Lazarus in Smiths Bible Dictionary
(whom God helps), another form of the Hebrew name Eleazar.
1. Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Martha and
Mary. Joh 11:1 All that we know of him is derived from the
Gospel of St. John, and that records little more than the
facts of his death and resurrection. The language of Joh
11:1 implies that the sisters were the better known. Lazarus
is "of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister
Martha." From this and from the order of the three names in
Joh 11:5 we may reasonably infer that Lazarus was the
youngest of the family. All the circumstances of John 11 and
12 point to wealth and social position above the average.
2. The name of a poor man in the well-known parable
of Lu 16:19-31 The name of Lazarus has been perpetuated in
an institution of the Christian Church. The leper of the
Middle Ages appears as a lazzaro. The use of lazaretto and
lazarhouse for the leper hospitals then founded in all parts
of western Christendom, no less than that of lazaroni for
the mendicants of Italian towns, is an indication of the
effect of the parable upon the mind of Europe in the Middle
Ages, and thence upon its later speech.