Fw: [b-hebrew] LORD
Pastor Mark Eddy
markeddy at adams.net
Thu Feb 13 22:57:26 EST 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin"
> I'm not Walter, but the Hebrew MT of Ps. 110:1 says: "YHWH said to my lord"
> (look at JPS), "Adoni", NOT using the plural form "Adonai", which is used
> for "The Lord". In the Jewish tradition, YHWH is NOT speaking to a divine
> figure, but to a human, whom the psalmist calls "my lord". From the
> context, this would probably be a priest.
I fail to find one instance in which a king (or anybody else) calls a priest "my lord" or anything like
I do find places where the leaders of Israel call a (divine) messenger from YHWH "Lord." Joshua addresses
the "commander of the army of the LORD" as "my lord." Since this "commander" tells Joshua what the "Angel
of the LORD" told Moses in Exodus 3:5 (take off your sandals, you are on holy ground), and since the
"Angel of the LORD" in Ex. 3:2 is also called YHWH in verses 4, 7, etc., the "commander" seems to be a
theophany. So Joshua called YHWH "my Lord" (Adoni). This is what Moses called YHWH in Ex. 4:10 & 13. (We
have no way of knowing what vowels the original author intended . I know that the MT points the word as
Adonai in Ex. and Adoni in Josh. But not all translators agree with their pointing. Since the Massoretes
pointed the text long after Christians noted that Ps 110 referred to the Messiah as Adoni or Adonai "my
Lord" or "Lord", the Massoretic pointing can not be considered impartial in such Messianic passages.)
The context leads many translators to see YHWH called "my Lord" in Psalm 16:2; 109:21; 140:7 and perhaps
141:8, despite the Massoretic pointing as Adonai. "My God" is called "my Lord" in Psalm 35:23 (even in the
LXX, though again it is Adonai in MT).
In Ex. 32:21 (& Num. 12:11) Aaron, the priest, calls the national leader Moses "my lord" (Adoni). This is
the opposite of what you suppose that David did in Psalm 110. In 1 Sam. 22:12 the prist calls the king "my
lord," not the other way around.
When David was still Saul's subject, he called Saul, his king, "my lord" in 2 Sam. 24:6,8,10 and 26:17-19.
Abigail constantly calls the anointed king-in-waiting David "my lord" in 1 Sam. 25:24-41. When David was
serving the Philistine lords, he called king Achish "my lord" (1 Sam. 29:8). The messenger in 2 Sam. 1:10
calls his new king David "my lord." Abner calls king David "my lord" (2 Sam. 3:21). Others call king David
"my lord" in 2 Sam. 4:8; 9:11; 11:11; 13:32f; 14:9-22; 15:21; 16:4,9; 18:28-32; 19:19-37; 24:3,21f; 1
Kings 1:2-37. The same phrase was addressed to later kings e.g. Solomon (1 King 2:38; 3:17,26 and
parallels in Chronicles). See also Jer. 37:20 and 38:9. Babylon's king is called "my lord" in Daniel 1:10.
The prophet Elijah is address as "my lord" in 1 Kings 18: 7-13. The term was also used of the prophet
Elisha in 2 Kings 2:13; 4:16,28; 5:3' and 8:12. Ahab became a vassal of Syria's king Ben-Hadad in 1 Kings
20 and called him "my lord." An officer and subject of Israel's king calls him "my lord" in 2 Kings 6:12 &
26 and 8:5.
Some translations have people call Ezra "my lord" in Ezra 10:3, but the MT points this to refer to God as
In Daniel 10:16-19 in a vision Daniel sees someone in the likeness of a son of Adam, a messenger from God,
and Daniel calls him "my lord." This is no priest or king or prophet, but it could be an angel or another
theophany. See also Dan. 12:8 and Zech. 1:9; 4:4f,13; & 6:4 (all called an "angel" in Zech.).
In light of all this, how could anyone suggest that king David was referring to a priest as "my lord" in
> The Christian tradition in Acts 2:34 (cf KJV of Ps. 110:1) read "my LORD",
> since it assumed that the author was King David, and since the only one
> whom GOD would address as "my LORD" could be Jesus.
David addresses his Lord as "my Lord" in Psalm 110. The Christian church did not just assume that David
was the author. The MT itself says that this Psalm is "by David." God does not address David's "Lord" as
such. God's address begins with the words, "Sit at My right hand..." Though, if David was writing by
direction of God's Spirit, then through David God was addressing the Messiah as David's "Lord."
Furthermore, Christian tradition didn't begin referring Psalm 110 to Jesus. Jesus Himself did that. He
brought it up during his holy week disputes, recorded in Matt. 22:42-45 (also Mark 12:35-37 and Luke
20:41-44). No one in His audience disputed His assertion that David called the Messiah "my Lord" in Psalm
110:1. So, that Messianic understanding of this Psalm seems to pre-date Jesus.
> John N Carras wrote:
> >Does it make sense to consider a difference of YHWH as opposed to Lord
> >found in Hebrew at Psa. 110:1 and then quoted in Acts 2:34? Would not
> >Hebrew word-language indicate a difference between YHWH and the second
> >instance of Lord in the Psalm?
> >John Carras
Since Elohim is plural and YHWH is Elohim, one person of the Elohim could be expected to speak to another
person. See Genesis 1:26. So different persons of the Godhead could be differentiated by David, calling
one YHWH and the other Adon(a)i.
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