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Ramoth-Gilead

RAMOTH-GILEAD

RAMOTH-GILEAD (Heb. רָמוֹת גִּלְעָד), levitical city of refuge in the territory of the tribe of Gad in N. Transjordan, which was held by the family of Merari (Deut. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; 21:38). Ramoth-Gilead was chosen by Solomon as the capital of his sixth district, which included the villages of Jair and the region of Argob in Bashan (i Kings 4:13), thus strengthening the assumption that the levitical cities served as administrative centers from the time of David. Its fall to the Arameans in the days of the divided monarchy was regarded as a grievous blow. Ahab, king of Israel, tried to retake it with the help of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, but fell in the battle (i Kings 22; ii Chron. 18); his son Joram was wounded in another attempt (ii Kings 8:28ff.; ii Chron. 22:5ff.). Jehu was anointed and proclaimed king by a messenger of the prophet Elisha in the camp before Ramoth-Gilead (ii Kings 9). Josephus calls the city Arimanon or Aramatha(h) (Ant., 4:173; 8:399; 9:105). Eusebius identified it with the village al-Rāmm on the Jabbok (Onom. 144:4). Modern scholars locate it at Ḥuṣn ʿAjlūn or at Tell Ramīth south of Edrei, near the village of al-Ramta. A fortress of the Israelite period was discovered at the latter site in recent excavations.

bibliography:

Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 430–1; Aharoni, Land, index; N. Glueck, in: aasor, 25–28 (1951), 96ff.; H.J. Stoebe, in: zdpv, 82 (1966), 27.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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