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The Palace of Shushan

Shushan, also known as Susa (i.e. various Bible translations render the city name as either Shushan or Susa) was a capital of Elam, in what is today western Iran, about 150 miles north of the Persian Gulf. The city of Shushan / Susa, or more specifically, the royal palace there, is known to Bible History (see also Bible Places) as the location where Nehemiah, Esther and Daniel were all situated.

Shushan Susa

"I was at Shushan in the palace"

Nehemiah was serving in the palace of king Artaxerxes when Nehemiah received the news about Jerusalem, how "The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." Nehemiah thereafter received the king's commission to return to Jersualem as governor of Judea.

"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, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." (Nehemiah 1:1-3 KJV)

The events of the book of Esther are centered in and around the palace of Shushan.

"Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai [see Mordecai and Haman], the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away [see Why Babylon?]. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. 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 2:5-8 KJV)

The prophet Daniel was situated in the palace of Shushan.

"In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. 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. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes." (Daniel 8:1-5 KJV)

Fact Finder: How were the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome prophesied far back in the Old Testament?
See Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome


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