(ssa ba' ohth) Transliteration of Hebrew meaning, “hosts, armies, heavenly bodies.” Part of a divine title, “Lord of Hosts” variously interpreted as Lord of Israel's armies (compare
1 Samuel 17:45); the deposed Canaanite nature gods whose title Yahweh assumed; the stars; members of Yahweh's heavenly court or council; a comprehensive title for all beings, heavenly and earthly; an intensive title describing God as all powerful. Interestingly, the title does not appear in Genesis through Judges. The earliest Greek translation at times translated Sabaoth as a proper name, sometimes as Almighty, and sometimes not at all. The title was apparently closely tied to Shiloh and the ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 1:3,1 Samuel 1:11;
1 Samuel 4:4;
1 Samuel 6:2). When David brought the ark to Jerusalem, he also introduced the title Yahweh of Hosts to Jerusalem worship (2 Samuel 6:2). Yahweh Sabaoth seems to have emphasized God's place as divine king enthroned on the cherubim with the ark as His footstool ruling over the nation, the earth, and the heavens (Psalms 24:10). He is the God without equal (Psalms 89:8) who is present with His people (Psalms 46:7,Psalms 46:11; compare
2 Samuel 5:10).