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Old 02-07-2002, 01:16 AM   #21
Spirit of a Warrior
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wandering
Posts: 1,020
Joy has just left Hobbiton.

Gandalfs speech to the Balrog
You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass."

As a project for research I found this very interesting. I have not read far into the books, I should say, only the Trilogy and The Hobbit - (the first 4 chapters at that time). But gathering information for this I have relied on quotes of others, knowledge of Tolkien, and other Middle Age style writings.

It is stated by obloquy that Nar means FIRE. Thus stated, then Narya is the Ring of Fire. Yet, I do not believe that Narya is the Secret Fire that Gandalf spoke of. It is stated in the appendix that Cirdan the Shipwright gave Narya to Gandalf. If this is true, then Gandalfs ring was an Elven Ring. The Elven Rings were hidden, only those who possessed (and the others who possessed the rings) knew. Though it is interesting that Glorifindel, (supposed to be Galadriel), revealed her ring to Frodo and Samwise. Nevertheless, let us get back to the topic at hand.

May we take a deviation from the books to explore the elements of the statement? What is Gandalf? He is a Wizard, a Maia. Some have stated that he reminds them of the Old Testament Prophets. To me he seems like Elijah of Old. Let us take a look at that prophet of the Bible.
IKing 18:22-40
Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
I am sure that most of you are familiar with this account. Did you notice something though? Elijah spoke. This is the Word of Command that he spoke. By the Word of Command, Elijah called down fire, by the Word of Command Elijah kept the heavens from raining for 3 yrs.

In LotR, Gandalf is the servant of the Secret Fire. I believe that this show that he is the servant of the One who holds the Fire. He acts like the One that holds the Fire, for he is His ambassador.

The next question posed is Who is the One who holds the Secret Fire? Voronwestates that
The Secret Fire (also called the Imperishable Flame) is (according to HoME I think) the 'creative activity' of Eru Iluvatar.
It has been stated by many on this board and other Tolkien fans elsewhere that the story of Eru Iluvatar and the creation of Ea, that this, of all things that Tolkien describe, was closest to the Biblical account of the Creation.
Gen 1:1-3
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Ea."
In the Scriptures, the Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit, is often represented by Fire or a Flame (Ex 3:2-12, Ex 13:21 Jer 23:29, Matt 3:11, and Act 2:3).

In summary, I know that I used a Scriptural basis for my argument, and I know that Tolkien did not like allegories, but because of his Faith, I do believe that he may unconsciously placed some messages in the books. I believe that Gandalf was a servant of Eru Iluvatar and that He held the Secret Flame, the Imperishable Flame, which is the creative power. By Gandalf being His servant, His ambassador, he had the power to speak the things into existence with the Word of Command. It seems that the thing that he was wielding was his tongue. This contained, his words, the Secret Fire.

Also, just noticed that someone asked what was the Flame of Udn. Jude 7, states that there is an eternal fire for the damned, the Shadow of eternal death. I believe that this is the Flame of Udn, the dark fire.

[ June 20, 2002: Message edited by: Joy ]
God bless,

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Joy is offline  

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