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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Beyth A'ven, בֵּית אָוֶן, house of nothingness, i.e. wickedness, idolatry; Sept. usually Βαιθών v. r. Βηθαύν ), a place on the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Joshua 7:2, Sept. Βαιθήλ ; 18:12), and lying between that place and Michmash (1 Samuel 13:5, Sept. Βαιθαβέν v. r. Βαιθωρών ; also 14:23, Sept. τὴν Βαμώθ ). In Joshua 18:12, the "wilderness" (Midbar = pasture-land) of Beth-aven is mentioned. In Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5, the name is transferred, with a play on the word very characteristic of this prophet, to the neighboring Bethel once the "house of God," but then the house of idols, of "naught." The Talmudists accordingly everywhere confound Beth-aven with Bethel (comp. Schwarz, Palest. p. 89), the proximity of which may have occasioned the employment of the term as a nickname, after Bethel became the seat of the worship of the golden calves. (See BETHEL). The name Beth-aven, however, was properly that of a locality distinct from Bethel (Joshua 7:2, etc.), and appears to have been applied to a village located on the rocky eminence Burj Beitin, twenty minutes south-east of Beitin (Bethel), and twenty minutes west of Tell el-Hajar (Ai) (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 294).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Beth-Aven'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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