Bethany – Mount of Olives – Israel

The town of Bethany is on the southeastern slope of the Mount. Today, the Arab village of Al Azariyeh is found here (which means, “the place of Lazarus”).

Scriptural Significance

There are probably more assemblies/meeting houses named after ‘Bethany’ than any other place in the Bible. There is good reason for this given the important Biblical figures who lived here and events that took place:

  1. Bethany is the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11: 1)
  2. Simon the Leper lived here (Mark 14: 3 – 9)
  3. Bethany is from where the Lord sent two of His disciples to go and find the colt in advance of His triumphal entry (Mark 11: 1 ff)
  4. Bethany is where the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11)
  5. The Lord lodged here when He visited Jerusalem (John 12: 1)

Because of Bethany’s location, many important events took place on the Mount of Olives that directly preceded the Lord’s crucifixion. During that final week, Jesus stayed primarily here (Matthew 21: 17). The route Jesus traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem (2 miles distance or so – see John 11: 18) took Him right across the Mount’s ridge.

Key events on the Mount of Olives that took place during the week leading up to the crucifixion:

  1. Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem began from Olivet on Sunday (Matthew 21: 1 ff)
  2. The Lord wept over Jerusalem from here on Sunday (Luke 19: 41)
  3. Jesus cursed the fig tree which immediately withered (Mark 11: 12 ff) on Monday
  4. The Lord’s great prophetic discourse (referred to as the ‘Olivet Discourse’) occurred here in Tuesday (Matthew 24: 3 ff)
  5. The events of Gethsemane took place on Thursday (John 18; Luke 22)

“And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.”

Luke 21:37