Whilst we are treating upon the word Aenon, I cannot but observe that the word is divided both in the Syriac and Arabic version: Syriac, "In the fountain Jon": Arabic "In the fountain Nun." The words of the evangelist seem to discover the signification of the name.
"Because there was much water there." For we could not have rendered the word more significantly, than a place of springs, or a watery place. So Nonnus;
Baptizing near the waters of deep-waved Salem.
Why, therefore, did those interpreters take the word in two, when it was plain and etymological enough of itself?
The Syriac Jon brings to mind a passage of Eustathius upon this verse of Dionysius:
"Some say, saith he, that that whole sea from Gaza as far as Egypt, is called the Ionian sea, from Io." "Indeed, some call even Gaza itself Ione, where there is a heifer in the image of Io, or the moon."
That Gaza was ever called Ione, is not commonly known; but grant it was, and the same, from that place even as far as Egypt, to have been called the Ionian sea; yet should not I have derived its name from 'Io,' but rather from the 'Iones,' those brassy robust men, of whose coming into Egypt, and fixing their seats there by the sea, Herodotus gives us a famous relation.
But must we seek for ein Jon (or Javan, as some would have it) hereabout? To seek John about Gaza, would be to seek him out of the land of Israel; at least, as the bounds of that land were at that time determined.