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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

shoo'-shan (shushan; Sousan, Sousa):

1. Position, Eytmology and Forms of Its Name:

This city, the Susu or Susan of the Babylonians, and the native (Elamite) Susun, is the modern Shush (Sus) in Southwestern Persia, a series of ruin-mounds on the banks of the river Kerkha. The ancient etymologies ("city of lilies" or "of horses") are probably worthless, as an etymology in the language of the place would rather be expected. Sayce therefore connects the name with sassa, meaning "former," and pointing to some such meaning as "the old" city. It is frequently mentioned in the Babylonian inscriptions of the 3rd millennium B.C., and is expressed by the characters for the goddess Ishtar and for "cedar," implying that it was regarded as the place of the "divine grove" (see 5, below). In later days, the Assyrians substituted for the second character, that having the value of ses, possibly indicating its pronunciation. Radau (Early Babylonian History, 236) identifies Shushan (Susa) with the Sasa of the Babylonian king Kuri-galzu (14th century B.C., if the first of the name), who dedicates to the Babylonian goddess Ninlil an inscription of a certain Siatu, who had, at an earlier date, dedicated it to Ishtar for the life of the Babylonian king Dungi (circa 2500 B.C.).

2. The Ruins:

The surface still covered with ruins is about 2,000 hectares (4, 940 acres), though this is but a fraction compared with the ancient extent of the city, which is estimated to have been between 12,000 and 15,000 hectares (29, 640-37,000 acres). Though considerable, the extent of Susa was small compared with Nineveh and Babylon. The ruins are divided by the French explorers into four tracts:

(1) The Citadel-mound (West), of the Achemenian period (5th century B.C.), circa 1,476 by 820 ft., dominating the plain (height circa 124 ft.).

(2) The Royal City on the East of the Citadel, composed of two parts: the Apadana (Northeast), and a nearly triangular tract extending to the East and the South. This contains the remains of the palace of Darius and his successors, and occupies rather more than 123 acres. The palace proper and the throne-room were separated from the rest of the official buildings.

(3) The City, occupied by artisans, merchants, etc.

(4) The district on the right bank, similarly inhabited. This in ancient times extended into all the lower plain, between the Shaour and the Kerkha. Besides these, there were many isolated ruins, and the suburbs contained a number of villages and separate constructions.

3. The "Royal City," "The Citadel," and the Ruins Therein:

Most of the constructions at Susa are of the Persian period. In the northern part of the Royal City lie the remains of the Apadana, the only great monument of which remains were found on the level. The principal portion consisted of a great hall of columns, known as the throne-room of Artaxeres Mnemon. It replaced an earlier structure by Darius, which was destroyed by fire in the time of Artaxerxes I. The columns apparently had capitals of the style common in Persia-the foreparts of two bulls kneeling back to back. In the Citadel a palace built by Xerxes seems to have existed, the base of one of his columns having been found there. Bricks bearing the inscriptions of early Elamite kings, and the foundations of older walls, testify to the antiquity of the occupation of this part. According to the explorers, this was the portion of the city reserved for the temples.

4. The Monuments Discovered:

The number of important antiquities found on the site is considerable. Among the finds may be mentioned the triumphal stele of Naram-Sin, king of Agade (3rd-4th millennium B.C.); the statuettes of the Babylonian king Dungi (circa 2360 B.C.); the reliefs and inscriptions of the Elamite king Ba(?)-sa-Susinak (circa 2340 B.C.); the obelisk inscribed with the laws of Hammurabi of Babylon; the bronze bas-relief of the Elamite king Sutruk-Nahhunte (circa 1120 B.C.), who carried off from Babylonia the stelae of Naram-Sin and Hammurabi above mentioned, together with numerous other Babylonian monuments; the stele of Adda-hamiti-In-Susnak, of a much later date, together with numerous other objects of art and inscriptions-a most precious archaeological find.

5. Assur-bani-apli's Description of the City:

Shushan passed through many serious crises, one of the severest being its capture and destruction by the armies of the Assyrian king Assur-bani-apli about 640 B.C. According to his account, the ziqqurat or temple-tower of Susa was built of enameled brick imitating lapis-lazuli, and was adorned with pinnacles of bright bronze. The god of the city was Susinak, who dwelt in a secret place, and none ever saw the form of his divinity. Lagamaru (Laomer) and five other of the city's deities were adored only by kings, and their images, with those of 12 more (worshipped by the people), were carried off as spoil to Assyria. Winged bulls and genii adorned Susa's temples, and figures of wild bulls protected the entrances to their shrines. Other noteworthy things were the sacred groves into which no stranger was allowed to enter, and the burial-places of the Elamite kings. After recovering from the blow inflicted by the Assyrians, Shushan ultimately regained its old importance, and, as the summer residence of the Persian kings, became

the home of Ahasuerus and Queen Esther (Nehemiah 1:1 Esther 1:2, 5; Esther 2:3; Esther 3:15; Esther 9:11 Daniel 8:2; Additions to Esther 11:3).


See Perrot et Chipiez, Histoire de l'art dans l'antiquite, volume V, Perse, 1890; de Morgan, Delegation en Perse (Memoires), 1900, etc.; Histoire et travaux de la delegation en Perse, 1905; article "Elamites" in Hastings ERE; article ELAM in this work.

T. G. Pinches


shoo'-shan e'-duth.


4677. Sousanna -- "lily," Susanna, one of the women accompanying ...
... Word Origin of Hebrew origin shushan Definition "lily," Susanna, one of the women
accompanying Jesus on His journeys NASB Word Usage Susanna (1). Susanna. ...
// - 6k
Strong's Hebrew
7802. Shushan Eduth -- Shoshannim-Eduth, Shushan-eduth
Shushan Eduth or Shoshannim Eduth. 7801, 7802. Shushan Eduth or Shoshannim
Eduth. 7803 . Shoshannim-Eduth, Shushan-eduth. Transliteration ...
/hebrew/7802.htm - 6k

7800. Shushan -- residence of Pers. kings
... 7799, 7800. Shushan. 7801 . residence of Pers. kings. Transliteration: Shushan
Phonetic Spelling: (shoo-shan') Short Definition: Susa. ...
/hebrew/7800.htm - 6k

7799. shushan -- probably lily (or any lily-like flower)
shushan or shoshan or shoshannah. 7798, 7799. shushan or shoshan or
shoshannah. 7800 . probably lily (or any lily-like flower ...
/hebrew/7799.htm - 6k


A Reformer's Schooling
... And it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan
the palace, 2. That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture g/a reformers schooling.htm

Esther, the Queen.
... In the third year of his reign he gave a royal feast to all the princes
and nobles of Persia and Medea, in Shushan, the royal city. ...
/.../lathbury/childs story of the bible/chapter xxxiv esther the queen.htm

The Kingdom Restored
... V. Questions: 1. Name Nehemiah's position and its duties. 2. Locate Shushan.
3. Measure the distance from Shushan to Jerusalem. ...
/.../palmer/a birds-eye view of the bible/vii the kingdom restored.htm

The Court of the Gentiles. The Mountain of the House, in the ...
... There was only one gate eastward, and that was called, the Gate of Shushan; because
the figure of Shushan, the metropolis of Persia, was engraven in it, in ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 28 the court of.htm

The Church and Social Evils
... A little party of pious pilgrims had gone from Persia to the city, and had come
back to Shushan with a sad story of weakness and despondency, affliction and ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture g/the church and social evils.htm

Concerning Esther and Mordecai and Haman; and How in the Reign of ...
... of his riches, and this for a hundred and fourscore days; after which he made a
feast for other nations, and for their ambassadors, at Shushan, for seven days. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 6 concerning esther and.htm

The Later Hebrew Histories.
... summarized. The scene is laid in Shushan the palace, better known as Susa,
one of the royal residences of the kings of Persia. The ...
/.../gladden/who wrote the bible/chapter vi the later hebrew.htm

Hebrew Captives; Or, Mordecai and Esther.
... That home he wished no longer to see, and day after day he took his old station
at the gates of Shushan, and looked upon the magnificent walls that divided him ...
/.../headley/half hours in bible lands volume 2/hebrew captives or mordecai and.htm

Appendix 1 Massecheth Middoth
... Kipponos from the west; Tadi from the north"it did not serve for anything; the eastern
gate, upon which was a representation of the city of Shushan, and by ...
/.../edersheim/sketches of jewish social life/appendix 1 massecheth middoth.htm

Title and Position.
... ii.1, 2((here in a phrase most readily lending itself as a motto for the tale),
and Hosea 14:5. The place Shushan, too, is thought to have been named from the ...
/.../daubney/the three additions to daniel a study/title and position 2.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

lily; rose; joy

ATS Bible Dictionary

1. Psalm 60:1-12, title; plural SHOSHANNIM, Psalm 45:1-14 69:1-36, titles; the name of a musical instrument. The word signifies a lily, or lilies; and if the instrument were so named from its similarity to this flower, we might understand the cymbal. Or it may denote a melody, so named for its pleasantness of the subject matter of the song, as in the title to Psalm 45:1-14.

2. The capital city of Elam, or Persia, Genesis 14:1 Daniel 8:2, on the river Ulai. It was the winter residence of the Persian kings, after Cyrus, Esther 1:5; and is deeply interesting as the scene of the wonderful events narrated in the book of Esther. Here Daniel had the vision of the ram and he-goat, in the third year of Belshazzar, Daniel 8:1-27. Nehemiah was also at Shushan, when he obtained from Artaxerxes permission to return into Judea, and to repair the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:1.

The present Shouster, the capital of Khusistan, in long. 49 East, lat. 32 North, of the river Karun, a branch of the Shat-el-Arab, has been generally believed to be the ancient Shushan, the Susa of the Greeks; but Mr. Kinneir rather thinks the ruins about thirty-five miles west of Shouster are those of that ancient residence of royalty, "stretching not less, perhaps, then twelve miles from one extremity to the other. They occupy an immense space between the rivers Kerah and Abzal; and like the ruins of Ctesiphon, Babylon, and Kufa, consist of hillocks of earth and rubbish, covered with broken pieces of brick and colored tile. The largest is a mile in circumference, and nearly one hundred feet in height; another, not quite so high, is double the circuit. They are formed of clay and pieces of tile, with irregular layers of brick and mortar, five or six feet in thickness, to serve, as it should seem, as a kind of prop to the mass. Large blocks of marble, covered with hieroglyphics, are not unfrequently here discovered by the Arabs, when digging in search of hidden treasure; and at the foot of the most elevated of the pyramids (ruins) stands the tomb of Daniel, a small and apparently a modern building, erected on the spot where the relics of that prophet are believed to rest." Major Rennell coincides in the opinion that these ruins represent the ancient Susa. The desolation of the place, abandoned to beasts of prey, agrees with the prediction in Ezekiel 32:24.

The preceding statements are confirmed by Loftus, who with Col. Williams visited and in part explored these ruins in 1851-2. Shush, we say, abounds in lions, wolves, lynxes, jackals, boars, etc. During nine months of the year the country is burnt up by the most intense heat, though exceedingly rich and beautiful in the rainy season. His excavations in the great mound disclosed the ruins of a vast palace, commenced apparently by Darius, carried on by Xerxes, and finished by Artaxerxes Mnemon. It is altogether probable that this was the scene of the festival described in Esther 1:1-22. The "pillars of marble" may perhaps be even now traced in the ruined colonnade forming a great central court; the huge columns were fluted and highly ornamented, and one of the capitals measured was twenty-eight feet high.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A lily, the Susa of Greek and Roman writers, once the capital of Elam. It lay in the uplands of Susiana, on the east of the Tigris, about 150 miles to the north of the head of the Persian Gulf. It is the modern Shush, on the northwest of Shuster. Once a magnificent city, it is now an immense mass of ruins. Here Daniel saw one of his visions (Dan. 8); and here also Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1) began his public life. Most of the events recorded in the Book of Esther took place here. Modern explorers have brought to light numerous relics, and the ground-plan of the splendid palace of Shushan, one of the residences of the great king, together with numerous specimens of ancient art, which illustrate the statements of Scripture regarding it (Dan. 8:2). The great hall of this palace (Esther 1) "consisted of several magnificent groups of columns, together with a frontage of 343 feet 9 inches, and a depth of 244 feet. These groups were arranged into a central phalanx of thirty-six columns (six rows of six each), flanked on the west, north, and east by an equal number, disposed in double rows of six each, and distant from them 64 feet 2 inches." The inscriptions on the ruins represent that the palace was founded by Darius and completed by Artaxerxes.
Shushan (19 Occurrences)
... Modern explorers have brought to light numerous relics, and the ground-plan of the
splendid palace of Shushan, one of the residences of the great king ...SHUSHAN. ...
/s/shushan.htm - 21k

Shushan-eduth (1 Occurrence)
Shushan-eduth. ShushanEduth, Shushan-eduth. Shut . Easton's Bible Dictionary ...
(see SHOSHANNIM.). Multi-Version Concordance Shushan-eduth (1 Occurrence). ...
/s/shushan-eduth.htm - 7k

Susa (20 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia SUSA. su'-sa, soo'-sa (Additions to Esther 11:3).
See SHUSHAN. Multi-Version Concordance Susa (20 Occurrences). ...
/s/susa.htm - 13k

Castle (26 Occurrences)
... of Hacaliah. Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth
year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (See JPS). Nehemiah ...
/c/castle.htm - 15k

Eduth (3 Occurrences)
... e'-duth (`edhuth, "testimony," a technical term for the Ten Commandments or for
the Law): In Psalm 60 title, "set to Shushan Eduth" (literally, "a lily (is ...
/e/eduth.htm - 8k

Citadel (20 Occurrences)
... Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month
Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (See NIV). ...
/c/citadel.htm - 13k

Edict (22 Occurrences)
... The king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city of Shushan was perplexed. (See
NIV). ... A decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. ...
/e/edict.htm - 14k

Capital (29 Occurrences)
... Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month
Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (See RSV). ...
/c/capital.htm - 16k

Fourteenth (25 Occurrences)
... Esther 9:15 The Jews who were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth
day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men in Shushan...
/f/fourteenth.htm - 15k

Runners (21 Occurrences)
... Esther 3:15 The runners went out quickly by the king's order, and a public statement
was made in Shushan: and the king and Haman took wine together: but the ...
/r/runners.htm - 13k

Bible Concordance
Shushan (19 Occurrences)

Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

Esther 1:2 that in those days, when the King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

Esther 1:5 When these days were fulfilled, the king made a seven day feast for all the people who were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, in the court of the garden of the king's palace.

Esther 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

Esther 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

Esther 3:15 The couriers went forth in haste by the king's commandment, and the decree was given out in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city of Shushan was perplexed.

Esther 4:8 He also gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given out in Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther, and to declare it to her, and to urge her to go in to the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him, for her people.

Esther 4:16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish."

Esther 8:14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.

Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

Esther 9:6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.

Esther 9:12 And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.

Esther 9:13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows."

Esther 9:14 The king commanded this to be done. A decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

Esther 9:15 The Jews who were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men in Shushan; but they didn't lay their hand on the spoil.

Esther 9:18 But the Jews who were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth days of the month; and on the fifteenth day of that month, they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

Psalms 59:17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing praises: For God is my high tower, the God of my mercy. Psalm 60 For the Chief Musician; 'set to' Shushan Eduth. Michtam of David, to teach; and when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the Valley of Salt twelve thousand.

Daniel 8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.



Shushan (Susa): Capitol of the Medo-Persian Empire

Shushan (Susa): King's Palace At

Shushan Eduth

Shushan or Susa

Related Terms

Shushan-eduth (1 Occurrence)

Susa (20 Occurrences)

Castle (26 Occurrences)

Eduth (3 Occurrences)

Citadel (20 Occurrences)

Edict (22 Occurrences)

Capital (29 Occurrences)

Fourteenth (25 Occurrences)

Runners (21 Occurrences)

Issued (40 Occurrences)

Decree (82 Occurrences)

Mor'decai (51 Occurrences)

Lily (9 Occurrences)

Posts (68 Occurrences)

Michtam (12 Occurrences)

Published (18 Occurrences)

Consternation (8 Occurrences)

Aram-zobah (2 Occurrences)

Adar (10 Occurrences)

Shushanchites (1 Occurrence)

Strove (25 Occurrences)

Elam (24 Occurrences)

Nehemiah (9 Occurrences)

Fortress (75 Occurrences)

Shur (6 Occurrences)

Hanged (36 Occurrences)

Elamites (2 Occurrences)

Prey (105 Occurrences)

Public (99 Occurrences)

Plunder (118 Occurrences)

Esther (48 Occurrences)

Statement (88 Occurrences)

Haman's (8 Occurrences)

Quick-running (4 Occurrences)

Vajezatha (1 Occurrence)

Vashti (10 Occurrences)

Kislev (2 Occurrences)

King-like (1 Occurrence)

Nehemi'ah (8 Occurrences)

Ulai (2 Occurrences)

Ointments (9 Occurrences)

Joyous (10 Occurrences)

Gallows (8 Occurrences)

Girls (27 Occurrences)

Water-door (1 Occurrence)

Inspectors (10 Occurrences)

Implore (14 Occurrences)

Impelled (7 Occurrences)

Thirteenth (12 Occurrences)

Effected (19 Occurrences)

Enclosed (16 Occurrences)

Explain (30 Occurrences)

Dromedary (3 Occurrences)

Maidens (40 Occurrences)

Mules (14 Occurrences)

Mounted (32 Occurrences)

Riding (30 Occurrences)

Mesopotamia (8 Occurrences)

Purifications (3 Occurrences)

Parshandatha (1 Occurrence)

Purim (5 Occurrences)

Perplexed (16 Occurrences)

Pur (3 Occurrences)

Parmashta (1 Occurrence)

Bewildered (11 Occurrences)

Benjaminite (9 Occurrences)

Chisleu (2 Occurrences)

Chislev (2 Occurrences)

Couriers (16 Occurrences)

Capitol (1 Occurrence)

Coursers (3 Occurrences)

Aram-naharaim (5 Occurrences)

Ahasuerus (28 Occurrences)

Ahasu-e'rus (30 Occurrences)

Aramzobah (1 Occurrence)

Annihilation (3 Occurrences)



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