BETHANY (mod. el-`Azariyeh), a village nearly 2 m. E.S.E. from Jerusalem, on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, 2208 ft. above the sea. It is interesting as the residence of Lazarus and his sisters, and a favourite retreat of Jesus (see especially John xi., which describes the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus at this place). From the 4th century down to the time of the Mahommedan invasion several ecclesiastical buildings were erected on the spot, but of these no distinct traces remain. El-`Azariyeh is a poor village of about thirty families, with few marks of antiquity; there is no reason to believe that the houses of Mary and Martha and of Simon the Leper, or the sepulchre of Lazarus, still shown by the monks, have any claim to the names they bear. Another Bethany (with the alternative reading Bethabara) is mentioned in John i. 28, as "beyond Jordan"; it has not been identified.
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