In Hebrew, pronounced ad-o-noy, being the plural of excellence for Aden, meaning to rule, and signifying the Lord. The Jews, who reverently avoided the pronunciation of the sacred name JEHOVAH, were accustomed, whenever that name occurred, to substitute for it the word Adonai in reading. As to the use of the plural form instead of the singular, the Rabbis say, "Every word indicative of dominion, though singular in meaning, is made plural in form." This is called the pluralis excellentiae. The Talmudists also say, as in Joannes Buxtorfius, Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum, that the Tetragrammaton is called Shem hamphorash, the name that is separated or explained, because it is explained, uttered, and set forth by the word Adonai (see Jehovah and Shem Hamphorasch).
Adonai is used as a significant word in several of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, and may almost always be considered as allusive to or symbolic of the True Word.
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