(See also wiki article Bethany
BETHANY (Greek Bethania, probably Hebrew Beth-aniah, the second element a contracted form of the personal name Ananiah).?A village about 15 stadia (2910 yards or about 1½ mile) from Jerusalem (Jn.11.18) on the road from Jericho, close to Bethphage and on the Mount of Olives (Mk.11.1, Lk.19.29). It was the lodging-place of Jesus when in Jerusalem (Mk.11.11). Here lived Lazarus and Martha and Mary (Jn.11.1), and here He raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn.11). Here also He was entertained by Simon the leper, at the feast where the woman made her offering of ointment (Mt.26.6, Mk.14.3). From Bethany also took place the Ascension (Lk.24.50). In this case the topographical indications agree exceptionally with the constant tradition which fixes Bethany at the village of el-'Azariyeh, on the SE. of the Mount of Olives beside the Jericho road. The tomb of Lazarus and the house of Martha and Mary are pointed out in the village, but of course without any historical authority. Traces of ancient occupation have been found at the village.
The Bethany that replaces Bethabara (q.v.) in the best manuscripts of Jn.1.28 is only seemingly the same name. It may be from Aramaic Beth-'enayya 'house of springs,' though no such town-name is reported from this area. See also BETANE. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963. - R.A.S.M. - E.G.K.]