Plural RAMOTH, an eminence; and hence many places in Palestine are named Ramah, Ramath, Ramath, Ramathaim, etc. Sometimes the same place is called by one or other of these names indiscriminately, all signifying the same, 2 Kings 8:28,29. Sometimes Rama, Or Ramoth, is joined to another name, to determine the place of such city or eminence; and it is sometimes put simply for a high place, and signifies neither city nor village.
1. The principal Ramah was a city of Benjamin, near Gibeah, towards the mountains of Ephraim, six miles from Jerusalem north, and on the road from Samaria to Jerusalem, Joshua 18:25 Judges 19:13 Nehemiah 11:33. It was near the border line between Judah and Israel, and Baasha king of Israel caused it to be fortified, to obstruct the passage from the land of Judah into his own territory, 1 Kings 15:17,21,22. It is also referred to in Isaiah 10:29 Jeremiah 31:15 40:1 Hosea 5:8. Dr. Robinson finds it in the modern village Er-Ram, on a conical hill a little east of the road above-mentioned. The ruins are broken columns, a few bevelled stones, and large hewn stones, and an ancient reservoir on the southwest side. The village is almost deserted.
2. A city in mount Ephraim, called also Ramathaim-Zophim, or Ramah of the Zuphites, the place of Samuelís birth, residence, and burial, 1 Samuel 1:1,19 7:17 8:4 25:1 28:3. Dr. Robinson suggests Soba, five miles west of Jerusalem, as its possible site. The resemblance of its name Ramathaim to Arimathea of the New Testament, together with intimations of early historians, have led to the general belief that these two places were identical. Arimathea, there is little doubt, lay on one of the hills east of Lydda, some twenty miles northwest of Jerusalem; and this site would meet most of the scriptural intimations as to the Ramah of Samuel. The chief difficulty is found in the account of Saulís first visit to Samuel, 1 Samuel 9:4-12 10:2.
The young prince "passed through the land of the Benjamites," going south or south-west, "and came to the land of Zuph" and the city where Samuel then was. After his interview with the prophet, and on his return home to Giveah of Benjamin, he passed "by Rachelís sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah." But the only "Rachelís sepulchre" we know of was near Bethlehem, many miles south of the direct road from Arimathea to Gibeah. Accordingly, if we suppose this interview took place at Arimathea, we seem obliged to suppose another Rachelís sepulchre between it and Gibeah; or if "Rachelís sepulchre" was at Bethlehem, to infer that the city where Saul actually found Samuel, and at which the prophet had only that day arrived, 1 Samuel 9:10, was not his usual residence, but some place south or south-west of Bethlehem, only visited by him at intervals in his annual circuits as judge.
3. A city of Asher, Joshua 19:29
4. A city of Naphtali, Joshua 19:36. The site of both these places, visited by Dr. Robinson, is still called Rameh.
5. A city of Gilead, 2 Kings 8:28,29. See RAMOTH.
6. A town belonging to Simeon, called Ramah of the south, Joshua 19:8 1 Samuel 30:27.