possessed military ensigns is a safe inference from Numbers 2:2 , but not from the mention of the standard-bearer in Isaiah 10:18 AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , which is to be rendered as RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] . Nothing certain, however, is known regarding them. In the former passage a distinction seems to be made for another view see Gray’s Com. in loc . between the ensigns (lit. ‘signs,’ cf. Psalms 74:4 where the reference is probably to the standards of Antiochus’ army) of the ‘fathers’ houses,’ and the standards (the banner of Song of Solomon 2:4; cf. Song of Solomon 6:4; cf. Song of Solomon 6:10 ) of the four great divisions of the Hebrew tribes in the wilderness, according to the artificial theory of the priestly writer.

Equally uncertain is the relation of these to the nçs , which was a wooden pole ( Numbers 21:8 f. AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘standard’ cf. the parallelism with ‘mast’ Isaiah 30:17 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ), set up on an eminence as a signal for the mustering of the troops. This word is of frequent occurrence both in the original sense and in the figurative sense of a rallying point, in the prophetic announcements of the future ( Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 11:10 , Jeremiah 4:21 and often). The rendering alternates between ‘ensign’ and ‘banner.’

A. R. S. Kennedy.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Banner, Ensign, Standard'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/b/banner-ensign-standard.html. 1909.

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