Canaanitish king (Judges, i. 5-7), in the town of Bezek. He was routed by Judah and fled, but was caught. His thumbs and great toes were cut off, as a divine retribution—as he himself acknowledged—for the same mutilation visited by him upon seventy kings. Such treatment rendered the captives practically harmless in case of war, as they could neither run nor handle the bow. See Adoni-zedek.
The Midrash suggests that the purport of the Biblical account ofAdoni-bezek's former greatness was to show how very powerful and wealthy were the Canaanites whom Israel conquered by the grace of God. For even Adoni-bezek, compared with others among them, must have been only an unimportant chieftain; since his name is lacking in the list of kings in Josh. xii. 9-24, and this in spite of the fact that he had subjugated seventy other kings (Yalḳ. on Judges, § 37, quoted from Sifre, but not found there).