What does the Bible mean when it calls God the LORD of hosts?


Clarify Share Report Asked November 21 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The name "LORD of hosts" occurs some 261 times in the Old Testament Scriptures. God is first called the "LORD of hosts" in 1 Samuel 1:3. The word LORD, capitalized, refers to Yahweh, the self-exist...

November 21 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
The title "the LORD of hosts" is mentioned some 268 times in the Old Testament of the KJV and a variation, "the Lord God of Hosts" some 92 times.

The name Lord is translated Jehovah or YHWH, the existing one, name of the one true God of the Hebrews.
hosts is translated, that which goes forth, armies, armies of heaven.

The LORD of hosts is literally the "Jehovah of armies".

This title is first mentioned in 1 Samuel 1:3 “And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, [were] there.”

1 Samuel 4:4 gives us some insight as to his position and function.

"So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God."

David defeated Goliath in the name of, by the authority and power 
of the LORD of hosts. 1 Samuel 17:45 “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel.

2 Samuel 7:26-27 “And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts [is] the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.”

He is also the King of glory.

Psalms 24:10 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah.”

The God of Jacob

Psalms 46:7 and 46:11 “The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah”.

He is the Holy one of Israel

Isaiah 5:24 “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 6:3 “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.”

He will establish an everlasting kingdom upon earth.

Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

He is creator of all

Isaiah 37:16 “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.”

Who is "the LORD of hosts"?

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God.”

Isaiah 47:4 “[As for] our redeemer, the LORD of hosts [is] his name, the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 51:15 “But I [am] the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts [is] his name.”

This is the one who dwels between the cherubim, the mercy seat, the place of atonement where the blood was applied. He left the glory of heaven and took on the form of human flesh that he might offer the only acceptable sacrifice to God for mans' sin. He was God's sacrifice to himself, becoming our substitute, our redemption.


2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

Hebrews 10:14 "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

December 23 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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