Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner: Biblical Meaning & Praying The Names Of God.
Updated: Sep 13
Yahweh Nissi is the Hebrew name for God meaning, the Lord is my banner. The name Yahweh Nissi only appears once in the Bible in Genesis 17:15.
Ancient armies carried standards or banners when they marched into battle. These banners served as markers of identity and symbols that encapsulated the ideals of a nation of people. Banners are like today’s flags. They are lifted to a height where we can see them as a reminder that symbolizes: security, hope, and freedom.
In ancient times these banners could be seen from a far distance and they served as a rallying point for troops before a battle.
Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner
Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). Exodus 17:15.
Pronouncing The Hebrew name of God - Yahweh Nisi: yah-WEH-nis-SEE
Related: This is Day 9 of a 30 Day study on The Names Of God. If you haven't read the introduction yet, please start HERE
Understanding the Name Of God Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner:
We discover this name of God when Moses builds an altar to the Lord at a place called Rephidim. This is quite an awesome story when you consider the people that were involved in this battle.
The people of Israel had escaped from Egypt. Their leader was Moses and their General involved in leading these men into battle was called Joshua. When Israel faced the Amalekites in battle at Rephidim it wasn’t with overwhelming force, an experienced army, or the best commanders.
It was as a transient tribe of herdsmen. They were trespassers traveling through the lands of fierce fighting peoples. They traveled with women, children, herds, and all their possessions. You would definitely say that they were not 'battle-ready' or equipped for the job.
But they were equipped with something else that no other nation on earth had – a pillar of fire, a cloud of smoke, the very presence of God. Israel did not fight its battles alone. No matter how unequipped or ready for battle, the people of Israel were they had their very own supernatural weapon.
This weapon is available to you and me today too when we call on it. This supernatural weapon is called Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner. When the people of Israel called on the name of God, Yahweh Nissi, they called out to God who is powerful enough to overcome any foe.
Let's see what scripture says about this battle:
While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. 9 Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
14 After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). 16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now[a] the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.” Exodus 17:8-16.
What a story! It was a day to remember, for it was the day God first showed Israel as a nation that He fought for them, that He led them into battle, that He protected and conquered on their behalf, and that He was their banner.
This is a name of God that we need to remember too. We need to remember that when we pray to Yahweh Nissi, we are praying to the God who is powerful enough to overcome any foe.
What does it mean for God to be our Yahweh Nissi, our Banner?
Ann Spangler gives a great description of what an ancient banner was like. She says that, unlike fabric flags, ancient banners were usually made out of wood or metal and shaped into various figures or emblems that could be fastened to a bare staff or a long pole.
Depicting birds, animals, or gods, they often glistened brightly in the sun so that they could be seen from far off. A banner carried at the head of an army or planted on a high hill served as a rallying point for troops before battle or as an announcement of a victory already won.
Because banners embodied the ideals and aspirations of whoever carried them, they aroused devotion to a nation, a cause, or a leader. When Moses held up the staff of God in the battle with the Amalekites, he was holding it like a banner, appealing to God's power.
By building an altar and naming it Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner, he created a memorial of God's protection and power during the Israelites' first battle after leaving Egypt.
God is our banner because we live to celebrate and honor His faithfulness to us.
God is our banner because we remember all His deeds and His words graciously given to us throughout scripture.
God is our banner because He gives us identity.
I wrote a Bible plan a few months ago on knowing who we are in Christ. You can harness God's power when you comprehend who you are in Him. You can read 30 Bible verses on who God says you are HERE.
Yahweh Nissi in Hebrew:
Yahweh Nissi is Hebrew for The Lord Is My Banner. It is only mentioned once in the Old Testament, in Exodus 17:15. It is pronounced yah-WEH-nis-SEE.
Moses had built the altar to memorialize that Yahweh was Israel's banner under which they had defeated the Amalekites. The noun "nissi" derives from the Hebrew "nês", which means "banner" or "flee for refuge". "Nês" is also sometimes translated as "standard", a pole with an insignia attached.
In battle, opposing nations would fly their own standard at each of their respective front lines to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a point of focus.
When combined with God's personal name, "Yahweh", the name becomes "Yahweh Is My Banner" or "Yahweh Is My Refuge".
Applying the name of God, Yahweh Nissi to your life:
No matter what battle you face, God is walking right alongside you.
He is your strength. He will give you His wisdom but you need to surrender yourself to Him and allow Him access to your life.
He longs to be your Banner!
Here is a page from the prayer journal that you will find in the Resource Library HERE
You could use this page to record some scriptures that speak about God's banner. I will list a few that have greatly encouraged me.
1. In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.
2. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers. Psalm 20:1,4-5.
3. Another Bible verse that reminds us that God is our banner is from Psalm 60:4:
But you have raised a banner for those who fear you—a rallying point in the face of attack.
Names Of God Devotional Bible Study Questions
1. Who is Yahweh Nissi to you?
2. How does knowing God as Yahweh Nissi-The Lord Is My Banner affect your life?
3. How can you grow in your Christian walk by understanding God as Yahweh Nissi?
Praying the Name Of God, Yahweh Nissi:
When you pray the word of God, you are praying His words of truth into your situation. It is the same when you pray the names of God. When you understand the meaning of the specific name of God and pray it over your situation-it is declaring His power over it.
It certainly will build your faith and expectation of God to move in it. When you pray God's name, you are declaring the truth of who God is and you are proclaiming His power at work in your life.
And when you pray to Yahweh Nissi, you are praying to the God who is powerful enough to overcome any foe!
Let's Pray: Yahweh Nisi, You are my banner. Thank you for walking with me through all my battles. Help me to remember that You want me to turn to You and to seek Your help and wisdom in every situation. I am a dearly loved daughter of The King and Your word says that I can do all things through Christ strengthens me. Amen.
Before you go, you might be interested to know that all of the 30 names of God blog posts have been combined into 1 PDF/eBook that you can download immediately and read on your phone or digital device.
I would love it if you could share with me your thoughts as you work your way through this Scripture plan. You can connect with me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on our FACEBOOKpage. Come back tomorrow as we unpack the name, El Kannah-Consuming Fire, Jealous God.
It's all about His grace