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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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a considerable place, situated on the ascent of the mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem, John 11:18 ; Matthew 21:17 ; Matthew 26:6 , &c. Here it was that Martha and Mary lived, with their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead; and it was here that Mary poured the perfume on our Saviour's head. Bethany at present is but a very small village. One of our modern travellers tells us, that, at the entrance into it, there is an old ruin, called the castle of Lazarus, supposed to have been the mansion house where he and his sisters resided. At the bottom of a descent, not far from the castle, you see his sepulchre, which the Turks hold in great veneration, and use it for an oratory, or place for prayer. Here going down by twenty-five steps, you come at first into a small square room, and from thence creep into another that is smaller, about a yard and a half deep, in which the body is said to have been laid. About a bow-shot from hence you pass by the place which they say was Mary Magdalene's house; and thence descending a steep hill, you come to the fountain of the Apostles, which is so called because, as the tradition goes, these holy persons were wont to refresh themselves there between Jerusalem and Jericho,—as it is very probable they might, because the fountain is close to the roadside, and is inviting to the thirsty traveller. Bethany is now a poor village, but pleasantly situated, says Dr. Richardson, on the shady side of the mount of Olives, and abounds in trees and long grass.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Bethany'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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