the Eulaus of the Greeks; a river of Susiana. It was probably the eastern branch of the Choasper (Kerkhan), which divided into two branches some 20 miles above the city of Susa. Hence Daniel (8:2,16) speaks of standing "between the banks of Ulai", i.e., between the two streams of the divided river.
) is mentioned by Daniel, (Daniel 8:2,16
) as a river near to Susa, where he saw his vision of the ram and the he-goat. It has been generally identified with the Eulaeus of the Greek and Roman geographers, a large stream in the immediate neighborhood of that city. The Eulseus has been by many identified with the Choaspes, which is undoubtedly the modern Kerkhah
, an affluent of the Tigris, flowing into it a little below Kurnah
. Recent surveys show that the Choarspes once divided into two streams about 20 miles above Susa. The eastern was the Ulai. This bifurcation explains (Daniel 8:16
- u'-li, u'-lai ('ubhal 'ulay, "river Ulai"; Theodotion Dan 8:2
, Oubal, the Septuagint and Theodotion in 8:16, Oulai Latin, Eulaeus):
1. The Name and Its Forms:
A river which, running through the province of Elam, flowed through Shushan or Susa. It was from "between" this river that Daniel (8:16) heard a voice, coming apparently from the waters which flowed between its two banks.
2. Present Names and Course:
Notwithstanding that the rivers of Elam have often changed their courses, there is but little doubt that the Ulai is the Kerkhah, which, rising in the Persian plain near Nehavend (there called the Gamas-ab), is even there a great river. Turned by the mountains, it runs Northwest as far as Bisutun, receiving all the waters of Southern Kurdistan, where, as the Sein Merre, it passes through the inaccessible defiles of Luristan, its course before reaching the Kebir-Kuh being a succession of rapids. Turned aside by this mountain, it follows for about 95 miles the depression which here exists as far as the foothills of Luristan, reaching the Susian plain as a torrent; but it becomes less rapid before losing itself in the marshes of Hawizeh. The course of the stream is said to be still doubtful in places.
3. Changed Bed at Susa:
In ancient times it flowed at the foot of the citadel of Susa, but its bed is now about 1 1/4 miles to the West. The date of this change of course (during which a portion of the ruins of Susa was carried away) is uncertain, but it must have been later than the time of Alexander the Great. The stream's greatest volume follows the melting of the snows in the mountains, and floods ensue if this coincides with the advent of heavy rain. Most to be dreaded are the rare occasions when it unites with the Ab-e-Diz.
4. Assyrian References:
The Ulai (Assyrian Ulaa or Ulaia) near Susa is regarded as being shown on the sculptures of the Assyrian king Ashur-bani-pal (British Museum, Nineveh Gal.) illustrating his campaign against Te-umman. Its rapid stream bears away the bodies of men and horses, with chariots, bows and quivers. The bodies which were thrown into the stream hindered its course, and dyed its waters with their blood.
See Delegation en Perse: Memoires, I, Recherches Archeologiques, 25 ff.
T. G. Pinches