There is a hint of association between Bethany and care for the unwell in the Gospels: Nestle's Philologica Sacra suggests that Bethany is derived from the personal name Anaiah, while others have suggested it is a shortened version of Ananiah , a village of Bethel mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah Since Bethany was, according to John, fifteen stadia about 1. According to the Temple Scroll from Qumran , three places for the care of the sick, including one for lepers, are to be east of Jerusalem. Capper concludes, from historical sources as well as this linguistic evidence, that Bethany may have been the site of an almshouse. The passage also defines a minimum radius of three thousand cubits circa 1, yards around the city within which nothing unclean shall be seen XLVI:
A respectful distance from the city and Temple, and on the pilgrim route, Bethany was a most suitable location for a charitable institution. Thus Bethany received its name because it was the Essene poorhouse par excellence, the poorhouse which alleviated poverty closest to the holy city. Capper and Ling note that it is only in Bethany we find mention of the poor on the lips of the disciples, who object that the expensive perfumed oil poured over Jesus there might have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor Mark Zanecchia , however, argued that ancient Bethany may actually have been higher up the Mount of Olives from al-Eizariya, closer to Bethphage. Capper concludes, from historical sources as well as this linguistic evidence, that Bethany may have been the site of an almshouse. This would explain why Jesus and the disciples, as Galileans, would find it convenient to stay here when visiting Jerusalem. Since Bethany was, according to John, fifteen stadia about 1. It is not surprising that an Essene hospice had been established at Bethany to intercept and care for pilgrims at the end of the long and potentially arduous journey from Galilee. According to the Temple Scroll from Qumran , three places for the care of the sick, including one for lepers, are to be east of Jerusalem. From this it is possible to deduce that the mention of Simon the Leper at Bethany in Mark's Gospel suggests that the Essenes , or pious patrons from Jerusalem who held to a closely similar view of ideal arrangements, settled lepers at Bethany. Deutsch suggests a non-Hebrew root, a word transcribed in Syriac script whose meaning he gives as "House of Misery" or "Poor-house". In his version of Eusebius ' Onomasticon, the meaning of Bethany is defined as domus adflictionis or "house of affliction". William Hepworth Dixon devotes a multi-page footnote to it in his The Holy Land , largely devoted to debunking the meaning "house of dates", which is attributed to Joseph Barber Lightfoot by way of a series of careless interpretative mistakes. The passage also defines a minimum radius of three thousand cubits circa 1, yards around the city within which nothing unclean shall be seen XLVI: Bethany was the last station on their route to Jerusalem after crossing the river and taking the road through Jericho up into the highlands. Both the historian Eusebius of Caesarea  c. Mark tells of Simon the Leper 's house there Mark Such a wordplay may have served the choice of the village as the location for an almshouse. Some translations suggest it as Bethany. Nestle's Philologica Sacra suggests that Bethany is derived from the personal name Anaiah, while others have suggested it is a shortened version of Ananiah , a village of Bethel mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah Dixon quotes at length a refutation of Lightfoot's thesis in the form of a letter by Emanuel Deutsch of the British Museum , who notes that neither the name Bethany, nor any of the roots suggested by Lightfoot, appear anywhere in the Talmud. The house combined this work with care for the sick and destitute of the Jerusalem area. The oldest house in present-day al-Eizariya, a 2,year-old dwelling reputed to have been or which at least serves as a reminder of the House of Martha and Mary, is also a popular pilgrimage site. Such influence on the planning of Jerusalem and its environs and even its Temple may have been possible especially during the reign of Herod the Great 36—4 BC , whose favour towards the Essenes was noted by Josephus Antiquities There is a hint of association between Bethany and care for the unwell in the Gospels:
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