That 9th Century Israelite-Judean border conflict…

In 1 Kings 15:16-22, an interesting story of a border conflict is told. According to 2 Chronicles 13, Abjah took Bethel in a conflict with Jeroboam I. This is, however, unlikely, or, if Abjah did take Bethel, he held it for only a limited time period. According to the 1 Kings narrative, Baasha of Israel first fortified Ramah “in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah”. Was this Ramah er-Ram or, as in Judges 4:5, Ramallah? Geba is surely the present Jaba, and Mizpah is very likely the present Tell el-Nasbeh, on the main road between Bethel and Jerusalem (Nebi Samwil is not on the main road and does not have any Iron I remains to correlate with Samuel). Considering that the fortification of Ramah was meant “to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa”. It was probably er-Ram, south of Geba.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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