The young men of Aven and of Phibeseth shall fall by the
Aven is the same with On, of which Potipherah was priest in Joseph's time and whose daughter he married, ( Genesis 41:45 ) , the same with Heliopolis, or Bethshemesh, the city of the sun, see ( Jeremiah 43:13 ) , (See Gill on Jeremiah 43:13); where was the temple of the sun, and where it was worshipped; and so it is rendered by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions. It is called here "Aven", or "vanity", because of the vain and idolatrous worship here performed. Phibeseth is the Bubastis of Herodotus, and called by other writers Bubastus; hence there was a nome or province in Egypt called the Bubastic nome, mentioned by Ptolemy F3, and others. In this was a temple built to the honour of Diana, where she was worshipped and Herodotus F4 says, that Bubastis, in the Greek tongue, is Diana; here she was worshipped in the form of a cat; and Stephanus F5 observes, that the Egyptians call a cat Bubastus; and it is also said that dead cats salted were buried in this city, as being sacred: according to Diodorus Siculus F6, it was built for the sake of Isis; and Hillerus F7 says, that in the Abyssine language it was called "Phy' mly' sith"; that is, the portion of the wife, namely of Isis married to Osiris, by whom this city was built to the honour of her; as appears by the pillar of Isis, on which these words are inscribed,
``for me the city of Bubastia is built; be glad, be glad, O Egypt, which brought me up.''This place is now called Bishbesh, according to Dr. Shaw F8: now the young men of both these places, though they might exert themselves in the defence of them, yet should fail therein, and fall by the sword of the Chaldeans: and these cities shall go into captivity;
the rest of the inhabitants of the cities of Aven and Pibeseth, that shall not fall by the sword, shall be carried captive into other lands. Joseph Kimchi supplies "women" instead of "cities"; and thinks, that as the males are mentioned before, the females are understood here. The Targum is,
``they that served them shall go into captivity;''that served the idols worshipped in these cities.
F3 Geograph. l. 4. c. 5.
F4 Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 59, 138, 156.
F5 De Urbibus.
F6 Bibliothec l. 1. p. 24.
F7 Onomastic. Sacr. p. 672.
F8 Travels, p. 306. Ed. 2.