The Names of God: Adonai

Lord, Master

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Adonai occurs 434 times. There are heavy uses of Adonai in Isaiah (e.g., Adonai Jehovah). It occurs 200 times in Ezekiel alone and appears 11 times in Daniel Chapter 9.Adonai is first used in Gen 15:2.

Variant spellings: None

TWOT Reference: 27b

Strong’s Reference: 0136

Adonai in the Septuagint: kurios…Lord, Master

Meaning and Derivation

Adonai is the verbal parallel to Yahweh andJehovahAdonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exd 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exd 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute forYahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, “my lords’ ” (both plural and possessive).

Further references of the name Adonai in the Old Testament:Complete list available here.

  • jhnsn d-s

    Good information.

    I hope this is a persistant address to the write. And, was wonder if the adonia was ever used in a derogatory sence?

  • WoLifeMinTv

    Are these people that ignorant or are they just that wicked? Adunay (adonoy) is not the Proper name of the Most High, whose proper name is Yahuah. It is a title of the Most High most properly translated “Sovereign” or Master, never Lord or the Lord. The Lord is Baal.

  • Hello,

    The title of the article in today blog is a bit miss leading because the work Adoni is used as a title for master, lord, or sovereign one.

    It is used however in conjuction wiht other words such as Elohim (plural of majesty or Majesty of Majesties).

    Throughout Jewish / Hebrew history we find that when the Jews came back from Babylon after their 70 years of capitivity (the judgement of God) they were afraid to use his name “YHWH” or Yahweh so they use the word Adoni in its place a fill in name when reading the Hebrew (Old Testament) scriptures because of their overly reverence for Him and His name.

    When looking at the names for God one needs to remember that His name for ever is Yahweh Exodus 3:15 and there are many derivitives of that name.

    When we see the word LORD in all capital letters it is the name YAHWEH in the original Hebrew text.


  • Plural of adon would be adonim.

    Adonai is the possessive, my lord.

    • Thank you RoamingChile!


  • wonderful name ! It comes from the root אָדוֹן a noun from the verb “to rule” or “to possess”. Literally possessor/ruler. But Adonai is the possessive/genitive form so it means “my lord” but more literally = ‘You are mine and I am Yours’

  • Adonai, Jehovah and Yahweh are titles but not God names. A title like the President is not a name of a person but a title as long as one remains to be. God gave His name in exodus Ex:3:14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. ‘I AM’ is is true name or the tetra grammar tone ‘JHVH’ or ‘JHWH’ No one knows the articulation of this except that scholars have added vowels to became ‘Jehovah’ and ‘Yahweh’. More in this article

  • Jerry S.

    I appreciated your referencing the Septuagint in the last two “Names of God” series. The Septuagint is written in a hybrid form of the Greek language, a Jewish/Greek so to speak because there are no direct correlations of many, many Hebrew concepts such as a Messiah (mashiyach, anointed one) in the Greek culture. Christos (Christ, English transliteration) was chosen. Going past the Christian meaning of the word of the past 1700 years or more to the proper or common Greek meaning of “smear”, as in smearing oil on leather. Because no concept of a heavenly deliverer existed they chose to translate the physical process of the High Priest ceremony.

    As gentile believers our faith will be enriched by understanding and embracing the Jewish culture from which the Savior of all mankind has come. Gen. 3:14, 15, the first promise of deliverance was made before Abram was called to form a nation, so all mankind is included in this promise, but remember, the creation story is of the Hebrew faith. Not found in Greece until after Act 28:31.

    As gentile believers our faith is based in the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the coming establishment of Messiah’s government upon the earth.

  • Shoshanna Batyah

    It is good to hear that so many understand that YHWH has only ONE name, but many titles. We are commanded (and blessed) to “call upon the Name of YHWH.” ( 1 Chr 16:8, etc) When we “erase” YHWH from His own scriptures (and our speech) and replace His precious Name with the words “The LORD,” we are defying three of His instructions: 1.We are following the traditions of men rather than the clear instruction of YHWH; 2.We are ‘taking away from’ and ‘adding to’ His Word, which we have no right to do – it belongs to HIM; 3 We replace His Name with the English word LORD, which is insulting to Him and which He has requested NOT be used in reference to Him. Hosea 2:16-17 And it shall be at that day, saith YHWH, [that] thou shalt call me Ishi [husband]; and shalt call me no more Baali [Lord]. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.

    The title ADONAI is used even in the OT, but as others have mentioned here, it is a TITLE, not a name. It implies ownership, which is in accord with Acts 20:28 and other verses which state that we have been purchased for the price of our Savior’s blood – Praise Him!!

    I am looking forward to seeing the teachings on the other titles – there is much to be learned from them!


  • Debi C.

    I am enjoying this series, Chris at BLB, on the names of God.
    I went right to Strong’s Reference of Adonai.
    I enjoyed reading that Abraham used this name when he was asking God about having descendants.

    I also enjoy the song by Avalon and often hear it in my head: “Adonai, I lift up my hands and I cry, my Adonai. Maker of the heavens….” and then I don’t remember the words, just the melody. But i praise God that way.

    Have a good day in the Lord,

  • Ron

    Elohim has one Name, Y-H-V-H, and it is not pronounced “Yahweh” in Hebrew. All other declared names of The Most High are His marvelous attributes.

    This is the Heavenly Father The Messiah brings us to! Great is His Name!

    • Thank you Ron!

      You’re post is what I have been taught too!

      The vowels were added latter on because the Hebrew language did not have vowels in it but were implied by the writer, reader or speaker of the this language and their were no spaces between words. The vowels were passed on by oral tradition (, 2012)

      My guess is they didn’t have paper to waste just animal skins and clay tablets to write on so the language was written to maximize space.

      Interesting language. There are things that are called “vowel points” or “intonations” that were added to the Hebrew language as we know it today by a group called the Masoretes around 600 AD.

      These vowel points help us in the Modern Age to know what vowel needs to be spoken when reading, writing and speaking Hebrew.

      Thanks Again!


  • Bob

    Y H V H = JESUS = YAH is Salvation!

    Pictoral translation as per the Hebrew pictograms reveal:

    The Arm Behold The Nail Behold!!!

    This is The Father’s Name!!!

    One picture is worth a thousand words!!!

  • Teresa Ryan

    Thanks for posting names, titles of our GOD. I know that He knows our hearts in wanting to know Him by every name and title as well as the references.

    In His grace,

  • Blessings upon you for your work and study in this area.