O Adonai


The second great “O” is: O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

English: O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

It reflects the following prophecies and Scripture:

O Adonai…

  • christ-in-glory07“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33:22 “Adonai” means “Lord” and was the Hebrew word used to replace God’s name YHWH held to be too sacred to pronounce aloud; the repetition of “Adonai” three times is common in the Scriptures, here preceding judge, ruler and king. These attributes summarise the ideal theocracy, to be realised by the Messiah alone; the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king to be exercised by Him in person (Isa 11:4; 32:1; Jas 4:12). Jesus came to inaugurate the reign of God on earth “The kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15), primarily by His rule in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21) through His saving redemptive sacrifice on the Cross (Hebrews 9:28). Ultimately we will live with Him in the fullness of the kingdom of God (John 6:40; 1 Corinthians 15) when it comes to earth “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). For as was revealed to St John the Beloved concerning the kingdom of God at the end of the ages, when Christ shall reign “Look what I have done,” Christ says from His throne “I have made all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)
  • “[…] but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.” Isaiah 11:4-5 This refers to the kingship of Christ as “Adonai”. Only Our Lord Jesus Christ could possess all these properties, for only He as the Son of God could possess the divine judgement: for He it is who touches the hearts of the faithful and mortifies their concupiscence: and to those who will not repent, He alone can pass sentence, so that all the world will be smitten with His rod, which is His Word, He who is life itself [cf O Sapientia].

and leader of the House of Israel…

  • But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2 echoed in St Matthew’s Gospel “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” Matthew 2:6 Both Christian and Jewish scholars have long held this prophecy referred to the birth-place of the Messiah. Bethlehem is called by Micah, Bethlehem Ephratah, and by Matthew, Bethlehem in the land of Judah, both are one and the same place. Bethlehem Ephratah was in the land of Juda, as appears from the prophecy of Micah itself, from Ruth 1:2 and the Septuagint version of Joshua 15:60 and is described in this manner by Matthew, partly to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in the land of Zebulun, Joshua 19:15 and partly because its other name Ephratah was now disused. This prophecy is relevant regarding “leader of the House of Israel” in the antiphon (above) for the Messiah would be “born of David’s line” and Bethlehem Ephrathah is the town and clan from which king David was born (1 Samuel 16:18-23). Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush…

  • Bourdon,_Sébastien_-_Burning_bushAnd the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Exodus 3:2 This was no ordinary angel, no created being but in fact “the Angel of the Covenant”, the Second Person of the Trinity Himself, the eternal Word and Son of God i.e. Christ! If we read on we find the “angel” describes Himself as YHWH, and calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a created angel would never do that! Some scholars believe this was a prefigurement of the Incarnation, for certain the Divine Presence is indicated by Moses taking off his sandals. This would seem to tie-in with the proto-martyr Stephen’s own preaching to the Sanhedrin concerning Christ (cf Acts 7:30-53) and the Old Covenant. Consider too these words of the prophet, Isaiah 63:9 “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” Consider also the “angel of the Covenant” referred to in the Canon of the Mass, “…We most humbly beseech Thee, Almighty God to command these things be carried by the hands of Thy holy angel to Thy altar on high, in the sight of Thy divine majesty; that as many as partake of the most sacred Body and Blood of Thy Son at this altar, may be filled with every heavenly grace and blessing. Through…”

and gave him the law on Sinai:

  • 10246And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. Exodus 24:12 Jesus said, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 25:44). In the Exodus God gives Israel new life; they are redeemed not only from the physical oppression of Egyptian slavery but the spiritual bondage and deceit involved in worship of the Egyptian gods. God commands them to worship Himself alone as their true life (Exod. 20:2-3). Accordingly, the law in its total scope sets forth the way of life. True life comes from God and involves fellowship with Him. If the Israelites obey the commandments, they will live (Lev. 18:5; Deut. 28:1-14), and if they disobey they will die (Exod. 19:21-22; 32:9-10; Deut. 6:15; 28:15-68). The ten commandments embody the core of this life. They express what true life is like in our relations directly to God (primarily commandments 1-4) and in our relations to fellow human beings (primarily commands 5-10). Christ then who “is Wisdom” i.e. “life” (see O Sapientia) is “the way of life” encapsulated in the ten commandments.

Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

  • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:24-25) “ ‘Now is the judgement of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.’ But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die” (John 12:31-33). “Dogs have surrounded Me; a band of evildoers have encircled me; they have pierced My hands and My feet…” (Psalm. 22:16)“And they crucified Him” (Mark 15:25). 
Credit – Stephan George
Credit – Earth & Altar Antiphon Project


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