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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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‘Lord of Sabaoth’ (i.e. ‘Lord of Hosts,’ יְהֹוָה צְבָאֹוח) is a common title for Jahweh in the prophets, with the exception of Hosea and Ezekiel. The appellation may not have originated with them, but they invested it with a deeper significance. What was the original meaning of the title is still a subject of dispute. Some take the ‘Hosts’ in question as the armies of Israel which Jahweh leads on to victory (Judges 4:14), while others find an allusion to the stars, the host of heaven, or to the armies of angels (but it is contended that in the plural צְבָאוֹת is used only of earthly warriors). Whatever the original meaning of the phrase, it came afterwards to denote the all-controlling power of God, as represented by the rendering of the Septuagint κύριος παντοκράτωρ; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:18 (also κύριος τῶν δυνάμεων). Sometimes, however, the Septuagint renders κύριος Σαβαώθ as in Isaiah 1:9, which is reproduced verbatim from the Septuagint in Romans 9:29. The only other instance of the use of the phrase in the NT is James 5:4, where God is so named to suggest the awful majesty of the great Judge who will avenge the oppression of the poor. There are several instances in Rev. of the title made familiar by the Septuagint , κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ, ‘Lord God Almighty.’

G. Wauchope Stewart.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Sabaoth'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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