Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online

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Host of Heaven צבא השׁמים
(993 words)

I. Name

At the origin of the conception of a ‘host of heaven’ stands the metaphor of Yahweh as warrior. When waging his wars, Yahweh was helped by warriors and an army (e.g. 2 Kgs. 6.17; 2 Kgs. 7.6; Isa. 13.4–5; Joel 4.11; Hab. 3.8; Ps. 68.18). Only a few examples of this military background of the host of heaven have been preserved in the OT (Dan. 8.10–11, cf. Josh. 5.13–15). Due to a semantic shift, host of heaven also designates the divine assembly gathered around Yahweh, the heavenly king (1 Kgs. 22.19 = 2 Chr. 18.18). In the course of Israe…

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H. Niehr, “Host of Heaven צבא השׁמים”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7802_DDDO_DDDO_Hostofheaven>

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