From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

ELAM . 1. A son of ShemGenesis 10:22 =   1 Chronicles 1:17 ), the eponymous ancestor of the Elamites (see following article). 2. A Korabite (  1 Chronicles 26:3 ). 3. A Benjamite (  1 Chronicles 8:24 ). 4. The eponym of a family of which 1254 returned with Zerub. (  Ezra 2:7 ,   Nehemiah 7:12 , 1E  Esther 5:12 ) and 71 with Ezra (  Ezra 8:7 , 1Es 8:33 ). It was one of the Benê-Elam that urged Ezra to take action against mixed marriages (  Ezra 10:2 ), and six of the same family are reported to have put away their foreign wives (  Ezra 10:26 ). Elam acc. to   Nehemiah 10:14 ‘sealed the covenant.’ 5. In the parallel lists   Ezra 2:31 ,   Nehemiah 7:34 ‘the other Elam’ has also 1254 descendants who return with Zerubbabel. 6. A priest who took part in the dedication of the walls (  Nehemiah 12:42 ).

ELAM . An important country of Western Asia, called Elamtu by the Babylonians and Elymais by the Greeks (also Susiana , from Shushan or Susa the capital). It corresponds nearly to the modern Chuzistan , lying to the east of the lower Tigris , but including also the mountains that skirt the plain. The portion south of Susa was known as Anshan (Anzan). In   Genesis 10:22 (  1 Chronicles 1:17 ) Elam is called a son of Shem, from the mistaken idea that the people were of the Semitic race. They belonged to the great family of barbarous or semi-barbarous tribes which occupied the highlands to the east and north of the Semites before the influx of the Aryans.

Historically Elam’s most important place in the Bible is found in  Genesis 14:1 ff., where it is mentioned as the suzerain of Babylonia and therewith of the whole western country including Palestine. The period there alluded to was that of Elam’s greatest power, a little later than b.c. 2300. For many centuries previous, Elam had upon the whole been subordinate to the ruling power of Babylonia, no matter which of the great cities west of the Tigris happened to be supreme. Not many years later, Hammurabi of Babylon (perhaps the Amraphel of   Genesis 14:1-24 ) threw off the yoke of Elam, which henceforth held an inferior place. Wars between the two countries were, however, very common, and Elam frequently had the advantage. The splendidly defensible position of the capital contributed greatly to its independence and recuperative power, and thus Susa became a repository of much valuable spoil secured from the Babylonian cities. This explains how it came about that the Code of Hammurabi, the most important single monument of Oriental antiquity, was found in the ruins of Susa. A change in relations gradually took place after Assyria began to control Babylonia and thus encroach upon Elam, which was thenceforth, as a rule, in league with the patriotic Babylonians, especially with the Chaldæans from the south-land. Interesting and tragic is the story of the combined efforts of the Chaldæans and Elamites to repel the invaders. The last scene of the drama was the capture and sack of Susa ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 645). The conqueror Ashurbanipal (Bibl. Osnappar ) completed the subjugation of Elam by deporting many of its inhabitants, among the exiles being a detachment sent to the province of Samaria (  Ezra 4:9 ). Shortly thereafter, when Assyria itself declined and fell, Elam was occupied by the rising Aryan tribes, the Medes from the north and the Persians from the south. Cyrus the Persian (born about b.c. 590) was the fourth hereditary prince of Anshan.

Elam has a somewhat prominent place in the prophetic writings, in which Media + Elam = Persian empire. See esp.  Isaiah 21:2 ff.,   Jeremiah 49:34 ff., and cf.   Isaiah 22:6 ,   Jeremiah 25:25 ,   Ezekiel 32:24 . Particular interest attached to the part taken by the Elamites in the overthrow of Babylonia. An effect of this participation is curiously shown in the fact that after the Exile, Elam was a fairly common name among the Jews themselves (  Ezra 2:7;   Ezra 2:31 ,   Nehemiah 7:12 ,   1 Chronicles 8:24 et al. ).

J. F. McCurdy.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

 Genesis 10:22 1 Chronicles 1:17

Elam appeared in history when Sargon of Akkad subdued it about 2300 B.C. Soon, though, Elamites reversed the role, sacked Ur, and set up an Elamite king in Eshnunna. The Elamite presence continued in Babylon until the time of Hammurabi about 1700 B.C.

After Hammurabi, Kassites invaded Elam. Their rule lasted until about 1200 B.C. The next century was the high point of Elam's power. All of western Iran was theirs. Again the Babylonians brought Elamite power to an end. The Assyrian Ashurbanipal brought an end to the periods of strength and weakness. He swept through the region in a series of campaigns and captured Susa in 641 B.C. He may have moved some Elamites to Samaria at that time ( Ezra 4:9 ). Earlier, Elam had incorporated Anshan, later home of Cyrus the Great, into the kingdom. As Assyria weakened, Elam and Anshan became part of the kingdom of the Medes. Thus, they participated, with the Babylonians, in the defeat of the Assyrian empire. Elam had little subsequent independent history, but it continued to be part of the Medes' and the Persians' empires. In Scripture Elam's importance may have been due to its role as a vassal of the great empires, supplying troops for them.

Elam is mentioned in Scripture in narratives and oracles. Abraham fought Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, to secure the return of Lot and others ( Genesis 14:1 ). Although this king cannot be identified from other records, the events may have occurred during Elam's time of strength prior to Hammurabi. Prophets mentioned Elam in oracles. Isaiah's word of hope included the promise God would recover His people from Elam ( Isaiah 11:11 ). In  Isaiah 21:2;  Isaiah 22:6 the prophet referred to Elam's military power. He called Elam to attack Babylon in   Isaiah 21:1 . The second mention seems to refer to Elam as part of God's judgment on Judah.  Jeremiah 25:25 includes Elam as a kingdom which must drink the cup of God's wrath. Later this same prophet (  Jeremiah 49:34-39 ), in the days of Zedekiah, pronounced judgment on Elam. No explanation for the judgment is given; but Elam, as a vassal of Babylon, may have participated in the attack on Jerusalem. Still, there is a word of hope in the end ( Jeremiah 49:39 ). Ezekiel pictured Elam in the pit (Sheol) where it experienced shame and punishment for its destructive ways ( Ezekiel 32:24 ).

Other biblical references mention Elam as a personal name or homeland. Perhaps most interesting is the presence of men from Elam on the day of Pentecost. These may have been Jews from the region of Elam or converts to Judaism ( Acts 2:9 ). God was still gathering His people from there. See Persia; Cyrus; Assyria.

3. A clan head of tribe of Benjamin living in Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 8:24 ).  4 . A priestly gatekeeper under David ( 1 Chronicles 26:3 ).  5 . Two clan leaders among the exiles who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel in 537 B.C. ( Ezra 2:7 ,Ezra 2:7, 2:31 ). Compare  Ezra 8:7;  Ezra 10:2 ,  Ezra 10:26 .  6 . A post-exilic leader who signed Nehemiah's covenant to obey God ( Nehemiah 10:14 ).  7 . A priest who helped Nehemiah lead the people in celebrating the completion of the Jerusalem wall ( Nehemiah 12:42 ).

Albert F. Bean

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

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 Palestine 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).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

E'lam. (Eternity).

1. This seems to have been originally, the name of a man, the son of Shem.  Genesis 10:22;  1 Chronicles 1:17. Commonly, however, it is used as the appellation of a country.  Genesis 14:1;  Genesis 14:9;  Isaiah 11:11;  Isaiah 21:2. The Elam of Scripture appears to be the province lying south of Assyria and east of Persia proper, to which Herodotus gives the name of Cissia, (iii. 91, v. 49, etc.), and which is termed Susis or Susiana by the geographers. Its capital was Susa . This country was originally people by descendants of Shem.

By the time of Abraham, a very important power had been built up in the same region. It is plain that at this early time, the predominant power in lower Mesopotamia was Elam, which, for a while, held the place possessed earlier by Babylon,  Genesis 10:10, and later by either Babylon or Assyria.

2. A Korhite Levite, in the time of King David.  1 Chronicles 26:3. (B.C. 1014).

3. A chief man, of the tribe of Benjamin.  1 Chronicles 8:24.

4. "Children of Elam," to the number of 1254, returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon.  Ezra 2:7;  Nehemiah 7:12.  1 Esdras 5:12. (B.C. 536 or before). Elam occurs amongst the names of the chief of the people, who signed the covenant with Nehemiah.  Nehemiah 10:14.

5. In the same lists is a second Elam, whose sons, to the same number as in the former case, returned with Zerubbabel,  Ezra 2:31;  Nehemiah 7:34, and which, for the sake of distinction, is called "the other Elam."

6. One of the priests, who accompanied Nehemiah, at the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah 12:42.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

1. Son of Shem. He settled in a highland district east of Babylonia, which became the seat of a powerful monarchy. The district was also called ELAM.  Genesis 10:22;  1 Chronicles 1:17 . In the days of Abraham Chedorlaomer king of Elam was able to make war as far off as the Dead Sea.  Genesis 14:1,9 . It subsequently became subject to the great power of the Chaldeans and Assyrians. When Assyria declined, Elam was conquered by its Persian neighbours, and reigned over by the Achaemenian Dynasty. Cyrus was king of Anshan, or Anzan (Elam) as well as of Persia: hence the close connection, and almost identification of Elam with Persia. In scripture Elam often designates Persia. In  Isaiah 21:2-10 Elam and Media were to destroy Babylon. It afterwards became a part of the Medo-Persian empire. Daniel was at Shushan, which was in the province of Elam. Under the name of Susiana, Elam is represented by the historians as one of the most ancient regions of the East. There are many prophecies against it.   Isaiah 11:11;  Isaiah 21:2;  Isaiah 22:6;  Jeremiah 25:25;  Jeremiah 49:34-39;  Ezekiel 32:24;  Daniel 8:2 .

2. Son of Shashak, a Benjamite.  1 Chronicles 8:24 .

3. Son of Meshelemiah, a Korhite.  1 Chronicles 26:3 .

4. chief of the people who sealed the covenant.  Nehemiah 10:14 .

5. One whose descendants had married strange wives. Ezra, 10:2,26

6. A priest who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah 12:42 .

7, etc. Two or more whose descendants returned from exile.  Ezra 2:7,31;  Ezra 8:7;  Nehemiah 7:12,34 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 Genesis 10:22 Isaiah 11:11 21:2

"The inhabitants of Elam, or 'the Highlands,' to the east of Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia.

"The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or 'servant of the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts).

"The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about B.C. 650) succeeded in conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword. On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce).

This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [7]

Elam ( Ç'Lam ). 1. A country peopled by the descendants of Shem, and called, after his son, Elam.  Genesis 10:22. It lay south of Assyria and west of Persia proper, and reached to the Persian Gulf. Herodotus called it Cissia. It was a province of Persia, of which Susa was capital.  Ezra 4:9;  Daniel 8:2. Elam was a strong power in Abram's time.  Genesis 14:9. Its people aided in the destruction of Babylon,  Isaiah 21:2; invaded Israel, 22:6. Its destruction was foretold.  Jeremiah 49:34-39;  Jeremiah 25:25;  Ezekiel 32:24-25. A remarkable statement illustrating the truth of the Scriptures in respect to Elam has been deciphered from Assyrian cylinders in the British Museum. 2. The name of six persons in the Old Testament.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

the eldest son of Shem, who settled in a country to which he gave his name,  Genesis 10:22 . It is frequently mentioned in Scripture, as lying to the south-east of Shinar. Susiana, in later times, seems to have been a part of this country,  Daniel 8:2; and before the captivity the Jews seem always to have intended Persia by the name of Elam. Stephanus takes it to be a part of Assyria, but Pliny and Josephus, more properly, of Persia, whose inhabitants, this latter tells us, sprung from the Elamites.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

1. The region afterwards called Persia,  Genesis 14:1 . It was called Elam after a son of Shem,  Genesis 10:22 . It corresponded to the Elymais of Greek and Roman writers, which comprehended a part of Susiana, now Khusistan or more probably included the whole of Susiana. The city Susa, or Shushan, was in it,  Daniel 8:2 . See also  Acts 2:9 .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [10]

Elam was an ancient kingdom north of the Persian Gulf in the region of Mesopotamia. Later it became part of Persia, and its name was sometimes used as another name for Persia. For details see Persia .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

(Hebrews Eylam', עֵילָם , corresponding to the Pehlvi Airjama [see Gesenius, Thesaur. page 1016]), the name of a man and of the region settled by his posterity, also of several Hebrews, especially about the time of the Babylonian captivity.

1. (Sept. Ε᾿Λάμ ; Josephus ῎Ελαμος , Ant. 1:6, 4; Vulg. Aelam.) Originally, like Aram, the name of a man the son of Shem ( Genesis 10:22;  1 Chronicles 1:17). B.C. post 2514. Commonly, however, it is used as the appellation of a country ( Genesis 14:1;  Genesis 14:9;  Isaiah 11:11;  Isaiah 21:2;  Jeremiah 25:25;  Jeremiah 49:34-39;  Ezekiel 32:24;  Daniel 8:2). In  Genesis 14:1, it is introduced along with the kingdom of Shinar in Babylon, and in  Isaiah 21:2, and  Jeremiah 25:25, it is connected with Media. In  Ezra 4:9, the Elamites are described among the nations of the Persian empire; and in  Daniel 8:2, Susa is said to lie on the river Ulai (Eulaeus or Choaspes), in the province of Elam. This river was the modern Karun (Layard, Nineveh And Bab. page 146), and the capital of Elam was Shushan (q.v.), one of the most powerful and magnificent cities of the primeval world. The name Elam occurs in the cuneiform inscriptions (q.v.) found on the bulls in Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh. The country was also called Nuvaki, as we learn from the monuments of Khorsabad and Besutun (Layard, Nin. and Bab. page 452).

The Elam of Scripture appears to be the province lying south of Assyria and east of Persia Proper, to which Herodotus gives the name of Cissia (3:91; v. 8:49, etc.), and which is in part termed Susis or Susiana by the geographers (Strab. 15:3, § 12; Ptolem. 6:3, etc.). It includes a portion of the mountainous country separating between the Mesopotamian plain and the high table-land of Iran, together with a fertile and valuable low tract at the foot of the range, between it and the Tigris. The passage of Daniel (8:2) which places Shushan (Susa) in "the province of Elam," may be regarded as decisive of this identification, which is further confirmed by the frequent mention of Elymseans in this district (Strab. 11:13, § 6; 16:1, § 17; Ptolem. 6:3; Plin. H.N. 6:26, etc.), as well as by the combinations in which Elam is found in Scripture (see  Genesis 14:1;  Isaiah 21:2;  Ezekiel 32:24). It appears from  Genesis 10:22, that this country was originally peopled by descendants of Shem, closely allied to the Aramaeans (Syrians) and the Assyrians; and from  Genesis 14:1-12, it is evident that by the time of Abraham a very important power had been built up in the same region. Not only is "Chedorlaomer, king of Elam," at the head of a settled government, and able to make war at a distance of two thousand miles from his own country, but he manifestly exercises a supremacy over a number of other kings, among whom we even find Amraphel, king of Shinar, or Babylonia. It is plain, then, that at this early time the predominant power in Lower Mesopotamia was Elam, which for a while held the place possessed earlier by Babylon ( Genesis 10:10), and later by either Babylon or Assyria. Discoveries made in the country itself confirm this view. They exhibit to us Susa, the Elamitic capital, as one of the most ancient cities of the East, and show that its monarchs maintained, throughout almost the whole period of Babylonian and Assyrian greatness, a quasi-independent position. Traces are even thought to have been found of Chedorlaomer himself, whom some are inclined to identify with an early Babylonian monarch, who is called the "Ravager of the West," and whose name reads as Kudur-mapula. The Elamitic empire established at this time was, however, but of short duration. Babylon and Assyria proved, on the whole, stronger powers, and Elam during the period of their greatness can only be regarded as the foremost of their feudatories. Like the other subject nations she retained her own monarchs, and from time to time, for a longer or a shorter space, asserted and maintained her independence. But generally she was content to acknowledge one or other of the two leading powers as her suzerain.

Towards the close of the Assyrian period she is found allied with Babylon, and engaged in hostilities with Assyria; but she seems to have declined in strength after the Assyrian empire was destroyed, and the Median and Macedonian arose upon its ruins. Elam is clearly a "province" of Babylonia in Belshazzar's time ( Daniel 8:2), and we may presume that it had been subject to Babylon at least from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. The desolation which  Jeremiah 49:30-34 and  Ezekiel 32:24-25 foresaw was probably this conquest, which destroyed the last semblance of Elamitic independence. It is uncertain at what time the Persians added Elam to their empire. Possibly it only fell under their dominion together with Babylon; but there is some reason to think that it may have revolted and joined the Persians before the city was besieged. The prophet Isaiah in two places ( Isaiah 21:2;  Isaiah 22:6) seems to speak of Elam as taking part in the destruction of Babylon; and, unless we are to regard him with our translators as using the word loosely for Persia, we must suppose that, on the advance of Cyrus and his investment of the Chaldaean capital, Elam made common cause with the assailants. She now became merged in the Persian empire, forming a distinct satrapy (Herod. 3:91), and furnishing to the crown an annual tribute of 300 talents. Susa, her capital, was made the ordinary residence of the court, and the metropolis of the whole empire. This mark of favor did not, however, prevent revolts. Not only was the Magian revolution organized and carried out at Susa, but there seem to have been at least two Elamitic revolts in the early part of the reign of Darius Hystaspis (Behistun Inscr.  Colossians 1:1-29, part 16, and  Colossians 2:1-23, part 3). After these futile efforts, Elam acquiesced in her subjection, and, as a Persian province, followed the fortunes of the empire. These historic facts illustrate the prophecy of  Jeremiah 49:35-39, "And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and I will scatter them towards all these winds." The situation of the country exposed it to the invasions of Assyrians, Medes, and Babylonians; and it suffered from each in succession before it was finally embodied in the Persian empire. Then another part of the prophecy was also singularly fulfilled: "I will set my throne in Elam, and I will destroy from thence the king and princes." The present state of the Persian empire, in which Elam is included, may be a fulfillment of the concluding words of the passage: "But it shall come to pass in the latter days that I will bring again the captivity of Elam" (Vaux, Nineveh and Persepolis, page 85 sq.). (See Persia).

Herodotus gives the name Cissia to the province of; which Susa was the capital (3:91); Strabo distinguishes between Susiana and the country of the Elymamans. The latter he extends northwards among the Zagros mountains (11:361; 15:503; 16:507). Pliny says Susiana is separated from Elymais by the River Eulaeus, and that the latter province extends from that river to the confines of Persia (Hist. Nat. 6:27). Ptolemy locates Elymais on the coast of the Persian Gulf, and regards it as part only of Susiana (Georgr. 6:3). According, to Josephus, the Elymaeans were the progenitors of the Persians (Ant. 1:6, 4); and Strabo refers to some of their scattered tribes as far north as the Caspian Sea. From these various notices, and from the incidental allusions in Scripture, we may conclude that there was a little province on the east of the Lower Tigris called Elymais; but that the Elymaeans, as a people, were anciently spread over and ruled a much wider district, to which their name was often attached. They were a warlike people, trained to arms, and especially skilled in the use of the bow ( Isaiah 21:2;  Jeremiah 49:35); they roamed abroad like the Bedawin, and like them, too, were addicted to plunder (Strabo, 11:361). Josephus mentions a town called Elymais, which contained a famous temple dedicated to Diana, and rich in gifts and votive offerings (Ant. 22:9, 1); Appian says it was dedicated to Venus (Bochart, Opp. 1:70 sq.). Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to plunder it, but was repulsed ( 1 Maccabees 6:1-63). It is a remarkable fact that little images of the goddess, whose Assyrian name was Anaitis, were discovered by Loftus in the mounds of Susa (Chaldea, page 379). The Elamites who were in Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost were probably descendants of the captive tribes who had settled in Elam ( Acts 2:9).

It has been repeatedly observed above that Elam is called Cissia by Herodotus, and Susiana by the Greek and Roman geographers. The latter is a term formed artificially from the capital city, but the former is a genuine territorial title, and probably marks an important fact in the history of the country. The Elamites, a Shemitic people, who were the primitive inhabitants ( Genesis 10:22), appear to have been invaded and conquered at a very early time by a Hamitic or Cushite race from Babylon, which was the ruling element in the territory from a date anterior to Chedorlaomer. These Cushites were called by the Greeks Cissians ( Κίσσεοι ) or Cossaeans ( Κοσσαῖοι ), and formed the dominant race, while the Elamites or Elymseans were in a depressed condition. In Scripture the country is called by its primitive title without reference to subsequent changes; in the Greek writers it takes its name from the conquerors. The Greek traditions of Memnon and his Ethiopians are based upon this Cushite conquest, and rightly connect the Cissians or Cossaeans of Susiana with the Cushite inhabitants of the upper valley of the Nile.

The fullest account of Elam, its physical geography, ruins, and history, is given in Loftus's Chaldaea and Susiana (London 1856; N.Y. 1857). The southern part of the country is flat, and towards the shore of the gulf marshy and desolate. In the north the mountain ranges of Backhtiari and Luristan rise gradually from the plain in a series of calcareous terraces, intersected by ravines of singular wildness and grandeur. Among these mountains are the sources of the Ulai (Loftus, page 308, 347 sq.). The chief towns of Elymais are now Shuster ("little Shush") and Dizful; but the greater part of the country is overrun by nomad Arabs. (See Elamit).

2. (Sept. Ι᾿Ενουηλωλάμ v.r. Ι᾿Ωλάμ , also ᾿Ωλάμ and Αἰλάμ ; Vulg. Elnam.) A Korhite Levite, fifth son of Meshelemiah, one of the Bene- Asaph, and superintendent of the fifth division of Temple wardens in the time of king David ( 1 Chronicles 26:3), B.C. 1014.

3. (Sept. Ἀηλάμ v.r. Αἰλαμ , Vulg. Aelam.) A chief man of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the sons of Shashak, resident at Jerusalem at the captivity or on the return ( 1 Chronicles 8:24), B.C. 536 or ante.

4. (Sept. Ἀϊλάμ , ᾿Ηλάμ , Vulg. Aelam.) "Children of Elam," Bene-Elam, to the number of 1254, returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon ( Ezra 2:7;  Nehemiah 7:12;  1 Esdras 5:12), and a further detachment of 71 men with Ezra in the second caravan ( Ezra 8:7;  1 Esdras 8:33). It was one of this family, Shechaniah, son of Jehiel, who encouraged Ezra in his efforts against the indiscriminate marriages of the people ( Ezra 10:2, text

עֵוֹלָם . i.e., עוֹלָם , Olam), and six of the Bene-Elam accordingly put away their foreign wives ( Ezra 10:26). The lists of Ezra ii and Nehemiah vii contain apparently an irregular mixture of the names of places and of persons. In the former,  Ezra 10:21-34, with one or two exceptions, are names of places; 3419, on the other hand, are not known as names of places, and are probably of persons. No such place as Elam is mentioned as in Palestine, either in the Bible or in the Onomasticon of Eusebius, nor has since been discovered as existing in the country, although Schwarz endeavors (Palest. page 143) to give the word a local reference to the grave of a Samaritan priest Eli, at a village named by him as Charim ben- Elim, on the bay, 8 miles N.N.E. of Jaffa. (See Harim). Most interpreters have therefore concluded that it was a person. B.C. ante 536. It is possible, however, that this and the following name have been borrowed from number 1, perhaps as designating Jews who resided in that region of the Babylonian dominions during the captivity.

5. In the same lists is a second Elam, whose sons, to the same number as in the former case, returned with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:31;  Nehemiah 7:34), and which, for the sake of distinction, is called "the other Elam" ( עֶילָם אִחֵר ; Sept. ᾿Ηλαμάρ , ᾿Ηλαμαάρ , Vulg. Aelam Alter). The coincidence of the numbers is curious, and also suspicious, as arguing an accidental repetition of the foregoing name. B.C. ante 536. 6. (Sept. Αἰλάμ , Vulg. Aelam.) One of the sacerdotal or Levitical singers who accompanied Nehemiah at the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem ( Nehemiah 12:42). B.C. 446.

7. (Sept. ᾿Ηλάμ , Vulg. A Elam.) One of the chiefs of the people who signed the covenant with Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 10:14), B.C. 410.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

E´lam, which is mentioned in , as a tribe descended from Shem, is, in , introduced along with the kingdom of Shinar in Babylon, and in , and , is connected with Media. In , the Elamites are described among the nations of the Persian Empire; and in , Susa is said to lie on the river Ulai (Eulæus or Choaspes) in the province of Elam. These accounts lead to the conclusion that Elam was the same land which was designated by the Greeks and Romans by the name of Elymais, and which formed a part of the ancient Susiana, the modern Khuzestan. Elam was inhabited by various tribes of people. The Elymsei or Elamaei, together with the Kissi, seem to have been the oldest inhabitants not only of Susiana Proper but also of Persia; whence the sacred writers, under the name of Elam, comprehended the country of the Persians in general. They were celebrated for their skill in archery; hence the historical propriety of the Scriptural allusion to the quiver and the bow of the Elamites .

It would seem that Elam was very early a separate state with its own kings: for in the time of Abraham we find that Chedorlaomer king of Elam extended his conquests west of the Euphrates as far as the Jordan and the Dead Sea (Genesis 14); but whether he acted for himself, or only as the viceroy or general of the Assyrians, must remain a matter of doubt. Ezekiel mentions Elam among the mighty uncircumcised nations which had been the terror of the world; and about the same period (B.C. 590) Jeremiah threatened it with conquest and destruction by the Chaldeans (; , sqq.). This was accomplished probably by Nebuchadnezzar, who subjected Western Asia to his dominion; for we find his successor Belshazzar residing at Susa, the capital of Elam, a province then subject to that monarch . With this the Scriptural notices of Elam end, unless we add that Elamites are found among those who were at Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost which implies that Jews descended from the exiles were settled in that country.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

ē´lam ( עילם , ‛ēlām ):

(1) A son of Shem ( Genesis 10:22;  1 Chronicles 1:17; see Elamites ).

(2) A B enjamite ( 1 Chronicles 8:24 ).

(3) A K orahite ( 1 Chronicles 26:3 ).

(4) Heads of families in the return ( Ezra 2:7 parallel   Nehemiah 7:12;  Ezra 2:31 parallel   Nehemiah 7:34;  Ezra 8:7;  Ezra 10:2 ,  Ezra 10:26 ).

(5) A chief of the people ( Nehemiah 10:14 ).

(6) A priest ( Nehemiah 12:42 ).