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Martha (of Bethany)


Pronunciation:  MAHR-thuh

Occurrences:  19 (including ‘house of’)

First Reference:  Yeshua 4:10


And Lazarus entreated the Lord to come unto his house, and entering in he found Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, and seeing their brother restored unto sight, they knelt before the Nazarene and did wash his feet with their tears.



See:  Bethany, Joash, Lazarus, Mary, Yeshua


Summary:  (Born 9 BCE) Daughter of Joash, and sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany, Martha was first introduced to Yeshua when she was nineteen years old (AZC — Yeshua and Mary). The meeting was organized by Martha’s parents who were devout followers of John the Baptizer. They hoped to match their oldest daughter with Yeshua after learning he was a cousin of John’s. While Martha had no interest in Yeshua, her younger sister Mary did, and the two were eventually married.


Martha was a strong supporter of Yeshua throughout his life and ministry. As a note of interest, Yeshua’s first public miracle recorded in scripture was that of healing Martha’s brother Lazarus from blindness (Y:4:1-9). Yeshua and the disciples would gather often at the home of Martha and Lazarus, and while Mary would remain by Yeshua’s side as he taught, it was Martha who often assumed the responsibility of preparing food and serving the guests. Scripture portrays an event in which Martha approached Yeshua while he was teaching, and asked for Mary’s assistance in the kitchen. Yeshua gently refused her request, pointing out how she was “over burdened with a multitude of care”, while commending Mary’s decision to “take to [her] soul the kingdom of God” (Y:4:18-21). This event may also show Martha’s attempt to diffuse the tension among the male disciples who ‘rebuked’ Mary because her attendance was forbidden according to Jewish tradition.


More than two years later when Lazarus died, it was Martha who first ran to meet Yeshua as he approached Bethany, having come from Ephraim (Y:41:1-3). Falling to her knees and weeping, she mourned the loss of her brother and lamented that Yeshua had not arrived earlier to prevent his death.


3. “Lord, if you would have been here but yesterday, then would my brother not have died. Yet do I know that whatsoever you would ask of God, even that thing will he give unto you, for he loveth you.”

4. Yeshua spoke unto her, saying: “Weep no more because of Lazarus, for he does but sleep and I go forth to awaken him.”

5. But Martha, not understanding the words of the Master, said: “Lord, I know that in the life to come he shall live, but now is he dead already and prepared for the burying.”

6. The Lord spoke unto her again, saying: “I am the glory and the life: he that believes in me, even though he were dead, yet shall he live.

7. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die but shall ascend unto great glory, even life everlasting. Do you believe this Martha?”

8. She answered him, saying: “Yes, Lord, I believe; for I know that you are the Messiah which is come from God, for you give light unto the whole world.”

9. And after she was comforted of the Lord, she ran straightway unto the house, and she spoke secretly unto Mary, saying: “The Lord is come into the city and, behold, he calls for you.”

Yeshua 41:3-9


As the narrative continues and the body of Lazarus is laid before Yeshua, he speaks to Martha once more:


23. And turning unto Martha, he spoke, saying: “Did I not say unto you, that if you would but believe in me, you would see the glory which is come from God?”

Yeshua 41:23


Later in scripture, Martha served a dinner prepared by the disciples in honor of Yeshua. The meal took place somewhere in Bethany (Y:45:1).



Azrael’s Commentary — Yeshua and Mary


[...] Mary’s family were devout followers of John. When the parents of Mary heard from John’s own lips that Yeshua was a cousin of his, they began plotting to match Yeshua with one of their daughters. Their reason for so doing was the assumption that if Yeshua became a part of their family, then they would become a part of John’s family and therefore gain added favor with God.


The parents first broached the subject with their oldest daughter, Martha, who at the time was nineteen years old. But Martha was not interested in Yeshua, for at the time Yeshua was only sixteen and he lived in Nazareth where he was an apprenticed carpenter. Martha liked Jerusalem, she liked the market places and the excitement of a big city. She did not want to get stuck in a small backwater town like Nazareth. Like most people around Jerusalem, she had a strong prejudice against Galileans who were viewed as poor, ignorant and vulgar rabble-rousers. And just because she believed in John the Baptizer, that was not reason enough to find herself exiled from the home and family she loved. Besides, Martha had met Yeshua and he was not that handsome. In fact, she viewed him as ordinary and as common as dirt.


But when the subject of marriage was put to Mary, who at the time was a mature fourteen years of age, she embraced it happily. For she, too, had met Yeshua down by the river, and she found his soft voice and gentle ways fully to her liking. She knew that with Yeshua she would always be loved and sheltered. And besides that, she remembered the reverence with which John the Baptizer spoke to Yeshua. She remembered that when Yeshua first approached his cousin, John ever so slightly bowed his head to show respect. This signaled to Mary that there was more to Yeshua than met the eye. So Mary was delighted by the prospect of marrying Yeshua. [...]





And certain women which had been healed of afflictions and infirmities ministered unto the Lord with all gentle affection.

And of them were Mary of Magdala, Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s chief steward, Susanna of Jotapata, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Regilla of Hippos, and many others also, and they gave unto the ministry of their substance.

Yeshua 11:2-3


Thus did the Master grant discipleship unto the daughters and mothers of men, which thing caused many to wonder concerning him; and as he continued teaching, there came Martha from the house, saying:

“Good Master, if it be pleasing unto you, send Mary to help me in the kitchen, for I alone am left to serve.”

And Yeshua answered her, saying: “Martha, Martha, you are over troubled for many things and are over burdened with a multitude of care.

Yet one thing is needful, to take to your soul the kingdom of God. Surely Mary has chosen well this goodly thing, and it shall never be taken from her.”

Yeshua 4:18-21


Mary of Bethany