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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Αἰνών, from Chald. עֵינָוָן Enavan, fountains; Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 1601), the name of a place near Salim, where John baptized (John 3:23); the reason given, "because there was much water (ὕδατα πολλά, many waters) there," would suggest that he baptized at the springs from which the place took its name. Eusebius (Onomast. s.v.) places it eight Roman miles south of Scythopolis (Bethshean), and fifty-three north-east of Jerusalem; and it was evidently (comp. John 3:26 with 1:28) on the west side of the Jordan (contrary to Kuinol and Lampe in loc.; after Zorn, De AEnone, in his Olpusc. 2, 71-94; also in Ugolini Thesaur. 7), but not necessarily in Judaea (as Wieseler, Chronol. Synop. p. 248). See the curious speculations of Lightfoot (Cent. Chorog. 1, 2, 3, 4). Dr. Robinson s most careful search, on his second visit (new ed. of Researches, 3, 333), failed to discover any trace of either name or remains in the locality indicated by Eusebius; but a Salim has been found by him to the east of and close to Nablus, where there are two very copious springs (ib. 2, 279; 3, 298). This position agrees with the requirements of Genesis 33:18. (See SHALEM). In favor of its distance from the Jordan is the consideration that, if close by the river, the evangelist would hardly have drawn attention to the "much water" there. Dr. Barclay is disposed to locate A Enon at Wady Farah, a secluded valley about five miles to the N.E. of Jerusalem, running into the great Wady Fowar immediately above Jericho; but the only grounds for this identification are the copious springs and pools with which W. Farah abounds, and also the presence of the name Selam or Seleim, the appellation of another valley close by (City of the Great King, p. 558-570). See SALIM.

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

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