Elam in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

1. Son of Shem (Genesis 10:22). The name is Semitic. The Elamites gave their name to Elymais, the region on the left or E. bank of the Tigris, opposite Babylonia, between it on the W. and Persia proper on the E., and S.W. of Media. The region is also named Susiana or Susis from its capital Susa, called Shushah in Daniel 8:2, where Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:1) waited on king Artaxerxes, and where Ahasuerus (Xerxes) held his court in Esther's (Esther 1:2; Esther 2:5) time. Daniel mentions the river Ulai near, i.e. the Greek Euloeus. From Darius Hystaspes' time to Alexander the Great it was the Persian king's court residence. Chedorlaomer who invaded Israel in Abraham's time (Genesis 14) was king of Elam, and then lord paramount over Amraphel, king of Shinar (Babylonia) on its confines. (See CHEDORLAOMER.) This Elamitic supremacy was of short duration. The Kissinns or Cossaeans (Cushites?) subsequently to the Elamites subjugated Elam and called it Kissia (Herodotus, 3:91; 5:49). The Greek traditions of Memnon and his Ethiopian bands rest on this subjugation, the Kissians of Elam being connected with the Cushite inhabitants of the upper valley of the Nile. The two races remained separate to the time Of Strabo (compare Ezra 4:9). Discoveries in Elam prove Susa one of the oldest cities in the East and its monarchs quasiindependent, while acknowledging Assyria's and Babylon's successive supremacy. Occasionally, for a time, it maintained its complete independence. It was a province of Babylonia from Nebuchadnezzar's time (Daniel 8:2). Its conquest by him is probably foretold in Jeremiah 49:30-34; Ezekiel 32:24-25. It had helped him against Judaea; hence God dealt retributively its punishment by him with whom it bad transgressed. Its bowmen were famed (Isaiah 22:6); so God says, "I will break the bow of Elam." After scattering them God saith, "in the latter days I will bring again the captivity of Elam," namely, in the coming restitution of all things by Messiah, an earnest of which was given in that Elamites were on Pentecost among the first who heard and accepted the gospel (Acts 2:9). Elam took part in destroying Babylon, on Cyrus' advance probably joining him in the assault (Isaiah 21:2). Elam became a satrapy of the Persian empire, furnishing 300 talents as annual tribute (Herodotus, 3:91). Susa, its capital, became capital of the empire and the court residence. Nevertheless it was the scene of the Magian revolution, and twice revolted under Darius Hystaspes (Behistun Inscription). 2. A Korhite Levite, one of the sons of Asaph in David's time (1 Chronicles 26:3). 3. A Benjamite chief, one of Shashak's sons (1 Chronicles 8:24). 4. Children of Elam, 1,254, returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon (Ezra 2:7; Nehemiah 7:12). Seventy-one more accompanied Ezra and the second caravan (Ezra 8:7). Shechaniah, one of them, seconded Ezra's confession of sin, especially as to marriages with aliens, pleaded the people's guilt, and proposed a covenant to put away those wives; six of the sons of Elam accordingly did so (Ezra 10:2; Ezra 10:26). 5. Another Elam, of whose sons also the same number returned, is mentioned (Ezra 2:31; Nehemiah 7:34). 6. A priest who accompanied Nehemiah in dedicating the wall (Nehemiah 12:42).

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