Last modified on May 25, 2017, at 04:23


Bethany (bay-than-ee'-ah, Greek: Βηθανία)[1] was an ancient village in Israel located on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles east of Jerusalem and on the road to Jericho,[2] and is known today for its mentions in the New Testament as the hometown of many well-known ancient figures, such as Lazarus, Mary and Martha. It may be identified today with the modern-day place on the Mount of Olives called el-Azariyeh, which means "place of Lazarus".


The toponym Bethany is of Aramaic origin. It is not certain exactly which phrase the name Bethany derives from, but some candidates include "house of poverty," "house of dates," "house of depression," "house of answering," and many other similar examples.[3][4][5] The exact meaning is not certain, but it the phrase the name derives from almost certainly starts with 'house of' (bet).


Various past events took place in the region of Bethany. Perhaps most prominent is the raising of Lazarus by Jesus Christ, recorded in John 11:1-46, and the dinner at the house of Simon the Leper, recorded in Matthew 26:6–13, Mark 14:3–9, and John 12:1–8. This village is actually mentioned in numerous biblical texts, including Matthew 21:17, 26:6; Mark 11:11, 12, 14:3; Luke 24:50; John 11:1, 12:1.

Although the Bethany of Lazarus is more well-known, the Gospel of John mentions a second town named Bethany, located in the region of the west bank at the Jordan River,[6] although there is a later manuscript addition that calls this place Bethabara rather than Bethany.[7] The only translation of the Bible that adopts this later manuscript tradition is the King James Version.

See also


  1. Strong's Greek Dictionary 963. Béthania
  2. Bethany Definition
  3. The Etymology of the Name Bethany
  4. Online Etymology Dictionary
  5. see reference 1
  6. The Gospel of John, 1.28
  7. Sloyan, Gerard Stephen (1987).