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Rama / Ramah

(Matt. 2:18), the Greek form of Ramah

Several biblical cities were referred to by this name…

  1. A city first mentioned in Josh. 18:25, near Gibeah of Benjamin. It was fortified by Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chr. 16:1-6). Asa, king of Judah, employed Benhadad the Syrian king to drive Baasha from this city (1 Kings 15:18, 20). Isaiah (10:29) refers to it, and also Jeremiah, who was once a prisoner there among the other captives of Jerusalem when it was taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 39:8-12; 40:1). Rachel, whose tomb lies close to Bethlehem, is represented as weeping in Ramah (Jer. 31:15) for her slaughtered children. This prophecy is illustrated and fulfilled in the re-awakening of Rachel's grief at the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:18). It is identified with the modern village of er-Ram, between Gibeon and Beeroth, about 5 miles due north of Jerusalem. (See Samuel.)

  2. A town identified with Rameh, on the border of Asher, about 13 miles southeast of Tyre, “on a solitary hill in the midst of a basin of green fields” (Josh. 19:29).

  3. One of the “fenced cities” of Naphtali (Josh. 19:36), on a mountain slope, about seven and a half miles west-southwest of Safed, and 15 miles west of the north end of the Sea of Galilee, the present large and well-built village of Rameh.

  4. The same as Ramathaim-zophim (q.v.), a town of Mount Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1, 19).

  5. The same as Ramoth-gilead (q.v.), 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Chr. 22:6.

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