- Grandson of Noah
- Progenitor of Elamite Peoples
Elam (/ˈiːləm/; עֵילָם ‘Êlām) in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9;) is one of the sons of Shem, the son of Noah. It is also used (as in Akkadian), for the ancient country of Elam in what is now southern Iran, whose people the Hebrews believed to be the offspring of Elam, son of Shem (Genesis 10:22). This implies that the Elamites were considered Semites by the Hebrews. Their language was not one of the Semitic languages, but is considered a linguistic isolate.
Elam (the nation) is also mentioned in Genesis 14, describing an ancient war in the time of Abraham, involving Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam at that time.
The prophecies of the Book of Isaiah (11:11, 21:2, 22:6) and the Book of Jeremiah (25:25) also mention Elam. The last part of Jeremiah 49 is an apocalyptic oracle against Elam which states that Elam will be scattered to the four winds of the earth, but "will be, in the end of days, that I will return their captivity," a prophecy self-dated to the first year of Zedekiah (597 BC).
The Book of Jubilees may reflect ancient tradition when it mentions a son (or daughter, in some versions) of 'Elam named "Susan", whose daughter Rasuaya married Arpachshad, progenitor of another branch of Shemites. Shushan (or Susa) was the ancient capital of the Elamite Empire. (Dan. 8:2)