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The LORD Of Hosts

The Greek word pronounced sab-ah-owth is based upon the Hebrew word pronounced tseb-aw-aw. Both mean armies or a great mass of people or angels (despite the similarity in English, Sabaoth and Sabbath are unrelated i.e. Sabaoth means armies, Sabbath means rest).

In English versions of the Holy Scriptures, Sabaoth is sometimes translated as "hosts":

"24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah." (Psalm 24:8-10 KJV)

"The LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims"

The King James Version uses Sabaoth twice in the New Testament in referring to "The Lord of Sabaoth," while some other translations of the Scriptures use "hosts":


"9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 9:29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth [RSV "Lord of hosts"] had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha." (Romans 9:28-29 KJV)

"5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth [RSV "Lord of hosts"]" (James 5:4 KJV) (James 5:4 KJV)

The King James' use of "Sabaoth" in the New Testament is based on its military origin in the Old Testament, translated in these examples as "The Lord of hosts":

"6:1 Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims" [see the Fact Finder question below]" (2 Samuel 6:1-2 KJV)

"89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. 89:8 O LORD God of hosts [see The Host Of Heaven], who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?" (Psalm 89:7-8 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the significance of "between the cherubims"?
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