I Samuel 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

Psalm 24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

Psalm 46:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

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.

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Amos 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

Haggai 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

MEMORY VERSE: 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. —James 5:4

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, was the name often given to God very frequently in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament and meant the God who commanded the hosts of the aerial heavens, the divine army of angels, and the camp of Israel, His people.


Lord of Hosts: “A name or title of God frequently used in the Old Testament, always translated “Yahweh of Hosts” (Yahweh tsebha’oth) in the American Standard Revised Version, since Yahweh, never ‘Adhonay, is used in this phrase. Evidently the meaning of the title is that all created agencies and forces are under the leadership or dominion of Yahweh, who made and maintains them. It is used to express Yahweh’s great power” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).


This name for Jehovah, used over 260 times, is first mentioned in I Samuel when Elkanah and his wife Hannah went to the tabernacle of the Lord in Shiloh on their yearly visit. Elkanah had two wives. One wife, Peninnah, had sons and daughters but Hannah had no children. As Hannah, in bitterness of soul and with much weeping, poured out her soul to the Lord in a grief too great for words, only her lips moving, she was misjudged by Eli the priest and falsely accused of being drunk. Although silent before God with grief, she found words to defend her actions before Eli and pleaded with him to grant grace unto her. Eli blessed her and prophesied that God would grant the request of her heart.

Later at home, the scripture says that “God remembered her” and she had a baby boy, whom she named Samuel, which meant, “Asked of God.” True to her pledge, when she weaned him she brought him back to Eli to serve in the tabernacle. Her prayer of rejoicing, a most inspired and sublime oration, is memorialized in I Samuel 2. Hannah’s only contact with Samuel from then on was when, on their annual visit, she brought him a new coat which she had made. Later, the Lord visited her again and she had three more sons and two daughters.

The idea of God being commander of a host or army was introduced in the Bible when Jacob, parting ways with his father-in-law Laban, met a company of angels and called them God’s host. Mention of a “host” was also made by Joshua when he was preparing to attack Jericho. A man appeared with his sword drawn. Joshua went to him and questioned, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The man said, “Nay,” and identified himself as “captain of the host of the Lord.” By the manner in which he dealt with Joshua, in that he did not rebuke Joshua for falling down and worshipping him, we recognize him as the Lord Jesus Christ, in the angelic form He often assumed when He appeared to his people in the Old Testament.

Psalm 24 is undoubtedly a prophecy of Jesus Christ, pointing forward to His triumphal ascent into heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection.

Isaiah’s prayer in chapter 37 was during the occupation of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. After receiving an arrogant, threatening message from the Assyrians, Hezekiah spread the letter out before the Lord and offered his urgent plea for deliverance. The prophet Isaiah brought him word from the Lord that He would deliver Hezekiah without a shot from an arrow. That night, an angel killed 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp and sent Sennacherib back to Nineveh, where he was killed in the temple of his idol by his own sons.

The expression is used fifteen times in the Psalms and many times by Isaiah and Jeremiah. Neither Ezekiel nor Daniel used the term, but Hosea, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi did.

In the New Testament, the phrase is “Lord of Sabaoth” and was quoted from Isaiah by Paul in Romans 9:29 and used by James in James 5:4, our memory verse. In this passage, James was reproving the wealthy farmers who were cheating their laborers out of their deserved wages. Those unpaid wages, he warned, were crying out to the Lord Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts! Better to lose millions of dollars than to be on the wrong side of a battle against the Lord of hosts!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Lord of Hosts: Who is first recorded as having prayed using this name, and what was the result?
  2. The Lord Jesus Christ: He is identified as being the Lord of hosts by which Psalm, and appeared to which Bible hero?
  3. Called by Thy Name: Which prophet proclaimed this?
  4. God of Hosts: Amos the prophet attributed what five things to Him?
  5. Haggai and Zechariah: What were the commands of the Lord of hosts given to Israel?
  6. Among the Gentiles: Which prophet foretold that the Gentiles would know Jehovah Tsabaoth?


Before this study, I never knew how many times this name had been given to the Lord God. Some commentators say that it was a deliberate call to exalt the one, true God above all the heavenly bodies—the sun, moon and stars—the “hosts” that were worshipped by the heathen, and affirm Him as LORD above them all. Many times in the Old Testament the elements of nature—the sun, moon, frogs, flies, locusts, calves, hornets, birds, a donkey, thunder, lightning, wind, a worm, a whale—were commanded by God to help or hinder, chasten, speak to, supply for, execute judgment upon, rescue, and instruct mankind.

We also know that the angels, whether one angel or an entire camp or army came to the aid of those who feared the Lord. Jesus, when rebuking Peter about using his sword to defend Him in the garden of Gethsemane, said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”

Jesus is head of the Church—the host of the redeemed. He commands an “innumerable company” of angels. In the Revelation, He is the rider of the white horse, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who had heavenly armies which followed Him as the beast and the armies of earth made war against Him. An important note is that He was clothed in a vesture that was dipped in blood: a reference to His sufferings and death that had gained Him—and us—the victory.

So again, it is through the cross that we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah Tsabaoth.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, speaks in one last desperate attempt to awaken the fearless, presumptuous people to pay attention to the Lord of hosts—who He is and what He says. The Lord of hosts is so omniscient, majestic, and higher than we are as humans.

The people during this time, namely the Edomites, were despising their heritage just like Esau did. They were bringing to the Lord old and sick offerings that weren’t worth anything anyway. They were trading in their old wives for younger and prettier ones. In short, they were doing what they wanted to do instead of considering God’s law. No wonder the God of heaven left off speaking to them for over 400 years. What a terrible age to live in, when the Lord of hosts, the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-seeing Creator of all the universe had shut off communications with people!

Malachi mentions “the Lord of hosts” 24 times in his book of only 4 chapters, saying the Lord of hosts is dreadful, unchangeable, great among the heathen etc. He intertwines positive appeals saying the Lord of hosts would pour out a blessing if they would return unto Him and would rebuke the devourer if they would give sacrificial offerings. “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:17).

I would encourage everyone to study Malachi and perceive how the Lord of hosts was speaking to people then and how he speaks the same now.

—Bro. James Bell