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Rathamin

RATHAMIN răth’ ə mĭn (LXX ̔Ραθαμειν). ASV RAMATHAIM, KJV RAMATHEM. A governmental district transferred by Demetrius of Syria from Samaria to Judah, with Lod and Aphaerema (Ephraim/Ophrah). The letter from Demetrius to Lasthenes, his chief minister, authorizing the transfer, is cited in 1 Maccabees 11:34. The name is generally considered to have suffered metathesis in LXX to a form more natural in Gr. (Jos. Antiq. XIII. iv. 9 spells it Ramatha). Abel, Maccabees, and other commentators, equate with Ramathaim, Samuel’s birthplace (usually ha-ramathaim, Gr. Arimathaea). Abel, following Eusebius and other indications, identifies with modern Rentis, NE of Lydda (Geog. II, 428f.); Zeitlin (comm.), with G. A. Smith, notes Beit Rima, thirteen m. ENE of Lydda. Albright (AASOR 4 [1922/3], 98-102, 112-123) rejected both these in favor of Ramallah, eight m. NW of Jerusalem, though its proximity to Saul’s home raises difficulties. It prob. suits the Maccabees context better.