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Holman Bible Dictionary

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RAMARAMATH
 
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Ramah
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Ramath (Ramah) of the South
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Ramah
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Greek - Ramah
Hebrew - Ramah
Hebrew - Ramah of the Negev
RAMAH

(ray' muh) Place name meaning, “high,” applied to several cities located on heights, especially military strongholds. 1. Border town in tribal territory of Asher (Joshua 19:29). The precise location of the city is unknown, although most scholars would place it in the vicinity of Tyre. 2. Fortified city of tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:36), this town is probably to be identified with present-day er-Rameh. Ramah of Asher and Ramah of Naphtali could have been the same community since the boundaries of Asher and Naphtali join.

3. Ramah of Gilead usually called Ramoth-Gilead. Compare 2 Kings 8:28-29; 2 Chronicles 22:6. See Ramoth-Gilead.

4. City in the inheritance of Benjamin listed along with Gibeon, Beeroth, Jerusalem, and others (Joshua 18:25). It is to be identified with modern er-Ram five miles north of Jerusalem. In ancient times this location placed the city between the rival kingdoms of Israel and Judah, which led to dire consequences (1 Kings 15:16-22; 2 Chronicles 16:1, 2 Chronicles 16:5-6).

The traditional site of Rachel's tomb was connected with Ramah (1 Samuel 10:2; Jeremiah 31:15). Deborah, the prophetess, dwelt and judged Israel from the Ramah vicinity (Judges 4:4-5). Hosea mentioned Ramah (Joshua 5:8), and Isaiah prophesied that the approaching Assyrian army would march through Ramah (Isaiah 10:29).

The Babylonians apparently used Ramah as a prisoner-of-war camp from which captives of Jerusalem were processed and sent into Babylonian Exile. There Jeremiah was released from his chains and allowed to remain in Judah (Jeremiah 40:1-6). People returning from captivity settled there (Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30).

5. A city of the Negev, the arid desert south of Judea, in the tribal inheritance of Simeon (Joshua 19:8). David once gave presents to this town following his successful battle with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 30:27).

6. Birthplace, home, and burial place of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Samuel 2:11; 1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 8:4; 1 Samuel 15:34; 1 Samuel 25:1). In 1 Samuel 1:1 the long form, Ramathaim-Zophim, is used. Samuel built an altar to the Lord at Ramah. From there he “judged” Israel and went on a yearly circuit to other cities (1 Samuel 7:15-17). Some have argued that Ramathaim-Zophim is identical with Ramah of Benjamin. It may also be the town, Arimathea, hometown of Joseph, in whose tomb Jesus was buried (Matthew 27:57-60).

J. Randall O'Brien


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'RAMAH'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T5226>. 1991.

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