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Catholic Dictionary




A title of majesty applied mainly to God. The Hebrew word means "armies" or "hosts" and is found mainly in the expression "Lord of hosts," which occurs in the Old Testament no less than 282 times, all except 36 of which are in the prophetical books. From an early reference to Yahweh as the Lord who defended his people in battle, the term has come to mean God's dominion over the angels, good and bad, and a fortiori his power over the destinies of people. In the New Testament, except in a direct quotation from Isaiah, the name becomes "Lord of Sabaoth" (James 5:4).