Keeping His Name Holy – Adonai

Keeping His Name Holy – Adonai

Keeping His Name Holy – Adonai.

“After these things the word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your reward shall be very great.’ But Abram said, ‘O Adonai-Yahweh, what will you give me, for I continue childless.'”

Adonai is a title of profound respect. It is a name for God that means Owner, Master, Sovereign, Ruler, a God of absolute authority. When addressing Adonai, we are addressing our superior in every way imaginable. Adonai is the plural form of adon, “lord.” The scholars call Adonai an emphatic plural, a plural word that shows an intense abundance of something. In this case the plural word emphasizes the super-majesty of God. This Lord, in other words, is larger than life, and so it deserves a plural, not a mere singular.  The plurality of this name for God doesn’t necessarily imply the Trinity. But it could.

Adonai is first used to address God by Abram, soon to be Abraham, in Genesis 15:2, quoted above. The word is used over 400 times in the Hebrew Bible. and often in the Psalms… including Ps. 97:5, “the Adonai of the whole earth.” As well as in Ps. 136:3, “Give thanks to the Adonai ha adonim,” the Lord of lords. When a reader in Scripture sees the name LORD in all caps, it is Yahweh. When it is in lower case, Lord, it is Adonai. When faithful Jews read LORD in the Bible, they pronounce Adonai, not Yahweh. They are afraid of saying the holy Name in vain, and also His Name is too holy to utter. So they would see Yahweh, and say Adonai.

A Prayer to Adonai (a-doe-ni’)

We submit to you, Adonai, Lord Master, Owner of all things. We accept your sovereignty over us. You have absolute authority over all creation. For you are in complete possession of everything on earth and in heaven. We know you are not a hard taskmaster, Lord. For you are rich in mercy and ready to forgive. We thank you for knowing what is best for us, that you are easy to please and hard to satisfy. Therefore, behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, so our eyes wait upon you, O Lord. We are not even worthy to gather the crumbs beneath your table, Master, and yet you welcome us to dine with you. You are thus our shield of protection and our very great reward. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price, and so we belong to you, Lord of lords. We thank you for your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We bow before you as a subject of the King, Adonai, and we laud your matchless Name. Amen.