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A’ven (nothingness).

1. The “plain of Aven” is mentioned by Amos (1:5) in his denunciation of Syria and the country to the north of Palestine. This Aven is by some supposed to be the once magnificent Heliopolis, “city of the sun,” now Baalbek (Bäl’bek) of Cœle-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.


Ruins of Baalbek (now called Aven).

2. In Hos. 10:8 the word is clearly an abbreviation of Bethaven, that is, Bethel. Comp. 4:15, etc.

3. The sacred city of Heliopolis or On, in Egypt. Ezek. 30:17.