The ruins of Bethany.

Village on the eastern slope of the Mt of Olives about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem. Jesus and his disciples sometimes stayed in Bethany when in Judea, as when   V 1, p 285    p 285  they attended temple observances during Passover (Mt 21:17; Mk 11:11). Jesus was eating at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany when a woman came and anointed his head with costly perfume (Mt 26:6–13; Mk 14:3–9). Bethany was also the home of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus, where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1, 18). The village was near Bethphage on an approach to Jerusalem (Mk 11:1; Lk 19:29) that Jesus followed in preparation for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In Bethany Jesus blessed his disciples after the resurrection and parted from them (Lk 24:50).

Today the town is called el-Azariyeh (the place of Lazarus) by its Arab population.

2. Village on “the other side of the Jordan” (the east side), where John the Baptist baptized (Jn 1:28). The kjv has “Bethabara,” found in many manuscripts and thought correct by the 3rd-century church father Origen, who suggested that Bethabara meant “house of preparation,” an appropriate location for John’s ministry. The most logical site for this Bethany is the present-day Qasr el-Yehud.

 Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Bethany. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 285). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.


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