banner Summary and Overview
banner in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) The flag or banner of the larger kind, serving for three tribes marching together. These standards, of which there were four, were worked with embroidery and beautifully ornamented (Num. 1:52; 2:2, 3, 10, 18, 25; Cant. 2:4; 6:4, 10). (2.) The flag borne by each separate tribe, of a smaller form. Probably it bore on it the name of the tribe to which it belonged, or some distinguishing device (Num. 2:2,34). (3.) A lofty signal-flag, not carried about, but stationary. It was usually erected on a mountain or other lofty place. As soon as it was seen the war-trumpets were blown (Ps. 60:4; Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; Jer. 4:6 21; Ezek. 27:7). (4.) A "sign of fire" (Jer. 6:1) was sometimes used as a signal. The banners and ensigns of the Roman army had idolatrous images upon them, and hence they are called the "abomination of desolation" (q.v.). The principal Roman standard, however, was an eagle. (See Matt. 24:28; Luke 17:37, where the Jewish nation is compared to a dead body, which the eagles gather together to devour.) God's setting up or giving a banner (Ps. 20:5; 60:4; Cant. 2:4) imports his presence and protection and aid extended to his people.
banner in Smith's Bible Dictionary
banner in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
BAN'NER, EN'SIGN or STAND'ARD A standard pertained to each of the four grand divisions of the host of Israel, Num 1:52, distinguished from the others by colors and by an emblematic device. Thus, according to the rabbins, the device of Judah was a lion; that of Reuben was a man; that of Ephraim, an ox; of Dan, an eagle. Another standard for subdivisions, denoted by another word, was probably nothing more than a common spear richly burnished or ornamented. The Egyptian princes used a standard like this, surmounted with a ball of gold. There was another standard in use among the Jews, which is called a beacon. Isa 30:17. It was stationary, erected on lofty mountains, and used as a rallying token. Comp. Isa 18:3; Isa 62:10; Jer 4:6, 2 Chr 11:21; Gen 6:1; Jer 51:12, Jer 51:27. None of these standards were flags. Some writers have supposed that the ancient Jewish ensign was a long pole, on the top of which was a grate not unlike a chaffing-dish, made of iron bars and supplied with fire, the size, height, and shape of which denoted the party or company to whom it belonged. This seems rather to describe the night-torches of Eastern encampments. The shape, etc., of the Roman standards are seen under the article Abomination.
banner in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Hebrew neec, not, in the English sense of the term, an arbitrary token to distinguish one band or regiment of Israel from another, but a common object of regard, a signal of observation, a rallying point to awaken men's hopes and efforts (Exodus 17:15). Moses called the altar of thanksgiving, after Amalek's defeat, JEHOVAH NISSI, "Jehovah is my banner." The altar is the pledge that Jehovah, in covenant with Israel, shall enable His people to defeat utterly Amalek and all his foes. (Compare Numbers 21:8, "a pole"; Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 11:10, "a root of Jesse shall stand for an ensign of the people," Isaiah 13:2; Isaiah 30:17; Isaiah 49:22; Psalm 60:4.) Messiah set forth manifestly as the crucified Savior (Galatians 3:1) is the rallying point for the gathering together in one unto Him of all the redeemed in spirit, in the glorified body also hereafter (Genesis 49:10; Matthew 24:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1). His love displayed is the "banner" under which His people rally for almighty protection and unspeakable comfort (Song of Solomon 2:4). As neec is a "signal," raised on some special occasion, always on an elevation and conspicuous, so degel is a military standard for a large division of an army; oth, for a small one. (See ENCAMPMENT.)