Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Hidden, distant, eternity (Elam)
Their heaps (Elamites)
Strong's Concordance #H5867, 5962, #G1639

Elam was one of the sons of Shem and a grandson of Noah. He likely lent his name to the region located near the northern shores of the Persian Gulf (Genesis 10:22).

Other people named Elam include a gatekeeper under David (1Chronicles 26:3), a leader within the tribe of Benjamin (1Chronicles 8:24), a Jewish captive from Babylon (Ezra 2:7) and a Levitical musician (Nehemiah 12:42). The Bible also references a person it calls "the other Elam" (Ezra 2:31) and still another who agreed with Nehemiah's covenant to obey God (Nehemiah 10:14).

Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, led the first series of battles recorded in the Bible. The coalition of armies he controlled carried out at least eight major conflicts in the territories near the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. His bloody string of killings and plundering was ultimately stopped by the patriarch Abraham and his relatively small force of men (Genesis 14).

Biblical Cities of Assyria and Babylon Map
Location of Elam

New Testament and beyond

Elamites were present in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost, when God poured out his Holy Spirit upon those willing to repent of their sins (Acts 2:9).

Scripture also reveals that God, during the Millennial reign of Jesus, will collect the remnant of his people from Elam (Isaiah 11:11).

Important Verses

Person / Group of People

Genesis 10:22
The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

Acts 2:8 - 9, 11
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia . . . we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.


Genesis 14:1 - 2
And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

Isaiah 11:9 - 11
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam . . .

Daniel 8:2
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.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).