World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000068523
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ænon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: New Testament places associated with Jesus, Life of Jesus in the New Testament, Baptism of Jesus, Bethabara, Enon
Collection: Archaeological Sites in Jordan, Baptism, New Testament Places
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Part of the Madaba Map showing Ænon

Ænon, more commonly written Aenon, is the site mentioned by the Gospel of John as the place where John was baptising after his encounter with Jesus.[1][2]

"Ænon" is the Greek rendition of the Semitic term for "spring" or "natural fountain", like the Hebrew and Arabic ‍ '​ayn. In the water-poor Middle East, places owning a spring tend to be named after that water source, so that toponyms consisting of or containing the Construct state word "ein-" are common. The particular site mentioned in the Gospel of John is therefore closer identified as "Aenon near Salim". John 3:23 is the only place in the Bible where the name Aenon is found.

The name Aenon is commonly used amongst Baptist organizations and churches.


  • Identification attempts 1
    • Based on the Gospel text 1.1
    • Based on the Madaba Map 1.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Identification attempts

Based on the Gospel text

Both names, "Aenon" and "Salim", are not unique, and the Gospel text offers only two additional hints about where Aenon might be located: the most direct information is that "there was plenty of water there" (John 3:22), and the second is that it was west of the River Jordan because at Aenon John's disciples talk of the site where John first encountered Jesus as being "on the other side of the Jordan" (John 3:26), which is taken to mean east of the river. We also know from John 1:28 that that first encounter happened at "Bethany on the other side of the Jordan".[3]

One possible location is near the upper source of the Wadi Fa'rah, an open valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan River which is full of springs. There is a place called 'Ainun four miles north of the springs (see Easton's Bible Dictionary).[3]

Another possible location, which is supported by Eusebius' description in his Onomasticon, is at a spot "8 Roman miles South of Scythopolis (Beisan)". This view was already supported by the 19th-century Smith's Bible Dictionary and the 1915 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia[3] and is still favoured by some.

Based on the Madaba Map

The 6th-century Madaba Map shows the location of Ænon right across the Jordan from Bethabara, near Jericho. Bethabara is in some, but not all, versions of the Gospel of John the place where John was baptising during his encounter with Jesus (John 1:28). The map and archaeological findings at the site indicate that at least during part of the Byzantine Period, this was the site venerated as Aenon. The two relevant map inscriptions read

  • Αίνών ένθα νύν ό Σαπσαφάς: "Ænon, where now is Sapsaphas"
  • Βέθαβαρά το τού άγίου Ιωάννου τού βαπτίσματος: "Bethabara, the place of baptism of St. John"

See also


  1. ^ Nichols, Lorna Daniels (2009). Big Picture of the Bible: New Testament. ISBN 1-57921-928-4. page 12.
  2. ^ Sloyan, Gerard Stephen (1987). John. ISBN 0-8042-3125-7. page 11.
  3. ^ a b c "Aenon". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 

External links

  • Jewish Encyclopedia: Salem
  • UNESCO: The Baptismal Site (Bethany beyond the Jordan)
  • Ænon

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.