The Lord of Sabaoth

Indeed, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter” (James 5:4-5).

The word “Sabaoth” is from the Hebrew language, not Greek. In the New Testament, it is a transliteration (a transfer of the letters from one language to another), not a translation (a transfer of the word or idea from one language to another).

When the Hebrew word is translated in the Old Testament, it usually appears in English as “hosts”. This is a reference to the massive angelic army and unlimited resources to make war on His enemies that Jehovah has.

Though the symbolism in the book of Revelation is rarely, if ever, intended to be interpreted literally, John’s description (in Revelation 5:11) of the angelic host as being “ten thousand times ten thousand” (i.e., a hundred million) and “thousands of thousands” (i.e., millions) ought to awe us with its extreme size.

Jehovah’s army with its hordes of horses and chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17) is unstoppable. The Assyrian army when led by Sennacharib lost 185,000 soldiers overnight to just one of Jehovah’s angels (Isaiah 37:36). The judgment of the Lord of Sabaoth upon all His enemies is absolutely certain.

This is James’ point in his warning to those who think their earthly treasures will keep them secure and safe. The sins of fraud, injustice, and greed are not exempted from God’s righteous indignation and punishment. When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire to take vengeance on the wicked (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8), no one will be able to hide from Jehovah of hosts and from the wrath of His Son (Revelation 6:16-17).

The Lord of Sabaoth has purposed; who will annul it? His hand is stretched out; who will turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27).

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Author: jchowning

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