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in Joshua 7:2 are EL (אל) and AVEN (און) used in contrast to each other.

וישלח יהושע אנשים מיריחו העי אשר עם־בית און מקדם לבית־אל ויאמר אליהם לאמר עלו ורגלו את־הארץ ויעלו האנשים וירגלו את־העי׃

in English

Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Beth el, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai.

Obviously El(אל) is a divine name I have not found a biblical us of Aven(און) that is not in reference to this place. If you look at the Hebrew they form a sort of visual pun.

Are there any other examples of these two words being used this way?

I am also interested in non-place name uses of the word און.

Emptiness, wickedness, naughtiness, nothing have all come up as meanings but without etymology.

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"House of Iniquity," "House of Wickedness" – Simply a Christian Apr 9 '14 at 22:31
THank you MR. Hammer your link was helpful. What is your take on the use of Aven in Hosea? – King-Ink Apr 11 '14 at 12:00

Non place uses:

Bamidbar 23:21

Shmuel I 15:23

Yeshayahu 1:13

Yeshayahu 29:20

Yeshayahu 31:2

Yeshayahu 32:6

Yeshayahu 55:7

Yeshayahu 59 (three uses in 4,6 and 7)

Yechezkel 11:2

Hoshea 6:8

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Hello, can you explain what is the significance of each of these verse citations? In other words, can you provide some narrative discussion of what I am seeing as I click each link? – Joseph Apr 29 '14 at 23:13
Fantastic thank you so much. do you have any opinion on it being a visual pun? – King-Ink Jun 28 '14 at 18:05

A great resource to use for these kinds of endeavors is Here is the entry for Beit Aven (H1007)

Beth-aven = "house of vanity"

and the entry for אָוֶן aven (205):

From an unused root perhaps meaning properly, to pant (hence, to exert oneself, usually in vain.

Outline of Biblical Usage

  • trouble, wickedness, sorrow

    -trouble, sorrow
    -trouble of iniquity, wickedness

(...) specially used of the vanity of idols.

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