🔼The name Adonijah: Summary
- My Lord Is Yahweh
- From (1) the noun אדן ('adon), lord, mister or sir, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Adonijah in the Bible
When David is old (so old even that he needs the pretty Abishag of Shunem to keep him warm), Adonijah tries to make for the throne. He arranges an entourage of chariots and cavaliers, and fifty foot soldiers to run before him. He finds himself endorsed by general Joab and Abiathar the priest, who arranges a sacrificial ceremony by the Stone of Zoheleth, close to En-rogel. When Bathsheba informs David about Adonijah's doings, he orders his chosen son Solomon, Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the assassin to Gihon to take care of business. Solomon lets Adonijah live for the time being, but when David dies and Adonijah asks for Abishag of Shunem, Solomon orders Benaiah to kill him.
🔼Etymology of the name Adonijah
The name Adonijah consists of two elements. The first part comes from the Hebrew word אדן (adon), 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 second part of the name Adonijah is the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
When two words are joined, and the first one ends on the letter י (yod), while the second one starts with one, the two yods tend to blend into one. That means that the first part of our name may in fact be אדני (adoni), which means either my lord, or lord of, depending on the context.
For a meaning of the name Adonijah, BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List both read My Lord Is Yahweh. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Lord Of The Lord, or Jehovah Is My Lord.