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Judas Maccabeus pursuing Timotheus, by Gustave Doré

Dathema or Diathema was the name of a fortress in Gilead to which the Jews fled when hard pressed by Timotheus of Ammon. There they shut themselves in, prepared for a siege, and sent to Judah Maccabee for aid [1]. Dathema was one of many places in a similar plight, and seems, from the description of it, to have been strongly enough fortified to necessitate "an innumerable people bearing ladders and other engines of war" to take it. Judah attacked in three divisions, drove off Timotheus, killed eight thousand of the enemy, and saved the city[2]. The Peshitta reads "Rametha," from which George Adam Smith infers that it was perhaps Ramath Gilead.[3] Conder[4] suggests the modern Dameh on the southern border of the Lejah district. It can not, however, be positively identified.


  1. ^ 1 Maccabees 5:9-11
  2. ^ 1 Maccabees 5:29-34
  3. ^ "Historical Geography of the Holy Land," p. 589
  4. ^ Conder, C. R. (1898). "Dathema". In James Hastings (ed.). A Dictionary of the Bible. I. p. 560.