Names of Yehovah: Yehovah ‘Sabaoth’
The term Sabaoth is actually a somewhat mispronounced and misrepresented form of the Hebrew word Tzeva-oat (where the “oat” is pronounced like the cereal grain). It mean armies (having nothing to do with the Sabbath), and is the plural form of tzevah, meaning army. The Hebrew word , (tzeva-oat) is first found associated with Yehovah in 1 Samuel 1:3:
1 Samuel 1:3 And there was a certain man of Ramathaim-Zophim, of Mount Ephraim. And his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2And he had two wives. The name of the one was Hanna, and the name of the other Peninna. And Peninna had children. And Hanna had no children. 3And this man went out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to Yehovah of hosts in Shiloh.
This name/title of Yehovah is found many times in the Bible. Every name, title, and name/title of Yehovah is employed for a very specific reason. Since hosts nearly always (or always) refers to armies and warfare, the name/title Yehovah of Hosts is found where war is very important. Anyone in the Bible who calls upon Yehovah of Hosts is calling upon Yehovah with reference to His armies for some kind of battle. Elkanah knew what he was implying when he called Yehovah by this name/title.
A natural question that can and should arise is, “Over which armies is Yehovah a captain?” Yehovah commanded the creatures in the plagues of Egypt including the frogs, the locusts, and so on. Yehovah commanded the stars when they fought against Sisera:
Judges 5:20 They fought from heaven! The stars in their courses fought against Sisera!
Yehovah commands all angels, including the demons. There is no demon who is not directly subject to the commands of Yehovah and to the limitations that He has placed upon him. One text that shows this is the following:
Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the region of the Gergesenes, two possessed with devils coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce so that no man might pass by that way, met Him. And behold, they shouted, saying, “What have we to do with thee, Yeshua, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” And there was a herd of many swine feeding a good way off from them. So the devils besought Him, saying, “If thou cast us out, transfer us to go away into the herd of swine.” And He said unto them, “Go!” And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine. And behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea. And they perished in the waters.
Another text confirms Yehovah’s usage of demons:
1 Kings 22:19 And he said, “Hearken thou to the speech of Yehovah! I saw Yehovah sitting on His throne. And all the host of the heavens is standing by Him on His right hand and on His left. 20And Yehovah said, ‘Who shall persuade Ahab, and he will ascend and fall at Ramoth-Gilead?’ And one said on this manner, and another said on this manner. 21And there came forth a spirit. And he stood before Yehovah. And he said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22And Yehovah said unto him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go. And I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And He said, ‘Thou shalt persuade him! And thou shalt also prevail! Go forth and do so!’ 23Now therefore, behold, Yehovah has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets! And Yehovah has spoken bad concerning thee!”
Demons obviously have their uses! All the hosts (armies) of the heavens and on earth have their uses. Yehovah will use them all for His purposes. The Tribulation will especially see those hosts employed. The Book of Revelation has two sections: the first deals with seven congregations, and the second deals with destructions. Yehovah employs demons in those destructions, and no demon is sent to attack any good guy in the entire book! They only attack those who are either bad guys or are undecided. It is a book of happy endings for Israel. Indeed, the text that follows is true for demons as well as angels that didn’t rebel:
Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels did He say at any time, “Sit on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool”? 14Aren’t they all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Speaking against any of the hosts of Yehovah is quite unintelligent!