The following is a list in sequence of all the Biblical references to "all the host of heaven." These are not to be used out of context, but only to aid in showing the general meaning of what "all the host of heaven" represents.
Host or Hosts in the Old Testament of the Bible can be seen as one of these:
- (1) Heb. tsaba', tsaw-baw', or (feminine) tseba'ah, tseb-aw-aw', a mass of persons (or figuratively things), especially regarding organized for war (an army), by implication a campaign, lit. or fig. (spec. hardship, worship): - appointed time, army, battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting uppon, war.
- (2) Heb. machaneh, makh-an-eh', from Heb. chanah, khaw-naw', an encampment (of travelers or troops), hence an army, whether literal (of soldiers) or figuratively (of dancers, angels, cattle, locust, stars; or even sacred courts): - army, band, batle, camp, company, drove, host, tents.
- (3) Heb. chayil, khah'-yil; from Heb. chuwl, khool, or chiyl, kheel, to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength: - able, activity, army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong.
and continuing ...
Heaven is Heb. shamayim, shaw-mah'-yim, dual of an unused singular Heb. shameh, shaw-meh', from an unused root meaning to be lofty, the sky (as aloft, the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher either where the celestial bodies revolve): - air, X astrologer, heaven(-s).
All of the following verses in every case with the phrase "all the host of heaven" correlates to the Hebrew words tsaba' shamayim.
- Genesis 2:1 "THUS the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."
- Deuteronomy 4:19 "And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven."
Translates: To keep from corrupting yourselves and making a graven image, prohibit images for worship. The Canaanites had Baal and Astarte. The Egyptians had Osiris and Isis, along with animal worship: as in ox, heifer, sheep, goat, dog, cat, ape, birds (ibis, hawk, crane), reptile (crocodile, frog, beetle) and fishes. They also embraced the Zabian superstition, whole starry host.
- Deuteronomy 17:3 "And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven ("the heavenly bodies"), which I have not commanded;"
- 1 Kings 22:19 and 2 Chronicles 18:18 "And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left."
The Hebrew prophets borrowing from their symbolic pictures from earthly scenes, describe God in heaven as a king in his kingdom. And as earthly princes do nothing of importance without asking the advise of their counsellors. This is not to be interpreted literally. The host on His right Hand had significance of having more importance than the host on His left side. Could this have been degrees of the universe?
- 2 Kings 17:16 "And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal."
Manasseh introduce the worship of idols, the restoration of high places, and the erection of altars or pillars to Baal, and the placing, in the temple of God itself, a graven image of Asherah, the sacred or symbolic tree, which represented "all the host of heaven." This was not idolatry, but pure star-worship, of Chaldaic and Assyrian origin.
As seen in the following verses 2 Kings 21:3-9 and the identical in 2 Chronicles 33:3-9.
- 2 Kings 21:3-9
- 21:3 "For he (Manasseh) built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed (had broken down); and he reared up altars for Baal (Baalim), and made a grove (or groves) as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them."
- 21:4 "And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name (shall my name be forever)."
- 21:5 "And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD."
- 21:6 "And he made his son pass through the fire (caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom), and (he) observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and (with) wizards (used witchcraft): he wrought much wickedness (evil) in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
- 21:7 "And he set a graven image of the grove (carved image, the idol) that he had made in the house (of God), of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of (before) all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:"
- 21:9 "But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them (made Judah) to do more evil (and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err) than did the nations (to do worse than the heathen) whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel."
- 2 Chronicles 33:11 "Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon."
- 2 Kings 23:4 "And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal (the whole apparatus of idol worship), and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem (Deut. 7:25 law consigned them to the flames) in the fields of Kidron (valley of Kidron, where lies Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives), and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel (to associate that place with ideas of horror and aversion)."
- 2 Kings 23:5 "And he put down the idolatrous priests (priest - Heb., Chemarim, "scorched," i.e., Guebres, or fire-worshippers, distinguished by a girdle (Ezek. 23:14-17) or belt of wool and camels hair, twisted round the body twice and tied with four knots, which had a symbolic meaning and was used as a defence against evil.), whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets (Heb. mazzalah, maz-zaw-law', a constellation, Zodiac sign, planet, compare to Heb. mazzarah, maz-zaw-raw, a noted constellation, the zodiac, Mazzaroth), and to all the host of heaven."
Baal-shemesh for Baal was sometimes considered the sun. This form of false worship was not by images, but pure star-worship, borrowed from the old Assyrians. Baal or Baals or Baalim any of various local fertility and nature gods of the ancient Semitic peoples considered to be false idols by the Hebrews. Often baal a false god or idol [Hebrew ba’al, lord, Baal]. In 2 Kings 23:6 they "brought out of the grove" the Asherah, the mystic tree, placed by Manasseh in the temple, removed by him after his conversion, and replaced in the sanctuary by his wicked son Amon.
- Nehemiah 9:6 "Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee."
This was a profound adoration of God, whose supreme majesty and omnipotence is acknowledged.
- Isaiah 34:4 "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree (Rev. 6:13)."
Also see (Psa. 102:26; Joel 2:31, 3:15, Matt. 24:29). Dissolved (2 Pet. 3:10-12) violent convulsions of nature are in the Scripture made the images of great changes in the human world (Isa. 24:19-21) and shall literally accompany them at the winding up of the present dispensation. The scroll, books in those days were sheets of parchment rolled together (Rev. 6:14). Fall down the stars shall fall when the heavens in which they are fixed pass away.
- Jeremiah 8:2 "And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth."
This verse shows retribution, in that the very objects which received their idolatries shall witness their dishonor for the mad fervor of their idolatry to the heavenly host.
- Jeremiah 19:5 "They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:"
19:13 "And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled (with dead bodies, v. 12; 2 Kings 23:10) as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs (used as high places for sacrifices to the sun and planets, ch. 32:29; 2 Kings 23:11-12; Zeph. 1:5; even the Nabateans performed the same) they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods."
Tophet (Heb. toph, a drum) the underworld where wicked souls suffer torment after death. An extremely unpleasant or painful condition or place [Middle English, from Hebrew to pet, a place where children were burned].
19:14 "Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD's house; and said to all the people,"
- Jeremiah 33:1 "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,"
33:21 "Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers."
33:22 "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me."
(Genesis 15:5; 22:17) the blessing there promised belonged to all the tribes; here it is restricted to the family of David and the tribe of Levi, the welfare of the people.
- Daniel 8:10 "And it (little horn of the he goat) waxed great, even to the host of heaven (explained in v. 24 "the mighty and holy people," i.e., the Jews (ch. 7:21) and their priest (cf. Isa. 24:21). The Levites’ service is called "a warfare" margin Num. 8:24-25. Great civil and religious powers are symbolized by "stars" in Matt. 24:29.); and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them (so Babel, Isa. 14:13-14; Rev. 12:4)."
8:11 "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host (i.e., God Himself, the Lord of Sabaoth, the hosts in heaven and earth, stars, angels and earthly ministers), and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down."
Most of the above Biblical verses are warnings to those who worship graven or carved images or idols, use enchantments, or observed times, witchcraft, divine spirits, or use wizardry in any form that is not commanded by God.
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for Host tsava’ "army" (Gen. 21:22, RSV "army," NIV "forces"); angels (Josh. 5:14, RSV and NIV "army"; Dan. 8:11); heavenly bodies (Deut. 4:19, NIV "heavenly array"); creation (Gen. 2:10); God of hosts (1 Sam. 17:45, NIV "armies"). Basically all the host of heaven is the army or heavenly bodies of heaven as in Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Kings, and Daniel.
In the New Testament the Greek word for Host (of angels, etc.) is ‘Stratia’ an army, is used of angels Luke 2:13; of stars Acts 7:42; in 2 Cor. 10:4 it is ‘strateia’, warfare. Here we see it as the heavenly host or heavenly bodies as objects of worship.
The other Sabaoth pl. Hosts; armies: the Lord of Sabaoth. [Latin sabaoth, from Greek sabao th, from Hebrew seba ‘ot, pl. of sa ba’, army.]
Sabaoth is also seen as Saturn or Shiva or the "Lord of Host" (tsabaoth, army of the ship, or the crew, or a naval host), the sky is the "Upper Ocean" in the doctrine of the Chaldean Sabaeans. In this case though Sabaoth is the Gnostic Archon and ruler of the fifth sphere; he was son of Iao who was son of Ialdabaoth.