Beth-a'ven (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 (Jos 7:2, Sept. Βαιθήλ; 18:12), and lying between that place and Michmash (1Sa 13:5, Sept. Βαιθαβέν v. r. Βαιθωρών; also 14:23, Sept. τὴν Βαμώθ). In Jos 18:12, the "wilderness" (Midbar = pasture-land) of Beth-aven is mentioned. In Ho 4:15; Ho 5:8; Ho 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 (Jos 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).

Bible concordance for BETH-AVEN.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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