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The Prophecy of Ramah

Ramah, or Rama, was a city located about 5 miles north of Jerusalem (see Bible Places). As such, it was involved, or affected, by numerous events of Bible History that took place in Jerusalem, and at least one major event that happened in Bethlehem of Judah (see The Two Bethlehems), which is located to the south of Jerusalem.

"Thus saith The Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah"

After the Israelites entered their physical Promised Land (see Physical and Spiritual Israel) in the time of Joshua, Ramah was among a number of cities that were located in the allotted territory of Benjamin:

Israelite Tribal Lands

"Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz ... Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth" (Joshua 18:21,25 KJV)

During The Judges era, Deborah lived near Ramah:

"And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." (Judges 4:4-5 KJV)

During one of the civil wars (see Jews At War With Israel and The Civil War) fought among the people of Israel, Ramah was located in the battle zone between Israel and Judah:

"And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah." (1 Kings 15:16-17 KJV) (see Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties)

In the time after the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) conquered the northern kingdom of Israel (see also The Galilee Captivity) and were then beginning to set their sights on the southern kingdom of Judah, The Lord declared through Isaiah that the people of the towns of the kingdom of Judah (which was composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and some Levites), including Ramah, need not worry - He would stop the Assyrians:

"Therefore thus saith The Lord God of hosts, O My people that dwellest in Zion [see also Who, What or Where Is Zion?], be not afraid of the Assyrian ... And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled." (Isaiah 10:24,27-29 KJV)

Although delivered from the Assyrians, the people of Judah (Judah and Benjamin) in later years went corrupt anyway, just as the northern kingdom of Israel did. The Lord then had the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) destroy Judah (see Why Babylon?). The Babylonians apparently had a prison camp at Ramah where the people of Judah were held before being shipped into exile. Among them, for a time, was the prophet Jeremiah (see also Baruch)

"The word that came to Jeremiah from The Lord, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon." (Jeremiah 40:1 KJV)

Rachel was the mother of Benjamin (Benjamin is the only son of Jacob/Israel who was born in the land of Israel; all the others were born during the time that Jacob lived with Laban - see Jacob and Laban). She died giving birth to him, her tomb (a photo of which is provided in the Rachel study) is located near Bethlehem. Ramah was within the territory allotted to Benjamin. A prophecy made in the time of Jeremiah involving Rachel and Ramah was not fulfilled until centuries later (for when, see the Fact Finder question below)

"Thus saith The Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not." (Jeremiah 31:15 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What Prophecy involving Ramah was fulfilled not long after the birth of Jesus Christ? (b) Who was responsible for that slaughter?
(a) Matthew 2:16-18 (b) See Herod The Great


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