(Raʹmoth-gilʹe·ad) [probably, Lofty Places of Gilead].
A strategic city in the territory of Gad, E of the Jordan. The city was also called by the shortened form Ramah. (2Ki 8:28, 29; 2Ch 22:5, 6) It was one of the Levite cities on that side of the river (1Ch 6:80), and it was selected as one of the cities of refuge. (De 4:43; Jos 20:8; 21:38) Solomon appointed a deputy in Ramoth-gilead to care for providing food for the king from cities in Gilead and Bashan.—1Ki 4:7, 13.
When, after the division of the kingdom, Syria made attacks on Israel, Ramoth-gilead played an important part in Israelite history, evidently being sort of a key to the territory E of the Jordan. At some point the Syrians took the city. Despite the promise of Ben-hadad II to return the Israelite cities that had been taken earlier, apparently Ramoth-gilead was not returned. (1Ki 20:34) Hence, Ahab of Israel attempted to recover it, with the aid of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. This effort, which Micaiah counseled against, resulted in Ahab’s death.—1Ki 22:13-38.
Ahab’s son Jehoram, along with Ahaziah of Judah, also fought the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead. Second Kings 9:14 says: “Jehoram himself had happened to be keeping guard at Ramoth-gilead . . . because of Hazael the king of Syria.” So it may be that Jehoram had taken the city earlier and was defending it (not attacking it) when Ahaziah joined him in the fight against Hazael. In the fighting, Jehoram was wounded and he retired to Jezreel to recover.—2Ki 8:25–29; 9:14, 15; 2Ch 22:5-8.
At Ramoth-gilead, Elisha’s attendant anointed Jehu, the military chief, to be the next king.—2Ki 9:1-14.
The exact location of Ramoth-gilead is uncertain. One of many suggested locations is Tell Ramith, about 45 km (28 mi) SE of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. The name of this tell could have been derived from the name Ramoth-gilead. It is on a hill overlooking a plain, which agrees with the probable meaning of Ramoth (Lofty Places; from a root meaning “rise”). The location would have been appropriate for a deputy responsible for Gilead and Bashan.—1Ki 4:13.