"armies, hosts," only in Scripture, "the heavenly hosts," used as part of a title of God (Lord of Sabaoth), early 14c., from Late Latin Sabaoth (pl.), from Greek Sabaoth, transliterating Hebrew tzebhaoth "hosts, armies," plural of tzabha "army," from tzaba "he waged war, he served."
The word was translated in English in the Old Testament by the phrase "Lord of Hosts," but left untranslated in the New Testament (and in the "Te Deum") in Lord of Sabaoth. It sometimes is confused with unrelated Sabbath.
an adherent of a religious sect mentioned thrice in the Qu'ran (in which they are classified with Christians and Jews as monotheistic "true believers" tolerated by Muslims), 1610s, from Arabic, but a word of uncertain origin. As an adjective from 1748.
Perhaps the reference in the word is to a Gnostic sect akin to the later Mandæans (if the word derives, as some linguists think it does, from Arabic ch'bae "to baptize," Aramaic tzebha "he dipped, dyed"); but it has the appearance of derivation from the Semitic root of Hebrew tzabha "host, army" (see Sabaoth), and as the Sabians were thought to have been star-worshippers, the word was interpreted as referring to the "host of heaven." Related: Sabaism "star-worship" (Century Dictionary says Sabeanism is incorrect).