Summary: A Study of the Names of God - Adonai - The Lord and the need for us to found out lives on Him

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Getting to Know God – Adonai – The Lord


Buyer: "I want this pearl. How much is it?"

Seller: "Well," "it’s very expensive."

Buyer: "But, how much?".

Seller: "Well, a very large amount."

Buyer: "Do you think I could buy it?"

Seller: "Oh, of course, everyone can buy it."

Buyer: "But, didn’t you say it was very expensive?"

Seller: "Yes."

Buyer: "Well, how much is it?"

Seller: "Everything you have," says the seller.

Buyer: (Thinking for a while and then making up your mind) "All right, I’ll buy it," we say.

Seller: "Well, what do you have? Let’s write it down."

Buyer: "Well, I have ten thousand dollars in the bank."

Seller: "Good- -ten thousand dollars. What else?"

Buyer: "That’s all.. That’s all I have. Well … I have a few dollars here in my pocket."

Seller: "How much?"

Buyer: (Starting to rummage around in your pocket). "Well, let’s see--thirty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred, a hundred twenty dollars."

Seller: "That’s fine. What else do you have?"

Buyer: "Well, nothing. That’s all."

Seller: "Where do you live?"

Buyer: "In my house. Yes, I have a house."

Seller: "The house, too, then."

Buyer: "You mean I have to live in my camper?"

Seller: "You have a camper? That, too. What else?"

Buyer: "I’ll have to sleep in my car!"

Seller: "You have a car?"

Buyer: "Two of them."

Seller: "Both become mine, both cars. What else?"

Buyer: "Well, you already have my money, my house, my camper, my cars. What more do you want?"

Seller: "Are you alone in this world?"

Buyer: "No I have a wife and two children....."

Seller: "Oh, yes, your wife and children, too. What else?"

Buyer: "I have nothing left! I am left alone now."

Seller: Suddenly the seller exclaims, "Oh, I almost forgot! You yourself, too! Everything becomes mine--wife, children, house, money, cars--and you too." Then he goes on. "Now listen--I will allow you to use all these things for the time being. But don’t forget that they are mine, just as you are. And whenever I need any of them you must give them up, because now I am the owner."

Let’s pray, Lord – that is an awesome word which we don’t often grasp the full significance of. It rolls off our tongues so easy, but the meaning often alludes us. Help us this evening to understand this word in its entirely so that when we say it, we mean it.

Background and Meaning of the Word Adonai

Well, we’ve been studying over the past months some of the names of God and we’ve now come to one which is translated through your bible as “Lord” – the word Adonai. Now be careful here. You will find in many of your bibles (e.g. NIV, NRSV, RSV, NKJV) that the word Lord appears either as Capitals “LORD” or Small Letters “Lord”. Where it is “LORD”, that is the word YHWH or Jehovah. Where it is “Lord” – that is the word Adonai.

This word Adonai, occurs over 300 times in the Old Testament, and when it is used of God, it is almost always plural and possessive. So like the name Elohim which is also plural, this word supports the idea of the Trinity.

The singular form of this word is Adon and is often used to refer to men. It is found about 215 times in the Old Testament, and is usually translated as master, but sometimes is also translated as Lord, sir, or owner. The word Adon is used by slaves and servants when referring to their master or owner, by wives to their husbands, and men to Kings.

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