There was a certain Ramah, in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25, and that within sight of Jerusalem, as it seems, Judges 19:13; where it is named with Gibeah:--and elsewhere, Hosea 5:8; which towns were not much distant. See 1 Samuel 22:6; "Saul sat in Gibeah, under a grove in Ramah." Here the Gemarists trifle: "Whence is it (say they) that Ramah is placed near Gibea? To hint to you, that the speech of Samuel of Ramah was the cause, why Saul remained two years and a half in Gibeah." They blindly look over Ramah in the tribe of Benjamin,--and look only at Ramah in Ephraim, where Samuel was born.
His native town is very often called Ramah, once Ramathaim Zophim, 1 Samuel 1:1. "There was a certain man of Ramathaim": that is, one of the two Ramaths, which were surnamed also 'Zophim.' A like form of speech is that 1 Samuel 18:21; "In one of the two, thou shalt be my son-in-law." That town of Samuel was Ramath Zophim; and this of Benjamin, was Ramath Zophim also: but by a different etymology, as it seems:--that, it may be, from Zuph, Saul's great-great-grandfather, whence that country was so called, 1 Samuel 9:5; this, from Zophim, of which place we have spoke in the foregoing chapter.
Gibeah was Saul's town. "The town called Gabath-Saul. This signifieth Saul's-hill, which is distant from Jerusalem about thirty furlongs." Hence you may guess at the distance of Rama from Jerusalem. Josephus calls the neighbouring place of Gibeah, "the long Valley of Thorns": perhaps, the valley under the rock Seneh: of which mention is made, 1 Samuel 14:4.