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ADONIRAM (or Adoram, Hadoram ; Heb. ,אֲדֹנִירָם, אֲדֹרָם הֲדֹרָם; "the Lord / my Lord is exalted"), son of Abda. Adoniram is described in a list of King David's officials from the later years of David's reign (ii Sam. 20:24) as the minister "in charge of forced labor." He continued in the same office during Solomon's reign (i Kings 4:6) and was in charge of the levy of all Israel sent to *Lebanon to cut lumber (i Kings 5:27–28). During the first year of *Rehoboam, Adoniram was sent to face the discontented and revolting assembly at Shechem (12:1–19). The people, for whom he no doubt personified the detested corvée, stoned him to death (12:18). B. Mazar (Maisler) has suggested that Adoniram was of foreign origin, as the institution of forced labor was adopted by the Israelite monarchy from Canaanite patterns, and that it was only natural to appoint a Canaanite official as its head. The names of Adoniram and his father support the view of his Canaanite origin, since ad is synonymous with ab (av – father – in West-Semitic languages), while "Abda" is an abbreviated theophorical name found in Phoenician inscriptions. Some scholars believe that the lengthly tenure assigned by the Bible to Adoniram's office is due to chronological confusion.


Mendelsohn, in: basor, no. 85 (1942), 14 ff.; Maisler (Mazar), in: Leshonenu, 15 (1947), 38–39; idem, in: bjpes, 13 (1947), 108; de Vaux, Anc Isr, 128–9, 144 ff.; em, 1 (1965), 116–7. add. bibliography: M. Cogan, i Kings (2000), 204.

[Hanna Weiner]

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