Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin


53. Rama - (al-Ram)

ORIGINAL TEXTS

Rama. in tribu Beniamin civitas Saulis in sexto miliario ab Aelia ad septentrionalem plagam contra Bethel. Meminit huius et Ieremias.
(Jerome 145:13-14)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 144:14-15 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 145:13-14 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Rama, in the tribe of Benjamin; a city of Saul, at the 6th milestone from Jerusalem to the north, in front of Bethel. Jeremias mentioned it too.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Josh 18:21.25 The towns of Benjamin
Now the towns of the tribe of Benjamin according to their families were... Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth.

1Sam 7:15-17 Samuel judge over Israel
Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there; he administered justice there to Israel, and built there an altar to the Lord.

1Sam 19:17-24 Saul and David at Ramah with Samuel
Saul said to Michal, "Why have you deceived me like this, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?" Michal answered Saul, "He said to me, 'Let me go; why should I kill you?'"
18 Now David fled and escaped; he came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth. 19 Saul was told, "David is at Naioth in Ramah." 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. 21 When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu; he asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" And someone said, "They are at Naioth in Ramah." 23 He went there, toward Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

1 King 15:16-22 The war of king Baasha of Israel against Judah
There was war between Asa and King Baasha of Israel all their days. 17 King Baasha of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house, and gave them into the hands of his servants. King Asa sent them to King Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon son of Hezion of Aram, who resided in Damascus, saying, 19 "Let there be an alliance between me and you, like that between my father and your father: I am sending you a present of silver and gold; go, break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me." 20 Ben-hadad listened to King Asa, and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and lived in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt: they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building; with them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.

Jud 4:4-5 The palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel
At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. 5 She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment.

Neh 11:31-35 Jewish settlements after the Babilonian exile
The people of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash, Aija, Bethel and its villages, Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah, Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat, Lod, and Ono, the valley of artisans.

Jer 31:15-17 "A voice is heard in Ramah"
Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. 16 Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work, says the Lord: they shall come back from the land of the enemy; 17 there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country.

Jer 40:1 The captives of Jerusalem gathered in Ramah
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he took him bound in fetters along with all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.

Matt 2:16-18 The massacre of the Innocents
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Josephus, Antiquities 6, 220-223 (1st cent. A.D.)
But David, when he had escaped this danger, came to the prophet Samuel to Ramah, and told him what snares the king had laid for him, and how he was very near to death by Saul's throwing a spear at him, although he had been no way guilty with relation to him, nor had he been cowardly in his battles with his enemies, but had succeeded well in them all, by God's assistance; which thing was indeed the cause of Saul's hatred to David.
(221) When the prophet was made acquainted with the unjust proceedings of the king, he left the city Ramah, and took David with him, to a certain place called Naioth, and there he abode with him. But when it was told Saul that David was with the prophet, he sent soldiers to him, and ordered them to take him, and bring him to him; (222) and when they came to Samuel, and found there a congregation of prophets, they became partakers of the Divine Spirit, and began to prophesy; which when Saul heard of, he sent others to David, who prophesying in like manner as did the first, he again sent others; which third sort prophesying also, at last he was angry, and went thither in great haste himself; (223) and when he was just by the place, Samuel, before he saw him, made him prophesy also.

Teodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae 6 (ca. 530 A.D.)
From Jerusalem it is five miles to Ramatha, the resting place of Samuel.

see also: 73. Rama. A voice was heard in Rama
see also: 54. Armathaim, also Arimathea - (Ranthis)
see also: 71. Ephratha

Map Section 5 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:04:56
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000