Exodus 17:9-15 NASB9 “Moses said to Joshua,‘Choose men for us andgo out, fight againstAmalek. Tomorrow I willstation myself on the topof the hill with the staff of
God in my hand.’10 Joshua did as Mosestold him, and foughtagainst Amalek; andMoses, Aaron, and Hurwent up to the top of thehill.
11 So it came about whenMoses held his hand up,that Israel prevailed, andwhen he let his handdown, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands wereheavy. Then they took astone and put it underhim, and he sat on it; andAaron and Hur supportedhis hands, one on one sideand one on the other.
Thus his hands weresteady until the sun set. 13 So Joshuaoverwhelmed Amalekand his people with theedge of the sword.
14 Then the Lord said toMoses, “Write this in abook as a memorialand recite it to Joshua,that I will utterly blot outthe memory of Amalekfrom under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altarand named it: “The Lord is My Banner”. (Jehovah Nissi) Exodus 17:9-15 NASB
This battle was all about God, the battle itself wasorchestrated by God. Moses knew this and wantedto make certain the Israelites knew it andremembered it. Nothing that he or they did in thephysical realm brought about victory. God’spresence and power took them into the battle andassured the victory when the battle was done.What battles are you fighting today?Is the battle you are in one that the Lord has chosenfor you? Strange question, isn’t it? Scripture is veryclear in this particular passage that the Lord, in fact,chooses certain battles for us to fight. Does He leadthe way as Jehovah Nissi in your current battles?
Perhaps the battle you are in is a battle that you havechosen, one that is outside the will of God? Are youfighting in your own strength? Are you struggling tobe victorious in the battle? If Jehovah Nissi is leadingthe way in your struggle, then you are assuredsuccess, but if you are fighting your battle in yourown strength, your defeat is imminent.Where in your life do you need God to showHimself strong as Jehovah Nissi – the Lord myBanner – and go before you so that you may knowvictory?
The "banner" would be the battle-standard, a pole,perhaps with an eye-catching cloth upon it. The BronzeSerpent was raised on this sort of pole. The altar is builtto commemorate the battle, and what this episodereveals about the nature and character of Jehovah.The Lord is our "battle-standard" because we look tohim. Moses had stood above the fray, and his handsrose and fell (presumably holding the Rod of God), untilAaron and Hur sat Moses, and upheld his arms to keepthem up. The dry stick wasnt so impressive, but what itrepresented to the men fighting in the dells below wasglorious. This was Gods battle, not theirs. Moses, andhis rod were pointing the fighters (in his Mediatorial role)to the Cloud that ever accompanied them.
So often in those stories in the wilderness, it seems as though thechildren of Israel are oblivious to the Presence, the Angel of theLord, until Moses gets them to look, to focus, to see Who it is thatis with them, Who has helped them, Who is for them when theirenemies attack them.The explanation that follows the Name is significant. "A hand onthe throne of the Lord!" is either an exclamation of outrage (if thehand is the presumptuous hand of Amalek), or it is an exclamationof his own oath (upon the seat of his power and authority). But inany case, the oath is that of The Lord swears to never step backfrom this conflict until it is utterly complete, until he hasexterminated Amalek to the last man, woman, and child. He soidentifies himself with this warfare so as to BE what the flagstands for. "I am the flag, rally to me, and in my strength and bymy will I, and you, will overcome our foes--these in particular,Amalek and all he stands for."
We are weak, but he is strong.We are a wilderness people. The Promised Land is future.Our Amalek is the world, the flesh, and the devil. The battleis the Lords, but we fight it in his strength, by faith, looking toour Mediator, keeping our eyes on him. And in his might weprevail. Its a miracle.But the focus of the verses is on Moses, the mediator of theOld Covenant, and what he stands for. He is a type of Christ.Hes literally pointing to the Christ who is with the people inthe Pillar of Cloud. But hes human and has his own sinfullimits. But he is strengthened by the others, who all threeform a kind of "prophet-priest-king" stand. Israel is victoriousultimately because her mediator is victorious.
In other words, I find that the passage is more to thepurpose of teaching me about God, rather than teachingme about me. But in the process I understand how hisvictory means I will have victory over all my enemies,because God isnt going to rest until he has obliteratedthe very memory of his, and our, foes--those who daredto prey on his little ones trudging through this dangerousplace. So, while in principle I know that ALL my enemiesare defeated, in practice I dont know the manner thatGod may use (or the amount of time it will take) to beat acertain temptation. The story doesnt descend to thatlevel of detail. Amalek wasnt wiped out that day. Thefocus is on the nature of the battle, which helps ussoldier on each day, facing the temptations of that day.
Gills Exposition of the Entire BibleAnd Moses built an altar,.... On Horeb, asAben Ezra; on the top of the hill, as BenGersom, where sacrifices of thanksgivingwere offered up for the victory obtained, orhowever a monument erected in memory ofit:
and he called the name of it Jehovahnissi; which signifies either "theLord is my miracle" who wrought a miracle for them in giving them thevictory over Amalek, as well as, through smiting the rock with the rod,brought out water from thence for the refreshment of the people, theirchildren and cattle; or "the Lord is my banner": alluding to the hands ofMoses being lifted up with the rod therein, as a banner displayed, underwhich Joshua and Israel fought, and got the victory. This may fitly beapplied to Christ, who is both altar, sacrifice, and priest, and who is thetrue Jehovah, and after so called; and who is lifted up as a banner,standard, or ensign in the everlasting Gospel, in order to gather soulsunto him, and enlist them under him, and to prepare them for war, andencourage them in it against their spiritual enemies; and as a token oftheir victory over them, and a direction to them where they shall stand,when to march, and whom they shall follow; and to distinguish themfrom all other bands and companies, and for the protection of them fromall their enemies, see Isaiah 11:10. These words were inscribed uponthe altar, or the altar was called the altar of Jehovahnissi, in memory ofwhat was here done; from hence it has been thought (a), that Baachus,among the Heathens, had his name of Dionysius, as if it wasJehovahnyssaeus.
Clarkes Commentary on the BibleJehovah-nissi - Jehovah is my ensign or banner. Thehands and rod of Moses were held up as soldiers arewont to hold up their standards in the time of battle; andas these standards bear the arms of the country, thesoldiers are said to fight under that banner, i.e., underthe direction and in the defense of that government.Thus the Israelites fought under the direction of God,and in the defense of his truth; and therefore the nameof Jehovah became the armorial bearing of the wholecongregation. By his direction they fought, and in hisname and strength they conquered; each one feelinghimself, not his own, but the Lords soldier.
Barnes Notes on the BibleJehovah-nissi - See the margin, "Jehovah mybanner." As a proper name the Hebrew word isrightly preserved. The meaning is evidently thatthe name of Yahweh is the true banner underwhich victory is certain; so to speak, the motto orinscription on the banners of the host. Inscriptionson the royal standard were well known. Each ofthe Pharaohs on his accession adopted one inaddition to his official name.
Matthew Henrys Concise Commentary17:8-16 Israel engaged with Amalek in their own necessary defence. God makes hispeople able, and calls them to various services for the good of his church. Joshua fights,Moses prays, both minister to Israel. The rod was held up, as the banner to encouragethe soldiers. Also to God, by way of appeal to him. Moses was tired. The strongest armwill fail with being long held out; it is God only whose hand is stretched out still. We donot find that Joshuas hands were heavy in fighting, but Moses hands were heavy inpraying; the more spiritual any service is, the more apt we are to fail and flag in it. Toconvince Israel that the hand of Moses, whom they had been chiding, did more for theirsafety than their own hands, his rod than their sword, the success rises and falls asMoses lifts up or lets down his hands. The churchs cause is more or less successful, asher friends are more or less strong in faith, and fervent in prayer. Moses, the man ofGod, is glad of help. We should not be shy, either of asking help from others, or of givinghelp to others. The hands of Moses being thus stayed, were steady till the going down ofthe sun. It was great encouragement to the people to see Joshua before them in the fieldof battle, and Moses above them on the hill. Christ is both to us; our Joshua, the Captainof our salvation, who fights our battles, and our Moses, who ever lives, makingintercession above, that our faith fail not. Weapons formed against Gods Israel cannotprosper long, and shall be broken at last. Moses must write what had been done, whatAmalek had done against Israel; write their bitter hatred; write their cruel attempts; letthem never be forgotten, nor what God had done for Israel in saving them from Amalek.Write what should be done; that in process of time Amalek should be totally ruined androoted out. Amaleks destruction was typical of the destruction of all the enemies ofChrist and his kingdom.
Isaiah 54:1717 “No weapon that isformed against you willprosper”.
How does Moses respond in Ex 17:15?Moses built altarHe named the altar Jehovah NissiJehovah Nissi in the Greek (LXX) = "kuriosmou kataphuge" which in English ="The Lord My Refuge"For interesting parallel see this same wordkataphuge in (Ps 46:1)
Psalm 46:1 (NASB95)1 God is our refuge andstrength, A very present help introuble.
When "Amalek" comes...Keep your eye onJesus Your Jehovah-NissiThe LORD your BannerYour SignalYour Standard to rally under!To be distracted > look aroundTo be distressed > look withinTo be defeated > look backTo be discouraged > look downTo be delivered > look upTo be delighted > look to Christ
Who is Jehovah Nissi?Isa 11:10 Then it will come about in that day(what "Day"?) that the nations (who are"nations" in Scripture?) will resort to theroot of Jesse (Who is this?) Who will standas a signal (Hebrew word = nec = banner)(Isa 11:12) He (Who?) will lift up a standard(nec) for the nations and will assemble thebanished ones of Israel and will gather thedispersed of Judah from the four corners ofthe earth.
Even today a banner is a standard thatbears the colors by which a military unit isidentified and behind which troops rally.The "standard-bearer" carries the colors andmarching bands are often led by peoplecarrying a banner that identifies the band,and after which the musicians fall in line. Sowhen Moses names the altar Jehovah Nissi,The Lord is my Banner, he proclaims as amemorial - "I rally behind Jehovah. It is Heto Whom I look. It is He Whom I willfollow."
A wonderful picture of Gods protection &deliverance under imagery of a banner >Ps 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to those whofear Thee, that it may be displayed because of thetruth. Selah. 5 That Thy beloved may bedelivered, Save with Thy right hand, and answerus!Ps 20:5 We will sing for joy over your victory,And in the name of our God we will set up ourbanners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
Even as Moses needed the assistance of Aaron and Hur, sotoday those called to spiritual leadership need theundergirding of the people to whom they minister. How canyou help your pastor, your Bible study leader, etc? Theirwork is demanding, often discouraging, and fraught withmany attacks by the "Amalekites". Christian leaders needyour encouragement (word) and support (deed). When wasthe last time you "took hold" of your pastors hand andverbally expressed your gratitude for his ministry (Psalm20:5)? A word properly timed will be, in effect, "holding uphis hands," and will help to assure spiritual victory in yourchurch under the banner of Jehovah Nissi!O "hold up the hands" of the worker for Christ,Encourage his soul by your prayer;A handclasp, a smile, or a word of good cheer,Will help him lifes burdens to bear. G. W.
What do we learn of warfare?Staff of God ~ His "banner over" us(Song 2:4) symbolizes His presence, Hispower & His provision. Even as Heprovided food & water He gives usvictory in spiritual warfare. Whenconfronted with "Amalekites" dontdepend on your zeal or ingenuity todefeat them but on your rallying point,Jehovah Nissi (Romans 8:26, 27;Hebrews 7:25)
What some lessons for life?Moses by the staff in his handlooked for victory to God alone,& did not trust the “arm offlesh” The Battle is the Lords, but Heoften fights thru His humaninstruments like Joshua & thechosen men.
Song of Solomon 2:44 “He has brought me tohis banquet hall,And his banner over meis love.”
The Septuagint translatorsbelieved nis·si′ to be derivedfrom nus (flee for refuge) andrendered it "the Lord My Refuge",while in the Vulgate it wasthought to be derived from na·sas′ (hoist; lift up) and was rendered"Jehovah Is My Exaltation".
Jehovah Nissi: The Lord Is My BannerThe Olympic Games always open with an awe inspiring procession ofathletes from all the participating countries of the world marchingaround the field under their countrys banner or flag. The flag is theiridentification with the sponsoring country and a rallying point for theathletes and fans. Great cheers go up from the citizens of each countryas their team goes by with the flag waving back and forth.We rally round the flag each Fourth of July in the United States tocelebrate our freedom. We wave flags, bake flag cakes, display flags andsing a song about our flag - the Star Spangled Banner, at the opening ofevery baseball game.The most important thing flags or banners do, however, is mark victory.It is well understood that the conquering army in any battle has theright to remove the defeated countrys flag and replace it with theirown, usually in the highest spot possible for all to see. The country withthe conquering flag has won and now they are in control.
THE LORD IS MY BANNERIt was over a great battle in the Old Testament that God revealed himself asJehovah Nissi, THE LORD IS MY BANNER. It happened at the time whenIsrael was wandering in the wilderness after miraculously crossing the Red Sea.Amalek was the enemy who came against Israel in Rephidim. In Exodus 17:8-16Moses called on his young apprentice, Joshua, to lead the Israelites into battlewhile he stationed himself on top of a hill to pray. He had with him his brotherAaron and his assistant, Hur. As Moses lifted his hands and prayed, theIsraelites prevailed in the battle but when he let his hands down, Amalekprevailed. So Aaron and Hur set Moses on a rock and held his hands up for himuntil the battle was totally won.At the end of the day there was victory and God told Moses to write downwhat had happened and read it in Joshuas hearing. God was thinking ahead tothe time when Moses would be gone and Joshua would be called upon to takeover leadership of Gods chosen people. Joshua would be the one to cross theJordan River into Canaan (the Promised Land) and defeat Jericho. He wouldhave plenty of battles ahead of him and God wanted him to remember back tothis one and the victory God had given them.
Instead of raising a flag, Moses built an altar because in those times, analtar was often used as a place of remembering or marking an importantevent. This is where Moses called God Jehovah Nissi because heunderstood the revelation that God himself is our banner, our victory.He is the one who wins our battles. He still does that by the way. WhenMoses wrote that story down for Joshua, he was also writing it down forour benefit so that we will remember it as we go into battle. How do weknow that?There is an interesting thing that God says when he tells Moses to writedown the story. God says that he "…will utterly blot out theremembrance of Amalek from under heaven." (verse 14b) That meansthat this enemy would not rise again - he was defeated UTTERLY. Inverse 16, however, Moses says; "…the Lord has sworn: the Lord willhave war with Amalek from generation to generation." How is it thatGod is saying the enemy was completely defeated and yet that therewould be future wars with Amalek in future generations?
Amalek in this story represents our enemy, Satan, who is active against Godspeople in all generations. Even though the literal "Amalek" at that time wascompletely defeated by Israels army, other Amaleks would rise up againstIsrael and on down to you and me in our own generation. When you gatherunder Jehovah Nissi as your banner, trust him that the outcome of your battlewill be the same as it was for Moses and Joshua at Rephidim. God is sayingthere will always be war; dont be surprised by it. He is also saying he isalways the winner.What is your battle right now?Drugs? Pornography? Bitterness? Loneliness? Cancer? Dissention? Depression?Hopelessness? Bankruptcy? Injustice? The list goes on and on and if I haventnamed your battleground you can just fill in the blank. You know what you areat war with and you know that in the heat of battle it is hard to see the victoryat the end. Remember Jehovah Nissi. Call upon Jehovah Nissi. Raise yourhands in prayer the way Moses did. Dont give up. Ask others to hold yourhands up if you get tired. God is faithful to fulfill his word. When your battle isover you will have the right to replace your enemys flag with your own. Set iton high for all to see that Jehovah Nissi is your God who has secured yourvictory.
Paul does not exhort Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a“good soldier of Jesus Christ”; for all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not begood soldiers. There are men who are only just soldiers and nothing more; theyonly need sufficient temptation and they readily become cowardly, idle,useless and worthless; but he is the good soldier who is the bravest of thebrave, courageous at all times, who is zealous, does his duty with heart andearnestness. He is the good soldier of Jesus Christ who, through grace, plans tomake himself as able to serve his Lord as shall be possible, who tries to grow ingrace and to be perfected in every good word and work, so that he may be inhis Master’s battles fit for the roughest and most stern service, and ready tobear the very brunt of the fray. David had many soldiers, and good soldierstoo, but you remember it was said of many, “These did not attain to the firstthree.” Now Paul, if I read him correctly, would have Timothy try to be amongthe first three, to be a good soldier. And surely I would this morning say to mydear comrades in the little army of Christ meeting here, let each one of us try toattain to the first three; let us ask to be numbered among the King’s mighties,to do noble work for him and honourable service, so that we may bring to ourMaster’s cause new glory. May it be ours to covet earnestly the best gifts, andsince we have had much forgiven, let us love much, and prove that love by ouractions.
Our part in the Kingdom of God is dependent upon our obedience to Gods calling.
A good soldier is all about pleasing his commanding officerHe is fully committed and involved in his duty; not worried aboutanything or anybody else.In the secular field, people may “please” their superiors in variousways; but God cannot be pleased by tricks or treats, nor is He arespector of persons. God is serious about commitment. He is lookingfor genuine people.Today, we see two types of churches: performance oriented andpreference oriented. One is like “Cain” and the other, like “Abel”.Performance-oriented churches focus on the outward things.There you will see all the elements and programs that make it lookprofessional: music with or without meaning, programs without powerand dancing without joy. You may see people laughing, but not smiling.Everything is from the head, not heart. It is more about using techniquesand technology, than tears.
On the other hand, in a Church where God is preferred, you willexperience the power and the presence of God; programs aresecondary.There, you may see people crying and getting deliverance!Driven by tears than techniques and a passion for God, you seeauthentic people worshipping an awesome God, in the anointingof the spirit. The word of God is delivered as it is, without anytwists, turns or modifications!A good soldier does not make assumptions; instead, he/she keepscommunicating with the commanding officer (C. O.) and makessure that each move is made according to the directions from theC. O.When things are done with human wisdom instead of divineguidance, all you get is some “performance”, not results.
Do you go to a Church that is simply focussed on performance, orone that touches the lives of people with the power of God?What about your own life? Is it about pleasing God or just a“performance”?God bless you and speak to you. Let “pleasing God” become yourpriority!Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for speaking to me. Help me to be aperson pleasing you with all that I do-worship, work and in allwalks and ways of life. Let my life be spirit-lead and one thatmakes sense to you. Amen.“When you focus on pleasing God, you can’t focus on yourperformance; it is one or the other”.