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BET(H)-EDEN (Heb. בית עדן), the biblical name for Bît Adini, an Aramean kingdom some 200 mi. (320 km.) northeast of *Damascus that extended along the banks of the Euphrates from the mouth of the Sâjūr River in the north to the mouth of the Balikh River in the south (see *Aram). Its capital was Til-Barsip. The name Beth-Eden appears in its entirety in Amos 1:5; the short form Eden is found in Ezekiel 27:23; and the phrase children of Eden (benei Eden) appears in ii Kings 19:12 and Isaiah 37:12. The identification of Beth-Eden with Bît Adini is based on the fact that Beth-Eden is mentioned because of its importance along with the kingdom of Damascus (Amos 1:5). The kingdom was founded in the tenth century b.c.e., and during the first half of the ninth century was the most important Aramean kingdom in Mesopotamia. It was probably named for the father of the dynasty that founded it, and is first mentioned in the Annals of Adad-nirari ii around the year 900. The biblical references to Beth-Eden belong to the period when the kingdom was an Assyrian province after being captured by Shalmaneser iii (859–824) in 855 b.c.e.. A. Malamat views the expression "one who holds the scepter [i.e., a ruler] from Beth-Eden" (Amos 1:5) as a reference to Shamshši-ilu, the Assyrian governor, who, as is known from a document discovered at Til Barsip, was appointed over Beth-Eden in the time of Amos. (The toponym byt > dn in kai 233:14–15, a seventh century Aramaic letter, refers to a different locale.) The words spoken by the messengers of Sennacherib about "children of Eden who were in Telassar" (ii Kings 19:12; Isa 37:12) refer to the conquests of Shalmaneser iii, who resettled the children of Eden in Telassar, perhaps located in the far-away Zagros region.


A. Malamat, in: basor, 129 (1953), 25–26; Pritchard, Texts, 275. add. bibliography: M. Cogan and H. Tadmor iiKings (ab; 1988), 235; S. Paul, Amos (Heb., 1994), 34; P. Dion, Les Araméens… (1997), 85–98