From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]

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 Heiropolis, "City Of 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.

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

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

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

("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 Βiqu'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.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

a city of Egypt, afterward called Heliopolis, and On,  Ezekiel 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,  Genesis 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,  Joshua 7:2 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

1. On, or Heliopolis, 'House of the Sun,' in northern Egypt, a seat of idolatry: its young men should fall by the sword.  Ezekiel 30:17 . See ON.

2. Used symbolically in that Beth-el, 'the house of God,' had become Aven or Beth-aven, that is, 'the house of vanity' because of idolatry.  Hosea 10:8 : cf.  Hosea 4:15;  Hosea 5:8;  Hosea 10:5 .

3. The Plain of Aven, a place in Syria.  Amos 1:5 . Not identified.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • In  Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Aven'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/a/aven.html. 1897.

  • People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

    Aven ( Â'Ven ), Nothingness. 1. The name applied to the city elsewhere called On, or Heliopolis.  Ezekiel 30:17. 2. A contracted form,  Hosea 10:8, of Beth-aven, I.E., Bethel. 3. A place mentioned by  Amos 1:5, called Bikath-aven, in the margin of A. V. It seems to be a "plain" or valley in Lebanon, where Baalbek is situated, still called el BukâʾA .

    Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

     Ezekiel 30:17 2 Hosea 10:8 3 Joshua 7:2 Joshua 18:12Beth-Aven

    Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [8]

    AVEN . An insulting substitute (in   Ezekiel 30:17 ) for On (wh. see).

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

    See Heliopolis .

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

    (Heb. id., אָוֶן , Nothingness, hence Iniquity, as often, especially Idolatry, and so concretely an idol itself, as in  Isaiah 66:3), a contemptuous name given to three places on account of the idolatry practiced there. (See Ben- Oni).

    1. (Sept. Ων . ) A plain ( בִּקְעָה , Bikah', Valley), "the plain of the sun," of Damascene Syria, mentioned by Amos (1, 5) in his denunciation of Aram (Syria) and the country to the north of Palestine. It is usually supposed to be the same as the plain of Baalbek, or valley of Baal, where there was a magnificent temple dedicated to the sun. (See Baalbek). Being between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, it is supposed by Rosenm Ü ller and others (in loc.) to be the same plain or valley that is mentioned as "the valley of Lebanon" in  Joshua 11:17 (comp. Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 52). Some, however, would rather seek Aven in the plain four leagues from Damascus toward the desert, where Michaelis (Notes on Amos) heard from a native of Damascus of a valley near that city called Un, and he quotes Ia Damascene proverb referring thereto; but this locality lacks confirmation (see Henderson, in loc.); for the information was at best suspicious, and has not been confirmed, although the neighborhood of Damascus has been tolerably well explored by Burckhardt (App. 4) and by Porter. The prophet, however, would I seem to be alluding to some principal district of the country of equal importance with Damascus itself; and I so the Sept. have understood it, taking the letters as if pointed, אוֹן , On, and expressing it in their version as I "the plain" of On, by which they doubtless intend the great plain of Lebanon, Coele-Syria, in which the renowned idol-temple of Baalbek or Heliopolis was situated, and which still retains the very same name by I which Amos and Joshua designated it, el-Buka'a. The application of Aven as a term of reproach or contempt to a flourishing idol- sanctuary, and the play or paronomasia therein contained, is quite in keeping with the manner of Amos and of Hosea. The latter frequently applies the very same word to Bethel. (See Bethaven).

    2. (Sept. ῾Ηλιούπολις , Eng. marg. "Heliopolis.") Another name for ON (q.v.) in Egypt ( Ezekiel 30:17). The intention of the prophet is doubtless to play upon the name in the same manner as Amos and Hosea. See No. 1, above.

    3. (Sept. Ων ) A shorter form (Amos 10:8) of BETHAVEN (See Bethaven) (q.v.) or Bethel

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

    ā´ven און , 'āwen "emptiness," "vanity": Used in  Ezekiel 30:17 for On or Heliopolis, in Egypt. See ON. As a term of contempt Hosea calls Beth-el "Beth-aven" (  Hosea 4:15;  Hosea 10:5 ). So Amos speaks of some valley near Damascus as "the valley of Aven" (that is, of the idol,  Amos 1:5 ), in which Baalbek (Heliopolis) was situated. The word is rendered "idol" in  Isaiah 66:3 .

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

    Aven, a plain, 'the plain of the sun,' of Damascene Syria ( Amos 1:5). It is usually supposed to be the same as the plain of Baalbec, or valley of Baal, where there was a magnificent temple dedicated to the sun.