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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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ARIMATHaeA (Ἁριμαθαία) is mentioned in Matthew 27:57, Mark 15:43, Luke 23:51, and John 19:38 as the place from which Joseph, who buried the body of Jesus, came up to Jerusalem. In the Onomasticon (225. 12) it is identified with Ἁρμαθὲμ Σειφά (Ramathaimzophim* [Note: On this name (which is almost certainly based on a textual corruption), see Hastings’ DB, vol. iv. p. 198a note.] ), the city of Elkanah and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1), near Diospolis (Lydda) and in the district of Timnah (Tibneh). In 1 Maccabees 11:34, Ramathem is referred to along with Aphaerema and Lydda as a Samaritan toparchy transferred, in 145 b.c., to Judaea. These notices of Ramathaim point to Beit-Rima, 13 miles E.N.E. of Lydda, and 2 miles N. of Timnah,—an identification adopted by G. A. Smith (HGHL [Note: GHL Historical Geog. of Holy Land.] 254 n. [Note: note.] 7) and Buhl (GAP [Note: AP Geographic des alten Palästina.] 170). Another possible site is Râm-allah, 3 miles S.W. of Bethel, suggested by Ewald (Hist. ii. 421). The proposed sites S. of Jerusalem are not ‘in the hill-country of Ephraim’ (1 Samuel 1:1). If Arimathaea, then, be identified with the Ramathaim of Elkanah, it may well be at the modern hill-village of Beit-Rima. The LXX Septuagint form of Ramathaim is Ἁρμαθαίμ (1 Samuel 1:1 and elsewhere), thus providing a link between Ramathaim and Arimathaea.

A. W. Cooke.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Arimathaea'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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