"The shops of the children of Chanan, were laid waste three years before the destruction of the Temple." "And why were the shops of Beth Heno laid waste three years before the destruction of the Temple? Because they established their doings upon the words of the law," &c. The Gloss is, "That which was forbidden by the words of the wise men, they found allowed by the words of the law."
The story is the same in both places. In the former place the shopkeepers are named; in the latter, the place of the shops. The shopkeepers were the sons of Chanan or Jochanan; for, in the Jerusalem language, Chanan and Jochanan are the same. The place was Beth Heno; which I fear not to assert to be the same with Bethany. The reason of my confidence is twofold: 1. Because the Talmudists call Bethany Beth Hene; to which how near does Beth Heno come! 2. Because in them there is open mention of shops in mount Olivet.
"There were two cedars (say they) in mount Olivet: under one of them there were four shops, where all things needful for purification were sold. From one of them they produced forty seahs of pigeons every month, whence women to be purified were supplied." Four shops were under one; and how many were there under another, whence so many pigeons should come? Therefore, either shew me some other village between the town of Bethany and the first skirt of Bethphage; or else allow me to believe that this was that to which the two disciples were sent, and which, then when they were sent, was "the village over-against you": namely, either a village consisting of those various shops only, or a village, a part of which those shops were.