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    Yes, My Lord – Chayyei Sarah

    Abraham negotiates with the Hittites, by William Hogarth

    When dealing with the Hittites concerning the purchase of Machpelah, Abraham is called by them “My lord”, Adoni (Gen. 23:6, 11, 15 etc.).

    He on the other hand does not call Ephron or any Hittite “My lord”.

    It cannot be that the patriarch lacks good manners. As far as he is concerned, there is only one “Lord” – the Almighty.

    He is in fact the first human being to call God “Lord”; the Hebrew may come from a root that means firm, strong or powerful, and some dictionaries even link it with din – a law.

    Whatever title (“prince”, etc.) he uses for human beings, it must not compete with the name which indicates God’s Lordship.

    There are militant anti-masculinists today who will go to any lengths in order not to use the term “Lord” for God, because “Lord” is a masculine term and they are determined to de-genderise the Bible and prayer book… and God too.

    The fact is that when we use traditional terminology we know exactly what we are doing. We do not call HaShem by a masculine name in order to claim that the Creator is a male as against a female; we are using a classical text which is written in classical language.

    We recognise that some writers refer to a feminine side of God, but when the militant modernists think this entitles them to speak of the Deity as “She” they are only confusing the issue.

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