Monday, April 06, 2020

YHWH is Lord

YHWH is ʾādôn. Signifying sovereignty/authority in relationships, the term is used for both humans and deities in the Levant. Although OT tradents are keen to distinguish YHWH from his baalistic rivals, there is repetitive use of this similar epithet to mark his cosmic authority. One can only speculate on the reason(s) why there is no polemic against invoking YHWH as ʾādôn, but a plausible one is that no Levantine deity so invoked was a serious rival to YHWH in Israel. The name of David’s son Adonijah affirms YHWH's sovereignty as cosmic Lord. Additionally, addressing YHWH as Adonay (e.g.: Gen 15:2; Ps 8:2) follows a pattern noted earlier of using plural nouns to mark him. As the Deuteronomist puts it (Deut 10:17): “YHWH is God [ʾelōhê ] of Gods and Lord [ʾádōnê] of Lords.”— J. Andrew Dearman in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, p. 83

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