Rachel weeps for her Children at Ramah!

Qubur Bani megalithic tomb monuments.

True Location of Rachel’s tomb and Prophecy Fulfilled!

“Jacob set up a pillar over her grave;

that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day." (Gen 35:20)

 

 Quick links inside this outline:

1.      History of Rachel in the Bible

2.      Archeology of Rachel’s tomb at Qubur Bani north of Jerusalem.

3.      Mystery unlocked with geography of cities: Ramah, Naioth, Geba, Gibeah

4.      Determining the true location of Rachel’s tomb from the Bible

5.      Why was Rachel crying from Ramah? Duel messianic prophecy with three fulfillments!

6.      Spiritual lessons from Rachel weeping:

a.       Ten commandments abolished.

b.      Pattern of slaughtered children.

c.       Pattern of death for disobeying Moses or Christ.

d.      Conscious life after death

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                 

Archaeologists are digging up bible stories:

 

Archaeology is an important science that confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible. Since the Bible refers to hundreds of cities, kings, and places, we would expect to find evidence from on-site excavations. And this is exactly what we have found. The Bible is the most historically accurate book of history on earth. Read the Bible daily!

What you read in the book you find in the ground!

 

 

 

Rachel weeping for her children at Ramah from her tomb

"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.”" (Jeremiah 31:15)

 

The Irony of Rachel’s three cries:

Give me children, or else I die.” (Genesis 30:1)

"So Rachel died [in childbirth] and was buried on the way [from Bethel] to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)." (Genesis 35:19)

“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.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

 

Introduction:

A. History of Rachel, wife of Jacob, daughter of Laban:

1.       Jacob met Rachel as he fled to Haran from his brother Esau, after Isaac gave him the blessing which Esau sold for a bowl of lintel stew.

a.         Every parent worries their children will marry a non-Christian!

b.        Rebecca his mother wanted Jacob to marry a “good woman” not one of the random locals of the godless natives.

c.         "Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am tired of living because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these, from the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”" (Genesis 27:46)

d.        Jacob has his ladder dream at Bethel and builds an altar.

e.        Jacob arrives at Haran and meets Rachel who was a a shepherdess.

2.       Jacob contracts as a “bride price” to work seven years for Rachel: Gen 29

a.         Jacob was smitten with Rachel being beautiful whereas Leah, here older sister was not.

b.        "Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face." (Genesis 29:16–17)

c.         See outline on Biblical marriages.

d.        Of course Laban keeps changing the contract and he works a total of 21 years and acquires both Leah and Rachel as wives and a large flock of sheep.

3.       Sister wars: Ugly Leah gave Jacob four sons but cute Rachel was barren: GIVE ME CHILDREN OR I DIE

a.         Leah’s first four sons were: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.

b.        At this point Rachel voiced those famous words: "Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die.”" (Genesis 30:1)

c.         Rachel gives her maid Bilhah as a wife to Jacob who gives birth to Dan, Naphtali

d.        Leah then gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob who gives birth to Gad, Asher.

e.        Leah had been prevented from sleeping with Jacob by Rachel, but they broker a deal “Husband for a night for Mandrakes” after which Leah gives birth to Issachar, Zebulun and Jacob’s only daughter Dinah.

f.          Finally Rachel gives birth to Joseph.

g.         "Now there were twelve sons of Jacob— the sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, then Simeon and Levi and Judah and Issachar and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali; and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram." (Genesis 35:22–26)

4.       ,CHILDREN OF FLESH VS. SPIRIT: Rachel’s faithless choice led to a faithless son called Dan:

a.         Rachel overlooked her grandmother Sarah as a model of faith who had a child by miracle.

b.        Keep in mind that Sarah had also faithlessly given her maid to get children in spite of the promise of Isaac from her own body.

c.         Barren Rachel was following a pattern of first giving her maid to her husband then mistreating her once she had kids.

d.        "So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence." (Genesis 16:2–6)

e.        Rachel, the “pretty” idol worshipper was chosen from among Jacob’s own people, but he was not discerning enough.

f.          Young people today cannot settle to marry someone who was “raised in the church”. You need to find out if the prospect had genuine faith. Do you want to marry a pretty girl who worships idols and leads you from God?

g.         Rachel’s faithless act of giving Abraham her servant as a wife directly parallels Sarah giving her Abraham Hagar: “cast out the handservant and her son Ishmael” Gal 4:21-31

h.        Rachel’s faithless act produced Dan, the tribe who was responsible for building the pagan shrine at “Tel Dan” in 1340 BC which Jeroboam inherited and expanded in 931 BC. God held the tribe of Dan responsible for the Assyrian Captivity of 723 BC where in the 10 northern tribes went into eternal extinction. In the book of Revelation, the listing of the twelve tribes in heaven DO NOT include Ephraim or Dan because of the role they played in leading Israel to worship idols.

5.       CHILDREN OF FLESH VS. SPIRIT: "Husband for mandrakes": Rachel's second faithless act to get children by the flesh: (her first was giving her maid to Jacob)

a.         Rachel would not let her productive sister lay with Jacob until they broker a deal: “Husband for a night for Mandrakes” after which Leah gives birth to Issachar, Zebulun and Jacob’s only daughter Dinah. Rachel remain barren for the next five years while Leah pumps out three more children.

b.        Mandrakes don’t work! Don’t put your faith in God on mandrakes!

c.         mandrakes: Hebrew dudaʾim has long been identified with the Mandragora, officinarum, which grows wild in the fields. Its small, yellow, tomatolike fruit ripens during March and April. Chemical analysis shows it to contain emetic, purgative, and narcotic substances, which explains its widespread medicinal use in ancient times. Because the fruit exudes a distinctive and heady fragrance, and its sturdy, forked or intertwined root has torsolike features, the mandrake appears as a widely diffused folkloristic motif associated with aphrodisiac powers. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sex, was given the epithet “hē mandragoriti,” “Lady of the Mandrake.” The Hebrew term dudaʾim is close in sound to dodim, “love.” Indeed, the two are associated in The Song of Songs: “There I will give my love (dodai) to you. / The mandrakes (dudaʾim) yield their fragrance … my beloved (dodi)” (7:13–14). While the text is silent on the reason for the intense interest in the mandrakes on the part of both sisters, the underlying folkloristic associations are undoubtedly present. It is significant that the subsequent narrative tacitly, but effectively, neutralizes this aspect, dismissing the notion that such superstitions may have any validity. Leah, who gives up the mandrakes, bears three children; Rachel, who possesses them, remains barren for apparently three more years. Further, both sisters, as well as the Narrator, repeatedly emphasize that all events are by the will of God and under His control. It can hardly be coincidental that God is mentioned seven times in all.” (JPS, Jewish Publication Society, Torah Commentary, Genesis 30:14, 1989 AD)

d.        “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved." (Song of Solomon 7:13)

e.        Yet in spite of “using the magic potion” her sister Leah had two more children with Jacob before Rachel had her first child. Clearly Rachel consumed the mandrakes placing her confidence in chemicals instead of faith in God’s power like happened to her grandmother Sarah.

f.          Sarah might even be counted as more faithless than Rachel because she had been directly told by God that she would have a child in the seed promise, then directly by the angel.

6.       Rachel’s “son of faith” was Joseph. (Dan was the “son of the flesh”) Like Sarah’s Isaac vs. Ishmael.

a.         Rachal had been praying to God for a son. (which god we are not sure) God in is mercy granted her a son named Joseph when she was about 34 years old.

b.        Rachel was likely 13-15 years old when Jacob first met her. Archeology has shown the average age of girls for 5000 years was 13 years old. For Jewish girls, it was 15 years old. Rachel gave birth to Joseph before Jacob left Laban 21 years after meeting her. This gives us an age of 13 + 21 = 34 years old when Rachel gave birth to Joseph.

c.         Joseph was the ruler in Egypt second to Pharaoh himself.

d.        In the Division of land, Joseph, through his two sons, got about one third of the entire land. Think about that one of the twelve gets 4 units and the other 11 split the remaining 8 units of land.

e.        The House of Joseph was the powerhouse of Israel until the time of Saul: "Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only," (Joshua 17:17)

7.       Rachel’s second “son of faith” was Benjamin:

a.         Benjamin became corrupt about 1290 BC to the point that they became homosexual sodomites: Num 19:21. This brought about a war that almost extincted the tribe save 600 men.

b.        Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin and was Israel’s first king was faithless, psychotic and wicked.

c.         Apostle Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin and wrote half the New Testament: Philippians 3:5

8.       Death of Rachel and Birth of Benjamin:

a.         Jacob left Bethel for Bethlehem with pregnant Rachel.

b.        Rachel goes into labour and dies while on route still quite a distance from Bethlehem.

c.         "So Rachel died and was buried on the way [from Bethel] to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)." (Genesis 35:19)

d.        "Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni [the son of my sorrow]; but his father called him Benjamin [the son of the right hand]. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day." (Genesis 35:16–20)

e.         "“Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”" (Genesis 48:7)

9.        Rachel was an idol worshipper and not a true worshipper of the God of Jacob.

a.         Rachel grew up worshipping the very “gods beyond river” that Abraham left!

                                                                i.      Jacob’s grandfather Abraham left the “gods of the beyond the Euphrates river” to become a monotheistic worshiper YHWH.

                                                              ii.      Joshua said in 1406 BC: “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”" (Joshua 24:14–15)

                                                             iii.      "When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the household idols that were her father’s." (Genesis 31:19)

                                                             iv.      "“Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?” Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. “The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household idols." (Genesis 31:30–35)

                                                               v.      Jacob himself unknowingly pronounced the penalty of death upon Rachel and this may be why she died in child birth! So Rachel’s death may have been because she stole the idols! First for being a idol worshipper and second because of Jacob’s proclamation!

b.         "So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments;" (Genesis 35:2)

                                                                i.      Jacob, by saying “put off gods” was a restorer like king Josiah and may others who pleaded with Israel not to worship Idols.

                                                              ii.      Abraham’s pure monotheistic views were polluted by a pretty girl named Rachel in the same way Solomon’s many wives mislead him.

                                                             iii.      This idol worship was present in Egypt, the Exodus, at Kadesh Barnea, at Shiloh for 305 years from 1399 – 1196 BC, and continued down till the Ten norther tribes went into captivity in 723 BC and Judah into Babylonian captivity in 587 BC. It was not until the Jews returned from Captivity did God finally rid the Jews of Idolatry once and for all. Never again did the Jews worship Idols after they returned from Babylon in 536 BC.

 

10.    Rachel weeping for her children has deep complex roots:

a.         Rachel was the first and favorite wife of Jacob.

b.         Superficial, spoiled but cute Rachel, who got by on good looks alone all her life, may have snagged a husband before her older ugly sister, but God taught her a valuable lesson through being barren about what is more important: children.

c.         Her outburst “give me children or I die” was prophetic, in that her second child Benjamin actually killed her.

d.         Through being barren, Rachel developed an intense unfulfilled desire for children which Leah never experienced.

e.         Countless nights Rachel ached in pain and jealously and prayed to God for children.

f.          So Rachel treasured and loved her children the most of any of Jacob’s four wives.

g.         It is fitting she is the one wife of Jacob who is most upset when they are deported or die.

B. Archeology of the Qubur Bani megalithic tomb monuments: Early Bronze age: 2000 BC

1.         “Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day." (Genesis 35:16–20)

2.         These are the largest known burial monuments in Israel.

3.         They are called in Hebrew “Qubur Bani” or “Qubur Bni” which translates ion English to “graves of the children of Israel”.

4.         Originally there were five megalithic monuments. One has been excavated professionally which confirmed a date back to the Early Bronze age (2000 BC) Another one was removed to make way for the Ramallah bypass highway in the 1980’s.

5.         Each of the Qubur Bani monuments measure about 15L x 3W x 2H meters. Each monument is made of 4-5 courses of large megalithic stones that ring the perimeter. Inside there is chert filling materials of smaller stones. The surface is level and you can walk on top of them.

C. The location of Rachel’s tomb is critical in understanding the prophecy from Jer 31 that she would weep from Ramah.

1.         The traditional “tourist” location inside the modern town of Bethlehem is universally rejected by archeologists and Bible experts.

2.         The Bible locates the tomb of Rachel in the land of Benjamin between Geba and Gibeah of Saul.

3.         The deportees in 587 BC from Jerusalem to Babylon passed Rachel’s tomb on route to the staging city called Ramah.

a.       If you get the location of the tomb wrong, you cannot make sense of this simple fulfillment.

b.      As they passed her tomb they could “hear her crying for them” as they marched to Raman to await final deportation.

c.       This is why the traditional “tourist” tomb near Bethlehem is wrong.

D. Three times Rachel wept for her children at Ramah:

1.       In 587 BC when Nebuchadnezzar marched the exiles past her tomb to the staging ground at Ramah.

2.       In 2 BC, Rachel was weeping her children, when Herod was tricked by the Magi in revealing the location of Jesus, and he slaughter children under 2 years old.

a.         In this case, Ramah represented the northern limit of the slaughter geographically from Bethlehem to Ramah.

b.        A 17 km diameter circle centered on Jerusalem is the death zone of Herod.

c.         Any child under 2 years old in this area was killed.

3.       In 2 BC when Jesus the messiah was exiled to Egypt from Bethlehem, the town Rachel died on route to.

 

I. Understanding the history and importance of city place names:

A. Ramah: home town of Samuel the prophet in 1018 BC and staging ground for deportees to from Jerusalem to Babylon in 587 BC:

1.      Ramah is identified as El Ram:

a.       It was excavated as a result of the modern Israeli security wall that separates and protects Israel from the Arabs who occupy Israeli land.

b.      It is situated on a strait line, about halfway between Gibeon (El Jib) and Geba (El-Jaba).

2.      History of Ramah in the Bible:

a.       Ramah was one of the towns given to Benjamin by Joshua: Josh 18:25

b.      In 1290 BC, Ramah was one of the two destination choices by the Levite priest whose run-away wife was found dead outside the door in the morning at “sodomite” Gibeah of Benjamin (later known as Gibeah of Saul) Judges 19:13

c.       Deborah judged Israel under a tree between Bethel and Ramah: Judges 4:5

d.      Ramah was the home town of Hannah and Elkanah where Samuel was born: 1 Samuel 1:19

e.      Samuel judged Israel from Ramah and built an altar there: 1 Samuel 7:17

f.        Israel assembled at Ramah to demand Samuel give them a king: 1 Samuel 8:4

g.       In 1018 BC, David fled Saul to Ramah and stayed in “Naioth”: 1 Samuel 19:18

h.      Samuel was buried in Ramah, after which David visited the tomb city of Kadesh Barnea at Petra, in the wilderness of Paran: 1 Samuel 25:1

i.         "Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah." (1 Kings 15:17)

j.         "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.”" (Jeremiah 31:15)

k.       "The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon." (Jeremiah 40:1)

B. Naioth is the name of the prophets school in Ramah, the home town of Samuel the prophet.

1.       Naioth of commonly misidentified as being at Nebi Samuel one Km west of Gibeon.

a.         There are no Bronze or Iron age remains found there.

b.        The archeological ruins are from Crusader, Islamic and Byzantine periods.

2.       Passages that describe Naioth:

a.         Naioth is only found in one passage at the time David was fleeing from Saul.

b.        It seems Naioth is a prophets school or commune or residents of prophets and teachers in Israel in 1018 BC.

c.         "Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. It was told Saul, saying, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. Then he himself went to Ramah and came as far as the large well that is in Secu; and he asked and said, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” He proceeded there to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he went along prophesying continually until he came to Naioth in Ramah. He also stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?”" (1 Samuel 19:18–20:1)

3.       Based upon etymology and a Jewish translation in the Targum of Jonathan, there is a strong case to be made that Naioth was a prophets school and residence headed by Samuel the prophet. Commentaries that describe Naioth as a preacher’s school:

a.         Samuel’s immediate departure with David for Naioth, i.e., “the dwellings,” probably indicates that the prophet regarded that place as safer refuge than his own house. These “dwellings” were like apartments where the sons of the prophets lived. The Targum renders Naioth as “house of instruction,” i.e., a theological school.” (The College Press NIV Commentary: 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Samuel 19:18, 2000 AD)

b.        “Of greater importance in discussing the place Naioth itself is the question of the meaning of the word. As our preliminary definition indicates, Naioth is said to be “in Ramah” (1 Sam 19:19, 22, and 23 [twice]). In addition, Saul’s messengers are sent to Ramah, not to Naioth (1 Sam 19:22). Because of this, early scholars tended to identify Naioth as a locality within Ramah (Driver NHT, 159). Another view is based on the alternate spelling given in the MT The text has the consonants in the order nwyt while the marginal note (the qere) suggests that nywt is to be preferred. The RSV follows this suggestion in rendering the place as “Naioth.” Following the Aramaic translation of the OT, the Targum, Morton (IDB 3: 500) and others (see the comments in NHT, 158–59) propose understanding the name to refer to a “house of instruction”—a prophetic school within Ramah. Morton (IDB 3: 500) cites 2 Kgs 6:1–7 as evidence for this type of prophetic school. More recent study has given some nuance to this suggestion. A. Malamat (1962: 146) notes in texts from Mari an Akkadian term for “encampment” or pasture settlement (nāwum) which has several related words in Hebrew, one of which is nāyôt. Malamat (1962: 146) thinks it likely that these kinds of settlements on the outskirts of a town housed prophetic fraternities.” (ABD, Naioth)

c.         “Targum Jonathan renders the word as the phrase “house of learning” (beth ʾulfanaʾ בֶּית אֻלפָנָא)” (The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Naioth, 2009 AD)

d.        Something like a “school of the prophets” was located at Naioth under the leadership of Samuel (19:20). David fled there apparently for refuge, and Saul sent messengers three times to capture him. On each occasion the messengers came under the influence of the Spirit and “prophesied.” Finally Saul himself went to Naioth; the Spirit of God also came upon him, and he “prophesied,” which gave rise to the saying, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (v 24). Because of the kethibh (which has support of LXX A), some would emend to nāwôṯ, “pastures,” but this hardly fits the picture as set forth in this passage” (ISBE, Naioth, 1979 AD)

C. Gibeah of Saul: Capital city of King Saul and his home town. (Tel Ful)

1.       Archeologically, Gibeah of Saul has been identified with certainty at Tel Ful.

a.         Iron age I installations have been excavated including the corner of Saul’s Palace.

b.        After Saul, the city was never used again as a capital city. David chose first Hebron then Jerusalem.

c.         In 1967, King Hussein of Jordan bulldozed much of the surface, destroying the archeology, in order to make room for his never finished palace that can be seen to the present day.

2.       This is the historic town of Gibeah of Benjamin, which in 1290 BC

a.         The Levite priest found his run-away wife found dead outside the door in the morning at “sodomite” Gibeah of Benjamin (later known as Gibeah of Saul) Judges 19:13

b.        The priest cut her body into 12 pieces and sent it via ox cart throughout Israel which triggered a call to war against Benjamin.

c.         This led to the near extinction of the tribe of Benjamin except for 600 men who found wives at Shiloh and Jabesh-Gilead.

d.        King Saul’s ancestor mother was from Jabesh-Gilead.

D. Geba: A Levitical city called, “the Hill of God”: 1 Samuel 10:5

1.       In 1052 BC, Geba was Saul’s final stop that started from Ramah when Samuel anointed him as king:

a.       "Afterward you will come to the hill of God (Geba) where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying." (1 Samuel 10:5)

2.       Geba is identified archeologically as being Tel Jaba, on the top of the hill at modern Jaba.

a.       Geba was one of the cities given to Benjamin by Joshua: Joshua 18:24

b.      In at age 15 years old, the great heroic act of Jonathan, son of King Saul, routed the Philistines stationed on the summit of Geba and Michmash: 1 Samuel 13:3,16.

3.       What is sad is the spiritual failure Saul exhibited when he arrived at Geba with the full power of God behind him:

a.       "Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. “It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you." (1 Samuel 10:6–7)

b.      The obvious action would be for him to kill the Philistine garrison infesting and polluting the sacred Levitical city that was known as “the Hill of God”.

c.       Instead, Saul took no action.

d.      His own son Jonathan had the correct spirit and if it was Jonathan in place of Saul, “holy indignation” would have lead this true man of faith to kill the Philistines.

e.      Even at the very beginning, Saul was a spiritual misfit.

 

II. Determining the Location of Rachel’s tomb:

1.        Rachel’s tomb is known to be located in the valley between Geba and Gibeah of Saul on the east side of modern highway 60 less than 100 meters from the roadway.

a.         There are actually three or four ancient rectangular structures.

b.        The reason for this is unclear.

c.         The multiple memorials may indicate multiple burials but it is guesswork.  

2.       About 1905 BC Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin when Joseph was 10 years old, so it makes perfect sense she be buried inside the land of Benjamin even though it would 500 years until Joshua grants the land 1400 BC:

a.        "So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel. Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labor. When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day." (Genesis 35:15–20)

b.        “Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”" (Genesis 48:7)

3.       Notice that when Samuel told Saul to journey from Ramah to Geba, that Saul would pass nearby the tomb of Rachel.

a.       “When you go from me today, then you will find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. Now behold, your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys and is anxious for you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’ “Then you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the oak of Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a jug of wine; and they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand. “Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying." (1 Samuel 10:2–5)

4.      In 587 BC, the Jerusalem exiles destined for Babylon, passed directly by the tomb of Rachel while on route to Ramah, the temporary staging area of Nebuzaradan (Nebuchadnezzar’s army general).

a.        In 595 BC, the famous prophecy of Rachel weeping for her children FROM RAMAH is made: "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.” Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord, “And they will return from the land of the enemy. “There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And your children will return to their own territory." (Jeremiah 31:15–17)

b.        In 587 BC, just after the Edomites burned the temple of Solomon under the command of Nebuchadnezzar, all the Jews were assembled at Ramah including Jeremiah the prophet. He was set free from his chains by Nebuzaradan:The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon." (Jeremiah 40:1)

5.      Summary of locative information for the tomb of Rachel:

a.       The Bible specifically tells us that the tomb of Rachel is located in the territory of Benjamin: 1 Sam 10:2

b.       The tomb of Rachel is passed in the route between Ramah and Geba: 1 Sam 2-5

c.        The tomb of Rachel is passed in the route between Jerusalem and Ramah: Jer 31-15-17;  40:1

 

III. Rachel weeping for her children is a duel messianic prophecy with three fulfillments:

587 BC: Jeremiah 31:15–17

2 BC: Matthew 2:14–18

"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.” Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord, “And they will return from the land of the enemy. “There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And your children will return to their own territory."

"So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.”"

Rachel wept as exiles passed her tomb on route to Babylon and would return, not for the wicked idol worshippers who were killed.

Rachel wept for the Messiah Jesus as he was exiled to Egypt and would return, AND for the innocent children where were killed.

 

A. In 587 BC, the primary fulfillment was when the Jerusalemite exiles passed Rachel’s tomb as they arrived at Ramah.

1.           As the deportees passed by the tomb of Rachel, the primary temporal prophecy was fulfilled when they arrived at Ramah.

a.       Notice in the Jeremiah prophecy that the children she weeps for will return from Babylon!

b.      So she is not weeping for the millions killed!

2.           Her weeping is not because her children are dead but because they are being driven from Judea and exceled in Babylon.

a.       While a large number of Judeans died, notice the weeping is connected directly with Ramah, the last stop before they get deported to Babylon until the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC, when they return. Confirmation of this is the very next verse: "Thus says the LORD, “Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD, “And they will return from the land of the enemy." (Jeremiah 31:16)

b.      But we cannot forget the fact that Nebuchadnezzar killed millions of wicked idol worshipping Judeans and the numbers deported are shockingly small: "These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away into exile: in the seventh year (598 BC) 3,023 Jews; in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar (587 BC) 832 persons from Jerusalem; in the twenty-third year (582 BC) of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile 745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all." (Jeremiah 52:28-30)

3.           This fact leads some to irresponsibly suggest that there is no Messianic fulfillment in view but these have ignored the fact that the entire 31st chapter of Jeremiah is messianic and verses 31-34 predict the abolition of the Law of Moses which is replaced the New Covenant “Law of Christ”.

 

B. In 2 BC, first primary messianic fulfillment is the exile of Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt is a direct antitype of the exile of the Jews to Babylon.

1.           In 587 BC Rachel wept specifically for the Jews who were cast out of their home land and returned from Babylon, not those who were killed by Nebuchadnezzar.

a.           In 2 BC, how much more would Rachel weep when the Messiah himself would be “cast out” of his homeland to Egypt!

b.          But the messiah would return and Rachel’s joy would return!

c.           Jesus did return after the death of Herod!

2.           Notice the other prophecy: OUT OF EGYPT DID I CALL MY SON.

a.           Jesus returning from Egypt was antitypical of Moses being called out of Egypt.

b.          In 1446 BC God called Moses and wicked Israel “out of Egypt” to escape the oppression and slavery. Remember they “sold themselves into slavery” through Joseph and had now “paid the price”.

c.           In 536 BC God called wicked Judah “out of Babylon” to escape the oppression and slavery because of their idolatry.

d.          In 1 BC God called innocent Jesus the messiah “out of Egypt” to allow Judah and the entire world to escape the penalty of their own wickedness and sins.

 

Moses

Christ

Attempted murder as baby

All male Hebrew children

All male children under 2 years old near Bethlehem.

Exiled out of threat of death from King

Moses was exiled to Midian when Pharaoh wanted to kill Moses when he killed the Egyptian

Jesus was exiled to Egypt when Herod tried to kill him.

 

C. In 2 BC, the second primary messianic fulfillment is Herod’s slaughter of the children under two years of age:

1.           "Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.”" (Matthew 2:16-18)

a.           The death of the children directly fulfills Jeremiah’s prophecy.

2.           The weeping from Ramah indicates the northern range of the death zone which was a 17 km circle, centered on Jerusalem with Bethlehem on the south

a.           Herod knew Jesus was born in Bethlehem and scripture says he killed all the children of Bethlehem AND ALL ITS VICINITY. Just how far outside Bethlehem the death zone was is unknown.

b.          Perhaps the circle needs to be centered on Bethlehem, with its top zone Ramah and the bottom 17 km south. This would make the diameter of the circle 34 km if it was centered on Bethlehem.

c.           It is entirely possible that Rachel weeping at Ramah when the children were killed by Herod does not indicate the death zone, but is a symbolic echo of the event in 587 BC at Ramah.

 

D. In 1018 BC David fled Saul to Ramah under threat of death:

1.           Jesus fleeing Bethlehem to Egypt in 2 BC, is an echo of when in 1018 BC, David was exiled from Bethlehem (his home town) to Ramah because of the death threats of King Saul: 1 Samuel 19:18

2.           So both David and Jesus had to flee Bethlehem at the threat of death.

3.           While the story line has David specifically fleeing Saul from his palace in Gibeah, he COULD NOT live in his hometown of Bethlehem.

4.           David’s flee to Ramah to escape Saul and Jesus flight to Egypt to escape Herod are antitypical.

 

IV. Spiritual lessons from Rachel weeping for her children:

A. Rachel’s cries were a messianic foreshadow of the abolition of the law of Moses (Old Covenant) and the rise of the Law of Christ (New Covenant)

1.      The prophecy of Jer 31:15 is both a messianic indication that the Old Covenant is about to be abolished and replaced by the Law of Christ in the New Covenant

2.      595 BC: Jer 31:31ff = Heb 8:8-13

a.       "For finding fault with them, He says, “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH; NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD. “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.” When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear." (Hebrews 8:8–13)

b.      Notice the first covenant is identified as the law of Moses at the time of the exodus.

3.      The first covenant is the Ten Commandments which are abolished under Christ:

a.       The tables are part of the abolished first covenant: Heb 8:13 When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. "Now even the first covenant had ... the TABLES OF THE COVENANT." Heb 9:1-4

b.      Exodus 34:27-28: "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments."

c.       Deuteronomy 4:13: "So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

d.      Deuteronomy 9:9: "When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water.

e.      Deuteronomy 5:2-3: "The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today."

f.        1 Kings 8:9,21: V9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt." ... V21 "And there I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them from the land of Egypt."

g.       2 Chronicles 6:11: "And there I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with the sons of Israel."

h.      In 2 Corinthians 3:2-11, the abolished Old Covenant was the 10 commandments!

4.      The messianic time clock started ticking with the birth of Jesus.

a.       Jesus was under one year of age and Herod slaughters the children two years and under.

b.      This fulfills the prophecy of Rachel weeping for her children.

c.       The rest of the messianic prophecy of the abolition of the Mosaic law happened in 33 AD with the death of Christ.

5.      Notice the Sabbath day (the 4th of the ten commandments) is specifically mentioned as being abolished.

a.       "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us (Mosaic law, first/old covenant), which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (Colossians 2:14–17)

b.      The Sabbath is the 7th day of the week or Saturday.

6.      Christians meet on the first day of the week under the New Covenant, law of Christ:

a.       Lord’s Supper: "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight." (Acts 20:7)

b.      Weekly freewill offering: "On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:2)

7.      All this shows how unscholarly are they who suggest Rachel’s prophecy about weeping in Jer 31 has nothing to do with the slaughter of the children by Herod the Great at the time of the Birth of Christ.

 

B. The pattern of slaughtered children:

1.       Three times in history, children have been slaughtered:

a.         Pharaoh’s slaughter of the children at the time of Moses

b.        The death of the firstborn of Egypt during the 10 plague of the exodus.

c.         Herod’s slaughter of the children under the age of two from Ramah to Bethlehem.

2.       Jesus and Moses are antitypical:

a.         "‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18–19)

b.        Both were authors of a major covenant with the people of God.

c.         There was a slaughter of children at both the birth of Moses and Christ.

 

Moses

Christ

Attempted murder as child

Saved in basket in Nile

Saved by fleeing to Egypt

Attempted murder as adult

Saved by fleeing out of Egypt to Midian at age 40.

Killed on cross at age 34

 

C. The pattern of punishment, death and exile for disobeying Moses or Christ:

1.      Remember that the second half of Deut 18:18-19 says those who will not obey Christ will be cut off in the same why as disobeying Moses.

2.      Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses and all the firstborn were killed in Egypt and the nation was utterly destroyed.

3.      In 722 BC the Assyrians extincted the ten northern tribes of Israel in Assyria for disobeying Moses Law.

4.      In 587 BC the Babylonians sent the nation of Judah into captivity for 70 years.

5.      In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and slaughtered the Jews for disobeying Moses: Deut 18:18-19

6.      It is no coincidence that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BC and 70 AD on the same day of the year: 10 Av.
 

D. Rachel’s cries in 587 BC and 2 BC prove conscious life after death:

1.         False teachers of Extinction say man has no coconscious life after death.

a.         Extinction false teachers include: Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, Seventh-day Adventists, Herbert W. Armstrong/plain truth magazine and the Church of God.

b.        The irrefutable question to ask these Extinctionists is: “If conscious life after death of a pagan false doctrine, why did Jesus use conscious life after death as the foundation of his moral lesson in Luke 16:19? See more on conscious life after death.

c.         “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”" (Luke 16:19–31)

2.         DEATH IS A DEPARTURE: Bible verses where death is pictured as a departure

a.         Rachel: "It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin." (Genesis 35:18)

b.        "The time of departure has come" 2 Tim 4:6

c.         "Lay aside my bodily dwelling... my departure" 2 Pet 1:13ff

d.        "Poor man died and was carried away by angels" Lk 16:19-31

e.        "To die and be with Christ much better than living in flesh" Phil 1:22

3.         GOD IS THE GOD OF THE LIVING”: Rachel is conscious even after she died and is alive in the spirit world.

a.         When the Sadducees, who do not believe in conscious life after death, thought they had trapped Jesus by asking “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection”, Jesus proved them wrong by proving conscious life after death:

                                                               i.      "“But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB. “Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.”" (Luke 20:37–38)

                                                             ii.      Notice Jesus argues that Abraham was alive at the burning bush, proved by the statement: “I am the God of Abraham…”.

b.        In the same way the fact Rachel who died around 1905 BC is pictured weeping in 587 BC and 2 BC proves conscious life after death the same way Jesus proved to the Sadducees that YHWH is the God of the Living, because all LIVE to Him

c.         Rachel who would weep when the souls of the children killed by Herod would enter the Spirit world because she is conscious in the Spirit world.

4.         Today, Rachel weeps for Churches like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians and Armstrong Worldwide Church of God, groups that deny the Bible doctrine of conscious life.

a.         They need to explain this: Why would Jesus use the “pagan false doctrine” of conscious life after death in the story of the Rich man and Lazarus.

b.        They either must admit that Jesus used conscious life after death as the foundation of his teaching to Pharisees who believed in conscious life after death or become dishonest.

5.         See more on conscious life after death.

Conclusion:

A. The prophecy of Rachel weeping for her children at Ramah has 7 fulfillments and multiple antitypes:

1.         In 587 BC when Nebuchadnezzar marched the exiles past her tomb to the staging refugee camp at Ramah.

2.         In 2 BC, Rachel was weeping for Jesus who was exiled to Egypt. This directly corresponds to the weeping for the exiles in 587 BC.

3.         In 2 BC, Rachel was weeping for her dead infant children aged 2 and under, when Herod was tricked by the Magi in revealing the location of Jesus.

4.         Moses, David and Jesus had to flee to escape death at the hands of a wicked king. (Pharaohs Amenhotep I & Thutmoses II/Hatshepsut, Saul, Absalom, Herod)

a.       In 1526 BC, baby Moses escaped death in a basket in the Nile from Pharaohs Amenhotep I.

b.      In 1486 BC, Moses age 40 fled from Thutmoses II/Hatshepsut to escape death.

c.       In 1018 BC, David fled Saul to Ramah to escape death just as Jesus fled to Egypt in 2 BC to escape death: 1 Samuel 19:18

d.      In 979 BC, David fled from his son Absalom across the Jordan River to Ammon to escape the coup.

e.      In 2 BC, baby Jesus escaped death from Herod.

5.         Moses, David and Jesus suffered exile at the hands of a wicked king. (Pharaoh, Saul, Herod)

a.       In 1486 BC, Moses age 40 was exiled to Midian from Egypt to escape death from Thutmoses II/Hatshepsut.

b.      In 1018 BC, David was exiled to Moab where his grandmother Ruth once lived.

c.       In 1016 BC, David was exiled to Philistine territory in Gath, then Ziglag.

d.      In 979 BC, David was exiled from Jerusalem the land of Ammon by Absalom.

e.      In 2 BC when Jesus the messiah was exiled to Egypt from Bethlehem, the town Rachel died on route to.

6.         Moses, David and Jesus were ordered back home to the promised land by God.

a.       In 1446 BC, Moses age 80 was ordered by God back to Egypt to defeat Pharaoh Thutmoses III: Exodus 4:19

b.      In 1018 BC, David age 23, was ordered by Gad the prophet to leave Moab for Judah: 1 Samuel 22:5

c.       In 1 BC, the angel told Joseph to take Jesus back to Judah: Matthew 2:20

7.         Moses, David and Jesus did not return from exile until the king who tried to kill them was dead.

a.       In 1446 BC, Moses age 80 was ordered by God back to Egypt after being told Pharaoh Thutmoses II/Hatshepsut, who wanted him dead had died.

b.      In 1010 BC, David was returned from exile at Ziglag in Philistine territory after Saul died on mount Gilboa and began to reign for 7 years at Hebron.

c.       In 979 BC, David did not return to Jerusalem until Absalom was dead: 2 Samuel 19:10

d.      In 1 BC, Jesus did not return to the land of Israel until after Herod Died: Matthew 2:20

 

B. There are four spiritual lessons we can learn from the prophecy of Rachel weeping:

1.        Rachel’s cries were a messianic foreshadow of the abolition of the law of Moses (Old Covenant) and the rise of the Law of Christ (New Covenant)

2.        Three times in history there was a pattern of slaughtered, children:

a.         Pharaoh’s slaughter of the children at the time of Moses

b.         The death of the firstborn of Egypt during the 10 plague of the exodus.

c.         Herod’s slaughter of the children under the age of two from Ramah to Bethlehem.

3.        The pattern of punishment, death and exile for disobeying Moses or Christ:

a.       Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses and all the firstborn were killed in Egypt and the nation was utterly destroyed.

b.       In 722 BC the Assyrians extincted the ten northern tribes of Israel in Assyria for disobeying Moses Law.

c.       In 587 BC the Jerusalem was destroyed and the Babylonians sent the nation of Judah into captivity for 70 years.

d.       In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and slaughtered the Jews for disobeying Moses: Deut 18:18-19

e.       It is no coincidence that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BC and 70 AD on the same day of the year: 10 Av.

4.        Rachel’s cries in 587 BC and 2 BC prove conscious life after death since Jesus taught in Luke 20:37-38 that He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.”

 

C. We can use the Bible to determine the general location of Rachel’s tomb.

1.        What we know for certain is that the popular “tourist” tomb of Rachel inside the city of modern Bethlehem cannot be the location.

2.        The Bible says Rachel’s tomb is in the land of Benjamin between Ramah and Geba.

 

D. What you read in the book, you find in the ground:

1.         When you get the geography right, the chronology right and the context right, you easily discover the message of the bible.

2.         Ramah mapping error: Historically, commentators and tour guides were unable to fully understand the prophecy of Rachel weeping from Ramah because they located Ramah at Nebi Samuel (1 km west of Gibeon, El Jib) instead of its correct location at El Ram (3.8 km east of Gibeon and 3.8 km west of Geba, in the middle of a direct line between Gibeon and Geba).

3.         Rachel’s tomb location error: Historically, commentators and tour guides were unable to fully understand the prophecy of Rachel weeping because they located her tomb inside Bethlehem (tourist tomb) instead of its real location in the tribe of Benjamin between Ramah and Geba at Qubur Bani on the east side of Highway 60, in the valley.

 

 

 Quick links inside this outline:

7.      History of Rachel in the Bible

8.      Archeology of Rachel’s tomb at Qubur Bani north of Jerusalem.

9.      Mystery unlocked with geography of cities: Ramah, Naioth, Geba, Gibeah

10.  Determining the true location of Rachel’s tomb from the Bible

11.  Why was Rachel crying from Ramah? Duel messianic prophecy with three fulfillments!

12.  Spiritual lessons from Rachel weeping:

a.       Ten commandments abolished.

b.      Pattern of slaughtered children.

c.       Pattern of death for disobeying Moses or Christ.

d.      Conscious life after death

 

 

 

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By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

 

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