Laz’arus (whom God helps), another form of the Hebrew name Eleazar.
1. Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Martha and Mary. John 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 John 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 John 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 Luke 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.