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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Ensign

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(nes ; in the Authorized Version generally "ensign," sometimes "standard;" degel , "standard," with the exception of ( Song of Solomon 2:4 ) "banner;" oth , "ensign"). This distinction between these three Hebrew terms is sufficiently marked by their respective uses. Nes is a signal , and not a military standard. It is an occasional signal, which was exhibited on the top of a pole from a bare mountain-top, ( Isaiah 13:2 ; 18:3 ) degel a military standard for a large division of an army; and oth the same for a small one. Neither of them, however, expresses the idea which "standard" conveys to our minds, viz. a flag. The standards in use among the Hebrews probably resembled those of the Egyptians and Assyrians --a figure or device of some kind elevated on a pole; usually a sacred emblem, such as an animal, a boat, or the king's name.

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Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Ensign'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/sbd/e/ensign.html. 1901.

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