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Adonai: Old Testament Names of God

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we are going to take a deep dive into our fourth Old Testament name of God, Adonai, as found in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.


(ad-o-noy') Lord, Master

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Adonai occurs 434 times. There are heavy uses of Adonai in Isaiah (e.g., Adonai Jehovah). It occurs 200 times in Ezekiel alone and appears 11 times in Daniel Chapter 9. Adonai is first used in Gen 15:2.

Variant spellings: None

TWOT Reference: 27b

Strong's Reference: h136

Adonai in the Septuagint: kurios - Lord, Master

Transliteration ăḏōnāy

Pronunciation ad-o-noy'

Part of Speech masculine noun

Root Word (Etymology) An emphatic form of אָדוֹן (H113); the Lord (used as a proper name of God only):—(my) Lord.

KJV Translation Count — Total: 434x

The KJV translates Strong's H136 in the following manner: Lord (431x), lord (2x), God (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage

  1. my lord, lord

    1. of men

    2. of God

  2. Lord - title, spoken in place of Yahweh in Jewish display of reverence

Adonai Elohim- Adonai is often joined with Elohim indicating that God is the one who is Master and Lord and that we human beings are His subjects.

Adonai Yahweh- The term is also used with the divine name.

Meaning and Derivation: Adonai is the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah. Adonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exodus 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute for Yahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, my lords' (both plural and possessive). It signifies sovereignty, and its syntactic usage is normally interpreted as a plural of majesty.

Finally, the title lord when used in reference to Jesus comes from the Greek word kurios, a translation of Adonai. Its frequent usage in the New Testament (Acts 7:59; Romans 5:1; Hebrews 13:20) is one of many indications of Jesus’ power, authority, and deity. In fact, taking into account its translation in the Greek New Testament as kurios, Adonai is the most common name for our Creator in the Bible.

In Scripture, the concepts of authority and omnipotence are inherent to the idea of divine sovereignty. The Lord’s omnipotence, we have seen, simply means that He is able to do whatever He has purposed. His might guarantees His sovereignty, for He can do whatever He pleases.

May we establish, nurture, and grow a sincere love for the word of God, and study it lovingly & faithfully.

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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