Now it came to pass as they went
As Christ and his disciples went from Jerusalem, having been at the feast of tabernacles, ( John 7:2 John 7:10 ) or at the feast of dedication, ( John 10:22 ) to some other parts of Judea:
and a certain woman named Martha.
This is a common name with the Jews; hence we read of Samuel bar Martha F25, and of Abba bar Martha F26, and of Isaac bar Martha F1; and of Martha, the daughter of Baithus F2, who is said to be a rich widow; and this Martha here, is thought by Grotins to be a widow also, with whom her brother Lazarus, and sister Mary lived: though sometimes, this name was given to men; so we read of Martha, F3 the uncle of Rab, who had five brethren; and the same writer observes F4, that it is not known whether Martha is, a man or a woman, but this is determined here:
received him into her house;
in a very kind and courteous manner, she being mistress of it; and having known Christ before, or at least had heard much of him, and believed in him, as the true Messiah.
F25 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 13. 2. & 25. 2. & Pesachim, fol. 106. 2. Yoma, fol. 19. 2. Juchuin, fol. 76. 2.
F26 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 121. 2. Juchasin, fol. 72. 2.
F1 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 33. 2. Juchasin, fol. 91. 1.
F2 Misn. Yebamot, c. 6. sect. 4. T. Bob. Yoma, fol. 18. 1. Succa, fol. 52. 2. Cetubot, fol. 104. 1. Gittin, fol. 56. 1. Juchasin, fol. 57. 1.
F3 Juchasin, fol. 99. 1.
F4 lb. fol. 105. 1.