Ramah was the city of Samuel’s parents as described in the Bible:

And early in the morning they got up, and after worshipping before the Lord they went back to Ramah, to their house: and Elkanah had connection with his wife; and the Lord kept her in mind.

1 Samuel 1:19 BBE


Saul anointed by Samuel at Ramah

Saul had been anointed by Samuel at Ramah (10:1); then Saul was publicly chosen at Mizpah (10:17-27); his defeat of the Ammonites confirmed his kingship in the people’s minds; at this time, all the people confirmed his rule.

“Then Samuel took the bottle of oil, and put the oil on his head and gave him a kiss and said, Is not the Lord with the holy oil making you ruler over Israel, his people? and you will have authority over the people of the Lord, and you will make them safe from the hands of their attackers round about them, and this will be the sign for you:”
(1 Samuel 10:1 BBE)

Life Application Study Bible, Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2004, paragraph 2117.

“This is the heritage of the children of Benjamin, marked out for their families by these limits on all sides. And the towns of the children of Benjamin, given to them in the order of their families, are Jericho and Beth-hoglah and Emek-kezzizAnd Beth-arabah and Zemaraim and Beth-elAnd Avvim and Parah and OphrahAnd Chephar-Ammoni and Ophni and Geba; twelve towns with their unwalled places; Gibeon and Ramah and Beeroth”
(Joshua 18:20–25 BBE)

Ramah is er-Ram, five miles north of Jerusalem; Beeroth may be el-Bireh; Mizpah may be Tell en-Nasbeh; Kephirah is Khirbet Kefirah, southwest of el-Jib; Mozah may be Khirbet Beit Mizze, west of Jerusalem; and Gibeath-Kiriath may be a high place known as the “hill of Kiriath Jearim” (see 1 Sam 7:1–2).

John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000, 236.

The Prophet of Jeremiah at Ramah

The text has already related Nebuzaradan’s release of Jeremiah from the guard’s courtyard in Jerusalem (39:14); in this passage, he was releasing him at Ramah, where he had been chained with others awaiting deportation to Babylon. If Jeremiah was released only once, the first account summarized events from Jeremiah’s imprisonment in Jerusalem until his release into the custody of Gedaliah, while this account provided the details of his final release at Ramah. Or Jeremiah was freed in Jerusalem, then in the general confusion, was taken captive again and finally released at Ramah.

Ted Cabal, ed., The Apologetics Study Bible, Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007, paragraph 5097.

Ramah in the New Testament - Joseph of Arimathea

A place mentioned by each of the Gospels as the hometown of a rich man named Joseph. Granted permission to take the body of Jesus from the cross, he prepared it for burial and placed it in his own tomb (Matt. 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50; John 19:38). Referred to as a “Jewish town” by Luke (Luke 23:50), it has been identified with both Ramathain and Rentis, ca. 24 km. (15 mi.) and 32 km. (20 mi.) respectively E of Jaffa. Later tradition (Eusebius and Jerome) identifies Arimathea as the birthplace of Samuel, called Ramah in 1 Sam. 1:19.

Arimathaea ar-i-ma-thē′a (Ἀριμαθαία): “A city of the Jews,” the home of Joseph in whose sepulchre the body of Jesus was laid. Its identity is the subject of much conjecture. The Onomasticon of Eusebius and Jerome identifies it with Ramathaim-Zophim in the hill-country of Ephraim (1 Sa 11), which is Ramah the birthplace and burial-place of Samuel (1 Sa 1:19; 25:1), and places it near Timnah on the borders of Judah and Dan. G. A. Smith thinks it may be the modern Beit Rima, a village on an eminence 2 miles N. of Timnah. Others incline to Ramallah, 8 miles N. of Jerusalem and 3 miles from Bethel (Mt 27:57; Mk 15:43; Lk 23:51; Jn 19:38).

“Arimathaea,” ISBE, paragraph 4546, “ARIMATHEA,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 100.

One thought on “Ramah or Er Ram

  1. John McElheran 1 year ago

    Shalom from Red Deer

    I wanted to go to Samuel’s Tomb. However I am not so convinced it is at Nebi Samwil.
    Are there any ruins near Er-Ram or Al-Ram. Which might be his house, altar or school of the prophets ?
    Something like these two photos you have with this article. Where were they taken ?

    Thank You