What is…

also known as: Sidon and Tzidon

This is the name of an ancient fishing town/city on the Mediterranean coast, about 25 miles north of Tyre. People of this city are called Zidonians or Sidonians.

It received its name from Zidon (Sidon or Siodon), the “first-born” of Canaan, the great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19) and grandson of Ham.

Zidon was the first home of the Phoenicians on the coast of the Land of Israel, and from its extensive commercial relations became a “great” city (Joshua 11:8; 19:28). It was the mother city of Tyre.

It lay within the lot of the tribe of Asher, but was never subdued (Judges 1:31). The Zidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12).

From the time of David, its glory began to wane, and Tyre, its “virgin daughter” (Isaiah 23:12), rose to its place of pre-eminence.

Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with the Zidonians, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33).

This city was famous for its manufactures and arts, as well as for its commerce (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Chronicles 22:4; Ezek. 27:8).

It is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezek. 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4).

Our Lord visited the “coasts” of Tyre and Zidon = Sidon, Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24; Luke 4:26; and from this region many came forth to hear him preaching (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). From Sidon, at which the ship put in after leaving Caesarea, Paul finally sailed for Rome (Acts 27:3-4).


In 1855, the sarcophagus of Eshmanezer was discovered in this city. From a Phoenician inscription on its lid, it appears that he was a “king of the Sidonians,” probably in the third century B.C., and that his mother was a priestess of Ashtoreth, “the goddess of the Sidonians.” In this inscription Baal is mentioned as the chief god of the Sidonians.


Modern Sidon, Lebanon—satellite view

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