SPECIAL TOPIC: LORD OF HOSTS

This Divine title, "Lord of Hosts" (cf. 1 Sam. 1:3,11 as first use of several hundred occurrences) is made up of

A. the covenant name for God, YHWH. See Special Topic: Names For Deity

B. the military term "hosts" (BDB 838, KB 994) can denote

1. angels in general (cf. Neh. 9:6)

2. the heavenly army of angels (cf. 1 Sam. 17:45; Dan. 8:10; Luke 2:13)

3. the angelic council (cf. 1 Kgs. 22:19; Dan. 7:10)

4. the people of YHWH (cf. Exod. 12:41, which reflects Exod. 3:8,10 as referring to all Israel, cf. 2 Sam. 7:27)

5. human army (i.e., Gen. 21:22,32; Num. 2:4,6; Jdgs. 8:6; 9:29)

6. the lights in the night sky (i.e., "hosts," Gen. 2:1; Isa. 45:12), thought to be spiritual powers (i.e., Babylonian astral worship, cf. Deut. 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kgs. 17:16; 21:3,5; 23:4-5; 2 Chr. 33:3,5; Jer. 8:2; 19:13)

7. It became a title for YHWH in Amos 4:13; 5:27 (with article in Amos 3:13; 6:14; 9:5 and without article in Amos 5:14,15,16; 6:8; 1 Kgs. 19:10,14). It denoted YHWH's fighting on Israel's behalf.

8. There is a specialized use in Jos. 5:14-15 which may refer to Michael, the angelic guardian of Israel. This is in some way parallel to the Angel of the Lord as a representation of Deity Himself (possibly pre-incarnate Christ).

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