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English Bible Dictionary

Bethany

 

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.

(house of dates, or house of misery), 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, i.e. 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) comp. Mark 11:1 comp. 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, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. 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.

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