(1.) Hosea speaks of the "high places of Aven" (Ho 10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it Beth-aven, i.e., "the house of vanity" (Ho 4:15), on account of the golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1Ki 12:28).
(2.) Translated by the LXX. "On" in Eze 30:17. The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (q.v.).
(3.) In Am 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.
("nothingness, vanity".) (Am 1:5.) A plain in Syria, "the plain of Aven," i.e. idols threatened with depopulation, probably for idolatry. Probably the great plain of Lebanon, Coele-Syria (included in the Scripture designation, "Syria of Damascus"), in which the idol temple of Baalbek or Heliopolis, the city of the sun god Baal, stood. The Hebrew in Am 1:5 (see margin) and Jos 11:17; 12:7, for this "plain" or "valley," is Biqu'ah; the very name it still retains, el Buka'a. Aven is the contemptuous term appended to stigmatize its vanity, with all its idolatrous pomp, just as Ho 5:8 calls Bethel, where the idol calf was set up, Bethaven.
1. On, or Heliopolis, 'House of the Sun,' in northern Egypt, a seat of idolatry: its young men should fall by the sword. Eze 30:17. See ON.
3. The Plain of Aven, a place in Syria. Am 1:5. Not identified.
1. The "plain of Aven" is mentioned by
in his denunciation of Syria and the country to the north of Palestine. This Aven is by some supposed to be the once magnificent Heiropolis, "city of I the sun," now Baalbek (Bal'bek) of Coele-Syria, whose ruins are one of the wonders of the ages. It was situated in a plain near the foot of the Anti-Libanus range of mountains, 42 miles northwest of Damascus. It is famous for the colossal ruins of its temples, one of which with its courts and porticos, extended over 1000 feet in length. The temples were built of marble or limestone and granite. Some of the columns were 7 feet in diameter and 62 feet high, or including capital and pedestal, 89 feet. Some of the building-stones were 64 feet long and 12 feet thick. The temples are of Roman origin.
the word is clearly an abbreviation of Bethaven, that is, Bethel. Comp.
3. The sacred city of Heliopolis or On, in Egypt.
AVEN, a city of Egypt, afterward called Heliopolis, and On, Eze 30:17. Herodotus informs us that in this city there was an annual assembly in honour of the sun, and a temple dedicated to him. It appears, however, highly probable, by the behaviour of Pharaoh to Joseph and Jacob, and especially by Joseph's care to preserve the land to the priests, Ge 47:22; 26, that the true religion prevailed in Egypt in his time; and it is incredible that Joseph should have married the daughter of the priest of On, had that name among the Egyptians denoted only the material light; which, however, no doubt they, like all the rest of the world, idolized in after times, and to which we find a temple dedicated among the Canaanites, under this name, Jos 7:2.