[b-hebrew] Deu:10:17

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Oct 17 02:54:32 EDT 2006

Dear Ethel,

That's what happens when you use a modern Hebrew dictionary, and not a very 
good one at that.

The basic meaning of the word "adon" is "master", "owner", "ruler". As such, 
it is a common title for human superiors and rulers, for gods in general and 
for God (YHWH) in particular. The English word "lord" has the same meaning, 
and as such is used to translate the Hebrew. As you know, God is often 
called "Adonai", "my Lords", the plural being a sign of respect. The same is 
true of Spanish "senior", which also has the meaning of "elder".

In MODERN Hebrew, English and Spanish, these words have additional meanings. 
In modern Hebrew, "adon" is used as a title of respect towards one's 
superior or supposed superior. A salesman will address a customer as 
"adoni". In modern English, saying "my lord" is archaic, since "lord" is 
also a title of nobility (although judges in court are addressed as 
"milord") - the equivalent is "sir". Spanish uses "Senor".

And yes, the modern Hebrew word for "lord" as a title of nobility - when 
referring to an English lord, is "lwrd".

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz" <macnietspingal at airmail.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 10:48 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Deu:10:17

> יז  כִּי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם--הוּא אֱלֹהֵי הָאֱלֹהִים, וַאֲדֹנֵי 
> הָאֲדֹנִים:
> הָאֵל הַגָּדֹל הַגִּבֹּר, וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יִשָּׂא פָנִים, וְלֹא
> יִקַּח שֹׁחַד.
> Question:
> All translations use "Lord" for adonee but I don't think the word "Lord"
> existed
> back then.  It's funny to see it in Spanish "El Senor".  Now maybe in 
> early
> English the word "Lord" was used the same way we say "Sir".  I know in
> Spanish that's what Senor means.  Sir/Mr.
> In fact, I looked up Lord in my Webster New World Hebrew/English and it's
> written lamed-vav-resh-daled (Hebrew transliteration of the word Lord:)  I
> looked up Adonee and it's Sir/Mr.  I would translate it "Sir of sirs".  It
> feels so natural to me and imparts such a rich poetic feeling to the
> mysterious label "Y'H'W'H".  "God of gods and Sir of sirs".
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