Don’t Miss the Point! A Hebrew Word You Cannot Afford to Be Without
Don’t be alarmed! We are not going to require that you learn to read Hebrew! But the words below are so very important for our understanding of the very basics of the Bible that we want you to see the actual, original Hebrew of the Bible. Hebrew reads from right to left...
Have a look at the three words below. The consonants will be clear to you, and the vowels are the dots above, and lines and dots below. Inspect the difference carefully. The consonants, right to left, are Aleph (A, a consonant in Hebrew), Dalet (D), Nun (N), Yod (Y). Below is a quote from the standard lexicon of OT Hebrew, used by all scholars (Strong’s will not give you enough information). The entry is for “Lord” (Adon).
“אֲ דֹנָ י אֲ דֹנַ י אֲ דֹנִ י
Are variations of Masoretic pointing [vowel points] to distinguish divine reference from human” (Brown, Driver and Briggs, p. 10-11).
They are different forms of the Hebrew word for Lord/lord. We began with a clear statement from one of the standard Hebrew lexicons. A lexicon is a dictionary of Bible words. You see a correct definition above from the well-known Hebrew lexicon, listing all the words from the OT, the Hebrew Bible. Jesus had the same OT books as we, although in a different order. He spoke of his Hebrew Bible as “Law, prophets and writings” (Luke 24:44). Jesus was a “Bible man” convinced that God had spoken authoritatively in the canon (fixed rule) of Scripture. We should follow that example of Jesus, of course. We are to believe the inspired words of God.
Above you see (start on the right) adonai, adonai and adoni. These are forms of the word ADON which means Lord/lord. The first (from the right) is adonai and means the Lord GOD.
[the Lord YHVH]
It is the title for YHVH (Yahweh), the one Lord GOD of the Bible. It means “the supreme Lord.” In your English Bible it is written as “Lord” (capital L and then small letters). The proper personal name for God, Yahweh, is in all capitals in your Bible — LORD. It occurs nearly 7,000 times.
Adonai, the supreme Lord, occurs some 449 times and invariably refers to the One God. (On one occasion in Genesis 18:3, one of the three men (angels) who appeared to Abraham is addressed as Adonai, since God was using that one angel as a direct representative, who spoke directly for God, i.e. spoke God’s words.)
The second word, above (read from the right) is also adonai but with a different (short) vowel at the end, and this appears only in Genesis 19:2, 18 (NASU) where two angels appear. It is the plural of adoni (below) and means lords.
The third word is adoni (pronounced adonee) and means lord (singular), and not Lord. That is, it refers to a non-Deity superior. The Jews desired that we understand who is God and who is not!
This word, adoni, occurs 195 times in the Hebrew Bible, and in 10 of those occasions it refers to a single angel. In all the rest of the 195 occurrences a human superior is described. This could be Abraham, Esau, Saul or Elisha, even a husband, and very often “my lord the king.” That third word (read from the right) is, we repeat, adoni (pronounced adonee). The dot under that last Nun (N) makes the sound of “ee.”
Again, adoni appears 195 times and is deliberately chosen by the Jews (the custodians of sacred Hebrew Scripture: Rom. 3:2; John 4:22) to describe and define a human (occasionally angel) superior but never the one God!
The one God, as we said above, is Adonai, the supreme Lord. The Jewish scribes were meticulously careful to distinguish man from the One God and so they carefully wrote Adonai (with long vowel at the end) for the Lord GOD, and adoni (with an “ee” sound at the end) to mean non-Deity.
Now please note this very carefully — and show your friends this eye-opening fact: In Psalm 110:1 which is the most often quoted verse in the NT from the OT (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34-35; Heb. 1:3, 13 and many other allusions) the word for the second lord is adoni, the non-Deity lord.
In that spectacular oracle (Ps. 110:1), the first Lord, Yahweh (LORD) speaks in a prophecy to “my lord.” That “my lord” is the Messiah, as Jesus explained. The Messiah is described as the one destined to “sit at the right hand of the LORD (GOD) until his enemies are put under his feet.”
That verse is a brilliant description of God’s great program for the world, and for the Messiah, of course. The Messiah was to be David’s biological descendant through Mary, and lord (adoni), my lord. Note with care that this is not David’s Lord. He is David’s lord.
The Messiah is not adonai, but adoni.
The capital L on the second lord in your Bible is a misleading error. You will find that false “Lord,” unless you are reading BBE, CEB, ERV, JPS, NAB, NET, NIV, NRS, RSV, TNK which give the correct translation, “my lord.” If the word in Hebrew here were Adonai, Lord, then God would be speaking to God! [That is a scriptural impossibility, seeing that there is solely One God]...
The Bible tells us on page after page that only one Person is God — and that is the Father. “Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us?” (Mal. 2:10). That is not so hard! God is extremely jealous of His unique position as “the only one who is true God” (John 17:3). ...
The second lord reads adoni which is lord and not Lord. Adoni never means the Lord GOD. It is “my lord.” This is a huge indicator of who the real Jesus is. He is given his correct birth certificate in Luke 2:11 where the one born is the lord Messiah [compare Col. 3.24], not the Lord GOD!
No one imagined God could be born or that the immortal God could die!
No wonder Elizabeth was delighted that the mother of my lord i.e. Mary, had come to see her (Luke 1:43). No wonder that Mary Magdalene was distressed that “they have taken away my lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him” (John 20:13).
The true definition of the Messiah is supplied by Jesus in Mark 12:36 where Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1. The lord there is adoni, my lord, always, in all 195 occurrences, the non-Deity title for a superior.
Jesus is non-Deity, not Deity. He is a unique man, special and begotten miraculously in Mary (Luke 1:35). He is the absolutely exceptional man. He is not God, which would make two GODs. Jesus is the man Messiah of 1 Timothy 2:5. He is the second Adam. ...
God calls Jesus “the man who is going to judge the world” (Acts 17:31). God raised him from the dead. God cannot be raised from the dead. God cannot die.
Jesus refers to this person, himself, as the Son of man (THE human being) at the right hand of God (Mark 14:62). Stephen saw the Son of man (human being) standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). This was the adoni, my lord, of Psalm 110:1. And Peter defined this same Son of man as “a man appointed by God” in Acts 2:22. He is also “the man at My right hand” in Psalm 80:17; “the man, My associate” (Zech. 13:7).
So the Messiah is a unique human being filled with the spirit, but not a second GOD. There cannot be two who are God!
There is no more important verse in the Bible than Psalm 110:1. No other verse is alluded to in the New more often than Psalm 110:1. It wins the prize for being the greatest of all proof texts. No other verse is cited verbatim by Jesus, in three Gospels, and by Peter in Acts 2:34-36 and also by Hebrews 1:3, 13. As you now see, this precious verse in many — the majority — of translations contains a stunning mistranslation: the second lord is falsely written “my Lord” and not correctly as “my lord.” This is a glaring mistranslation.
The difference between Lord and lord is nothing less than the difference between God and not-God! Check with any Jewish friend!
You can inspect 449 samples of Adonai (the Lord GOD) and 195 samples of adoni (my lord) to see that consistent difference at work. Then note that in Psalm 110:1 most translations (not all) confuse the difference by writing “my Lord” and not “my lord”! You can inspect 644 (449 plus 195) samples to see the difference. And note the confusion of God and man only in Psalm 110:1. Adoni is translated correctly as “my lord” on all the other 194 occasions. You have 178 samples of my lord in the OT before you come to Psalm 110:1. Go through them one by one. It is a fascinating study.
(There is one exception in the KJV in Daniel 12:8 where adoni is wrongly written as “my Lord,” because a preexisting Christ [supposedly God, the Son] is thought to be there!)
Jesus silenced all questions with Psalm 110:1. He baffled his audience. It is essential to understand what Jesus taught us as he cited this verse. It is a huge piece of Truth defining God and Jesus.
YHWH is rightly said to be the personal name of the God of Israel (7,000 times).
Ask your friends: When you say YHVH, do you mean
- all three Persons together? or
- each of the Persons is called YHVH?
- Or do you mean correctly, by Yahweh, the one Person God of Israel, God of Abraham, God of David, God of the Jews and God of the Gentiles and God of our lord Jesus Christ?
Psalm 110:1 needs to be carefully examined, because Jesus used this verse to settle all issues and silence all questions. Having established the unitarian creed of Israel as the most important of all commands [Mark 12.28-32], he went on to define the relationship of the Messiah (himself) to the one God [Mark 12.35-37]. The LORD GOD is precisely compared with a non-Deity lord, or superior.
In the following 34 verses we want you to see clearly the obvious difference between God and man. In each verse you will see the precise contrast of the LORD (Yahweh) with a non-Deity superior. You find the same contrast between God and man in Psalm 110:1.
- The LORD (all caps.) translates Yahweh, the One God of Israel and of God.
- “My master” or “my lord” translates adoni, a superior who is not GOD!
(You will not find this information in Strong’s Concordance, and many commentators actually misstate the facts about the second lord.)
- Genesis 24:12 “LORD, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”
- Genesis 24:27 “Praise the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
- Genesis 24:35 “The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.”
- Genesis 24:42 “Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: LORD, God of my master Abraham, if only You will make my journey successful!”
- Genesis 24:44 “If she responds to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels also’ — let her be the woman the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.”
- Genesis 24:48 “Then I bowed down, worshiped the LORD, and praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.”
- Genesis 24:56 “But he responded to them, ‘Do not delay me, since the LORD has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.’”
- Numbers 32:27 “your servants are equipped for war before the LORD and will go across to the battle as my lord orders.”
- Numbers 36:2 “The LORD ordered my lord to give by lot the land to be inherited by the people of Israel, and my lord was ordered by the LORD to give the inheritance of our kinsman Zelophehad to his daughters.”
- Judges 6:13 “Gideon said to him, ‘Please, my lord, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about?’ They said, ‘Hasn’t the LORD brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.’”
- 1 Samuel 1:15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the LORD. ”
- 1 Samuel 1:26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.”
- 1 Samuel 24:6 “I swear before the LORD: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed.I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.”
- 1 Samuel 24:10 “You can see with your own eyes that the LORD handed you over to me today in the cave. Someone advised me to kill you, but I took pity on you and said: I won’t lift my hand against my lord, since he is the LORD’s anointed.”
- 1 Samuel 25:26 “Now my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, it is the LORD who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal.”
- 1 Samuel 25:28 “Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the LORD’s battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you.”
- 1 Samuel 25:29 “When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord’s life will be tucked safely in the place where the LORD your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies’ lives like stones from a sling.”
- 1 Samuel 25:30 “When the LORD does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel.”
- 1 Samuel 25:31 “There will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord’s revenge. And when the LORD does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant.”
- 1 Samuel 26:19 “Now, may my lord the king please hear the words of his servant: If it is the LORD who has incited you against me, then may He accept an offering. But if it is people, may they be cursed in the presence of the LORD, for today they have driven me away from sharing in the inheritance of the LORD saying, ‘Go and worship other gods.’”
- 2 Samuel 4:8 “They brought Ish-bosheth’s head to David at Hebron and said to the king, ‘Here’s the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the LORD has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.’”
- 2 Samuel 14:17 “Your servant thought: May the word of my lord the king bring relief, for my lord the king is able to discern the good and the bad like the Angel of God. May the LORD your God be with you.”
- 2 Samuel 15:21 “But in response, Ittai vowed to the king, ‘As the LORD lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether it means life or death, your servant will be there!’”
- 2 Samuel 18:28 “Ahimaaz called out to the king, ‘All is well,’ and then bowed down to the king with his face to the ground. He continued, “May the LORD your God be praised! He delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king.”
- 2 Samuel 18:31 “May my lord the king hear the good news: today the LORD has delivered you from all those rising up against you!”
- 2 Samuel 24:3 “Joab replied to the king, ‘May the LORD your God multiply the troops 100 times more than they are — while my lord the king looks on! But why does my lord the king want to do this?’”
- 2 Samuel 24:21 “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the LORD, so the plague on the people may be halted.”
- 1 Kings 1:17 “She replied, ‘My lord, you swore to your servant by the LORD your God, “Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.”‘”
- 1 Kings 1:37 “Just as the LORD was with my lord the king,so may He be with Solomon and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”
- 1 Kings 18:10 “As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent someone to search for you. When they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear they had not found you.”
- 1 Kings 18:13 “Wasn’t it reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel slaughtered the LORD’s prophets? I hid 100 of the prophets of the LORD, 50 men to a cave, and I provided them with food and water.”
- 2 Kings 5:18 “However, in a particular matter may the LORD pardon your servant: When my master, the king of Aram, goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship and I, as his right-hand man, bow in the temple of Rimmon — when I bow in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.”
- 1 Chronicles 21:3 “Joab replied, ‘May the LORD multiply the number of His people a hundred times over! My lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”
- Psalm 110:1 “A Davidic psalm. This is the declaration of the LORD to my lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’”
Show your friends the amazing accuracy and detail of the Hebrew Scriptures which as Jesus said “cannot be broken.” Take your stand on the greatest of all commands in Mark 12:29.
לַ ֽ אדֹנִ֗ י (Psalm 110:1)
Don’t be alarmed! I want to introduce you to what is perhaps the most important Bible Hebrew word. It is likely to affect for the good your understanding of the all-important question, Who is Jesus? The word at the top of this article is to be read, as always in Hebrew, from right to left. The word you are seeing is ADONI (pronounced “adonee”). The form I have given you has an L on the front and that L means in English “to.” The last syllable, on your left as you read right to left, makes the sound of EE.
The D and the N you can now figure out. Please now pronounce aloud perhaps your first ever Hebrew word , L’ADONI (l’adonee). It means “to my lord.” The “my” of “my lord” is simply the “ee” at the end of ADONI (adonee). ADONI occurs 195 times in the Hebrew Bible and it must be carefully distinguished from ADONAI.
ADONAI (pronounced “adon-eye”) always refers to the Lord GOD. It is the title of the One God whose personal name is Yahweh ... (7,000 times).
Yahweh is the one God and Father of Jesus and of Christians. He is the God of Israel affirmed in the Shema by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4: “The Lord our God is one Lord,” or “the Lord our God is one,” or “the Lord our God is one Person” — the meaning is exactly the same. He is the one God of Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 3:29).
Now please read all these examples of l’adoni (to my lord):
- Genesis 32:4: “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now.”’”
- Genesis 32:18: “Then you shall say, ‘These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’”
- Genesis 44:16: “So Judah said, ‘What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.’”
- Genesis 44:33: “Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.”
- 1 Samuel 24:6: “So he said to his men, ‘Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.’”
- 1 Samuel 25:27: “Now let this gift which your maidservant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who accompany my lord.”
- 1 Samuel 25:31: “This will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the LORD deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”
- 2 Samuel 19:27: “Moreover, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight.”
- Psalm 110:1: “A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”
Everyone knows that “Jesus is lord” but the great question is,
What is meant by “lord”?
Astonishingly your translation has probably placed a capital L on lord, only in this one verse — Psalm 110:1. They are trying to make you think that Jesus is the Lord GOD! He is not.
He is the human lord Messiah (adoni).
Here is a stunning piece of information for you to share everywhere.
Jesus in the Bible is lord, not Lord! Adoni is never a title for the Lord God.
It is always a title for various superiors, kings, prophets, husband, etc. “The form adoni, my lord, is to be carefully distinguished from the divine title Adonai.” 
In Psalm 110:1 the Messiah is described as non-Deity, a super-elevated human lord, sitting next to the one GOD in heaven. But translations, which always suffer from bias, did not want you to know that Jesus is the lord (my lord, adoni, the Messiah), not the Lord (GOD). The false capital on lord in Psalm 110:1 misleads you into thinking that God is speaking to God. None of the other occurrences of adoni was capitalized!
The capitalization of lord, just once in Psalm 110:1, introduces polytheism into the Bible’s sacred text, and contradicts what Jesus called the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-29). Rightly, Bishop Tom Wright reports in his Jesus and the Victory of God,
“Jesus was a first-century Jewish monotheist” (p 652).
I add, “Why aren’t you?”