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"I write what I see, and it comes from the heart." .....Jon C. Randall


4471 Rhama, hram-ah'; of Hebrew origin (7414); Rama (i.e. Ramah), a place in Palestine: Rama. [from the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible - ref. of Ramah in Matthew 2:18]
Jeremiah looked across the landscape of the future, wincing at the pain he saw and felt in his vision of understanding. His focus as on the city of Ramah, of the tribe of Benjamin, just ten miles north of Jerusalem in Judah. He was compelled to cry out in anguish, "Thus says the Lord, 'A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.'" As Jeremiah the priest continued in his prophetic service in Judah before its fall to Babylon, he wondered in his mind when these words would be fulfilled. Yet as a prophet of the Most High God, he knew confidently that God would allow those words to come to pass; perhaps not in his own lifetime; but they would most assuredly come to pass. Jeremiah meditated on those chosen words. He then weighed carefully and evaluated the particular root meanings in the rich Hebrew language, of that word, RAMAH.
Many centuries had long passed since Jeremiah cried out those words of sorrow. Most had forgotten them, except for the religious leaders who now cluster the massive Temple built by the current king of Israel, Herod. Herod's personality was fascinating to look at. A brilliant man who knew construction techniques with massive organizational abilities, who accomplished tremendous building of monuments and fortresses throughout the land. He was not a Jew, but appointed by the Roman Emperor. He built the Temple, wanting to ingratiate himself to the Jews for their acceptance of his leadership of their nation; in essence, wanting to buy their friendship. The massive buildings were a stem of his vanity, offset by his equal depth of insecurity. Herod was intelligent and shrewd, but also ruthless when a challenge came to his authority. Knowing how to manipulate people, yet demanded that he remain in open control with the absolute and total allegiance to him. The conflict, simmered beneath the surface, only to erupt in moments of violent rage.
There was a stir in Jerusalem of no small account when a group of astrologers were asking the people, "Where is the King of the Jews that was born?" Over and over they questioned, troubling the people in that city. Word soon reached Herod, and he was troubled as well. "What does this mean, King of the Jews who was born? Am I not now the king over all the land of Israel? Who are these men, and where did they get their knowledge?" Then Herod understood that these magi were searching for the Christ, the Messiah of Israel.
As customary to Herod, he started to gather information to formulate his plan of action. He called upon the chief priests and scribes to inquire where this Messiah was born. "In Bethlehem," Herod was told. Not wanting to tip his hand to the Jews around him, he secretly met with the wise men to hear their story and to learn about the time when this Messiah was to have been born. With his understanding from the scribes and chief priests, he sent the magi to Bethlehem with the command: "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him." Herod wasn't sure, but he wasn't taking any chances. The next few days for Herod were hard, the days turning into weeks then into months, with no sight of the magi. "Just what would be keeping them so long," he wondered? The thought of this new King was constantly on his mind. He pondered how the Jews would react, or how it would affect his rule and power. He was anxious for the return of the magi, pacing the floor many nights into the early morning hours. At times, he thought the magi were in error, other times, that they were true in their understanding. The conflict of torment raged in his mind, consuming him fully. And now he grew impatient, for the wise men should have been back by now, which added to his agitation. Yet a glimmer of hope now took root that perhaps the magi didn't find this Child called The Messiah, because of their delay of return.
Quietly Herod called for some underlings he could trust in their word from among the spies he kept throughout the land. Flattering their egos by the secret request to his presence and promise of reward, he vaguely explained to them what he was looking for, sending them to Bethlehem to see what they quietly could find out. Their return several days later brought disconcerting news to Herod. They told him about the talk around Bethlehem of visitation by angels to some shepherds who came to the town's inn some time ago, finding a man named Joseph whose wife gave birth to a son named Jeshua in the manger of that inn. Also there was talk of some astrologers who sought this Child at a house used by this one called Joseph, bringing expensive gifts to this Child. Herod queried these men if they in fact went to this home. They did, but didn't find this man named Joseph. They found the owner of the home who told them that his wife had pity on a women who had given birth in a manger. Since the census was over and most of the visitors were gone, they had rented the home to this family; but said that the family had strangely left some time ago in the night after a visit by the group of strangers from the East. Herod, growing very angry because he was tricked by the magi, dismissed the spies, and called for his military leaders. He wanted them, and he wanted them, NOW!
To these Roman Commanders whose allegiance were to Rome, and not Israel, Herod gave orders that all male children in Bethlehem, two years old and under, were to be killed. Not only that, but the Roman soldiers were to make a sweep of every city in the vicinity of Bethlehem and in the land of Judah. The orders were clear to these commanders, obey them, or die. Herod didn't care what the Jews or anyone thought of him now. His anger churned greatly within as he seethed with rage.
The soldiers started the slaughter of the innocent children in Bethlehem and in Judah due to the whims and greed of a single man whose agenda was for the preservation of his own lifestyle. The killing of the children grew out of the insecurity and perversion of values by those in authority who made a mockery of life and family values given to us by God, to satisfy their own desires. The soldiers, shoving the men and mothers aside, ran through or slashed the bodies of the innocent children with swords and spears of steel. Moving through town by town, coldly and cruelly they carried out their assigned task without compassion, oblivious of the cries to halt the killing of the innocent. The pleas of the mothers and fathers raged throughout the land; the generations of hopes and of family love so greatly cherished, now lying on the floors and in the dirt, in blood. Then the army moved on to Ramah, whose Hebrew meaning means "a height". The killing and slashing began. Rachel tried to prevent the murder of her children; and as the lifeblood flowed out of their now lifeless bodies, she raised her hands in anguish and sorrow to heaven, and cried out to God, "WHY?" And her tears flowed.
Jeremiah saw this with the Godly wisdom he received. The words of God were fulfilled as He used His foreknowledge to accomplish His will to protect His gift to mankind from the cruelty and selfishness of man. There was something else that Jeremiah saw and understood in his knowledge of the Hebrew language in the meaning of the words. The word Ramah had told its own story. It can also be applied to us in our day in time.
The name RAMAH, {a height (as a seat of idolatry): high place}, comes from the primary root ramah, {to hurl; spec. to shoot; fig. to delude or betray (as if causing to fall): beguile, betray, {bow-} man, carry, deceive, throw.}.
In our nation of idolatry, we delude ourselves to believe that children can be thrown down, or cast off as unnecessary if they interfere in our pursuit of pleasure or greed. The women now betray the children in the security of the wombs they are carried in. They climb upon the padded institutional benches, lifting their legs in the air as they place their feet into stirrups, allowing the murderers to run through or slash with instruments of steel the innocent within. These purveyors of destruction coldly and cruelly carry out their assigned task without compassion, oblivious of the cries to halt the killing of the innocent from others. Instead of defending the innocent children, they now welcome and encourage the wholesale slaughter. As the lifeblood flows from their tiny bodies, they are thrown down, in their blood. Only now, the women do not cry. RAMAH!
© Copyright Jon C. Randall 1994
-All Rights Reserved-

ENDNOTE: (Scriptural References Upon Request)
{Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1960,1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.}

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