views updated


BAAL-MEON (Heb. בַּעַל מְעוֹן), city in Transjordan also called Beth-Baal-Meon (Josh. 13:17), Beth-Meon (Jer. 48:23), and apparently Beon (Num. 32:3). It was allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:37–38; Josh. 13:17) and remained in Israelite hands until the revolt of Mesha, king of Moab (mid-ninth century b.c.e.). According to Mesha's stele (1.9), he captured the city from Israel and rebuilt it, constructing a pool or water channel there (ashu'aḥ). Baal-Meon is listed among the cities of Moab by Jeremiah (48:23) and Ezekiel (25:9). Its identification with the modern village of Maīn, 4½ mi. (7 km.) southwest of Madeba, coincides with Eusebius (Onom. 44:21; 46:2), who identified Beelmaus with a large village nine miles from Heshbon near the hot springs of Ba'aru. The village is built on ancient remains, and the most important find there has been the mosaic pavement of a church on which a number of churches of the Holy Land are depicted. The Tosefta (Shev. 7:11) contains a reference to Baal-Meon in the Shephelah of Transjordan.


Conder, Survey, 176–7; A. Musil, Arabia Petraea, 1 (1907), 397–9; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 259; Press, Ereẓ, s.v.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]