Names of God Question

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Werner Krutzler | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Sep 24 2016 8:53 AM

I am attending a Bible study on the Names of God and I am assigned to teach the class on Adonai.  Since I do not know Hebrew I appreciate the Logos tools including the Names of God interactive.  One thing has me puzzled.  Looking at Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words under LORD it states “The form ˒adon appears 334 times, while the form ˒adonay (used exclusively as a divine name) appears 439 times.  But, looking at Genesis 24:9, the Logos reverse interlinear MSS Trl line has adonay under “master” – which refers to Abraham (not a divine name).  Does that mean that adonay is NOT exclusively a divine name or is adonay not the correct MSS word?  Or is there another explanation?  Thanks.

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 24 2016 10:03 AM

According to the Scofield Bible, both Adon and Adonai can be applied to both deity and man. Genesis 24:9 is explicitly quoted:

(1) The primary meaning of Adon, Adonai, is Master, and it is applied in the Old Testament Scriptures both to Deity and to man. The latter instances are distinguished in the English version by the omission of the capital. As applied to man, the word is used of two relationships: master and husband (Gen. 24:9, 10, 12, “master,” may illustrate the former; Gen. 18:12, “lord,” the latter). Both these relationships exist between Christ and the believer (John 13:13, “master”; 2 Cor. 11:2, 3, “husband”).

Scofield, C. I. (Hrsg.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (S. 24). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. I've learned something new today. My understanding so far had been that Adonai could not refer to man.

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Timothy Brown | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 24 2016 11:31 AM

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 24 2016 11:46 AM

Adon is the simple noun. Adonai is a plural possive, lit. "my lords" which also seems to be used as an honorific.

In Genesis 24:9, it's a plural+3rd person possessive, "his lords." However, it appears that adon+possessive pronoun is very frequently (I won't say always) built on the plural form (i.e. like adonai), regardless of whom it is applied to. 

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 24 2016 12:33 PM

Jan Krohn:

According to the Scofield Bible, both Adon and Adonai can be applied to both deity and man. Genesis 24:9 is explicitly quoted:

(1) The primary meaning of Adon, Adonai, is Master, and it is applied in the Old Testament Scriptures both to Deity and to man. The latter instances are distinguished in the English version by the omission of the capital. As applied to man, the word is used of two relationships: master and husband (Gen. 24:9, 10, 12, “master,” may illustrate the former; Gen. 18:12, “lord,” the latter). Both these relationships exist between Christ and the believer (John 13:13, “master”; 2 Cor. 11:2, 3, “husband”).

Scofield, C. I. (Hrsg.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (S. 24). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. I've learned something new today. My understanding so far had been that Adonai could not refer to man.

While I like the Scofield Study Bible simply for the fact that it introduced this genre to a broader audience and allowed unstudied people to dig deeper into the Word, I don't think its explanations should be blindly trusted. But then again it only says what the BWS ring also told: this lemma may be used for both. Neither BWS nor Scofield actually claim that all grammatical forms of the lemma may be used in this way.

I'd rather look into a specialized lexicon for that. TWOT says (bold markup by me):

TWOT:

(ʾādôn). Lord, Lord, LORD, master, owner. No doubt exists about the meaning of this word. The Ugaritic ʾadn means “lord” or “father” and the Akkadian adannu carries a similar meaning, “mighty.”
In the simple unsuffixed form or when pointed ʾădōnî or ʾădōna(y), for the first common singular suffix or with other pronominal suffixes. ʾādôn usually refers to men. Sarah used it in reference to her husband (Gen 18:12), Lot used it in addressing the angelic visitors (Gen 19:2).
Abraham’s servant repeatedly called his master by it in Gen 24. The pharaoh of Egypt was called by this title (Gen 40:1), as well as Joseph his “vizier” (Gen 42:10). Ruth used it of Boaz before they were married (2:13). Hannah addressed Eli the priest by this term (I Sam 1:15). Saul’s servants called him by the title as well (I Sam 16:16). Likewise, officers less than the king, such as Joab, had this appellation (II Sam 11:9). In I Kgs 16:24 there is the unique reading “Shemer, ‘owner’ of the hill, Samaria.” The prophet Elijah bore the title “lord” (I Kgs 18:7).However, there are numerous passages, particularly in Psalms, where these forms, which are the only ones to apply to men, refer to God. Exodus 34:23 combines “the Lord, YHWH. the God of Israel” (hāʾādōn yhwhʾĕlōhê yisrāʾēl). Deuteronomy 10:17 uses both the singular and plural in the construction “Lord of lords” (ʾădōnê hāʾădōnîm; cf. Ps 136:3). In Ps 8:1 [H 2] God has the title “YHWH our Lord” (yhwh ʾădōnênû). The Messiah bears this title in Ps 110:1.
Several personal names include the element ʾădōnî: Adoni-bezek (Jud 1:5); Adonizedek (Josh 10:1); Adonijah (three men, I Kgs 1:8; II Chr 17:8; Neh 10:17); Adonikam (Ezr 2:13); and Adoniram (I Kgs 4:6).
When ʾādôn appears in the special plural form, with a first common singular pronominal suffix ( o;ădōnā(y) ), it always refers to God. It appears in this form more than three hundred times, mostly in Psalms, Lamentations, and the latter prophets. Just as ʾĕlōhîm (God) is plural in Hebrew, so this word might also be called an intensive plural or plural of majesty. Only rarely is the suffix translated (cf. Gen 18:3; Isa 21:8; Ps 16:2).

Robert Alden, “27 אדן,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 12–13.

Knowing no Hebrew at all, I can't decide what the specifics are, but it seems that by the TWOT authors the form of adonai used in Gen 24 is not seen as a violation of the rule that the other form of adonai is only used for God.

I'd rather look up TDOT for this, too, but am $700 short of being able to.

 

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