Arimathea

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Arimathea (Ancient Greek: Ἁριμαθαία), according to the Gospel of Luke (xxiii. 51), was "a city of Judea". It was reportedly the home town of Joseph of Arimathea, who appears in all four Gospel accounts of the Passion for having donated his new tomb outside Jerusalem to receive the body of Jesus. Apart from the Bible, there is no record of a place called Arimathea existing.

In the Koine Greek New Testament texts, the Greek word for Arimathea has a rough breathing mark ( ῾ ) and this indicates aspiration (the presence of an /h/ sound) on the first alpha of Arimathea. Consequently, the place of Joseph's origin should be pronounced "Harimathea". That would correspond to Hebrew ha-ramathaim, with the initial heh (ה) forming the definite Hebrew article ha-. The Aramaic Syriac translation of John 19:38 literally reads, "Ramtha" which when anglicized comes to "Ramath."

Some have hypothesized that it was another name for Ramathaim-Zophim in Ephraim, the birthplace of Samuel, where David came to him (1 Samuel 1:1, 19). Others identify it with Ramlah in Dan, or Ramah in Benjamin (Matt. 2:18).

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