Adonai – Hebrew Word Study

(55 Ratings)


Yood  Noon Dalet  Aleph

10       50        3         1


Adonai is the Hebrew word that means lord.

Adonai is composed of four Hebrew letters.

Those Hebrew letters are:

Aleph the first letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, 

Dalet the fourth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, 

Noon the fourteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and finally,

Yood the tenth letter in the Hebrew Alphabet.


Many Religious Jews are forbidden to speak or write the name of YHVH translated Capital LORD in all English bibles and have substituted the Hebrew title Adonai translated in most English Bibles as Capital L small ord (Lord).

The English word Lord is a correct translation of the Hebrew word Adonai.  Adonai is NOT a name it is a title

Adonai should not be confused with the Sacred Name of YHVH which is as we have already noted is also translated into the English as the title LORD.

So whenever you see the English title Capital LORD in the bible your actually looking at a Title not a name. The Hebrew sacred un-pronouncable name of God is composed of the four Hebrew letters YHVH .

Many of the times Adonai is used in Scripture in reference to God it is used as term meant to indicate subordination. 

Let me give you an example by substituting the actual Hebrew title and name in the English Version.  In Deuteronomy 10:17 we read the following:


For the Lord your God is God of gods.


If we Revealed the sacred name of the Lord hidden by the title LORD we would actually read the following:

For YHVH your God is God of gods,


The verse in Deuteronomy 10:17 goes on to say the YHVH the God of gods is also The Lord of Lords.

If we read that substituting the literal Hebrew  it would read as follows:

Adonai of Adonais.  Or Lord of Lords as we would say in English. And who is the lord of lords?  His is the LORD YHVH.

The Name YHVH is used 6820 times in Scripture. The Title Adonai is used only 439 and in almost all those cases it is used a word to identify human princes or to indicate that all the lords of the earth are under the authority of YHVH. So that is what I mean when I say that The relatively few times Adonai is used in Scripture in reference to God it is used as term meant to indicate subordination. 

We can learn a great deal about the prominence and meaning of a word by how it is fir used in Scripture.  The first use of the Hebrew word Adonai is found in Genesis 18:12 where we read:

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

Notice that this reference has nothing to do with YHVH the LORD. Let’s examine the pictorial meaning of the Hebrew word Adonai.

aleph_letter aleph_picture

Aleph the first letter in the Hebrew word Adonai is pictured as an OX. 

It is a picture of the Strong Leader,  the first and  can have reference to God the Father.

dalet_letter dalet_light_picture

Dalet  the second letter in the Hebrew word Adonai is pictured as a Door. 

It is the picture of a path, or  pathway or a place you enter that leads to something new.


Noon the third letter in the Hebrew word Adonai and is pictured as a fish and it means activity or life   



Yood  is the tenth letter of the Hebrew word Adonai and is pictured as a Hand doing a deed.

As a picture it means to do a work, to make something or to do a mighty deed.


The Pictorial meaning of a Hebrew word usually refers to the Ideal of that word.  So if YHVH is Lord or Lords we might expect to find that ideal meaning in the picture translation of the word. Let's see if we can summarize the picture translation based on each of the four Hebrew letters in order to discover the IDEAL meaning of the Hebrew word Adonai.




Strong Leader









Mighty Work of his Hand



So we could reasonably translate the picture meaning as follows:     

The Strong Leader who does a mighty deed that opens the door to a place where life is protected or preserved.


Psalm 23


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


Like this article? Vote!
55 Votes
Click stars to vote

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lynn Koch says:

    Wow that was really interesting to learn about the pictures that go with the letters. It really makes them say so much more.

  2. LaDana Miller says:

    This is fascinating and exactly what I have desired to learn for many years.

  3. Bethany Pike says:

    Same here. I second What Lynn and Ladana each say.
    Thank you!

  4. Alice Silvers says:

    We, in the western world, have been essentially denied the true nature of our Creator. Being taught, brain washed, that the “Old” Testament was no longer needed and all we need is Grace through Jesus. And yet, Yahshua tells us over and over, if you love me , you will obey my commands. The churches don’t teach that as explicitly as they should. My point is, i am so very very grateful for these lessons, for a connection to the Hebrew/Israelite culture that our Creator chose to spread His message to His people. Many say they failed, they didn’t obey. But it’s funny, Yahshua’s story, and our Heavenly Creators story, are not diminishing. Greater understanding is being poured out every day. He said knowledge would increase. Thank you for helping my knowledge of this beautiful language increase!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *