1042What does Eru mean?
- Jan 2, 2008(Sorry for my clumsy English)
We all know that "Eru" is translated "the One". But the English word "one" has
different meanings. Which one is the meaning of the name "Eru"?
I believe that in such a context "one" in English could mean three different
1. The object with some particular qualities (which are explicitly mentioned or
implied). I.e. "the Holy One", "One above", "Evil One", "I am not the one",
2. One in contrast to two or more: one and no more, one only; a single.
3. One made up of many components, a united. A whole. I.e. "I am of one mind
with you", "all of them with one voice said", "he is made one with nature".
I believe all the three meanings are relevant here in some measure. All the
three could be confirmed by some Athrabeth quotations:
Meaning 1: "The Lord of this World is not he, but the One who made him"
Meaning 2: "nay, Eru is One, alone without peer"
Meaning 3: "Finrod therefore thinks that He will, when He comes, have to be
both 'outside' and inside; and so he glimpses the possibility of complexity or
of distinctions in the nature of Eru, which nonetheless leaves Him 'The One'."
Am I right here? This is quite an important question for the translation of
"the One" into other languages.
I am also inclined to think that Quenya "Eru" mostly has Meaning 2. The
Etymologies has "ERE- be alone, deprived. Q _er_ one, alone". Cf. Q Tol
Eressea, the Lonely Isle; S Erebor, the Lonely Mountain.
Also we have the quotation from The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor: "In
Eldarin _er_ was not used in counting in series: it meant 'one, single, alone'.
_erui_ is not the usual Sindarin for 'single, alone': that was _ereb_ (<
_erikwa_; cf. Q. _erinqua_); but it has the very common adjectival ending _-ui_
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