|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.
Int. 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
See SONG; PSALMS.
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, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Esther 1:2 that in those days, when the King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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; (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Esther 9:6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Esther 9:14 The king commanded this to be done. A decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
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. (ASV)
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. (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)