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Ramah from the South (4879821780).jpg
Ramah viewed from the south, image c. 1915
Ramathaim-Zophim is located in Jerusalem, Israel
Shown within Jerusalem, Israel
Ramathaim-Zophim is located in Israel
Ramathaim-Zophim (Israel)
Ramathaim-Zophim is located in the West Bank
Ramathaim-Zophim (the West Bank)
Alternative nameRamah, Ramatha
RegionSouthern Levant
Coordinates31°49′59″N 35°10′52″E / 31.833°N 35.181°E / 31.833; 35.181Coordinates: 31°49′59″N 35°10′52″E / 31.833°N 35.181°E / 31.833; 35.181
CulturesKingdom of Judah

Ramathaim-Zophim (Hebrew: רמתיים־צופים), also called Ramah (רָמָה) and Ramatha in the Douay-Rheims (Ramathaimsophim in the Vulgate), is a town that has been identified with the modern Palestinian village of Nabi Samwil (traditionally held to be the resting place of the prophet Samuel), about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.

The home of Elkanah, Samuel’s father (1 Samuel 1:19 ; 2:11 ), the birthplace of Samuel and the seat of his authority (1 Sam. 2:11; 7:17), the town is frequently mentioned in the history of that prophet and of David (15:34; 16:13; 19:18-23). Here Samuel died and was buried (25:1).

Benjamin of Tudela visited the site when he traveled the land in 1173, noting that the Crusaders had found the bones of Samuel in a Jewish cemetery in Ramla on the coastal plain and reburied here, overlooking the Holy City.

The traditional tomb site, which became known as Neby Samwil (“the prophet Samuel”), may have been Mizpah in Benjamin, where Samuel was appointed leader of the Israelites (1 Sam. 7:5-6).

However, if Mizpah in Benjamin was Tell en-Nasbeh on the Nablus road, Ishmael who had assassinated Gedaliah would not have fled to Ammon via Gibeon [1] which is located to the West near Neby Samwil which overlooks Jerusalem. Furthermore, Judas Machabeus, preparing for war with the Syrians, gathered his men "to Maspha, over against Jerusalem: for in Maspha was a place of prayer heretofore in Israel".[2]

Some, e.g. Petrus Comestor (ca. 1100-1179) in his Historia Scholastica, Cap. CLXXX: De sepultura Domini, have identified Ramathaim-Zophim as Arimathea of the New Testament.


  1. ^ Jeremiah Chapter 41 Verse 10-12 Mechon Mamre
  2. ^ I Mach., iii, 46, cited in Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Maspha" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.