a The "valley of Aven," mentioned in Amos 1:5, is a plain or valley the identity of which has not been established. The Aven of Hosea 10: 8 is no doubt the Beth-aven of Hosea 4:15, and both probably refer to the valley of Aven, or Baal, where the sun was worshiped in a great temple that was built there for that purpose. This "valley of Aven" is thought to be the same as the "Plain of Coele-Syria," which means much in helping to determine its metaphysical import, since Syria pertains to the intellect in man under the rule of sense rather than under spiritual direction. b In Ezekiel 30:17 Aven refers to the city of On, city of the sun, in Egypt.
Meta. The nothingness and vanity, or vainness, of Baal worship. (See BAAL.) When man thinks that the intellect is the source of true understanding, he believes the outer world of phenomena to be real in itself. He forms his conclusions from appearances, and he builds up the idea that he is ruled over by the sun and the planets. He thinks that circumstances and conditions master him; thus he becomes a slave to appearances and to inharmony (trouble, calamity, evil), and becomes weak and inefficient (debilitated, fruitless) instead of exercising the dominion over all things that was given him in the beginning. When his eyes become opened to spiritual Truth he learns the emptiness of his former belief; he then realizes the nothingness of error seemings, and as he puts his trust in the spiritual reality that is at the back of all manifestation he regains his rightful dominion and inheritance as a son of God.