1. Psalms 60:1-12, title; plural SHOSHANNIM, Psalms 45:1-14 69:1-36, titles; the name of a musical instrument. The word signifies a lily, or lilies; and if the instrument were so named from its similarity to this flower, we might understand the cymbal. Or it may denote a melody, so named for its pleasantness of the subject matter of the song, as in the title to Psalms 45:1-14.
2. The capital city of Elam, or Persia, Genesis 14:1 Daniel 8:2, on the river Ulai. It was the winter residence of the Persian kings, after Cyrus, Esther 1:5; and is deeply interesting as the scene of the wonderful events narrated in the book of Esther. Here Daniel had the vision of the ram and he-goat, in the third year of Belshazzar, Daniel 8:1-27. Nehemiah was also at Shushan, when he obtained from Artaxerxes permission to return into Judea, and to repair the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 1:1.
The present Shouster, the capital of Khusistan, in long. 49 East, lat. 32 North, of the river Karun, a branch of the Shat-el-Arab, has been generally believed to be the ancient Shushan, the Susa of the Greeks; but Mr. Kinneir rather thinks the ruins about thirty-five miles west of Shouster are those of that ancient residence of royalty, "stretching not less, perhaps, then twelve miles from one extremity to the other. They occupy an immense space between the rivers Kerah and Abzal; and like the ruins of Ctesiphon, Babylon, and Kufa, consist of hillocks of earth and rubbish, covered with broken pieces of brick and colored tile. The largest is a mile in circumference, and nearly one hundred feet in height; another, not quite so high, is double the circuit. They are formed of clay and pieces of tile, with irregular layers of brick and mortar, five or six feet in thickness, to serve, as it should seem, as a kind of prop to the mass. Large blocks of marble, covered with hieroglyphics, are not unfrequently here discovered by the Arabs, when digging in search of hidden treasure; and at the foot of the most elevated of the pyramids (ruins) stands the tomb of Daniel, a small and apparently a modern building, erected on the spot where the relics of that prophet are believed to rest." Major Rennell coincides in the opinion that these ruins represent the ancient Susa. The desolation of the place, abandoned to beasts of prey, agrees with the prediction in Ezekiel 32:24.
The preceding statements are confirmed by Loftus, who with Col. Williams visited and in part explored these ruins in 1851-2. Shush, we say, abounds in lions, wolves, lynxes, jackals, boars, etc. During nine months of the year the country is burnt up by the most intense heat, though exceedingly rich and beautiful in the rainy season. His excavations in the great mound disclosed the ruins of a vast palace, commenced apparently by Darius, carried on by Xerxes, and finished by Artaxerxes Mnemon. It is altogether probable that this was the scene of the festival described in Esther 1:1-22. The "pillars of marble" may perhaps be even now traced in the ruined colonnade forming a great central court; the huge columns were fluted and highly ornamented, and one of the capitals measured was twenty-eight feet high.