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Bible Cities : Shushan
Ancient Shushan

Map of Ancient Shushan

Shushan in 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 (Neh. 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 in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Named from its abundant lilies. Capital of Elam, Cissia, or Susiana. Asshur-bani-pal, Esarhaddon's successor, in inscriptions says he took Shur and gives its ground plan sculptured (Layard Nin. 452), 600 B.C. In Belshazzar's last year Daniel was at Shushan in the palace (not actually, but transported in spirit) when he saw the vision (Daniel 8:2). Cyrus' conquest transferred Shushan to Persia. Darius Hystaspes and the Achaemenian princes made it the capital. He founded the grand palace described in Esther 1:5-6. Near Persia, cooler than Babylon, and having excellent water, Shushan was a suitable metropolis of the Persian empire. The kings left it for Ecbatana or Persepolis only in the height of summer, and for Babylon in the depth of winter; here Alexander found twelve million and the regalia of the great king. After this it declined. Shushan lay between the two streams of the Eulaeus and the Shapur. Canals joined the two and so surrounded the citadel of Shushan. The Coprates or "river of Dizful" and the right branch of the Choaspes ("Kerkhah") flowed a few miles E. and W. of the city. Hence arose its famed fertility. The Kerkhah water was so excellent that it was carried about with the great king on his journeys. The ruins cover a space 6,000 ft. E. to W. by 4,500 from N. to S.; the circumference is about three miles. Spacious artificial mounds or platforms stand separated from one another. The western one, of earth, gravel, and sundried bricks, is smallest but loftiest, 119 ft. above the Shapur, an obtuse angled triangle, with corners rounded off and base facing E. The sides are so steep as to be unapproachable to horsemen except at three points; round the top is a space of 2,850 ft. This is probably the famous citadel (Herodot. 3:68; Polyb. 5:48, 14; Strabo 15:3, section 2; Arrian Exp. Al. 3:16). S.E. of this western platform is the great platform of 60 acres, the eastern face 3,000 ft. long. The third platform is N. of the other two, a square of 1,000 ft. each way. The three together form a lozenge pointing almost due N., 4,500 ft. long by 3,000 broad. E. of these is an irregular extensive but lower platform, as large as all the rest put together. Low mounds extend beyond to the Dizful river. Sir F. Williams of Kars discovered the bases of three columns of the palace in the E. of the lozenge, 27 ft. 6 in. from center to center, similar to the "great hall" (Chel Minar) at Persepolis. "Loftus" (Chaldaea Susiana) ascertained next the position of all the 72 pillars of the original palace. On the bases of four columns were found trilingual inscriptions in the three languages used by the Achaemenian kings at Behistun. E. Norris deciphered the first part: "says Artaxerxes, the great king, king of kings, king of the country, king of the earth, son of king Darius ... Darius was the son of king Artaxerxes ... Artaxerxes was...

Shushan in Hitchcock's Bible Names lily; rose; joy

Shushan in Naves Topical Bible 1. Capitol of the Medo-Persian Empire Es 1:2,3; 8:15 -2. King's palace at Ne 1:1; Es 1:2,5; 2:5,8; 4:8,16; 8:14,15; 9:11,15

Shushan in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a lily), is said to have received its name from the abundance of the lily (shushan or shushanah) in its neighborhood. It was originally the capital of the country called in Scripture Elam, and by the classical writers Susis or Susiana. In the time of Daniel Susa was in the possession of the Babylonians, to whom Elam had probably passed at the division of the Assyrian empire made by Cyaxares and Nabopolassar. Da 8:2 The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus transferred Susa to the Persian dominion; and it was not long before the Achaemenian princes determined to make it the capital of their whole empire and the chief place of their own residence. According to some writers the change was made by Cyrus; according to others it had at any rate taken place before the death of Cambyses; but, according to the evidence of the place itself and of the other Achaemenian monuments, it would seem most probable that the transfer was really the work of Darius Hystaspes. Nehemiah resided here. Ne 1:1 Shushan was situated on the Ulai or Choaspes. It is identified with the modern Sus or Shush, its ruins are about three miles in circumference. (Here have been found the remains of the great palace build by Darius, the father of Xerxes, in which and the surrounding buildings took place the scenes recorded in the life of Esther. The great central hall was 343 feet long by 244 feet wide. The king's gate, says Schaff, where Mordecai sat, "was probably a hall 100 feet square, 150 feet from the northern portico. Between these two was probably the inner court, where Esther appeared before the king." --ED.)

Shushan in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE 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 BC, 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 BC, 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 BC). 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 BC), 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...

Shushan Scripture - 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 Scripture - Esther 1:2 [That] in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the palace,

Shushan Scripture - Esther 1:5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

Shushan Scripture - 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;

Shushan Scripture - 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.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 3:15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 4:8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew [it] unto Esther, and to declare [it] unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.

Shushan Scripture - 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.

Shushan Scripture - 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.

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

Shushan Scripture - 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.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 9:13 Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which [are] in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 9:14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 9:15 For the Jews that [were] in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.

Shushan Scripture - Esther 9:18 But the Jews that [were] at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth [day] thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth [day] of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

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

Shushan Scripture - Nehemiah 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

Shushan Sripture - Esther 2:3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given [them]: