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Matthew 2:18

    Matthew 2:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she would not be comforted, because they are not.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    In Ramah there was a sound of weeping and great sorrow, Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted for their loss.

    Webster's Revision

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she would not be comforted, because they are not.

    World English Bible

    "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn't be comforted, because they are no more."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she would not be comforted, because they are not.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 2:18

    In Rama was there a voice heard - These words, quoted from Jeremiah 31:15, were originally spoken concerning the captivity of the ten tribes; but are here elegantly applied to the murder of the innocents at Bethlehem. As if he had said, Bethlehem at this time resembled Rama; for as Rachel might be said to weep over her children, which were slaughtered or gone into captivity; so in Bethlehem, the mothers lamented bitterly their children, because they were slain. The word θρηνος, lamentation is omitted by the Codd. Vatic. Cypr. one of Selden's MSS. the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, Ethiopic, all the Itala, (except that in the Cod. Bezae), Vulgate, and Saxon, several of the fathers, and above all Jeremiah, Jeremiah 31:15, from which it is quoted. Griesbach leaves it in the text with a note of doubtfulness. This mourning may refer to cases far from uncommon in the east, where all the children have been massacred. The lamentations of a Hindoo mother for her child are loud and piercing; and it is almost impossible to conceive of a scene more truly heart-rending than that of a whole town of such mothers wailing over their massacred children. See Ward.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 2:18

    In Rama was there a voice heard - Rama was a small town in the tribe of Benjamin. Rachel was the mother of Benjamin, and was buried near to Bethlehem, Genesis 35:16-19. Rama was about 6 miles northwest of Jerusalem, near Bethel, and was some 10 or 12 miles from Bethlehem. The name Rama signifies an eminence, and was given to the town because it was situated on a hill. Rama is commonly supposed to be the same as the Arimarthea of the New Testament the place where Joseph lived who begged the body of Jesus. See Matthew 27:57. This is also the same place in which Samuel was born, where he resided, died. and was buried, and where he anointed Saul as king, 1 Samuel 1:1, 1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Samuel 2:11; 1 Samuel 8:4; 1 Samuel 19:18; 1 Samuel 25:1. Mr. King, an American missionary, was at Rama - now called Romba - in 1824; and Mr. Whiting, another American missionary, was there in 1835. Mr. Whiting says: "The situation is exceedingly beautiful. It is about two hours distant from Jerusalem to the northwest, on an eminence commanding a view of a wide extent of beautiful diversified country. Hills, plains, and valleys, highly cultivated fields of wheat and barley, vineyards and oliveyards, are spread out before you as on a map, and numerous villages are scattered here and there over the whole view. To the west and northwest, beyond the hill-country, appears the vast plain of Sharon, and further still you look out upon the great and wide sea. It occurred to me as not improbable that in the days of David and Solomon this place may have been a favorite retreat during the heat of summer, and that here the former may have often struck his sacred lyre. Some of the Psalms, or at least one of them (see Psalm 104:25, seem to have been composed in some place which commanded a view of the Mediterranean; and this is the only place, I believe, in the vicinity of Jerusalem that affords such a view."

    Rama was once a strongly fortified city, but there is no city here at present. A half-ruined Muslim mosque, which was originally a Christian church, stands over the tomb of the prophet; besides which, a few miserable dwellings are the only buildings that remain on this once-celebrated spot. Compare the notes at Isaiah 10:29. The tomb of Rachel, which is supposed to mark the precise spot where Rachel was buried (compare Genesis 35:18-20; Genesis 48:7), is near to Bethlehem, and she is represented as rising and weeping again over her children. "The tomb is a plain Saracenic mausoleum, having no claims to antiquity in its present form, but deeply interesting in sacred associations; for, by the singular consent of all authorities in such questions, it marks the actual site of her grave." - The Land and the Book, vol. ii.501.

    By a beautiful figure of speech, the prophet introduces the mother weeping over the tribe, her children, and with them weeping over the fallen destiny of Israel, and over the calamities about te come upon the land. Few images could be more striking than thus to introduce a mother, long dead, whose sepulchre was near, weeping bitterly over the terrible calamities that befell her descendants. The language and the image also aptly and beautifully expressed the sorrows of the mothers in Bethlehem when Herod slew their infant children. Under the cruelty of the tyrant almost every family was a family of tears, and well might there be lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning.

    We may remark here that the sacred writers were cautious of speaking of the characters of wicked people. Here was one of the worst men in the world, committing one of the most awful crimes, and yet there is not a single mark of exclamation; there is not a single reference to any other part of his conduct; there is nothing that could lead to the knowledge that his character in other respects was not upright. There is no wanton and malignant dragging him into the narrative that they might gratify malice in making free with a very bad character. What was to their purpose, they recorded; what was not, they left to others. This is the nature of religion. It does not speak evil of others except when necessary, nor then does it take pleasure in it.