In this Names of God reading plan, we are learning more about God by studying the names given to Him in Scripture. Rather than having our writers share their own reflections on these passages, we’ve instead provided research-rich content to aid in your study of each day’s featured name of God, including the background of the name(s), a brief explanation of the character of God emphasized by the name(s), and a reflection question to help you dig deeper into the text.
Lord of Armies
Yahweh Tsebaoth, Yahweh Elohim Tsebaoth, Elohim Tsebaoth (Hebrew)
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-11, 2 Samuel 7:22-29, Psalm 80:4-7, Amos 5:14-15, Haggai 2:6-9, Malachi 1:11-14, Luke 2:13-14
The Hebrew root word tsaba, or “a gathering of people,” is frequently used in the Bible to describe armies preparing for war. When paired with the name of God in Yahweh Tsebaoth, it reveres Him as being over hosts of angelic armies who gather in His name and serve at His command. All creation is subject to the LORD of Armies. “LORD of Hosts,” “God of Armies,” and “LORD God of Armies” are versions of this name.
“LORD of Armies” most frequently appears in the Minor Prophets, especially in Malachi, where almost half of the verses in the book contain this name in some form. During the time of the prophets, the people of God were living in exile in Babylon. They faced daily reminders of the presence and power of the enemy armies keeping them in captivity. They called out to God as the LORD of Armies, whose vast angelic armies could deliver them from trouble. LORD of Armies is a name that assures us of the power of our mighty God.
The security, power, and strength of God in the face of His enemies
What does this name teach me about God?