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Biblical People
Martha (martha). [Gr. Martha, from the Aramaic Marta, “lady” and “mistress.”] The sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany (Jn 11:1, 2); she was probably the eldest of the 3, since their home, where Jesus visited repeatedly as a close friend of the family, is called Martha's house (Lk 10:38). A good housekeeper, Martha was greatly concerned about the Master's material needs and His comfort, and requested Jesus to tell her sister Mary to help her in her tasks. Jesus, however, although appreciating her work, told her in kind words that Mary in her craving for spiritual food had made a wise choice (vs 38-42). Both sisters were earnest believers in Christ (Jn 11:21-32). When Jesus attended a supper in the house of Simon the leper at Bethany (Mt 26:6; Mk 14:3), Martha served (Jn 12:2), either as a domestic servant, as some have thought, or as Simon's wife, as others believe, but there is no indication of either in the Biblical narrative.

Horn, Siegfried H., Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association) 1979.

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