🔼The name Adoni-bezek: Summary
- Lord Of Scattering, Mister Lightning Bolt
- From (1) the noun אדן ('adon), lord, mister or sir, and (2) the noun בזק (bezek), lightning.
🔼The name Adoni-bezek in the Bible
Adoni-bezek is probably not really a personal name but rather a royal title — not unlike Pharaoh or Candace — namely that of the king of Bezek when the men of Judah and Simeon set out to conquer the lands allotted to them (Judges 1:5).
This Adoni-bezek had the habit of cutting off the thumbs and big toes of conquered kings, and having up to seventy of them scurry around under his table hunting for food. When Judah and Simeon sacked Bezek and captured Adoni-bezek they did to him the same and afterwards they took him to Jerusalem.
Adoni-bezek died there but it's not clear whether he died because of the treatment he received, or of old age, or because Judah and Simeon proceeded to massacre the townsfolk of Jerusalem and set fire to their city.
The name Adoni-bezek occurs both with and without the maqqep or hyphen.
🔼Etymology of the name Adoni-bezek
The name Adoni-bezek consists of two elements. The first part of our name is similar to the familiar Hebrew word אדן (adan), roughly meaning Lord:
The verb אדן ('dn) means to provide support for a piece of superstructure: to be a base for something big to stand or rotate upon. The noun אדן ('eden) refers to the foundation, base or pedestal of pillars or panels and such, and this word features lavishly in the description of the tabernacle. The tabernacle, of course, was a prototype of the temple, which in turn became embodied by God's living human congregation, and the bases and foundations of that living temple became personified by the human foundation known as אדון ('adon) or אדן ('adon), roughly translatable with lord, sir or mister.
The post-fixed letter י (yod) creates a possessive form: אדני (adoni), means my lord, or lord of, depending on the context.
The second part of the name Adoni-bezek comes from the word בזק (bezek), meaning lightning:
The unused Hebrew verb בזק (bazaq) probably meant to scatter (it does so in Aramaic). Noun בזק (bazaq) probably describes a lightning bolt — but this in reference to its zig-zag nature rather than its heat, illumination or thunderous noise.
The whole name Adoni-bezek would thus mean Lord Of Scattering or Lord Of The lightning Bolt.
Another name that means lightning is Barak.