Adonizedek, the king of Jerusalem

Adonizedek, Adoni-Zedek, or Adoni-zedec was, according to the Book of Joshua, king of Jerusalem at the time of the Israelite invasion of Canaan. According to Cheyne and Black, the name originally meant “Ṣedeḳ is lord”, but this would likely have been read later as meaning “lord of righteousness”.

Adonizedek led a coalition of five of the neighboring Amorite rulers (Hoham, king of Hebron; Piram, king of Jarmuth; Japhia, king of Lachish; and Debir, king of Eglon) in resisting the invasion, but the allies were defeated at Gibeon, and suffered at Beth-horon, not only from their pursuers, but also from a great hail storm. The five allied kings took refuge in a cave at Makkedah and were imprisoned there until after the battle, when Joshua commanded that they be brought before him; whereupon they were brought out, humiliated, and put to death.

According to the Midrash, the name Adoni-zedek is translated as “Master of Zedek”—that is, “of Jerusalem”, the city of righteousness.

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