Ancient Bethany was a little village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives about two miles from Jerusalem and on the road to Jericho. Its name means house of misery, apparently from its lonely situation and the invalids who would congregate there. Jesus frequently visited Bethany and spent much time there during the close of His ministry.

Bethany was a lonely little hamlet, lying among peaceful uplands very close to the Holy City yet hidden by the summit of Olivet. This small town, "Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite beyond it." The village must have held a special charm for Jesus because his best friends lived there. Here Mary and Martha dwelt with their brother Lazarus who Jesus wept over and raised from the dead. Mary anointed the Lord here for the day of his burying at the house of Simon the leper. It was near Bethany in the midst of his disciples that Jesus ascended to heaven.

Bethany is now known as the present day Arab village of El Azaryia. The modern name derived from when Christians occupied the town in the Byzantine era as the "place of Lazarus." The tomb of Lazarus is said to be there and a church is built at the site.
[309, 380, BD]

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