From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

("house of dates".) Bethabara, though dates have long disappeared from the locality, and only olives and figs remain (whence Olivet and Bethphage are named). (See Bethabara .) Bethany is not mentioned until the New Testament time, which agrees with the Chaldee hinee being the word used for "dates" in the composition of the name, Beth-any. Associated with the closing days of the Lord Jesus, the home of the family whom He loved, Mary, Martha. and Lazarus where He raised Lazarus froth the dead; from whence He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem; His nightly abode each of the six nights preceding His betrayal; where at the house of Simon the leper He was anointed by Mary ( Mark 14:3); and where, most of all, we are introduced to the home circle of His private life. In  John 11:1 His arrival at Bethany is recorded, namely, in the evening.

The sending of the two disciples for the colt was evidently on the following morning, to allow time for the many events of the day of His triumphal entry and visiting the temple, after which it was "eventide" ( Mark 11:11), which coincides with John's ( John 12:12) direct assertion, "the next day"; at the eventide of the day of triumphal entry He "went out unto Bethany with the twelve," His second day of lodging there. On the morrow, in coming from Bethany, He cursed the figtree ( Mark 11:12-13), cast out the money-changers from the temple, and at "even" "went out of the city" ( Mark 11:19), lodging at Bethany for the third time, according to Mark.

"In the morning" they proceeded by the same route as before (as appears from their seeing the dried up fig tree), and therefore from Bethany to Jerusalem ( Mark 11:27;  Mark 12:41) and the temple, where He spoke parables and answered cavils, and then "went out of the temple" ( Mark 13:1), to return again to Bethany, as appears from His speaking with Peter, James, Jehu, and Andrew privately "upon the mount of Olives" ( Mark 13:3), on the S.E. slope of which Bethany lies, 15 stadia or less than two miles from Jerusalem ( John 11:18), the fourth day, according to Mark, who adds, "after two days was the feast of the Passover" ( Mark 14:1). Thus Mark completes the six days, coinciding (with that absence of design which establishes truth) exactly with John, "Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany" ( John 12:1.)

Though John does not directly say that Jesus went in the evenings to Bethany, yet he incidentally implies it, for he says, "they made Him a supper" at Bethany, i.e. an evening meal ( John 12:2). The anointing by Mary, introduced by Mark, after mention of the chief priests' plot "two days" before the Passover, is not in chronological order, for it was six days before the Passover (John 12), but stands here parenthetically, to account for Judas' spite against Jesus. Judas "promised and sought opportunity to betray Him unto them in the absence of the multitude " ( Luke 22:6); Matthew ( Matthew 26:5) similarly represents the chief priests, in compassing His death, as saying," Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people." Jesus therefore in the day could clear the temple of the money-changers, but at night He was exposed to stratagem; so the very first night that He did not retire to Bethany, but remained in Jerusalem, He was seized.

It is striking how God's ordering brought about the offering of the true Paschal Lamb on the feast day, though the opposite was intended by the Jewish rulers. From the vicinity of Bethany, on the wooded slopes beyond the ridge of Olivet, He ascended to heaven, still seen to the moment of His being parted from His disciples, and carried up from their "steadfast gaze," blessing them with uplifted hands ( Luke 24:50-51;  Acts 1:9-12). Bethany was "at" the mount of Olives ( Mark 11:1;  Luke 19:1-29), near the usual road from Jericho to Jerusalem ( Mark 10:46;  Mark 11:1), close to Bethphage ("the house of figs"), frequently named with it.

Now el-Azariyeh, named so from Lazarus; on the E. of the mount of Olives, a mile beyond the summit, near the point at which the road to Jericho makes a sudden descent toward the Jordan valley; a hollow, wooded with olives, almonds, pomegranates, oaks, and carobs; lying below a secondary ridge which shuts out the view of the summit of Olivet. The village is a miserable one, of some 20 families of thriftless inhabitants. The house and tomb of Lazarus, and the house of Simon the leper, exhibited here, are of very doubtful genuineness.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

Background of the City Located on the Mt. of Olives' eastern slope, Bethany sat “about two miles” ( John 11:18 , NIV) southeast of Jerusalem. Bethany became the final stop before Jerusalem just off the main east-west road coming from Jericho. Being at the foot of the mountain, the people could not see Jerusalem , thus giving Bethany a sense of seclusion and quietness. The road between Bethany and Jerusalem provided a ready avenue for travel across Olivet with the journey taking about fifty-five minutes to walk.

Since A.D. 333, Bethany primarily boasted of being the home of Lazarus' tomb. Over this site a church called the “Lazareion” (“shrine of Lazarus”) was erected which later aided in providing a new name for the town. El-Aziriyeh, the Arabic name of the present-day village, preserved the traditional connection of Lazarus with Bethany.

Role of the City in the Bible The primary event in the New Testament taking place in Bethany involved the raising of Lazarus from the dead ( John 11-12 ). This magnificent miracle by Jesus demonstrated His authority, prepared for His resurrection, and was even magnified through the name of His friend, Lazarus (an abbreviation of Eleazar, “God has helped”).

Following a message sent to Him in Perea by Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha, Jesus returned to Bethany four days after the burial of Lazarus. After spending time with Martha and Mary individually, Jesus' love for Lazarus and His family became evident in His tears. Then in a public display of prayer and power Jesus raised His good friend from the dead.

Another significant event in Jesus' life occurred in Bethany at the home of Simon the Leper ( Matthew 26:6;  Mark 14:3 ). Late on the Tuesday night of Jesus' last week, a woman (recognized as Mary in  John 12:3 ) gave Jesus His “burial anointment.” Coming to Jesus in the sight of all, she brought a costly alabaster vial of perfume and emptied its contents upon Jesus' head (“feet” in  John 12:3 ).

Besides a number of smaller references to Bethany, one final event took place there. Bethany provided the location for Jesus' final blessing to His disciples and His subsequent parting. This encounter made up the final scene of ascension in Luke's Gospel ( Luke 24:50-53 ).

Larry McGraw

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Beth'any. (House Of Dates, or House Of Misery).

1. A village which, scanty as are the notices of it contained in Scripture, is more intimately associated in our minds, than perhaps any other place, with the most familiar acts and scenes of the last days of the life of Christ . It was situated "at" the Mount of Olives,  Mark 11:1;  Luke 19:29, about fifteen stadia, (furlongs, that is, 1 1/2 or 2 miles), from Jerusalem,  John 11:18, on, or near, the usual road from Jericho to the city,  Luke 19:29. Compare  Mark 11:1, and  Mark 10:46.

And close by the west (?) of another village called Bethphage , the two being several times mentioned together. Bethany was the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, and is now known by a name derived from Lazarus - El-Azariyeh or Lazarieh.

It lies on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, fully a mile beyond the summit, and not very far from the point at which the road to Jericho begins its more sudden descent towards the Jordan valley. El-'Azariyeh is a ruinous and wretched village, a wild mountain hamlet of some twenty families. Bethany has been commonly explained "house of dates," but it more probably signifies "house of misery." H. Dixon, "Holy Land," ii. 214, foll.

2. In the Revised Version for Bethabara ,  John 1:28, where Jesus was baptized by John. It was probably an obscure village near Bethabara, and, in time, its name faded out and was replaced by the larger and more important Bethabara.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

a considerable place, situated on the ascent of the mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem,  John 11:18;  Matthew 21:17;  Matthew 26:6 , &c. Here it was that Martha and Mary lived, with their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead; and it was here that Mary poured the perfume on our Saviour's head. Bethany at present is but a very small village. One of our modern travellers tells us, that, at the entrance into it, there is an old ruin, called the castle of Lazarus, supposed to have been the mansion house where he and his sisters resided. At the bottom of a descent, not far from the castle, you see his sepulchre, which the Turks hold in great veneration, and use it for an oratory, or place for prayer. Here going down by twenty-five steps, you come at first into a small square room, and from thence creep into another that is smaller, about a yard and a half deep, in which the body is said to have been laid. About a bow-shot from hence you pass by the place which they say was Mary Magdalene's house; and thence descending a steep hill, you come to the fountain of the Apostles, which is so called because, as the tradition goes, these holy persons were wont to refresh themselves there between Jerusalem and Jericho,—as it is very probable they might, because the fountain is close to the roadside, and is inviting to the thirsty traveller. Bethany is now a poor village, but pleasantly situated, says Dr. Richardson, on the shady side of the mount of Olives, and abounds in trees and long grass.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • A village on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (  Mark 11:1 ), about 2 miles east of Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. It derived its name from the number of palm-trees which grew there. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters. It is frequently mentioned in connection with memorable incidents in the life of our Lord ( Matthew 21:17;  26:6;  Mark 11:11,12;  14:3;  Luke 24:50;  John 11:1;  12:1 ). It is now known by the name of el-Azariyeh, i.e., "place of Lazarus," or simply Lazariyeh. See n from a distance, the village has been described as "remarkably beautiful, the perfection of retirement and repose, of seclusion and lovely peace." Now a mean village, containing about twenty families.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Bethany'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

    BETHANY . A village about 15 stadia (2910 yards or about 1⅝ mile) from Jerusalem (  John 11:18 ) on the road from Jericho, close to Bethphage and on the Mount of Olives (  Mark 11:1 ,   Luke 19:29 ). It was the lodging-place of Christ when in Jerusalem (  Mark 11:11 ). Here lived Lazarus and Martha and Mary (  John 11:1 ), and here He raised Lazarus from the dead (  John 11:1-57 ). Here also He was entertained by Simon the leper, at the feast where the woman made her offering of ointment (  Matthew 26:6 ,   Mark 14:3 ). From ‘over against’ Bethany took place the Ascension (  Luke 24:50 ). In this case the topographical indications agree exceptionally with the constant tradition which fixes Bethany at the village of el-‘Azariyeh , on the S.E. of the Mount of Olives beside the Jericho road. The tomb of Lazarus and the house of Martha and Mary are definitely pointed out in the village, but of course without any historical authority. For a possible Bethany in Galilee, see Bethabara.

    R. A. S. Macalister.

    Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [7]

     Luke 24:50 (c) Here our blessed Lord reminded His disciples of incidents that had taken place in that little village.

    These were so important that He took them there for their final lesson before going back to His Father. He wanted them to remember, and never forget, that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give life to those who are dead (Example of Lazarus).

    He also reminded them that only He Himself could dry the tears of deep and real sorrow. (Example Mary and Martha at the grave) He reminded them that only He Himself could cleanse from the leprosy of sin. (Example Simon, the leper) He would have them remember that only He Himself should occupy the heart's affections rather than the service which we render, (Example Martha who was cumbered). He wanted them to know that He desired worship above service. (Example the woman who brought the alabaster box of ointment in  Mark 14:3) He wanted them to remember that they must endure the neglect of His children. (Example He returned from Bethany hungry because no one invited Him home for breakfast) He wanted them to be convinced that only He Himself could set the captive free from the bondage of tradition and habit. (Example Lazarus brought out of the tomb though wrapped in grave clothes).

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

    The 'house of dates,' a village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about 2 miles from Jerusalem, near the road to Jericho. It was where Lazarus, Martha, and Mary resided, in whose house the Lord found a resting place, amidst those whom He loved, and who were ever ready to welcome Him, and to devote the best of their substance to Him. It was from or near Bethany that the Lord ascended.  Matthew 21:17;  Matthew 26:6;  Mark 11:1,11,12;  Mark 14:3;  Luke 19:29;  Luke 24:50;  John 11:1,18;  John 12:1 . It is now a ruinous and wretched hamlet called el Azariyeh, or 'Lazariyeh,' from Lazarus, 35 15' E 31 46' N .

    Some of the Greek MSS read BETHANY in  John 1:28 where John was baptizing on the east of the Jordan.

    People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

    Bethany ( Bĕth'A-Ny ), House Of Dates, or, Of Misery. A village on the eastern slope of Mount Olivet, about one and a half to two miles ("15 furlongs") east of Jerusalem,  John 11:18, toward Jericho; the home of Mary and Martha, whither Jesus often went.  Matthew 21:17;  Mark 11:11-12. It was the home of Simon,  Mark 14:3, the place where Lazarus was raised from the dead.  John 11:18-44; and near it Jesus ascended to heaven,  Luke 24:50; named in the Gospels eleven times only. See Beth-abara.

    Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [10]

    There are two places called Bethany in the New Testament. The better known of the two was the village near Jerusalem, on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives. This was the village where Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, and where Jesus was anointed a few days before his crucifixion ( Matthew 26:6-13;  Mark 11:1-11;  John 11:1;  John 11:18;  John 12:1-7).

    The other Bethany (‘Bethany beyond Jordan’, sometimes called Bethabara) was in Perea, on the eastern side of the Jordan River. It was one of the places where John the Baptist preached and baptized ( John 1:28).

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [11]

    A village on the eastern slope of the Mount Olivet, about two miles east-south-east of Jerusalem, and on the road to Jericho. It was often visited by Christ,  Matthew 21:17;  Mark 11:1,12;  Luke 19:29 . Here Martha and Mary dwelt, and Lazarus was raised from the dead,  John 11:1-57 Here Mary anointed the Lord against the day of his burying,   John 12:1-50; and from the midst of his disciples near this village which he loved, he ascended to heaven,  Matthew 24:50 . Its modern name, Aziriyeh , is derived from Lazarus. It is a poor village of some twenty families.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [12]

    A place ever dear and memorable to the followers of the Lord Jesus, from being so sacred to the Lord's solemn moments of suffering. Perhaps the name is compounded of Beth, an house; and hanah, affliction. It lay about fifteen furlongs (nearly two of our miles) from Jerusalem, at the foot of the mount of Olives. See  John 11:1-57 and  John 12:1-50.

    Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [13]

    BETHANY. —2. See Bethabara.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

    ( Βηθανία ; according to Simonis, Onom. N.T. p. 42, for the Heb. בֵּית עֲנִיָּה , House Of Depression; but, according to Lightfoot, Reland, and others, for the Aramaean בֵּית הִינֵי , House Of Dates; comp. the Talmudic אֲהִינָא , An Unripe Date, Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. col. 38), the name of two places.

    1. Instead of Bethabara ( Βηθαβαρά ), in  John 1:28 (where the text was altered since Origen's time; see Crome, Beitr. 1, 91 sq.), the reading in the oldest and best MSS. (also in Nonnius's Paraphr. in loc.) is Bethany, Βηθανία (see De Dieu, Crit. Sacr. p. 491), which appears to have been the name of a place East of Jordan (against the interpretation of Kuinol, Comment. in loc., that Πέραν signifies On This Side; see Lucke, in Krit. Journ. 3, 383; Crome, Beitr. 1, 82 sq.; while the punctuation of Paulus, Samml. 1, 287, who places a period after Ἐγένετο , Comment. 4, 129, is not favored by the context). Possin '( Spicil. Evang. p. 32) supposes that the place went by both names (regarding "Beth-abara" = בֵּית עֲבֵרָה , Domus Transitus, Ferry-House; and "Bethany" = אנִיָּה , Domus Navis, Boat-House ) . (See Bethabara). The spot is quite as likely to have been not far above the present "pilgrims' bathing-place" as any other, although the Greek and Roman traditions differ as to the exact locality of Christ's baptism (Robinson, Researches, 2, 261). The place here designated is apparently the same as the BETH-BARAH (See Beth-Barah) (q.v.) of  Judges 7:24, or possibly the same as BETH-NIMRAH (See Beth-Nimrah) (q.v.).

    2. A town or village in the eastern environs of Jerusalem, so called probably from the number of palm-trees that grew around, and intimately associated with many acts and scenes of the life of Christ. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, and Jesus often went out from Jerusalem to lodge there; it was here that he raised Lazarus from the dead; from Bethany he commenced his "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem; here, at the house of Simon the leper, the supper was given in his honor; and it was in this vicinity that the ascension took place ( Matthew 21:17;  Matthew 26:6;  Mark 11:11-12;  Mark 14:3;  Luke 24:50;  John 11:1;  John 12:1). It was situated "at" ( Πρός ) the Mount of Olives ( Mark 11:1;  Luke 19:29), about fifteen stadia from Jerusalem ( John 11:18), on or near the usual road from Jericho to the city ( Luke 19:29, comp. 1;  Mark 11:1, comp.  Mark 10:46), and close by and east (?) of another village called BETH-PHAGE (See Beth-Phage) (q.v.). There never appears to have been any doubt as to the site of Bethany, which is now known by a name derived from Lazarus El- 'Azariyeh, or simply Lazarieh. It lies on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, fully a mile beyond the summit, and not very far from the point at which the road to Jericho begins its more sudden descent toward the Jordan valley (Lindsay, p. 91; De Saulcy, 1:120). The spot is a woody hollow more or less planted with fruit-trees olives, almonds, pomegranates, as well as oaks and carobs; the whole lying below a secondary ridge or bump, of sufficient height to shut out the village from the summit of the mount (Robinson, 2, 100 sq.; Stanley, p. 189; Bonar, p. 138, 139). From a distance the village is "remarkably beautiful" "the perfection of retirement and repose" "of seclusion and lovely peace" (Bonar, p. 139, 230, 310, 337; and see Lindsay, p. 69); but on a nearer view is found to be a ruinous and wretched village, a wild mountain hamlet of some twenty families, the inhabitants of which display even less than the ordinary Eastern thrift and industry (Robinson, 2:102; Stanley, p. 189; Bonar, p. 310). In the village are shown the traditional sites of the house and tomb of Lazarus, the former the remains of a square tower apparently of old date, though certainly not of the age of the kings of Judah, to which De Saulcy assigns it (1, 128)-the latter a deep vault excavated in the limestone rock, the bottom reached by twenty-six steps. The house of Simon the leper is also exhibited. As to the real age and character of these remains there is at present no information to guide us. Schwarz maintains el-'Azariyeh to be AZAL, and would fix Bethany at a spot which, he says, the Arabs call Beth-hanan, on the Mount of Offence above Siloam (p. 263, 135). These traditional spots are first heard of in the fourth century, in the Itinerary of the Bourdeaux Pilgrim, and the Onomasticon of Eusebius and Jerome, and they continued to exist, with certain varieties of buildings and of ecclesiastical establishments in connection therewith, down to the sixteenth century, since which the place has fallen gradually into its present decay (Robinson, Researches, 2, 102, 103). By Mandeville and other mediaeval travelers the town is spoken of as the "Castle of Bethany," an expression which had its origin in castellum being employed in the Vulgate as the translation of Κώμη in  John 11:1. (See Jerusalem)..

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

    beth´a - ni ( Βηθανία , Bēthanı́a ):

    (1) A village, 15 furlongs from Jerusalem ( John 11:18 ), on the road to Jericho, at the Mount of Olives ( Mark 11:1;  Luke 19:29 ), where lived "Simon the leper" ( Mark 14:3 ) and Mary, Martha and Lazarus ( John 11:18 f). This village may justifiably be called the Judean home of Jesus, as He appears to have preferred to lodge there rather than in Jerusalem itself (  Matthew 21:17;  Mark 11:11 ). Here occurred the incident of the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11) and the feast at the house of Simon ( Matthew 26:1-13;  Mark 14:3-9;  Luke 7:36-50;  John 1:2 :1-8). The Ascension as recorded in   Luke 24:50-51 is Thus described: "He led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven."

    Bethany is today el ‛Azarēyeh ("the place of Lazarus" - the L being displaced to form the article). It is a miserably untidy and tumble-down village facing East on the Southeast slope of the Mount of Olives, upon the carriage road to Jericho. A fair number of fig, almond and olive trees surround the houses. The traditional tomb of Lazarus is shown and there are some remains of medieval buildings, besides rock-cut tombs of much earlier date ( PEF , III, 27, Sheet Xvii ).

    (2) "Bethany beyond the Jordan" ( John 1:28; the King James Version Bethabara; Βηθαβαρά , Bēthabará , a reading against the majority of the manuscripts, supported by Origen on geographical grounds): No such place is known. Grove suggested that the place intended is Beth-Nimrah (which see), the modern Tell nimrı̂n , a singularly suitable place, but hard to fit in with  John 1:28; compare  John 2:1 . The traditional site is the ford East of Jericho.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

    Beth´any (place of dates). 1. The place near the Jordan where John baptized, the exact situation of which is unknown. Some copies here read Bethabara, as stated in the preceding article. 2. Bethany, a town or village about fifteen furlongs east-south-east from Jerusalem, beyond the Mount of Olives ( John 11:18), so called, probably, from the number of palm-trees that grew around. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, and Jesus often went out from Jerusalem to lodge there ( Matthew 21:17;  Matthew 26:6;  Mark 11:1;  Mark 11:11-12;  Mark 14:3;  Luke 19:29;  Luke 24:50;  John 11:1;  John 11:18;  John 12:1). The place still subsists in a shallow wady on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. Dr. Robinson reached Bethany in three-quarters of an hour from the Damascus gate of Jerusalem; which gives a distance corresponding to the fifteen furlongs (stadia) of the Evangelist. It is a poor village of about twenty families. The only marks of antiquity are some hewn stones from more ancient buildings, found in the walls of some of the houses. The monks, indeed, show the house of Mary and Martha, and of Simon the leper, and also the sepulcher of Lazarus, all of which are constantly mentioned in the narratives of pilgrims and travelers. The sepulcher is a deep vault, like a cellar, excavated in the limestone rock in the middle of the village, to which there is a descent by twenty-six steps. Dr. Robinson alleges that there is not the slightest probability of its ever having been the tomb of Lazarus. The form is not that of the ancient sepulchers, nor does its situation accord with the narrative of the New Testament, which implies that the tomb was not in the town ( John 11:31;  John 11:38).

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [17]

    Village on E. of the Mount of Olives, abode of Lazarus and his sisters.