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Smith's Bible Dictionary

[See ON]

ATS Bible Dictionary

City of the sun,

1. A celebrated city of Egypt, called in Coptic, Hebrew, and the English version, ON, sun, light, Genesis 41:45. The Seventy mention expressly, Exodus 1:11, that On is Heliopolis. Jeremiah, Jeremiah 43:13, calls this city Beth-shemesh, that is, house or temple of the sun. In Ezekiel 30:17, the name is pronounced Aven, which is the same as On. The Arabs called it Ani-Shems, fountain of the sun. All these names come from the circumstance that the city was the ancient seat of the Egyptian worship of the sun. It was in ruins in the time of Strabo, who mentions that two obelisks had already been carried away to Rome. At present its site, six miles north northeast from Cairo, is marked only by extensive ranges of low mounds full of ruinous fragments, and a solitary obelisk formed of a single block of red granite, rising about sixty feet above the sand, and covered on its four sides with hieroglyphics.

2. Another Helioplis is alluded to in Scripture under the name of the "plain of Aven," or field of the sun, Am 1:5. This was the Heliopolis of Coele-Syria, now Baalbec. Its stupendous ruins have been the wonder of past centuries, and will continue to be the wonder of future generations, till barbarism and earthquakes shall have done their last work. The most notable remains are those of three temples, the largest of which, with its court and portico, extended 1,000 feet from east to west. A magnificent portico, 180 feet long, with twelve lofty and highly wrought columns, led to a large hexagonal court, and this to a vast quadrangle, 440 feet by 370. Fronting on this rose ten columns of the peristyle, which surrounded the inner temple. There were nineteen columns on each side, or fifty-four in all, only six of which are now standing, and they were seven feet in diameter, and sixty-two feet high, besides the entablature of nearly fourteen feet. This temple rested on an immense vaulted substructure, rising nearly fifty feet above the ground outside, and in this are three stones sixty-three long and thirteen feet high, lying twenty feet above the ground. The temples are of Roman origin; and in vastness of plan, combined with elaborateness and delicacy of execution, they seem to surpass all others in the world. "They are like those of Athens for lightness, but far surpass them in vastness; they are vast and massive, like those of Thebes, but far excel them in airiness and grace." (Robinson.)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


See ON.

Strong's Hebrew
1053. Beth Shemesh -- "sun temple," three places in Palestine ...
... Word Origin from bayith and shemesh Definition "sun temple," three places in Pal.,
also a place in Eg. NASB Word Usage Beth-shemesh (20), Heliopolis (1). ...
/hebrew/1053.htm - 6k

Concerning St. Hilarion and the virgins in Heliopolis who were ...
... Book V. Chapter X."Concerning St. Hilarion and the Virgins in Heliopolis who were
destroyed by Swine. Strange Martyrdom of Mark, Bishop of Arethusa. ...
/.../chapter x concerning st hilarion and.htm

How He Destroyed the Temple of Venus at Heliopolis, and Built the ...
... Book III. Chapter LVIII."How he destroyed the Temple of Venus at Heliopolis,
and built the First Church in that City. Such actions ...
/.../pamphilius/the life of constantine/chapter lviii how he destroyed the.htm

Letter x. --For 338. Coss. Ursus and Polemius; Præf. The Same ...
... Coss. Ursus and Polemius; Præf. the same Theodorus, of Heliopolis, and of the
Catholics . After him, for the second year, Philagrius; Indict. ...
/.../select works and letters or athanasius/letter x for 338 coss ursus.htm

Book 13 Footnotes
... The old reading was evidently the City of the Sun, or Heliopolis; and Unkelos, in
effect, and Symmachus, with the Arabic version, entirely confess that to be ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/book 13 footnotes.htm

The Emperor Constantine Abolishes Paganism and Erects Many ...
... He also directed that another church should be constructed in Heliopolis
in Phoenicia, for this reason. Who originally legislated ...
/.../chapter xviii the emperor constantine abolishes.htm

Book ii.
... for in his third book, which relates to the affairs of Egypt, he speaks thus: "I
have heard of the ancient men of Egypt, that Moses was of Heliopolis, and that ...
//christianbookshelf.org/josephus/against apion/book ii.htm

The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt
... He had been joined there by the heathen priest who had taken the Holy Family's part
when the idols collapsed in the little town near Heliopolis. ...
/.../emmerich/the life of the blessed virgin mary/xvii the return of the.htm

Of the Number and Character of the Deeds done by Pagans against ...
... [609]. Who too could tell without a tear the vile deed done in Phoenicia? At Heliopolis
[610] by Lebanon there lived a certain deacon of the name of Cyrillus. ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/chapter iii of the number and.htm

Table of Contents
/.../emmerich/the life of the blessed virgin mary/table of contents.htm

Narrative of Events at Alexandria in the Time of Lucius the Arian ...
... Ariomaniacs they were sentenced, while all the people stood in tears before the
tribunal, to be deported from Alexandria to the Phoenician Heliopolis, [746] a ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/chapter xix narrative of events at.htm

Heliopolis (1 Occurrence)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia HELIOPOLIS. he-li-op'-o-lis. See ON.
Multi-Version Concordance Heliopolis (1 Occurrence). Jeremiah ...
/h/heliopolis.htm - 6k

Bethshemesh (19 Occurrences)
... 2. (4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jeremiah 43:13); called by the Greeks
Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (qv), Genesis 41:45. Int. ...
/b/bethshemesh.htm - 19k

Beth-shemesh (19 Occurrences)
... 2. (4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jeremiah 43:13); called by the Greeks
Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (qv), Genesis 41:45. Int. ...
/b/beth-shemesh.htm - 20k

Aven (10 Occurrences)
... "On" in Ezek. 30:17. The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (qv). (3.) In Amos
1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec. Int. ...
/a/aven.htm - 11k

Destruction (734 Occurrences)
... 18; Hebrews Ir-ha-Heres, "city of overthrow, " because of the evidence it would
present of the overthrow of heathenism), the ideal title of On or Heliopolis (qv ...
/d/destruction.htm - 39k

Shur (6 Occurrences)
... desert tribes. This wall or line of fortifications extended from Pelusium
to Heliopolis. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. SHUR. shur ...
/s/shur.htm - 11k

Abilene (1 Occurrence)
... the east slope of the Anti-Lebanon range; so called from its chief town, Abila
(Luke 3:1), which stood in the Suk Wady Barada, between Heliopolis (Baalbec) and ...
/a/abilene.htm - 9k

On (40792 Occurrences)
... east. The Vulgate and the LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the
sun") instead of On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The ...
/o/on.htm - 17k

... read 'Irhahares; rendered "city of the sun", Isaiah 19:18, where alone the
word occurs. This name may probably refer to Heliopolis. ...
/i/irhaheres.htm - 13k

Nile (37 Occurrences)
... At Heliopolis, a little North of Cairo, this extension to the East has been
3 to 4 miles since the building of the great temple there. ...
/n/nile.htm - 29k

Bible Concordance
Heliopolis (1 Occurrence)

Jeremiah 43:13 He shall also break the pillars of Beth Shemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of Egypt shall he burn with fire.
(See NAS)



Related Terms

Bethshemesh (19 Occurrences)

Beth-shemesh (19 Occurrences)

Aven (10 Occurrences)

Destruction (734 Occurrences)

Shur (6 Occurrences)

Abilene (1 Occurrence)

On (40792 Occurrences)


Nile (37 Occurrences)



Egypt (596 Occurrences)

Leper (34 Occurrences)


Tahpanhes (7 Occurrences)

Rameses (5 Occurrences)

Raamses (1 Occurrence)


Pithom (1 Occurrence)

Pi-beseth (1 Occurrence)

Pibeseth (1 Occurrence)


Amon (20 Occurrences)

Asenath (3 Occurrences)

Leprosy (51 Occurrences)

Heliop'olis (1 Occurrence)

Moses (9295 Occurrences)

Goshen (16 Occurrences)


Exodus (2 Occurrences)

Deluge (17 Occurrences)

Noah (55 Occurrences)


Between (2624 Occurrences)

Hittites (39 Occurrences)


Sin (782 Occurrences)

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