ARIMATIL1EA or ARIMATHEA thee.), (Gr. 'Aptga0ala, or-ee-math-a h-ee'ah, a height), the birthplace or the wealthy Joseph. in whose sepulcher our Lord was laid (Matt. xxvii: 57; John xxix:38).
Luke (xxiii :51) calls it 'a city of the Jews;' which may be explained by 1 Macc. xi :34, where King Demetrius thus writesó'We have ratified unto them [the Jews] the borders of Jud:ea, with the three governments of Aphereum, Lydda, and Romanians!, that are added unto Judaea from the country of Samaria.' Eusebius (Ouomast. s. v.) and Jerome (Epic. l'au/sr.) regard the Arimathea of Joseph as the same place as the Ranlathaim of Samuel. and place it near Lydda or Diospolis. Hence it has by some been identified with the ex isting Ramleli, because of the similarity of the name to that of Ramah, of which Ramathaim is the dual; and because it is near Lydda or Dios polis. Professor Robinson, however, disputes this conclusion on the following grounds: (1) That Abulfeda alleges Ramleh to have been built after the time of Mohammed. or about A. D. 716, by Suleiman Abd-al Malik. (2) That Ramah and Ram leh have not the same signification. (3) That Ram leh is in a plain, while Ramah implies a town on a hill. To this it may be answered that Abulfeda's statement may mean no more than that Suleiman rebuilt the town, which had previously been in ruins, just as Rehoboam and others are said to have built many towns which had existed long be fore their time ; and that the Moslems seldom built towns but on old sites and out of old ma terials; so that there is not a town in all Palestine which is with certainty known to have been founded by them. In such cases they retained the
old names, or others resembling them in sound, if not in signification, which may account for the difference between Ramah and Ramleh. Neither can we assume that a place called Ramah could not be in a plain, unless we are ready to prove that Hebrew proper names were always signifi cant and appropriate. This they probably were not. They were so in early times, when towns were few ; but not eventually, when towns were numerous, and took their names arbitrarily from one another without regard to local circumstances. Further, if Arimathea, by being identified with Ramah, was necessarily in the mountains, it could not have been 'near Lydda,' from which the moun tains are seven miles distant. This matter, how ever, belongs more properly to another place. (See