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Ramah in Benjamin is a city of ancient Israel. It was located near Gibeon and Mizpah to the West, Gibeah to the South, and Geba to the East. It is identified with modern Er-Ram, about 8 km north of Jerusalem. The city is first mentioned in Joshua 18:25, near Gibeah of Benjamin. A Levite came traveling to Gibeah, with Ramah just ahead. (Jg 19:11-15) It was fortified by Baasha, king of the northern kingdom (1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chr. 16:1-6). Asa, king of the southern kingdom, employed Ben Hadad the Syrian king to attack Baasha at home and draw his forces away from this city (1 Kings 15:18, 20). When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, those taken captive were assembled in Ramah before being moved to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1). Jeremiah said: A voice was heard at Ramah, Rachel was weeping over her sons, because they were no more. (Jer. 31:15). Rachel had so desired children that she considered herself dead without them. (Gen. 30:1) Jeremiah said that she was figuratively weeping because of the loss of the people killed or taken in captivity. And since she was the mother of Benjamin, it would fit because those in Ramah were Benjaminites.
Ramah is mentioned in 1 Samual 8:4 in reference to a meeting place during Samuel's rule.
In the New Testament, Ramah is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew (2:18) with reference to Jeremiah prophecy about Rachel, that is said to be fulfilled with the gruesome slaughter of boy children when the Herod was king:
- In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
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