What and who is…

Various Hebrew and Greek words are translated “Lord” in Scripture…

  1. Hebrew: יהוה —transliterations: YHWH or Jehovah

    This occurs 6,828 times in the Hebrew Bible. This is the proper name of the God of the Hebrews. There are various English transliterations for these characters, including YHWH and Jehovah.

    When יהוה appears in the original manuscripts it is most frequently rendered in English Bibles as “LORD,” printed in small capitals (i.e., lord). In the King James Version and the Revised King James Version, the form “Jehovah” is retained only in Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; Isa. 26:4.

  2. Hebrew: אֲדֹנִֽי —transliteration: 'adon —meaning one possessed of absolute control

    It denotes a master, as of slaves ( Genesis 24:14, Gen. 24:27), or a ruler of his subjects ( Gen. 45:8), or a husband, as lord of his wife ( Gen. 18:12).

    plural: 'adonai

    The old plural form of this Hebrew word is 'adonai.

    From a superstitious reverence for the name “Jehovah,” the Jews, in reading their Scriptures, whenever that name occurred, always pronounced it 'Adonai.

  3. Greek: κύριος —transliteration: kurios or kyrios —meaning: a supreme master, etc.

    In the Septuagint, this is invariably used for “Jehovah” and “'Adonai.” In the New Testament, kyrios is used about 740 times. It usual refers to Jesus Christ.

  4. Hebrew: בַּעַל —transliteration: ba'al —meaning: a master, as having domination

    This word is applied to human relations, as that of husband, to persons skilled in some art or profession, and to heathen deities. “The men of Shechem,” literally “the baals of Shechem” (Judges 9:2-3). These were the Israelite inhabitants who had reduced the Canaanites to a condition of vassalage ( Joshua 16:10; Josh. 17:13).

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  5. Hebrew: סֶרֶן —transliteration: ceren or seren —applied exclusively to the “Lords of the Philistines” ( Judges 3:3)

    The Septuagint render it as ‘satrapies.’

    During this period the Philistines were not, as at a later period ( 1 Samuel 21:10), under a kingly government. (See Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:18.) There were 5 such lordships, viz., Gath, Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron.

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Article Version: April 26, 2019