Flag (2)


(as a military term) is represented generally in Heb. by דֶּגֶל de'gei, such being those borne by the Israelitish camp during their march through the wilderness. Each three tribes had a banner of this description (Nu 1:52; Nu 2:2 sq.; 10:14 sq.), of the color and form of which the Rabbins have many legendary stories (see Jonathan on Numbers ii; comp. Carpzov, Appar. p. 667 sq.). The tribe of Judah (together with Issachar and Zebulon) bore as a device a young lion (compare Ge 42:9); the tribe of Reuben (with Simeon and Gad), a man (according to Jonathan, a stag, instead of the bullock, as a memento of the golden calf, Ge 49:6); Ephraim (with Manasseh and Benjamin), a steer (boys, according to Jonathan); Dan (with Asher and Naphtali), an eagle (according to Jonathan, a cerastes; comp. Ge 49:17), on their tribal standard. How the field-ensigns of the several families, which in those passages are called אֹתוֹת, signs, differed from these דּגָלִים, is not clearly defined. The assertion of colored pennants (Harmer, i, 478) is not sustained by proof. On the pretended motto upon the banner of the Maccabees, SEE MACCABAEUS. נֵס , nes, which is often taken for a banner; is a military signal raised upon a mountain as a telegraphic notice (Isa 5:26; Isa 13:2; Isa 23:3; Isa 30:17; Isa 62:10, etc.; comp. Cicero, Attic. 10:17; Macrob. Saturn. i, 16), and may have usually consisted of a high pole with a streamer flying from its summit. Others regard it rather as a beacon fire- (πυρσός, φρυκτός; comp. Curtius, v, 2, 7; 7:7, 5, 13). See generally Faber, ii, 462 sq.; Jahn, II, ii, 462 sq.; Celsius, De Vexillis Hebr: (Upsal. 1727). To the Roman standards, aquilce (Josephus, War, iii, 62; comp. Hermann, ad Lucian. conscrib. hist. p. 185), an allusion apparently occurs in Mt 24:28. (On the Egyptian ensigns, see Wilkinson, i, 294.' Rosellini, II, iii, 230.) The Persians under Cyrus bore the same symbol (Xenoph. Cyrop. 7:i, 4; but Eze 17:3 is not in point, being a reference to Chaldaean usages). See generally Lydii Synt. sacr. de re milit. iii, 7. SEE BANNER.

Bible concordance for FLAG.

Definition of flag

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