Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Fathoming God: Adonai


King Haakon and Queen Maud in 1906Because this blog is Faith~Driven Fiction, Thursday is the faith day while Tuesday is the fiction day. For the last several months, Thursday has generally held a series of studies with the goal of Fathoming God. We’ve been studying the many names that the old Testament stories contain. This next name exhibits the reign of God.


This name is used over 400 times in the Old Testament alone. (Over 200 of those in Ezekiel.) It is first used by Abram in Genesis 15:2 when he asks God how he can have a legacy without children. He isn’t arguing with God. He might have been complaining a little, but that’s just my interpretation. The crux is that he called Him, Lord God. Adonai. The One who is in charge of me.

Adonai is the plural form of Adon, Lord. While Adon is used for the human type of master or overseer throughout scripture, Adonai is exclusive to God. In fact, in the Hebrew translation, Adonai is commonly used as LORD, an emphatic form. This word is most often seen instead of YHVH, the name by which God called Himself. “I AM.”

The Jewish leaders were so concerned with accidentally taking the name of the Lord in vain that they wrote the word YHVH with the word Adonai written small under the Hebrew letters. As the leaders read scripture, they would see the “unutterable Name” and would substitute Adonai. That’s one of the reasons why history has lost the true pronunciation of YHVH.

Essence of the Name

This Name of God speaks of royalty. Majesty. Oh, that word works so much better! The patriarchs placed God in the position of greatness that He deserves. A greatness beyond what we can understand. And they put themselves under His authority with this name.

Adonai is synonymous with Master. Using the name Adonai utterly submits to His reign. His rule. His will. The title translates as Lord, but that term, in our day and age, doesn’t mean so very much. My opinion only, but I feel the term Lord is just another name for God that holds no true definition in our country. Probably due to the fact that we don’t deal with royalty here.

At the same time, I know the word master conjures harsh depictions and tragic moments in our history. To use that term could almost be considered racist since the primary use of master was during the days of slavery in the U.S.

But Master He is. Regardless of our thoughts on the matter. He’s in complete charge. The blessing is that He is also equipped with the ability to be Master. Lord. Adonai.

Your Turn: What type of picture does the name Adonai draw in your mind? 

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

4 thoughts on “Fathoming God: Adonai

  1. Hi Marji! I wonder if there’s significance in the fact that Adonai is plural? Does it perhaps point toward the Trinity?


    • Oh I think absolutely! And I think it’s why that plural form is used exclusively for God while the singular form for lord, Adon, isn’t.