What is Bethany?
(house of dates, or of misery). 1. A village on the eastern slope of Mount Olivet, about 1 1/2 to 2 miles ("15 furlongs") east of Jerusalem, John 11:18, toward Jericho; the home of Mary and Martha, whither Jesus often went. Matt 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; Bethany. (After Photographs.) and near it Jesus ascended to heaven, Luke 24:50; named only in the Gospels, and there eleven times. Present Appearance. -- Three paths lead from Jerusalem to Bethany -- the first over Olivet, north of its summit; the third branches from the first, below Gethsemane, over the southern slope of Olivet; the second lies between these two. "The name, which signifies 'house of poverty,' was probably suggested by its solitary and remote situation, bordering on the desert, or by the fact that lepers, who are popularly called the 'poor,' once sought an asylum here." Mark 14:3. -- Baedeker's Handbook. The town is now a poor mountain hamlet of about 20 rude stone houses inhabited by Moslems. The water is good, and olive, fig, almond, and carob trees abound. The reputed sites of Simon's house and that of Mary, also "the tower" and the tomb of Lazarus, are still pointed out. A church stands over the tomb. Bethany is now called el-Aziriyeh, "place of Lazarus." See Schaff's Bible Lands, p. 276. 2. Some manuscripts read Bethany for Bethabara in John 1:28. See Bethabara.