Who is…

also known as: Adonizedek or Adoni-zedec

Meaning: lord of justice or righteousness.

This Canaanite king ruled in ancient Jerusalem (then called Jebus) at the time when the Israelites invaded Canaan (Joshua 10:1, 3).

He formed a confederacy with the other Canaanite kings against the Israelites, but was utterly routed by Joshua when he was engaged in besieging the Gibeonites.

The history of this victory and of the treatment of the 5 confederated kings is recorded in Joshua 10:1-27 (compare Deuteronomy 21:23).

Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are some very interesting letters from Adoni-zedec to the king of Egypt. These illustrate in a very remarkable manner the history recorded in Joshua 10, and indeed throw light on the wars of conquest generally, so that they may be read as a kind of commentary on the Book of Joshua.

Here the conquering “Abiri” (Hebrews) is graphically described:

“Behold, I say that the land of the king my lord is ruined…

The wars are mighty against me…

The Hebrew chiefs plunder all the king’s lands…

Behold, I the chief of the Amorites am breaking to pieces.”

Then he implores the king of Egypt to send soldiers to help him, directing that the army should come by sea to Ascalon (Ashkelon) or Gaza, and march from there to “Wru-sa-lim” (Jerusalem) by the valley of Elah.

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Article Version: October 3, 2017