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.