Table of Contents
(The Lord of Hosts)
The "NAME" ... His Holy NAME ... The Mighty NAME of God Jehovah and Elohim occur with the NAME "Sabaoth" over 285 times in the Bible. It is most frequently used in Jeremiah and Isaiah. "Jehovah Sabaoth" is first used in 1Sa 1:3; Jehovah Sabaoth — the Lord of hosts (sabaôth: Gr. transliteration of Heb. "hosts")
Jehovah Sabaoth is "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" ( or never-ending).
"Sabaoth" (se bâ'ôt) means "armies" or "hosts." Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as "The Lord of Armies" (1Sa 1:3). This name denotes His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly and as The Lord of Hosts, He Alone is the king of all heaven and all the earth. (Psa 24:9-10; Psa 84:3; Isa 6:5).
In I Samuel 1:3 Jehovah is called LORD of hosts. Jehovah had appeared to Elkanah, the husband of Hannah, who had pleaded to God for a child. Elkanah went up to Shiloh to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts. Previously Hannah had made a vow to Jehovah, if He would give her a son she would give him to the LORD (I Samuel 1:11). Here was a new revelation for He is the LORD (Warrior) of Hosts with special reference to warfare or service. Jehovah Tsabaoth is Controller of all created agencies and Ruler over all. Every possession of the LORD has the name of Jehovah stamped upon it. The name is used many times in the remainder of the Old Testament. Scofield Reference Bible says that Jeremiah uses the phrase about 80 times; Haggai employs it 14 times; Zechariah calls upon the LORD of hosts about 50 times; and the name occurs in Malachi 25 times. What does “hosts” mean? It may be used to refer to (1) heavenly bodies (Genesis 2:1; Nehemiah 9:6); (2) angels (Luke 2:13); (3) saints (Joshua 5:15); and (4) sinners (Judges 4:2; II Samuel 10:16; II Kings 5:1).
As LORD of hosts God is able to marshal all these hosts to fulfill His purposes and to help His people. No wonder that the Psalmist derives such confidence from this name (Psalm 46:7, 11). When Israel needs help and comfort in the time of her division and failure, it is good to know that the LORD has this help and comfort available. One notable and familiar use of the name is used when Joshua was confronted by a Stranger in Joshua 5:13 which read, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, ‘Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘Nay, but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come’.” Whereupon Joshua fell on his face and worshiped the man who must have been a Christophany (a manifestation of Christ in human form). This encounter leads one to believe that Jehovah God in His providence and by His special direction operated the armies and the events of war. The great prophet Isaiah (6:1 - 3) w as made to recognize Jehovah‘s greatness. When King Uzziah died he “saw the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple...” the seraphim cried one unto another, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Just as a Divine remarked at the funeral of his monarch, “God only is great!” Furthermore, Isaiah boasts of God’s power in (31:4, 6), “...As the lion or the young lion roaring on his prey...so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion, and the hill thereof.” The Psalmist caught the spirit when he wrote (Psalm 46:7), “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is your refuge.” God rules supreme in His Sovereignty; Daniel wrote of Jehovah of Hosts (4:35), “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, ‘What doest thou?’”
Jehovah Tsabaoth always had angels and their hosts ready to minister for Him in the New Testament. An angel appeared to Joseph (Matthew 1:20); and to Zechariah (Luke 1:13,19); to Mary (Luke 1:26, 30); to the shepherds (Luke 2:9, 10, 13, 14) as they announced our Savior’s birth. Angels ministered to our Savior during His temptations (Luke 4:1 - 13). Furthermore, angels ministered to the apostles, and they continued their ministry throughout the entire New Testament.