Comments on Verses from Prophets

Jeremiah 31:15 “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.’”

Weeping in Ramah may take us by surprise because we are not familiar with the city nor of its significance in Jeremiah’s prophecy. Ramah was a small city just north of Jerusalem. It is the closest village to Rachel’s burial spot. It is very likely the place where the people were gathered before being moved into exile. Jeremiah’s comment about the voice in Ramah is no doubt the sound of Judah weeping as he is being led into captivity. Ramah is a city of Benjamin, the son of Jacob that cost Rachel her life.

Jeremiah sees Rachel in great lamentation because her descendants are being taken away from the place where she is buried. They are no more because they are all carried away, and most will not return. In the next verse, Rachel is told to stop weeping because God will bring them back.

We are familiar with this passage because it is quoted in Matthew 2:18. In that passage, Matthew tells us that the killing of the male babies by Herod in Bethlehem is a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15. Bethlehem is about eleven miles south of Ramah, and the children murdered by Herod were most likely all descendants of Benjamin and thus Rachel.

Task for Today: I hope your heart is broken for the children being killed in this country. Mass shootings in our schools, indiscriminate shootings on our streets. I hope your heart is broken from the children being abused physically and sexually in our homes. Hopefully, your tears will cause action in our world to bring the abuse and death of our children to an end. Unless we change the hearts of our society, we will be no better than a Herod or Hitler.

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