Stars and Angels
The “host of heaven” is a term used in reference to two different entities (“anything having existence, living or unliving”) in the Scriptures, stars and planets, and angels. The original Hebrew word most-often translated as “host,” whether referring to stars, or angels, is (pronounced) tsaw-baw and means a great mass, or a massive organization – appropriate, since there are a vast number of both stars and angels. The same word is also often used to refer to an army, which, considering what will accompany Christ at His return, is also very accurate (see the Fact Finder question below).
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them”
The host of heaven (to understand the complete meaning of “heaven” in the Bible, see Heavens Below, Heavens Above) were part of creation:
“And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” (Genesis 1:31-2:1 KJV)
It didn’t take long before humans, from common people, to their kings, began worshipping created things, rather than the Creator, a violation of The Second Commandment:
“The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 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.” (Deuteronomy 4:17-19 KJV)
“For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of The Lord, whereof The Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of The Lord.” (2 Chronicles 33:3-5 KJV)
Angels and/or Cherubim are also referred to as the host of heaven:
“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.” (1 Kings 22:19 KJV)
“O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims [i.e. symbolized by the carved cherubim atop The Ark Of The Covenant], Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth.” (Isaiah 37:16 KJV)
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)
Some verses that refer to the host of heaven may refer to both stars and angels at the same time, which leaves open the possibility that the Israelites didn’t just commit idolatry by worshipping the sun, moon and stars, but that they may also have been involved in the “worshipping of angels” (i.e. Colossians 2:18 KJV) – the people worshipped those who were themselves worshipping God:
“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.” (Nehemiah 9:6 KJV)
Fact Finder: Will a great host of heaven, a great army of angels, accompany the Messiah at His Return?
See also The Return Of Jesus Christ