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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Adonai

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(Heb. Adonay, אֲדֹנָי, prob. my master, in the plural form for the sake of intensity; see Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 329; Sept. Κύριος, Vulg. Dominus, Auth. Vers. "Lord," not in small capitals; but "God," when that term has just preceded as a translation of Jehovah), a term employed in the Hebrews Scriptures by way of eminence to God, especially (in the Pentateuch always) where he is submissively or reverently addressed in his character of sovereign; frequently with other titles added. (See JEHOVAH). The simple form אָדוֹן, Adon (either with or without suffixes), is spoken of an owner or possessor in general, e.g. of property (1 Kings 16:21), of slaves (Genesis 24:14; Genesis 24:27; Genesis 39:2; Genesis 39:7); hence, of kings, as rulers over their subjects (Isaiah 26:13), and of husbands, as lords of their wives (Genesis 18:12); also of God, as proprietor of the world (Joshua 3:13; Exodus 23:17; Psalms 114:7). It is also used of a ruler or governor (Genesis 14:8); and hence as a title of respect in addressing, e.g. a father (Genesis 31:35), a brother (Numbers 12:11), a royal consort (1 Kings 1:17-18), and especially kings or nobles (2 Samuel 14:9; 1 Kings 3:17). The plural is employed in a similar manner. The distinctive form, Adonai, never has the article; it is twice applied by God to himself (Job 28:28, where, however, many copies have "Jehovah;"

Isaiah 8:7, where, however, the expression may be only the prophet s); a circumstance that may have arisen from the superstition of the Jews, who always point the sacred name Jehovah with its vowels, and even substitute it for that name in reading, so that in some cases it appears to have supplanted it in the text (Daniel 9:3; Daniel 9:7-9; Daniel 9:15-16; Daniel 9:19). It seems to have been written peculiarly (אֲדֹנָי ) to distinguish it from the regular form (אֲדֹנִי ), which nevertheless occurs in its ordinary sense, once with a plural sense (Genesis 19:2), but elsewhere as a singular (Genesis 18:3; Genesis 19:8). See LORD.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Adonai'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/adonai.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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