Aven

("nothingness, vanity".) (Amos 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 Amos 1:5 (see margin) and Joshua 11:17; Joshua 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 Hosea 5:8 calls Bethel, where the idol calf was set up, Bethaven.