This title is used nine times in the Apocalypse, and only once elsewhere in the rest of the New Testament (2 Cor. vi.18).
It is (...) (pantokrator) and means having dominion over all, and is used in the Old Testament as the Septuagint translation of |Lord of Hosts| (Heb., Jehovah, Sabaioth; see 2 Sam. v.10; vii.25, 27).
In Revelation the title is used in i.8; iv 8; xi.17; xv.3; xvi.7, 14; xix.6, 15, 22.
|The Lord of Hosts| means Jehovah of the hosts in heaven above, and on the earth beneath; and especially of the hosts of Israel. Its first occurrence is (as usual) most significant (see 1 Sam. i.3, 11; and iv.4), when Israel was reduced to a low estate - oppressed by the Philistines. All had failed. The Judges had failed. The priests (witness Eli) had failed: there was |no king in Israel:| and God's sanctuary was defiled.
But the revelation of this title at this juncture, and here used for the first time, told of the blessed fact that there was going to be a king; and a judge too; as well as a Priest upon His throne; that the sanctuary was going to be cleansed (Rev. xi.), and the oppressors of Israel destroyed. Israel is, conversely, called |The Lord's Host| (see Exod. xii.42), when, at the moment of the formation of the nation at the end of the 430 years of sojourning and servitude, and the birth of the new nation at the Exodus, we read these most significant words: |and it came to pass at the end of the 430 years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt.|
And further, we may note that, in Joshua v.14, 15, we have the real connection between |the Lord of Hosts| and |The Hosts of the Lord.| Jehovah-Jesus announces His coming as |the Captain of the Lord's Host,| to lead them on, to fight their battles, to judge the nations, and give them rest, and settle them in their own land.
Now, we ask, Is it not most significant that this is the title used here in the Apocalypse, nine times? Does not the fact speak to us and say that, when that book opens Israel is in low estate? That Priests and people alike have failed, and there is |no king.| Does it not say that |the Captain of the Lord's host| is coming down as their judge and vindicator, to deliver them from their oppressors, to fight for them, and give them rest, and to bring them into their own land?
Surely the association of this title, Pantokrator, with the Lord of Hosts in the Old Testament, and with Israel; its frequent use in Revelation, and its practical absence in the Church Epistles, shuts us up to the fact that we have in this book, not the Church, but that which concerns the Jew and the Gentile.
It is in this book we have that which the first occurrence of the title in the Book of Psalms relates to:
|Who is this King of glory (i.e. this glorious King)? The Lord of Hosts - He is the King of Glory.|
And it is the object of the Apocalypse to show how this comes about, and how He becomes the King of kings and Lord of lords (xix.16). And how all |the kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ| (xi.15).
Then, too, will Israel fulfil the forty-sixth Psalm, and say:
|The Lord of Hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.|