ELAH, i'Id: Fourth king of Israel, son and
successor of Baasha. According to the sources in
Bibliography: Consult the literature given under Ahab.
ELAM, i'lam: The name of a country known to the Assyrians as Elamtu (the "t" being a feminine termination), called in Greek Elymais, though part of its territory was known as Susiana in later times. Herodotus calls the country Kissia. The Assyrian name is usually explained as meaning "highland," but Jensen's explanation as "eastland" (that is, east of Babylonia), may be correct.
Geographically the ancient Elam may be defined
as lying east of the Tigris and north of the Persian
Gulf and comprising not only the lowlands of the
modern Khuzistan, but also the mountainous chains
surrounding them on the north and east. Slam
is classed in the Old Testament among the sons of
The origin of the Elamite stock is veiled in obscurity. The true Elamites occupied the more mountainous parts of the country, while the lower levels near Babylonia even in very early times had a Semitic intermixture, whose nomenclature appears in certain place names near the river Tigris. The earliest mention of Elam known appears in an inscription of the Babylonian King Alusharshid (see Babylonia, VI, 2, § 5) about 3800 s.c., who declares that he had conquered Elam and Bara'se. The capital of Elam, Susa, was henceforward accounted by the Babylonians as in their sphere of influence. It had to be reconquered from time to time. Gudea (see Babylonia, VI., 3, § 3) conquered Anshan, henceforth regarded as the southern division of Elam, and furnishing the title of its greatest kings in later centuries. Later Babylonian princes
built temples in Suva, made marriage alliances with its princes and gave other evidences of their influence upon Elam. The ruler of Elam for about seven hundred years is called patesi (see Babylonia, VI., 2, § 1, note), and they seem all to have acknowledged Babylonian overlordship. All their inscriptions are written in Semitic Babylonian.
Babylonia was overrun and
conquered by KudurNahunte, King of Elam, whose
name is Elamitic, not Semitic, and who belongs to
the true Elamite stock, whose language appears in
inscriptions from this time onward. Thirteen years later Kudur-Mabug (see
Babylonia, VI, 4, § 1), king of Elam, established his rule over southern Babylonia, and his, son Rim-Sin became king
of Larsa, the Biblical Ellasar, in
this same line of princes belongs Chedorlaomer (Kudurlagamaru;
Bibliography: w. K. Loftus, Chald&,a and Suaiana, London, 1857; F. Delitasch, Wo lap das Paradiea t p. 237, Leipsic, 1881; A. H. Sayce, in Transactions of Leyden Oriental Congress, 1885; M. Dieulafoy, L'Aeroyole de
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