The Names of God: Jehovah Nissi

(yeh-ho-vaw’ nis-see’)
The Lord My Banner, The Lord My Miracle

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Nissi occurs only once in Exd 17:15.

Variant spellings: Jehovah Nisi; Jehovahnissi

TWOT Reference: None

Strong’s Reference: 3071

Jehovah Nissi in the Septuagint: kurios kataphugê mou…the Lord is my refuge

Meaning and Derivation

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissi derived, means “banner” in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel’s banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.

Further references of the name Jehovah Nissi in the Old Testament:Exd 17:15

  • BC Perry

    I LOVE this kind of study – thank you so much for putting together so much to study that I could NEVER get through it all. ;-)

  • http://cultivateinfluence.blogspot.com/ A Reader

    Thank you so very much for this information. I enjoy it so much. Please keep it up! You are an encouragement for me. God bless you richly.

  • tmc7

    Wow! Thanks for an encouraging word, I enjoy this soooo much.

  • misty

    I love reading the names of my God and learning more about him through this… I taught on Jehovah Nissi last winter and had the kids make a banner that we have in our room still….May HE always be our banner that we fly over us so that everyone sees HIM thru us….

  • Bob

    Good blog going here. I love that God chooses and wants to reveal Himself. In our Wednesday prayer meeting this past week we specifically took time to ask God to speak to us personally at the direction of our Pastor. The results were amazing. He can speak to us today – not just to the saints in the past. I think most often that revelation today will be through the Bible but He is not restricted. He can give some dreams, some visions and some prophecy. God wants to walk with me, talk with me and direct me. Praise His name.

  • Jerry S.

    When referencing the Septuagint, remember that the correlating Hebrew word holds the meaning and intent of the message being given because the Greek culture had no concept of the Hebrew faith, Act 17:1-34, and the Septuagint was written well before Luke’s recounting of Paul’s visit to Greece. Consider for yourself why it was written, it was so Hellenistic reading and speaking Hebrew people of its time would be able to follow their faith. Likewise, the Septuagint is critical in our understanding what we as English speaking and reading people call the New Testament that was written in the Jewish/Greek of the Septuagint, because it is a link to understanding the Hebrew faith in which we as gentile followers of Messiah believe.
    J.

  • Linda

    There are a few scriptures that have the word banner in them. Here are a couple that are a good meditation.
    Psa. 60:4 You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah
    Son. 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love.
    Isa. 11:10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.

    Like the flag of our country that represents who we are, our history and sacrifice of our veterans to fight for us; God is our banner and it represents who He is and what He has done for us. His banner over me is Love.

  • Ramon

    Good study indeed but the name could not have been “Jehovah” considering the fact that the J was not a part of the Hebrew language. The most likely translation would have been “Yahweh”

    • Bar Enosh

      It is irrelevant that Hebrew has no “J.” Jehovah is an ENGLISH rendering of the Tetragrammaton, and most of the Hebrew names in the Bible that begin with a “Y” are rendered with a “J” in English Bibles: e.g.. Jesus, Jeremiah, Jerusalem, James, John, etc.

      “Jehovah” does not claim to be a Hebrew word. It is an ENGLISH representation of the Tetragrammaton, used in ENGLISH Bible translations.

      • http://www.eliyah.com/jhovah.htm believes

        @Bar Enosh,

        It is relevant. Hebrew has no modern J sound. J in English was originally pronounced as a Y sound until French influenced the letter to pronounced as it is today. The J in hallelujah is pronounced as a Y. Yah is not Yeh. The article shows the pronunciation as (yeh-ho-vaw’ nis-see’). Names are not translated. Names are transliterated.

      • jhnsn d-s

        Jehovah is a word used by those who believe it’s unimportant how the 4-Hebrew consonat letters are used which it only contains 3 of the 4 consonates and the vowels are uncertain which shows they lack even basic knowledge let alone understanding of how the true God views his personnel name.

  • Vernon Young

    I’ve been studying this issue for over 20 years. The Tetragammaton of YHWH vs YHVH has been an ongoing discussion for hundreds of years. In the KJV, Psalm 68:4, there is unique “slip-up”. Frankly, I believe the translator did this intentionally: “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name, JAH, and rejoice before him.” Now, the interesting point to make here is that there is no “J” in Masoretic Hebrew. That “J” is a “Y” and the word should be pronounced as “YAH.” If you have a NKJV, you will also find this word in the following verses: Isaiah 12:2; 26:4; 38:11. You would think that the translators are letting us in on the secret. This word appears 49 times in OT scripture and is generally translated as LORD (note the capitalization). If the word “LORD” is capitalized then the translator is substituting the word “Adonai” in place of the name. “Adonai” is the Masoretic Hebrew for the word Lord. Now, the interesting part that a variation of this word exists a combination word “YAH’HOVAH.” This just means “YAH the Existing One (Eternal One). The reason for this linguistic switch is because the Hebrews were trying to keep the name of God hidden in order to prevent a violation of the 2nd Commandment by Israel and the Gentiles (Greeks). The word “YAH’HOVAH” is generally rendered as “YEHOVAH (Jehovah)” The problem is compounded with the fact that the Hebrew writers intentionally left out the jots and tittles that provided the “vowels.” So, assumptions are made that may or not be correct. Therefore, it has been rendered as either YHWH or YHVH. Frankly, I believe YHVH makes more sense but the vowels (a,e,i,o,u… yes, like ours) are only speculation. My personal belief is that (following a linguistic rationale) the word is probably “YAH’HOVAH”, but it may be a variation of that based upon vowel substitutions. Have fun, this has been a search of a lifetime, but I’m still looking for more clues from the Dead Sea Scrolls to prove my point. At this point I’m still searching.

    • Dana

      Josephus said the sacred name was four vowels. Since Hebrew has no vowels, the letters of the tetragrammaton represent vowel housings in the Hebrew; and those who are far more studied than am I say that would result in “IAUE.” The phonetic pronunciation in English would be “ee-ah-oo-eh.” From that, it is easy to see how the lazy pronunciation of this would render the popular, “Yahweh.”

      A point to be taken, however, is that the Creator’s name preexisted Hebrew, so even the Hebrew is a phonetic attempt to reproduce the Name. David said the voice of IAUE is as the sound of many waters; so does that mean if we heard the name as it actually is spoken by IAUE it would be something we would not have the linguistic capability of uttering?

      The same application should be applied to the origin of “Jesus” which would result in “ee-ah-oo-shu-eh,” or the lazy “Yahushua” or the lazier, “Yashua.” The name as given to him by his Father reveals the Father’s name and the Son’s purpose: IAUE saves. When you change the name to fit contemporary acceptable usage (Jesus), just as the English translations of the Old Testament conceal the Father’s name 6,300+ times by calling it “LORD,” once again His name is concealed in the translations of the New Testament.

      Personally, I believe that once we have come upon what is for us a workable rendition, we should attempt to honor it with our lips rather than resort to the contemporary mistakes.

      • Jerry S.

        Wonderful!

      • Kernal Baus

        I have to respectfully disagree with you, Dana. Even if we did know for certain the vowels of the tetragrammaton, YHWH, you would still need to pronounce them within the given consonants. God decided to reveal His name in Hebrew to the Israelites – therefore it is as it appears in the Hebrew text, and speculation beyond this is meaningless and a distraction.

        It is not at all lazy to call Jesus ‘Yashua’ or ‘Yoshua’, as that is exactly His Hebrew name, which we know in English as Joshua. Modern Hebrew speakers use this name. I see no reason not to call him Jesus or Yashua. Many names in the Bible we use every day are translations, to contradict an erroneous assertion somewhere in this thread. Elijah is actually Eliyahu; Jeremiah is actually Jeremeyahu, and even James in the New Testament is, in Greek, Jacob!

        In short, Yahweh is the best option we have for pronouncing the divine name of the Old Testament, though we will never be certain the vowels are correct. And Jesus is a perfectly good rendering of the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua! It adds nothing to our worship to argue about these things and to speculate unnecessarily.

        • Jerry S.

          Kernal, if you would allow me to continue on in the conversation. Scripture has left us with plenty of speculating about our faith due to lack of information. And if I can presume to speak for GOD as to why this is the case, I would say it is to know HIM better. I don’t see any loss of worship in that.

          The names – I wonder if we would have ever known the FATHERS name had not Moses asked for it? We can speculate as to why he did, but from Adam on down to Moses all were well aware of who HE was without a graphic symbol of audible sound to connect the concept, as far as we know. And until we do come to know, you are right in that we are left with the symbols and sounds we have to communicate to each other with about who HE is. But, HE is faithful!
          J.

  • Michael Curry

    This is wonderful The name above all names JESUS, this helps me stay focus God Bless you for everything. I am able to study and learn from some wonderful people I cannot begin to say thank you enough

  • Justin

    Those are some great studies and insights. The cool thing about all this, is that which the Bible says in Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. (All the OT names of God are now bound up in one name—Christ.).

    • Dana

      Justin, “Christ” is not a name. It is a title, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah.

      “Jesus” is a name; but it is not “the” name. “Jesus” is an anglicized version of the Latin, IESUS, the transliteration of the Greek, IESOUS, a language-incapable transliteration of the Hebrew” IAUSHUA” (the combination of IAUE, the Creator’s name,and “SHUA” the word for “saves”).

  • steve morrow

    Psalm 138:2
    I will worship toward thy holy temple
    and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth
    For thou hast magnified thy word—ABOVE ALL THY NAME—

    Psalm 111:9
    HE sent redemption unto HIS people HE hath commanded HIS covenant forever
    HOLY AND REVEREND IS HIS NAME

    Psalm 111:10
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom
    a good understanding have all they that do HIS commandments
    HIS praise endureth forever

    Psalm 112:1
    Praise ye the LORD
    Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD
    That delighteth greatly in HIS commandments

    Exodus 3:6
    Moreover HE SAID I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM THE GOD OF ISAAC AND THE GOD OF JACOB
    And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon GOD

    Psalm 56:11
    In GOD have I put my trust
    I will not be afraid what man can do unto me

    Psalm 118:6
    The LORD is on my side
    I will not fear
    What can man do unto me

    Matthew 10:28
    And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear HIM which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell

    Psalm 19:3
    There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard

    Mark 8:33
    But when HE had turned about and looked on HIS disciples HE rebuked Peter saying Get thee behind ME satan For thou savourest not the things that be of GOD but the things that be of men

    Psalm 89:7
    God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints
    and to be had in reverence of —ALL THEM THAT ARE ABOUT HIM—

    Hebrews 12:28
    Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved let us have grace whereby we may serve GOD acceptably with reverence
    and GODLY FEAR

    Titus 2:11&12
    For the grace of GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men
    (12) Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts
    we should live soberly righteously and godly
    —IN THIS PRESENT WORLD—

    LOVING THE LORD

  • Jon

    I am enjoying the discussion re His Name. The original blog of the meaning being God who is forever revealing Himself makes so much sense as He is infinite so one can never fully know Him but erternity will be spent discovering more of who he is. What is more important than the semantics is the opportunity we have to commune with Him on a continual basis because of what He acheived on the cross.

  • Robbie Roberts

    I think the above discussion is precious in itself. The problem however is when you approach GOD in your prayers, what do you call HIM. Further to this what do you call THE CHRIST. The reason I ask is that I have a friend that believes in a religious system that is called the Israel Truth, believing that they are direct liniage of Israel. This in itself is innocent enough, but they believe that you call GOD on HIS rightfull name, or you cannot partake of all the blessing of the Bible, nor approach GOD by any other name. This name of course being Jehovah and HIS SON named Yashua. I have tried without fail to show him the truth as written in GOD’S WORD regarding a lot of things which is wrong with his religious view, but always get stuck with the NAMES. Personally I feel that my FATHER in Heaven knows my heart and when I am on my knees or driving in my car and speaking and praying to HIM, that HE knows that I am busy with HIM and the actual Redemtive names may not matter when you have a personal relationship with HIM.I think that Dana said it so beautifully, in that there is a lazy way of saying it and that me being a South African speaking Afrikaans we spell both with J’s and not Y’s. I will be posting this thread to my friend in the hopes that he can come to the knowledge of truth.