LORD of hosts

LORD of hosts is one of seven names for God that the Old Testament specifically states to be names of God.

Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of
Israel. (Isa. 47:4)

Tseva’ot is used of various activities than require dedication and regimentation of life. For instance, service in the tabernacle (Ex. 38:8; Num. 4:23, 35, 39, 43; 8:24) and service in war (Num. 31:14). It is used of God’s celestial host (Gen. 2:1; Ps. 33:6; 103:21; Isa. 40:26). Israel are also called the “hosts of the Lord” (Ex. 12:41).

LORD of hosts is the way the NASB translates the name. Other versions have LORD Almighty (NIV) and God-of-the-Angel-Armies (The Message Bible). The reason why the NIV prefers LORD Almighty is that in some places in the Greek Old Testament, the word pantokratōr was used to translate Yahweh tseva’ot. Pantokratōr means “all-powerful,” so “Almighty” is a good translation of pantokratōr. While the Hebrew word places the emphasis on the resources available to God (his hosts), the Greek emphasizes His might.

Picture of the name, LORD of hosts (Yahweh tsevaot or Jehovah tsevaot), in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 5:16

LORD of hosts (Yahweh tsevaot or Jehovah tsevaot) in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 5:16

Hebrew Words for LORD of hosts:

Yahweh tseva’ot or Jehovah tseva’ot

Strong’s Concordance numbers: 3068, 6635

Bible References: 1 Sam. 1:3, 11; 17:45; Pss. 24:10; 46:7, 11; Isa. 1:9; 6:3; 10:16, 33; 47:4; 54:5; Jer. 51:5; Mal. 1:14, a total of 261 times.

[Hannah] made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11)

The Greek Old Testament uses both Kyrios sabaōth and Kyrios pantokratōr (Mal. 1:14) to translate this name of God and those translations carry forward into our New Testament. Kyrios tōn dunameōn is another translation in a few Old Testament verses (Pss. 24:10; 46:7, 11).

The preference for the English word “almighty” carries into the New Testament. In 2 Cor. 6:18 the title Kyrios pantokratōr is translated Lord Almighty. The verse is probably a combined quotation of Old Testament verses (2 Sam. 7:14; Isa. 43:6) that refer to the Lord of hosts (Yahweh tseva’ot or Jehovah tseva’ot).

A name of God pictured in the Greek text: Lord of Hosts (Lord of Sabaoth or Lord Almighty) in Romans 9:29.

Lord of Hosts (Lord of Sabaoth or Lord Almighty) in the Greek text of Romans 9:29.

Greek words for Lord of hosts:

Kyrios Sabaōth

The NIV translates this phrase Lord Almighty. Other versions have Lord of Sabaoth (NASB) and Lord of hosts (Amplified).

Strong’s Concordance numbers: 2962, 4519

Bible References: Rom. 9:29 (quoting Isa. 1:9); James 5:4

[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. (James 5:4, Amp.)