Army at God’s command, composed of either heavenly bodies (such as sun, moon, and stars) or angels.

“Host” is basically a military term connected with fighting or waging a war. The most frequent use of the word is to designate a group of men organized for war. In this sense, The Hebrew word often refers to a human army (Gen 21:22,32; Judg 4:2,7; 9:29; 1 Sam 12:9; 2 Sam 3:23; Isa 34:2; Jer 51:3). The term can refer to an act of war, as in Num 1:3,20; Deut 24:5; and Josh 22:12. An extended meaning of “hosts” is that it designates a length of time of hard service (Job 7:1; Isa 40:2; Dan 10:1). The term is used in the book of Numbers to refer to the service of the Levites in the sanctuary.

The phrase “Host of Heaven” came into use because of the close connection between the realms of earth and heaven in ancient thought. The celestial bodies were thought to be organized in the same way as earthly military bodies. The sun, moon, and stars were regarded as the “host of heaven” (Gen 2:1). The author of Ps 33:6 stated that God created this host by His heaven (Isa 40:26).

Old Testament writers warned Israel about the danger of worshiping the heavenly bodies (Deut 4:19) and prescribed the death penalty for the crime of worshiping the sun, or the moon, or any of the “host of heaven” (Deut 17:2-7). Unfortunately, Israel and Judah yielded to the temptation to worship the heavenly bodies from time to time, especially during the period of Assyrian and Babylonian influence (2 Kings 17:16-23; 21:3,5). END OF PART 1

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