🔼The name Eri: Summary
- Roused, Focused, Concentrated On Yah
- From (1) the verb עור ('ur), to be roused, from root ערר ('arar), to accumulate, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Eri in the Bible
Eri is a son of Gad, who is seventh son of Jacob and the first of Zilpah (Genesis 46:16). His progeny would later form a sub-clan within Gad called the ערי; Erites (Numbers 26:16), but Biblically these people were heard from no more. Not that the ethnonym Erites and the name Eri are spelled the same in Hebrew.
🔼Etymology of the name Eri
The name Eri seems to have to do with the verb עור ('ur), to rouse oneself, to awake:
The root ערר ('arar) describes an accumulation in one place that results in an emptiness or barrenness everywhere else — both cities and clouds form from this principle, and indeed any sort of commercial or intellectual fortune. Adjectives ערירי ('ariri) and ערער ('ar'ar) mean stripped, childless or destitute. Noun מערה (me'ara) literally means "place of being stripped" and is the Bible's common word for cave. Noun ערוער ('aro'er) denotes some kind of tree or bush (probably one without leaves).
Noun עיר ('ir) is the Bible's common word for city, which constitutes an accumulation of people and goods, usually in the middle of a wide area without remaining trees. Noun עיר ('ayir) came to specifically denote the wild ass, but apparently stems from the more common behavior of standing around in clusters in the middle of a field that's been grazed clean (in other languages this word also denotes gazelles and such).
Verb עור ('awar) means to be or make blind, and blindness occurs most commonly due to a cataract (which looks like a skin forming over the eye, and is due to a cloudy accumulation of protein in the ocular lens). Adjective עור ('iwwer) means blind. Nouns עורון ('iwwaron) and עורת ('awweret) mean blindness.
Verb עור ('ur I) means to rouse oneself — literally to collect and bundle one's feelings. Noun עיר ('ir) means excitement.
Identical verb עור ('ur II) means to be exposed or laid bare. Noun מעור (ma'or) means nakedness and noun מערם (ma'arom) means naked one. Adjectives עירם ('erom), ערם ('erom), ערום ('arom) and ערם ('arom) mean naked. Noun עור ('or) means skin or hide.
Verb ערה ('ara) also means to be naked or bare. Nouns ערה ('ara), מערה (ma'ara) and מער (ma'ar) refer to bare or exposed places. Nouns ערוה ('erwa) and עריה ('erya) mean nakedness or exposure. Noun תער (ta'ar) denotes a thing that makes bare: a razor or sheath of a sword.
Our name's added letter י (yod) may either create an adjective (such-and-such-like), a possessive form (my such and such), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Eri, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to go with the adjective and reads Watching. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees a remnant of יהוה and reads Watcher Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate or interpret our name but does list it under the verb עור ('ur), meaning to rouse oneself, to awake.