The Jordan Valley
6. Aenon near Salem which is also Saloumias - (Kh. Khisas al-Dayr)
AENON: John the Baptist baptized at this well-watered site along the Jordan River. According to Eus. (On. 40, 1), this site is 6 miles S of Roman Scythopolis (Beth-shean), the capital of a Decapolis territory. John 3:23 identifies a nearby Salim (Salumias), a description in agreement with Eus. Aenon, perhaps from Ar´ain spring, is appropriate for an area near Tell Sheikh Selim which has several springs. Wadi Far´ah qualifies Nablus, E of Shechem, as yet another possibility for Aenon (Albright 1954). Ironically, modern Salim, 3.5 miles E of Nablus, is also a contending site (Albright 1924). But the ancient location of Salim (Gen 14:18; Jer 48:5) was nearer to the aforementioned wadi Far'ah than the modern site bearing the same name...
(The Madaba Map) shows two Aenon sites. One of the two sites positions Aenon W of the Jordan and may be synonymous with modern Salim, mentioned above. The mapmaker identifies this vaguely placed site as "near Salim," and a row of bluish-green cubes. Atheria (ca. 385 A.D.) qualifies Aenon as in a garden with a pool or spring, perhaps represented by the colored cubes. [For the second site see: 17. Aenon, where now is Sapsaphas]
Bibliography: Albright, W. F. 1954. Recent Discoveries in Palestine and the Gospel of St. John. Pp. 15355 in The Background of the New Testament and its Eschatology, ed. W. D. Davies and D. Daube. Cambridge. ---. 1924. Some Observations Favoring the Palestinian Origin of The Gospel of John. HTR 17:19394.
Jerry A. Pattengale, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ad v. "Aenon" (extract)
Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 37-38)
Ainon (from Semitic 'ayn "spring") is one of the traditional places where St. John the Baptist was said to have baptized; it is also mentioned by the pilgrim Etheria, ch. 15:1-6. It was situated in the vicinity of Salumias.
Salumias. Also mentioned as Sedima in Etheria, ch. 13:3-14:3. The village is probably identical with Hirbat Hisas ad-Der near Tall ar-Ridgha (coord. 199-200) about 12 km sout of Besan. It was one of the traditional places where the king and priest Melchizedek was said to have met Abraham according to Gen. 14:18-20 (H. Donner, ZDPV 83, 1967, p. 20f.).
For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "Aenon", 58.
Map Section 2 Place Sources