Jehovah Sabaoth — (yeh-ho-vaw’ se ba’ôt) The Lord of Hosts, The Lord of Powers
The Lord of Hosts
MEANING OF THE LORD OF HOSTS
|For behold, He Who forms mountains & creates the wind & declares to man what are His thoughts, He Who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, the LORD God of hosts (Sabaoth) is His name. Amos 4:13)|
From Amos’ description, God’s attributes of sovereignty, omniscience & omnipotence are clearly implied by this majestic Name.
Another prophet, Is, helps us understand the One called the LORD of hosts:
A W Tozer writes that…
A person who has sensed what Is sensed will never be able to joke about “the Man upstairs” or the “Someone up there who likes me.”
One of the movie actresses who still prowled around the nightclubs after her supposed conversion to Christ was quoted as telling someone, “You ought to know God. You know, God is just a livin’ doll!” I read where another man said, “God is a good fellow.”
I confess that when I hear or read these things I feel a great pain within. My brother or sister, there is something about our God that is different, that is beyond us, that is above us—transcendent. We must be humbly willing to throw our hearts open and to plead, “God, shine Thyself into my understanding for I will never find Thee otherwise.”
For thus says Jehovah to me, “As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey, against which a band of shepherds is called out & he will not be terrified at their voice nor disturbed at their noise, so will the LORD of hosts come down to wage war on Mt Zion and on its hill. Like flying birds so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will protect & deliver it. He will pass over (pacach also describes the “Passover” cf uses in Exodus) & rescue it. (Is 31:4, 5)
Picture the fearless lion jealously guarding his prey – so too theLORD of hosts is our Warrior (cf Ex 15:3) & He will protect, deliver & rescue His covenant people “for the gifts & the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Ro 11:29–note). The fulfillment of this prophecy is most likely when the LORD Jesus returns at the end of this present age as Commander of “the armies (“hosts” which include saints & angels cf Rev 17:14–note) which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white & clean …following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations & He will rule them with a rod of iron & He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath ofGod, the Almighty (“pantokrator” see word study).” (Rev 19:14,15–note) “and so all Israel will be saved just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, (Jerusalem) HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB” (Ro 11:26 note)
In Israel’s greatest hour of need the LORD of Sabaoth will return & wage war & rescue His covenant people Israel for all eternity (see Zech 13:8, 9). Believers today must remember that this is the same Name that all in covenant with Him can run to, crying out in their hour of need, when all hope seems to be lost & defeat appears inevitable. May we all learn to cry out to our Warrior, the LORD of hosts it is He, for the battle is His.
Who is the LORD of hosts?
Comparing Scripture with Scripture we find that in Re 22:13(note) Jesus identifies Himself as “I am the Alpha & the Omega, the first & the last, the beginning & the end.” which clearly parallels the Is passage. So Jesus is our Jehovah Sabaoth (similar affirmation by Jesus are found in Rev 1:17[note], Rev 2:18–note)
Who is the LORD of hosts according to Zechariah?
“Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Zech 14:16
In this passage which in context (Zech 14) appears to occur during what is known as the “millennium” (Rev 20:4, 5, 6, 7–note), we see that the King (of kings) (Rev 17:14–note, cp noteRev 19:16–note) Who is the Lord Jesus Christ is also referred to as the LORD of hosts.
What “HOSTS” is He LORD over? In other words who is subject to His commands and orders?
The Hebrew for “host” is Tsaba used ~ 486x with most uses having something to do with warfare, armies or fighting. In general, “Host” can describe (1) a multitude of men (army), (2)angels (good & bad) or (3) physical stars. (Click discussion of the phrase “host of heaven“)
Although one might disagree on what “host” refers to in a given verse, the important truth is that Jehovah is LORD over ALL HOSTS, whether they are the host (armies) on earth, the stars or the angels (good or bad).
Stated another way Jehovah Sabaoth is in complete command and total control of all HOSTS and there are no “troop movements” so to speak without His knowledge. This should give those who run into the strong tower of Jehovah Sabaoth a great deal of comfort & reassurance.
Nebuchadnezzar the greatest king of his time was humbled by God for 7 years after which he came to proper understanding of the LORD of host …
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the HOST of HEAVEN & among the inhabitants of earth & no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?” Da 4:35The psalmist affirms God’s sovereign control over the angelic forces…
Who will give His angels charge? Is this not Jehovah Sabaoth? O to know Him with such confidence & total reliance as the One Who gives the angelic host “charge concerning” us. These truths make it clear that the focus of our adoration & praise should go to the Commander of the angels, not to the angels who serve as His “ministering spirits”.
A wonderful story from 2Ki 6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,18, 19, 21, 22, 23 illustrates the authority Jehovah has over the armies of heaven & should serve to encourage us all to cry out to Jehovah Sabaoth. The context is an angry Aramean king who seeks to destroy Elisha surrounding the city where Elisha lived with his horses & chariots & a great army. But Elisha knew Jehovah as LORD over the angelic armies (host) of heaven and so when his frightened servant said
Alas, my master! What shall we do? (2 Ki 6:15)
Elisha responded with complete confidence…
Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed & said, “O Jehovah, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. & Jehovah opened the servant’s eyes & he saw & behold the mountain was full of horses & chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2Ki 6:16, 17)
You can read the rest of this faith building story in 2 Ki 6:8-23.
So in 2Kings 6 we see that in the face of insurmountable odds & no hope humanly speaking of escape, Elisha cries out to Jehovah to open the eyes of his servant to see thatJehovah is in command of countless ANGELIC HOST and is ready to send His ARMIES (HOSTS) as ministering spirits to those who are being saved (Heb 1:14–note). While our experience may not be as dramatic as Elisha’s, we need to remember that “we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Ro 5:2–note) & we can cry out to the same LORD that Elisha cried out to, the One Who has at His disposal “an innumerable company of (NIV “thousands upon thousands”) angels” (Heb 12:22–note).
When like Elisha’s servant you reach your “extremity”, run to the sufficiency of the Strong Tower of Jehovah Sabaoth confident that…
What additional insight can we glean by examining how Jewish scholars translated “Jehovah Sabaoth” from Hebrew to Greek in the Septuagint?
“LORD of Sabaoth” is translated with at least 3 different Greek phrases in the Septuagint (Lxx):
1) “Kurios Sabaoth” – almost identical to the Hebrew in meaning, “Lord of hosts”.
2) “Kurious ton dunamon” – can be translated the “Lord the Able (One)”, a great truth to remember about Jehovah Sabaoth when we find ourselves facing insurmountable odds &/or are experiencing unrelenting assault by the enemy.
Cry out to Jehovah Sabaoth Who upon hearing the sound of your anguish is ever able to come to your side and to rescue you either out of the fire or through the fire, always with the intended purpose of conforming you more to the image of Jesus.
3) “Kurios pantokrator“ (pantokrator (pas = all + kratos = might, dominion, power) is the most frequent Greek phrase used to translate Jehovah Sabaoth and literally means the “Lord Almighty“, the One Who holds sway over ALL things.
It is certainly not an accident that in the NT pantokrator is found almost exclusively in the Revelation (9x Click here) where we see the LORD ALMIGHTY exert His dominion & triumph over all evil the forces of evil, both human & angelic. This is your strong tower Jehovah Sabaoth of the OT in the Person of theLord Almighty of the NT. In His unchanging character (immutable) we can find assurance that He will win the victory over all host of evil. And so we can confidently cast all our burdens upon the LORD of hosts, the Almighty One, knowing that He cares for us.
Keep these truths about Jehovah Sabaoth in mind as you study the Scriptures. May these insights motivate us all to run without hesitation or reservation into the Strong Tower of His wonderful Name, the LORD of hosts.
Click to read revival speaker Sammy Tippit’s gripping personal encounter with Jehovah Sabaoth. He writes in part:
I came to know God that night as Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts. He is Supreme Ruler of the universe. He is the Captain of all the angelic forces in the heavenly places. There’s none that can compare to Him, because He is the LORD of hosts.
What does Amos 5:14 teach about who can expect the very present help of Jehovah Sabaoth in the time of trouble?
Seek good and not evil that you may live and thus mayJehovah God of hosts be with you just as you have said! Amos 5:14
Clearly this passage shows that the one who would cry out to Jehovah Sabaoth in the hour of need and find “life” in His presence is the one who seeks good rather than evil (a good pattern – focus on good first which will make it much easier to avoid evil. cp the “order” in John 3:30) He who is seeking evil would be unlikely to even cry out to Him.
Matthew Henry adds:
“This is the sure way to be happy ourselves and to have the continual presence of God with us: “Seek good & not evil, that you may live”…that you may have the favor of God, which is your life, which is better than life itself, that you may have comfort in yourselves and may live to some good purpose. You shall live, for so the Lord God of hosts shall be with you and be your life.’’ Note, Those that keep in the way of duty (ed note = obey) have the presence of God with them, as the God of hosts, a God of almighty power.… & whatever good we do, we must do it from a principle of love, do it of choice and with delight. Those who thus love good will seek it, will contrive to do all the good they can, enquire for opportunities of doing it, and endeavor to do it to the utmost of their power. They will also hate evil, will abhor the thought of doing an unjust thing, and abstain from all appearance of it. In vain do we pretend to seek God in our devotions if we do not seek good in our whole conversations (ed note = our general manner of life).”
A W Tozer said that as believers we must seek to…
Acquaint thyself with God. To regain her lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God.
But the God we must see is not the utilitarian God who is having such a run of popularity today, whose chief claim to men’s attention is His ability to bring them success in their various undertakings and who for that reason is being cajoled and flattered by everyone who wants a favor. The God we must learn to know is the Majesty in the heavens, God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the only wise God our Saviour….
Knowledge of such a Being cannot be gained by study alone. It comes by a wisdom the natural man knows nothing of, neither can know, because it is spiritually discerned. To know God is at once the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world. It is easy because the knowledge is not won by hard mental toil, but is something freely given. As sunlight falls free on the open field, so the knowledge of the holy God is a free gift to men who are open to receive it. But this knowledge is difficult because there are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not take kindly to them.
The “Lord of hosts” often refers to God in the role of establishing his kingdom on earth (cf. Is9:7; Zech 8:3; 14:16); and the eschatological renewal of the kingdom of Israel (cf.Micah 4:4; Zech 1:17). The title also reflects the judgment and wrath of God (Is 9:19), whether it be directed against the enemies of Israel (e.g., Is 10:26; 13:4; 19:12; Nah 2:13; Zech 8:2) or against his own people (cf. Jer 6:6; 8:3; 11:22).
This name is combined with Elohim, to give the compound name Lord God of hosts (34x NAS) or rarely only withElohim, God of hosts. (Ps 80:7, 14) The meaning is essentially the same. God is thus described as the divine warrior of Israel (2Sa 5:10); the transcendent God of heaven (cf.Ps 80:14); as the one Who will judge his people for their sin against Him (cf. Is 10:23; Jer 35:17; Amos 3:13); and as the One Who will punish His enemies (Jer 46:10; 49:5; 50:31).
The ISBE writes of Jehovah of Hosts that…
REVELATION OF THE LORD OF HOSTS
Where is Jehovah Sabaoth first encountered in Scripture?
The LORD of hosts & the related names, “LORD God of hosts” and “God of hosts“, occur over 270x (NAS) in the OT but not until 1 Samuel, which make it the most frequent compound title for God in the OT.
Most of the uses are subsequently found in the prophets (click for all uses below or click each book for all the occurrences) Is(59x), Jeremiah (80x), Amos (9x), Haggai (12x), Zechariah (46x) & Malachi (24x). In Psalms (6 of the 15 uses are associated with prayer for His aid) . The specific phrase “Lord of Sabaoth” is found twice in the NT (click to read in context – Ro 9:29 – note [quoting Is 1:9] & Js 5:4 in context of judgment as are a number of passages in the prophets)
Note: You may wonder why you cannot find the name “LORD of hosts” in the NIV? Answer – NIV substitutes the name LORD Almighty for the LORD of hosts. I personally think it is less accurate and creates some confusion with God’s Name “Shaddai” which does mean Almighty (See EL Shaddai – God Almighty)!
Joshua in obedience to Jehovah had just commanded circumcision & Israel had kept the Passover. Now on the verge of a major military campaign (a picture of the spiritual warfare of all believers) not only against Jericho but against all of the Canaanites throughout the land was surely in need of Divine encouragement. And so we come to this fascinating encounter…
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, & Joshua went to him & said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries ?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as CAPTAIN (Prince) of the HOST (Sabaoth) of Jehovah (NIV = commander of the Lord’s army] and Joshua fell on his face to the earth and bowed down and said to Him, “What has my lord to say to His servant?” The captain of the Jehovah’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13, 14,15)
It is interesting that the NKJV capitalizes “Commander”, clearly indicating that the translators feel this individual is divine. The context supports this encounter is almost certainly another “Christophany” (pre incarnate appearance of the Messiah). (cf “Angel of the LORD“). Note that although there is a chapter break at, the narrative seems to continue without break & in (Josh 6:2, 3, 4, 5) Jehovah addresses Joshua with encouragement & instruction…
“Jehovah said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king & the valiant warriors. “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for 6 days. Also 7 priests shall carry 7 trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. Then on the 7th day you shall march around the city 7 times & the priests shall blow the trumpets (Josh 6:2, 3, 4, 5)
And so we see the “Captain of Sabaoth” meeting Joshua, a man preparing for war & in need of assurance of God’s presence, provision & power, which provides a great preview of truth revealed in the revelation of the LORD of hosts.
LIVING IN LIGHT OF THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LORD OF HOSTS
In light of these awesome truths about Jehovah Sabaoth the words in Haggai seem very appropriate:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, “CONSIDER YOUR WAYS! Haggai 1:5,7
To summarize, the LORD of hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth is the Name of God we find used in Scripture when a man or woman is at the end of their rope so to speak — Jehovah Sabaoth is the Strong Tower which God has made available for those times when we fail & are powerless, when our resources are inadequate, when there is no other help. And it is especially during those times that one comes to appreciate that God is truly the LORD of the armies & of all hosts. This comfort & confidence found in this Name as we have seen is first revealed most fully in 1 Samuel.
In 1 Samuel 1-2 Hannah was barren which was producing bitterness. Faced with impossible odds of having a child after years of infertility, in her brokenness she choose to cry out to the LORD of hosts & after a “face to face” encounter, her “dour” outlook was transformed into a radiant countenance. We find that despite the fact that Jehovah Sabaoth did not at that time grant her request for a son, nevertheless she came away a changed woman. In similar manner, sitting & pouring out one’s soul in the presence of the LORD over heaven & earth can also transform our bleak, even bitter outlook brought on by “barren” circumstances. So the first way to “run into the tower of Jehovah Sabaoth” is to cry out, seeking the Greatness of the Giver rather than the gift.
In 1 Samuel 17 (see discussion) David was faced with an immovable force in the mountain of a man (Goliath) with no human hope of victory. However, in his private battles with predators David had experienced deliverance by the LORD. He put into practice the great truth spoken by the LORD of hosts inZech 4:6 …
This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of Hosts.”
T. J. Bach the former director of The Evangelical Alliance Mission alluded to the truth in Zech 4:6 when he said…
The Holy Spirit longs to reveal to you the deeper things of God. He longs to love through you. He longs to work through you. Through the blessed Holy Spirit you may have: strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort in every sorrow, joy in His overflowing service.
Not only did David gird his mind with this truth about God, but he held fast to it and stood firm, undeterred by discouraging words from his own family and even words of doubt from King Saul. In short, David wisely rejected man’s wisdom (Saul’s armor) and instead chose to fix his eyes not on the size of Goliath, but on the size of His God Whom He had grown to trust in the private times of testing. David did not need the armor of man because he was armed with the full armor of God. Thus David walked out in faith, confident that the victory was assured because the battle was not his but the LORD of hosts. — the battle was not by David’s might nor power but by Jehovah’s Spirit!
A.W. Tozer once said
If God were to take the Holy Spirit out of this world, much of what we’re doing in our churches would go right on, and nobody would know the difference.
Are you as convicted as I am!
Most of our battles as believers are spiritual rather than physical but these OT principles still apply for ever and always the victory belongs to the LORD of hosts and in all these battles we can be certain that we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Ro 8:37–note).
Make the wise choice like David to run into the strong tower of Jehovah Sabaoth by trusting in His Spirit, acknowledging that the battle is His so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (cp same NT principle in notes on Matthew 5:16)
1 Samuel 4 teaches us how not to run into the Strong Tower of the LORD of hosts (see notes) as we see Israel faced with imminent defeat by the Philistines seek the ark of the covenant as if it were a magical charm rather than seeking the godly counsel of the prophet Samuel & the help of the LORD of hosts. The result was ignominious defeat & capture of the ARK by the Philistines, resulting in the departure of the glory of the LORD (Ichabod = no glory). Clearly there was “sin in the camp” (Eli’s sons were worthless men who did not know God, who lay with the women at the doorway of the tent of meeting & who tended the holy ARK!) which undoubtedly explains their defeat. In Proverbs 18:10 God says that it is the righteous man or woman who runs into the Strong Tower of the LORD and can expect His protection &/or deliverance. It was not until 1Samuel 7 (see notes) that Israel repented & sought the LORD, Who then routed the Philistines.The principle is clear: we cannot have unclean hands & an impure heart and expect God to set us securely on high simply because we cry out to His Name. To do so is to be like the elders of Israel who focused on the symbol rather than the Substance.
The question in Psalm 24 is one we can all ask ourselves before we would seek to run into the Strong Tower:
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? & who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands & a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood & has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD & righteousness from the God of his salvation (Ps 24:3, 4, 5) (Spurgeon on V 3, V 4, V 5)
“Thus says Jehovah Sabaoth, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, (what “days”? see context of Zech 8 where Jehovah Sabaoth prophesies that He will return & dwell in the midst of Jerusalem for He is jealous for it )will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts. (LXX Greek = pantokrator = all powerful)“ (Zech 8:6).
Clearly from our present study, the answer to this somewhat rhetorical question is an emphatic “No“.
If the LORD of hosts is for us who is against us (cf see noteRomans 8:31), so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS (our) HELPER, (we) WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO (us)?” (Heb 13:6note). For whatever is born of God overcomes the world & this is the victory that has overcome the world –our faith.(1Jn 5:4)
And so to know the character of the LORD of hosts is to trust Him & to cast all of our burdens on Him (Ps 55:22 – Spurgeon), for “the people who know their God will display strength & take action.” (Da 11:32b)
So when the “Goliath’s” come against us, remember that “Jehovah is with (us) like a dread champion.” (Jer 20:11)
Faced with a sense of discouragement & spiritual opposition to the rebuilding of God’s temple, Jehovah Sabaoth (note repetition in passage below) comes to the aid of the remnant in their moment of need, Habakkuk recording these words…
“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares Jehovah, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest & all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Jehovah & work for I am with you’ declares the Jehovah Sabaoth. (Greek =pantokrator) 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ 6 “For thus says Jehovah Sabaoth ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says Jehovah Sabaoth. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares Jehovah of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says Jehovah Sabaoth, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares Jehovah Sabaoth.” (Hab 2:4-9)
In sum, Jehovah Sabaoth is God’s Name for man’s extremity, those times when we have reached our end, finding ourselves impotent, in turmoil, embroiled in real spiritual warfare (which by the way we are always in whether we realize it or not!) and with no other source of help (cp Jehovah Ezer: The LORD our Helper). So meditate deeply on the truths revealed in the magnificent, sufficient Name of Jehovah Sabaoth and you will find that you will be enabled to
(Ponder the Truth in Torrey’s Topic “Warfare of saints“)
Behold, I am going to send My messenger & he will clear the waybefore Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; & the Messenger of the covenant, (THE MESSIAH) in Whom you delight, behold, He is coming” says Jehovah of hosts(LXX Greek = pantokrator) Malachi 3:1
Martin Luther understood the truth found in the Name the LORD of Sabaoth and expressed them memorably in his great hymn…
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft & power are great, & armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
The story of the people of Israel recorded in the Bible is a living demonstration of the fact that the Lord does win the battle, that He is sovereign in all things. You cannot read the records of the past without seeing the hand of the LORD of Hosts at work in the events of history (“His-Story”).
Click the following hymns to celebrate the glory and power in God’s Name, the LORD of hosts, a Name which assures that “in all…things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 note)
O Lord of Hosts, to Thee I Cry
How Dear to Me, O Lord of Hosts
O Lord of Hosts, Whose Glory Fills
O Lord of Hosts, Almighty King
O Lord of Hosts, How Lovely
Lord God of Hosts in Mercy
O God of Hosts, the Mighty Lord
O Lord of Hosts, Who Didst Upraise
In Heav’n above, in Heav’n above,
God hath a joy prepared,
Which mortal ear hath never heard,
Nor mortal vision shared,
Which never entered mortal breast,
By mortal lips was ne’er expressed,
’Tis God, the Lord of hosts!
“Lord, Thy glory fills the heaven,
Earth is with its fullness stored;
Unto Thee be glory given,
Holy, holy, holy Lord!”
Thus Thy glorious Name confessing,
We adopt thine angels’ cry,
“Holy, holy, holy,” blessing
Thee, the Lord of Hosts most high.
Psalm 46 gives us a great picture of the attitude and action(instead of our all too frequent “reaction”!) that believers should be able to manifest if they truly appropriate the truth inherent in the great Name, Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts. Notice the command in verse 10 and then the firm foundation in verse 11 that “activates” the commands (in red) (God’s commandments always include His enablements!)…
Cease striving (KJV – Be Still) and know (knowledge is not to puff us up but to renew our mind to think rightly of our great God and motivate right behavior) that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (see note)
Barnhouse has a note on “Be Still”…
If you thrash around in the thorn patch, you will only get more scratches. If you stand quiet and allow the Lord to speak to you, you will find Him only too glad to extricate you.
Inspired by God’s words in Psalm 46:10 Katharina A. von Schlegel wrote the great hymn below (take a moment and read the great words and then sing them back to the Lord, asking Him to make these truths about His character true in your experience not just your knowledge)…
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
|Here are all 239 hits for “LORD of hosts” in the Scriptures– 1Sa 1:3, 11; 4:4; 15:2; 17:45; 2Sa 6:2, 18; 7:8, 26f; 1Ki. 18:15; 2Ki. 3:14; 1Chr. 11:9; 17:7, 24;|
|Here are the 44 hits of “God of hosts”|
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament offers an interesting note on another meaning of “tsaba” writing that…
“It has also a wider use in the sense of rendering service. Interestingly four uses have to do with the work of the Levites in the tent of meeting (Nu 4:23, 8:24). No doubt service for Yahweh is seen as involving total dedication and careful regimentation, and since God is Yahweh of hosts, enthroned between the cherubim housed inside the tent of meeting, work associated with the tent may be considered spiritual war. In Exodus 38:8 and 1Samuel 2:22 a participle refers to the women who ministered at the door of the tent of meeting.” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. page 750. Moody Press) (Bolding added)
MacArthur writes that hosts
“Hosts” can refer to human armies (Ex. 7:4), celestial bodies (Deut. 4:19), or heavenly creatures (Josh. 5:14). This title emphasizes the Lord as sovereign over all of the powers in heaven and on earth, especially over the armies of Israel.
Wiersbe writes that…
This is the “military” name of God, for “hosts” comes from a Hebrew word which means “to wage war.” The Lord is the Commander of the hosts and heaven: the stars (Is. 40:26; Gen. 2:1), the angels (Ps. 103:20, 21), the armies of Israel (Ex. 12:41), and all who trust in Him (Ps. 46:7, 11).
James uses Jehovah Sabaoth, to warn the rich who had gained some of their wealth by oppressing and defrauding their day laborers…
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. (James 5:4)
The Lord Almighty, the omnipotent sovereign, is not oblivious to injustice. James reminds the rich who think the poor have no protector, that the Lord of the whole hosts in heaven and earth is the guardian and avenger of the latter.
William MacDonald comments that…
The laborers who mowed the fields were deprived of their rightful pay. Though the workers might protest, they were quite helpless to get redress. They had no one on earth to plead their cause successfully. However, their cries were heard by the Lord of Sabaoth (Hebrew for “hosts”). He who commands the armies of heaven is strong on behalf of earth’s downtrodden masses. The Lord God Omnipotent will help and avenge them. (MacDonald, W.. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Tom Constable commenting on (James 5:4) writes that…
The title “Lord of Sabaoth” (lit. Lord of Hosts, i.e., Lord Almighty; cf. Is 5:9; Ro 9:29) emphasizes the sovereign omnipotence of God. Although the oppressed may appear to have no defenders on earth, they have as their helper the Lord God omnipotent in heaven.” (Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible)
Matthew Henry commenting on James writes that
God is…the Lord of Sabaoth, that is, the Lord of hosts—a Hebrew word retained in the Greek, as James 5:4. All the host of heaven and earth are at his beck and disposal. (Ed note: and Jehovah of hosts is always open to our cry for help…What a mighty God we serve!) (Henry, M. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible) (Bolding added)
Eerdmans writes that LORD of hosts and LORD God of hosts…
describe Yahweh as both divine Warrior and divine King, with “hosts” referring to both earthly (e.g., the Israelites or their armies) and cosmic forces (celestial bodies or angels).
In 1Sa 1:3 it is associated with the shrine at Shiloh. During Israelite conflict with the Philistines it is paralleled with “the God of the armies” (1Sa 17:45), demonstrating, initially, a very militaristic understanding of the title.
Wiersbe wrote that…
“The tumult and the shouting dies—
The captains and the kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient Sacrifice
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!”
—Rudyard Kipling, “Recessional”
Kipling’s “Recessional” was published in 1897 when Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee was celebrated in Great Britain. The poem was a quiet warning to the British people to beware of overconfidence in their hour of imperial glory. (in Be Decisive)
The British expositor G. Campbell Morgan told of visiting some elderly sisters when he was a young pastor and reading Matthew 28:18, 19, 20 as part of his ministry to them. The phrase “Lo, I am with you always” struck Morgan with power and he said, “Isn’t that a wonderful promise!” One of the ladies replied, “Young man, that isn’t a promise—it’s a reality!” How true! “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Ps. 46:7, 11). (Be Equipped)
Zechariah uses the title “Lord of hosts” thirty-seven times and Malachi twenty-three times. Why should the little Jewish remnant fear the Gentile armies around them when the Lord of Armies is their Savior and Commander? (Be Heroic) (Ed: And why should believers today be fearful for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen!
“Hosts” means “armies,” and this can mean the stars (Is. 40:26), the angels (Ps. 103:20–21), the nation of Israel (Ex. 12:41), or all believers who belong to the army of Christ (2 Ti 2:3, 4; 2Cor. 10:3, 4, 5, 6; Eph. 6:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18). (Be Worshipful).
Zechariah’s favorite name for God is “Lord of Hosts”—the Lord of the armies (click for uses – almost 20% of all OT uses!) (Ed: LORD of hosts is also Isaiah’s favorite name for God). He sees the Lord coming to defeat Israel’s enemies and establish Jerusalem in peace and glory. To interpret these magnificent prophecies as referring to the church today is to rob this book of meaning and power (Ed: See related discussion Israel of God). Certainly there are spiritual applications for all ages, but the basic interpretation must be for the Jewish nation and Jerusalem. (Wiersbe, W. W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
The Prophet Isaiah warned him against ungodly alliances and urged him to trust God for deliverance. “Sanctify the Lord of hosts [armies] Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” (Is 8:13). (The Bible Exposition Commentary)
More Notes on the LORD of hosts…
Hosts are against us, but the Lord of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch, for the Lord Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide forever.
This was the doctrine on which the brave old Ironsides fed—the men who, when they rode to battle with the war cry of “The Lord of Hosts!” made the cavaliers fly before them like chaff before the wind. There is no doctrine like it for putting a backbone into a man and making him feel that he is made for something better than to be trodden down like straw for the dunghill beneath a despot’s heel. Sneer whoever will, the elect of God derive a nobility from the divine choice that no royal lineage can outshine. (Grace, God’s Unmerited Favor)
But where is the might of a Christian? It is not in himself, for he is perfect weakness. His might lieth in the Lord of Hosts. (Ed: Cp Zech 4:6, 7) Then let us seek His help; let us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our “hand findeth to do,” let us wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do thus will be well done, and will not fail in its effect. (Morning and evening)
How encouraging this is to those who are at one with God? If He be on our side, who shall be against us? “The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” We ought to be of the same mind as that believing woman who, during an earthquake, was observed to be very happy. Everybody else was afraid–houses were falling, towers were rocking, but she smiled; and when they asked her why, she replied, “I am so glad to find that my God can shake the world; I believed He could, and now I see that He can.” Be glad that you have One to trust in to whom nothing is impossible, who can and will achieve His purposes. My heart feels that she would give Him the power if He had it not, and if it were all mine. I would leave all power in His hands even if I could remove it. “Great God, reign Thou supremely, for there is none like unto Thee.” “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.” (Sovereign Grace Sermons)
If you are indeed soldiers of such a Captain, throw fear to the winds. Can you be cowards when the Lord of Hosts leads you? Dare you tremble when at your head is the Wonderful, the Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Is 9:6)? The trumpet is already at the lip of the archangel; who will not act like a man? The great drum that makes the universe to throb summons you to action.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner;
It must not suffer loss.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not neither be dismayed.”
IN the presence of a great work or a great warfare, here is a text which should help us to buckle on our harness. If Jehovah Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. Who can obstruct our progress if the Lord Himself is in the van? Come, brother soldiers, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to victory?
Nor is the Lord before us only; He is with us. Above, beneath, around, within is the omnipotent, omnipresent One. In all time, even to eternity, He will be with us even as He has been. How this should nerve our arm! Dash at it boldly, ye soldiers of the cross, for the Lord of hosts is with us!
Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. He cannot fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help us according to our need, even to the end. As He cannot fail us, so He will not forsake us. He will always be both able and willing to grant us strength and succor till fighting days are gone.
Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for the Lord of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the brunt of the fight, and give us the victory. (Faith’s Checkbook)
Zechariah 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.”
AT this hour a mountain of difficulty, distress, or necessity may be in our way, and natural reason sees no path over it, or through it, or round it. Let faith come in, and straightaway the mountain disappears and becomes a plain. But faith must first hear the word of the Lord, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” This grand truth is a prime necessity for meeting the insurmountable trials of life.
I see that I can do nothing, and that all reliance on man is vanity. “Not by might.” I see that no visible means can be relied on, but the force is in the invisible Spirit. God alone must work, and men and means must be nothing accounted of. If it be so that the Almighty God takes up the concerns of His people, then great mountains are nothing. He can remove worlds as boys toss balls about or drive them with their foot. This power He can lend to me. If the Lord bids me move an Alp, I can do it through His name. It may be a great mountain, but even before my feebleness it shall become a plain, for the Lord hath said it. What can I be afraid of with God on my side? (Faith’s Checkbook)
Joshua 1:5 I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
THIS word to Joshua is often quoted; it is the basis of that New Testament word, “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Beloved, a life of warfare is before us,
but the Lord of Hosts is with us.
Are we called to lead a great but fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose: the Lord Himself is with us.
It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah could fail us but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will the Lord desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop from us; their help is but an April shower. But God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.
Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail, and, as He will not forsake me neither will I forsake Him. Oh, for a restful faith! (Faith’s Checkbook)
Joshua 17:18 Thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
IT is a great encouragement to valor to be assured of victory, for then a man goes forth to war in confidence and ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us, and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory, and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in its omnipotence is put forth for the overflow of evil in every form, hence the certainty of triumph.
Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution—our former habits, our associations, and our occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome them. They are very strong, and in reference to them, we are very weak; yet in the name of God we must master them, and we will. If one sin has dominion of us, we are not the Lord’s free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive. There is no going to heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the saints it is said,
“Sin shall not have dominion over you.”
Up, then, and slay every Canaanite, and break to shivers every chariot of iron!
The Lord of hosts is with us, and who shall resist His sin-destroying power? (Faith’s Checkbook)
Psalms 84:12 O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
Spurgeon comments: Here is the key of the Psalm. The worship is that of faith, and the blessedness is peculiar to believers. No formal worshipper can enter into this secret. A man must know the Lord by the life of real faith, or he can have no true rejoicing in the Lord’s worship, his house, his Son, or his ways. Dear reader, how fares it with thy soul? The one thing that makes man blessed. Trust in God. Blessed, etc. – For all things; at all times; in all circumstances.
The Blessing contained in that one thing. God himself becomes ours; His mercy for our pardon; His power for our protection; His wisdom for our guidance; His faithfulness for our preservation; His all sufficiency for our supply. The certainty of the blessing. From David’s own experience; from the solemn appeal to God respecting it. O Lord God of hosts, etc. G. R.
Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.
The closing note is inexpressibly grand. Jehovah of hosts, Lord of men and angels, Lord of the universe, Lord of the worlds, is the King of glory. All true glory is concentrated upon the true God, for all other glory is but a passing pageant, the painted pomp of an hour. The ascended Saviour is here declared to be the Head and Crown of the universe, the King of Glory. Our Immanuel is hymned in most sublime strains. Jesus of Nazareth is Jehovah Sabaoth.
Jameison adds: Lord God of hosts (Ho 12:5 Amos 4:13), describes God by a title indicative of supremacy over all creatures, and especially the heavenly armies (Jos 5:14 1Ki 22:19). Whether, as some think, the actual enlargement of the ancient gates of Jerusalem be the basis of the figure, the effect of the whole is to impress us with a conception of the matchless majesty of God.
Alexander Maclaren on Psalm 24:10…
Notice the historical and original application of these words to the King who dwelt with Israel. The thought of God in these words is mainly that of a God of strong and victorious energy, a Warrior-God, a conquering King, One whose word is power, who rules amidst the armies of heaven and amidst the inhabitants of earth….
‘the Lord of Hosts,’ the Captain of all the armies of heaven and earth. In that name is the thought to which the modern world is coming so slowly by scientific paths, that all being is one ordered whole, subject to the authority of one Lord. And in addition to that, the grander thought, that the unity of nature is the will of God; and that as the Commander issues His orders over all the field, so He speaks and it is done. The hosts are the angels of whom it is said: ‘Bless the Lord all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His that do His pleasure.’ The hosts are the stars that fill the nightly heavens, of whom it is said, ‘He bringeth out their host by number.’ The hosts are all creatures that live and are; and all are the soldiers and servants of this conquering King. Such is the name of the Lord that dwelt with Israel, the great conception that rises before this Psalmist.
A W Tozer in his book Knowledge of the Holy has the following thoughts related to The LORD of hosts, the King of glory…
When viewed from the perspective of eternity, the most critical need of this hour may well be that the Church should be brought back from her long Babylonian captivity and the name of God be glorified in her again as of old. Yet we must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is for each of us a personal one. Any forward step in the Church must begin with the individual.
What can we plain Christians do to bring back the departed glory? Is there some secret we may learn? Is there a formula for personal revival we can apply to the present situation, to our own situation? The answer to these questions is yes….
The secret is an open one which the wayfaring man may read. It is simply the old and ever-new counsel: Acquaint thyself with God. To regain her lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God.
Psalms 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
The Lord of hosts is with us. This is the reason for all Zion’s security, and for the overthrow of her foes. The Lord rules the angels, the stars, the elements, and all the hosts of heaven; and the heaven of heavens are under his sway. The armies of men though they know it not are made to subserve His will. This Generalissimo of the forces of the land, and the Lord High Admiral of the seas, is on our side — our august ally; woe unto those who fight against Him, for they shall fly like smoke before the wind when He gives the word to scatter them. The God of Jacob is our refuge, Immanuel is Jehovah of Hosts (Ed: Jesus is LORD of hosts!), and Jacob’s God is our high place of defence. When this glad verse is sung to music worthy of such a jubilate, well may the singers pause and the players wait awhile to tune their instruments again; here, therefore, fitly stands that solemn, stately, peaceful note of rest, SELAH.
Spurgeon: The grace of God that brings salvation from sin has flashed forth conspicuously like the lightning which is seen from one part of the heaven to the other, and our victory over darkness is insured. However hard the conflict with evil, it is not desperate. We may hope on and hope ever.
Spurgeon told a story related to this passage: You have been working for Christ, dear brother, and have fallen into a very low state of heart, so that you cry, “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?” I know what state you are in. You say, “I do not feel as if I could preach; the matter does not flow. I do not feel as if I could teach; I search for instruction, and the more I pull the more I cannot get it.” “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?” Can he not fill your empty vessel again? Can he not give you stores of thought, emotion, and language? He has used you; can he not do so again? “Ah, but my friends have gone; I am in a village from which the people remove to London, and I lose my best helpers.” Or, perhaps you say, “I work in a back street, and everybody is moving out into the suburbs.” You have lost your friends, and they have forgotten you; but, “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?” You can succeed so long as the Lord is with you. Be of good courage; your best friend is left. He who made a speech in the Academy found that all his hearers had gone except Plato; but as Plato remained, the orator finished his address. They asked him how he could continue under the circumstances, and he replied that Plato was enough for an audience. So, if God be pleased with you, go on; the divine pleasure is more than sufficient. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Did not Wesley say when he was dying, “The best of all is, God is with us?” Therefore fear not the failure of friends.
Adam Clarke adds: We, feeble Jews, were but a handful of men; but the Lord of hosts—the God of armies, was on our side. Him none could attack with hope of success, and His legions could not be over-thrown…And even the armies of our enemies are at his command, and will fight for us whenever he pleases: “He is the Lord of all hosts.” Having heard these declarations of God, the people cry out with joy and exultation, The Lord of hosts, the God of armies, is with us; we will not fear what man can do unto us
Warren Wiersbe writes “The LORD of hosts is with us” explaining that… The word “providence” comes from two Latin words that together mean “to see beforehand.” No matter what has to be done, the Lord will see to it (Ge 22:13, 14). Planet Earth isn’t staggering around in space like a helpless drunk. God has the whole world in His hands and is working out His divine purposes for the good of His people and the glory of His name. It’s that assurance (Ed: Including the truth that He is Jehovah Sabaoth) that gives His people peace, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. (Wiersbe, W. W. Be Basic. Victor Pub)
Psalms 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Comment: The Greek Septuagint or LXX translates LORD of hostswith the word dunamis – which speaks of One with inherent ability able to produce a strong effect. Literally the Greek translation reads “Lord the dunamis God” the one able to carry out whatever He deems fit and proper! We need to remember this truth about His Name.)
Spurgeon: It was meet to sing this twice over. It is a truth of which no believer wearies, it is a fact too often forgotten, it is a precious privilege which cannot be too often considered. Reader, is the Lord on thy side? Is Emmanuel, God with us, thy Redeemer? Is there a covenant between thee and God as between God and Jacob? If so, thrice happy art thou. Show thy joy in holy song, and in times of trouble play the man by still making music for thy God.SELAH. Here as before, lift up the heart. Rest in contemplation after praise. Still keep the soul in tune. It is easier to sing a hymn of praise than to continue in the spirit of praise, but let it be our aim to maintain the uprising devotion of our grateful hearts, and so end our song as if we intended it to be continued.
SELAH bids the music rest.
Pause in silence soft and blest;
SELAH bids uplift the strain,
Harps and voices tune again;
SELAH ends the vocal praise,
Still your hearts to God upraise.
Psalm 69:6 May those who wait for Thee not be ashamed through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; May those who seek Thee not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel,
Spurgeon: Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake. If he were deserted, others who were walking in the same path of faith would be discouraged and disappointed. Unbelievers are ready enough to catch at anything which may turn humble faith into ridicule; therefore, O God of all the armies of Israel, let not my case cause the enemy to blaspheme—such is the spirit of this verse. Our blessed Lord ever had a tender concern for his people, and would not have his own oppression of spirit become a source of discouragement to them.
Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. He appealed to the Lord of hosts by His power to help him, and now to the God of Israel by His covenant faithfulness to come to the rescue (See related discussion of God as Your Covenant Defender). He was strengthened in the hour of peril, and came off more than a conqueror, as we also shall do if we hold fast our confidence even to the end.
Exodus 12:51 And it came about on that same day that the LORD brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
It is from this that the Divine Being calls himself, the LORD OF HOSTS or armies, because the Israelites were brought out of Egypt under his direction, marshalled and ordered by himself, guided by his wisdom, supported by his providence, and protected by his might. This is the true and simple reason why God is so frequently styled in Scripture the Lord of hosts; for the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their ARMIES.
Joshua 5:14 And he said, “No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”
By this saying Joshua was both encouraged and instructed. As if he had said, “Fear not; Jehovah hath sent from heaven to save thee and thy people from the reproach of them that would swallow thee up. Israel is the Lord’s host; and the Lord of hosts is Israel’s Captain. Thou thyself shalt only be captain under me, and I am now about to instruct thee relative to thy conduct in this war.”
We may draw two useful reflections from the subjects of this chapter:—
1. As the manna had now failed, the people always greatly addicted to incredulity, might have been led to imagine that God had now given them up, and would be no longer in their armies, had he not given them this strong assurance, that the Angel of his presence should be with them as the guide and protector of the whole camp; for Joshua undoubtedly informed them of the encouragement he had received from the captain of the Lord’s host.
2. By this vision he showed them that their help came from himself, and that it was not by human might or power, but by the Lord of hosts, they were to have the victory over all their adversaries; and he gave them the most convincing proof of this in the miraculous destruction of Jericho. By this means he continued to keep them dependent on his arm alone, without which dependence the spirit of religion could not have been preserved among them.
2 Samuel 6:2 – The ark is called the ark of the Lord of hosts. But this is not a literal version; the word shem, NAME, occurs twice together; probably one of them should be read sham, THERE. There the name of the Lord of hosts was invoked, etc
Ezra 1:2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
It is not unworthy of remark, that in all the books written prior to the captivity, Jehovah is called The Lord of Hosts; but in all the books written after the captivity, as 2 Chronicles, Ezra Nehemiah, and Daniel, he is styled The God of Heaven. The words however have the same meaning.