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Ulai was the Hebrew name for a river near the city of Susa. It is mentioned twice in the Bible:

  • Daniel 8:2 – "In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal." (New International Version)
  • Daniel 8:16 – "And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, 'Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.' "

There are three watercourses near Susa, and scholars are divided on which is indicated, although archaeology by Loftus in 1851 and Dieulafoy in 1885 helped shed some light. The Ulai may have been the eastern branch of the Karkheh River (alternately called the Choaspes or the Eulaus), which at one time divided into two branches some 20 miles north-west of the city.[1] Another possible location of this river is the Coprates tributary of the Karun River. Finally, some claim an artificial canal[2] which ran close by Susa and connected the two rivers mentioned above.


  1. ^ Smith, Wiliam, ed. (1863). A dictionary of the Bible. 3. London. p. 1300. it appears that the Choaspes (Kerkhah) originally bifurcated at Pai Pul, 20 miles above Susa, the right arm keeping its present course, while the left flowed a little to the east of Sus 
  2. ^ Driver, Samuel Rolles (1900). The book of Daniel. Cambridge: University Press. p. 112. ISBN 0837029643. the Eulaeus was a large artificial canal some 900 feet broad, of which traces remain, though it is now dry, which left the Choaspes at Pai Pul, about 20 miles N.-W. of Susa, passed close by the town of Susa on the N. or N.-E., and afterwards joined the Coprates