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17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:

A voice was heard in [a]Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
[b]Rachel weeping for her children;
She refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”(A)

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  1. Matthew 2:18 Ramah was located five miles north of Jerusalem, this city was a staging point for the deportation of Jews to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 b.c.
  2. Matthew 2:18 A reference to Jacob’s (Israel’s) wife Rachel as the mother of the children of Israel. Here, her grief over the slaughter of babies by Herod parallels the grief of Israel when they were conquered and deported by the Babylonians. The image is that of Rachel weeping for the children of Israel from her grave. Matthew takes Jeremiah’s words, which originally referred to grief over Babylonian captivity, and applies them to Herod’s slaughter of the babies.

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