From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

ZIDON (NT Sidon ). About midway between Beyrout and Tyre, on the edge of a fertile strip of plain stretching from the mountain to the shore, a small rocky promontory juts into the sea. Here stood the ancient city of Zidon. The site was chosen doubtless because of the excellent harbour formed by a series of small islets, a short distance from the shore, which protected shipping lying by the city. In old times the islets were joined together by artificial embankments. This harbour lay to the N.; on the S. was a second one, larger but less secure, known as the Egyptian harbour. Zidon appears in Scripture as the chief city of PhÅ“nicia, giving her name to the whole people (  Genesis 10:15 ,   Judges 10:12 etc.). What the title ‘Great Zidon’ (  Joshua 11:8 etc.) signified, as distinguished from ‘Little Zidon,’ we cannot now say. They are mentioned together in the inscription of Sennacherib at a later period (Schrader, KAT [Note: Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament.] 2 . 288f.). Zidon’s early pre-eminence was due no doubt to her success in commercial enterprise, the skill and intrepidity of her mariners and merchants, and the progress of her sons in arts and manufactures. They excelled in artistic metal work (Homer, Il . xxiii. 743 748, Od . iv. 613 619, xv. 460) and in the products of the loom, the value of which was enhanced by the famous dye, used first by the Zidonians, but, by a strange fortune, known to the later world as ‘Tyrian purple.’ The planting of colonies was a natural, and almost necessary, outcome of her commercial enterprise. If she did not found Aradus (Strabo, xvi. ii. 13) and Carthage (Appian, de Rebus Punicis , 1, etc.), she seems to claim on a coin to be the mother-city of Melita or Malta, as well as of Citlum and Berytus (Gesenius, Mon. PhÅ“n . 276; Rawlinson, PhÅ“n . 411). Prince Zimrida of Zidon appears in the Amarna tablets as contesting with Egypt the lordship of the coast lands. Zidonlan ascendancy succeeded the decline of the Egyptian power after Rameses ii. How long it lasted we do not know. It was marked by an unsuccessful conflict with the Philistines for the possession of Dor, which, however, did not necessarily involve her deposition (Rawlinson, op. cit . 417). Israel, who had not dispossessed the Zidonians (  Judges 1:31 ), suffered oppression at their hands (  Judges 10:12 ). By the time of Solomon, however, Tyre had assumed the hegemony (Jos. [Note: Josephus.] Ant. VIII. v. 3, c . Apion , i. 18). In b.c. 877 Zidon, with other PhÅ“nician cities, submitted to the Assyrian Ashur-nazir-pal and ‘sent him presents.’ Zidon suffered under Shalmaneser ii., Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser iv, and finally was subdued by Sennacherib, who made Tubaal, a creature of his own, king. A revolt under Tubaal’s successor led to the utter destruction of the city, with circumstances of great severity, by Esarhaddon, who built a new city called by his own name. The native lips probably preserved the ancient name. ‘Zidon’ persists, ‘Ir Esarhaddon’ is heard of no more. The decline and fall of Assyria brought a period of rest to PhÅ“nicia, and recuperation to her cities. The attempt to gain Judah for the league against the growing power of Babylon brought an embassy to Jerusalem, in which the king of Zidon was represented (  Jeremiah 27:3 ). A revolt, apparently in b.c. 598, joined in by Judah, was stamped out by Nebuchadrezzar. Zidon’s swift submission was due to devastating pestilence (  Ezekiel 28:21 ff.). The long resistance of Tyre led to her destruction and humiliation (  Ezekiel 26:8 ff.), Zidon once more assuming the leadership.

In the beginning of the Persian period the PhÅ“nician cities enjoyed practical autonomy, and a time of great material prosperity. A friendly arrangement with Cambyses perpetuated this state of things, and in the Greek wars most valuable assistance was given by the PhÅ“nicians to the Persians. The revolt of the PhÅ“nicians, headed by Zidon, about b.c. 351, was remorselessly crushed by Artaxerxes Ochus. Zidon was betrayed into his hands by the despairing king, Tennes. To escape the cruelties of Ochus, the inhabitants burned the city, more than 40,000 perishing in the flames. The treachery of Tennes was matched by that of Ochus, who, having no further use for him, put him to death (Diod. Sic. xvi passim ). The city rose again from its ashes, and regained something of its former prosperity. The son of Tennes became king, and retained the sceptre till the advent of Alexander. While PhÅ“nicia then lost her predominance in the trade of the Mediterranean, Zidon retained considerable Importance as the possessor of an excellent harbour, and as a seat of PhÅ“nician industry. Lying in the territory often in dispute between Syria and Egypt, in the following centuries Zidon several times changed hands. Under the Romans she enjoyed the privileges of a free city. Zidon figures in the Gospel narratives (  Matthew 11:21 f.,   Matthew 15:21 ,   Mark 3:6 etc.). Jesus possibly visited the city (  Mark 7:31 ). It appears in   Acts 12:20 , and was touched at by St. Paul in his voyage to Rome (  Acts 27:3 ). It became the seat of a bishop. Zidon suffered heavily during the Crusades. Under the Druse prince; Fakhreddin (1595 1634), its prosperity revived; but, in order to prevent the approach of the Turkish fleet, he caused the entrance to the harbour to be filled up, thus making it comparatively useless. The present walls of the city were built by Mohammed ‘Ali of Egypt (1832 1840). The fortress, Kal‘at el-Bahr , ‘Castle of the Sea,’ dating from the 13th cent., stands on the largest of the islands, which is joined to the mainland by a bridge of 9 arches. The present population is about 11,000. The chief occupations are fishing, and the cultivation of the gardens and orange groves for which modern Zidon is famous. While the oldest existing buildings date from the Middle Ages, there are many remains of great antiquity, traces of walls, hewn stones, pillars, coins, and the reservoirs cut out of the rock. The most important discoveries so far have been (1855) the sarcophagus of king Eshmunazar (early in the 4th cent. b.c.), with the well-known inscription, now in Paris; and (1887) the tomb, containing 17 PhÅ“nician and Greek sarcophagi, highly ornamented; among them that of Tabnit, father of Eshmunazar, and the alleged sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.

W. Ewing.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Zi'don.  Genesis 10:15;  Genesis 10:19;  Joshua 11:8;  Joshua 19:28;  Judges 1:31;  Judges 18:28;  Isaiah 23:2;  Isaiah 23:4;  Isaiah 23:12;  Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3;  Ezekiel 28:21-22;  Joel 3:4;  Joel 4:4;  Zechariah 9:2;  Matthew 11:21-22;  Matthew 15:21;  Mark 3:8;  Mark 7:24;  Mark 7:31;  Luke 6:17;  Luke 10:13-14.

An ancient and wealthy city of Phoenicia, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, less than twenty English miles to the north of Tyre. Its Hebrew name, Tsidon , signifies Fishing or Fishery . Its modern name is Saida . It is situated in the narrow plain between the Lebanon and the sea.

From a biblical point of view, this city is inferior in interest to its neighbor Tyre ; though in early times, Sidon was the more influential of the two cities. This view is confirmed by Zidonians being used as the generic name of Phoenicians or Canaanites.  Joshua 13:6;  Judges 18:7. From the time of Solomon, to the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, Zidon is not often directly mentioned in the Bible, and it appears to have been subordinate to Tyre. When the people called "Zidonians" are mentioned, it sometimes seems that the Phoenicians of the plain of Zidon are meant.  1 Kings 5:6;  1 Kings 11:1;  1 Kings 11:5;  1 Kings 11:33;  1 Kings 16:31;  2 Kings 23:13.

All that is known respecting the city is very scanty, amounting to scarcely more than that one of its sources of gain was trade in slaves, in which the inhabitants did not shrink from selling inhabitants of Palestine and that it was governed by kings.  Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3.

During the Persian domination, Zidon seems to have attained its highest point of prosperity; and it is recorded that, toward the close of that period, it far excelled all other Phoenician cities in wealth and importance. Its prosperity was suddenly cut short by an unsuccessful revolt against Persia, which ended in the destruction of the town, B.C. 351. Its king, Tennes, had proved a traitor and betrayed the city to Ochus, king of the Persians; the Persian troops were admitted within the gates, and occupied the city walls.

The Zidonians, before the arrival of Ochus, had burnt their vessels to prevent any one's leaving the town; and when they saw themselves surrounded by the Persian troops, they adopted the desperate resolution of shutting themselves up with their families, and setting fire each man to his own house. Forty thousand persons are said to have perished in the flames. Zidon however, gradually recovered from the blow, and became again, a flourishing town.

It is about fifty miles distant from Nazareth, and is the most northern city which is mentioned in connection with Christ's journeys. (The town Saida still shows signs of its former wealth, and its houses are better constructed and more solid than those of Tyre, many of them being built of stone; but it is a poor, miserable place, without trade or manufactures worthy of the name.

The city, that once divided with Tyre the empire of the seas, is now almost without a vessel. Silk and fruit are its staple products. Its population is estimated at 10,000, 7000 of whom are Moslems, and the rest Catholics, Maronites and Protestants. - McClintock and Strong's Cyclopaedia. There is a flourishing Protestant mission here. - Editor). See Sidon .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Zidon ( Zî'Don ), Hunting. Heb. Tsidon . "Sidon," the Greek form, is found in  Genesis 10:15;  Genesis 10:19, in the Apocrypha generally, and in the New Testament. Zidon was a rich and ancient Phœnician city. The city was 25 miles south of the modern Beirut. Zidon is one of the most ancient cities of the world. The person after whom it is named was the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah.  Genesis 10:15;  1 Chronicles 1:13. This was b.c. 2218. In Joshua's time it was "great Zidon,"  Joshua 11:8;  Joshua 19:28, and seems to have been the metropolis of Phœnicia. Zidon was one of the limits of the tribe of Asher,  Joshua 19:28, but was never possessed by the Israelites.  Judges 1:31;  Judges 3:3. In fact, the Zidonians oppressed Israel,  Judges 10:12, seeming themselves to be secure from all attacks and living "careless."  Judges 18:7;  Judges 18:28. Tyre was one of the colonies—a "virgin daughter,"  Isaiah 23:12—of Zidon, but subsequently became the more important town. The Zidonians were famous for commerce, manufactures, and arts. Their sailors and workmen were noted. Zidonians assisted in the work of building the temple.  1 Chronicles 22:4;  1 Kings 5:6;  Ezekiel 27:8. From Zidon also came idolatrous abominations to corrupt Israel.  1 Kings 11:5;  1 Kings 11:33;  2 Kings 23:13. The city was mentioned frequently in prophetic threatenings, but with much less severity than Tyre.  Isaiah 23:2;  Isaiah 23:4;  Isaiah 23:12;  Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3;  Jeremiah 47:4;  Ezekiel 27:8;  Ezekiel 28:21-22;  Ezekiel 32:30;  Joel 3:4;  Zechariah 9:2. In New Testament times Zidon (called "Sidon") was visited by Jesus,  Matthew 15:21;  Mark 7:24;  Luke 4:26, although the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon denoted the adjacent region as well as the cities themselves, and some think that the Saviour did not enter the cities. Hearers from among those people were drawn to his preaching.  Mark 3:8;  Luke 6:17; comp.  Matthew 11:22;  Luke 10:14. Herod's displeasure with this region is noted.  Acts 12:20. The apostle Paul touched at Zidon on his way to Rome, and visited the Christians there.  Acts 27:3. The site of ancient Zidon is occupied by the modern Saida, The burying-grounds are extensive, and many curious sarcophagi have been discovered. One was the sarcophagus of king Ashmanezer; it has been placed fn the museum at Paris, and antiquarians fix its date at from b.c. 300 to b.c. 1000. The ancient ruins are few.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

 Genesis 10:15,19 Joshua 11:8 19:28 Judges 1:31 Judges 10:12 Isaiah 23:12 1 Kings 11:1,33 1 Kings 5:6 1 Chronicles 22:4 Ezekiel 27:8 Isaiah 23:2,4,12 Jeremiah 25:22 27:3 47:4 Ezekiel 27:8 28:21,22 32:30 Joel 3:4 Matthew 15:21 Mark 7:24 Luke 4:26 Mark 3:8 Luke 6:17 Acts 27:3,4

This city is now a town of 10,000 inhabitants, with remains of walls built in the twelfth century A.D. In 1855, the sarcophagus of Eshmanezer was discovered. 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.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

See Sidon . The word Zidonians often includes all the Phoenicians, as well as the inhabitants of Zidon.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [6]

(See Sidon .).

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

See Sidon

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [8]


The eldest son of Canaan ().

One of the most ancient cities in Phoenicia. Justin derives the name from the Phoenician word for fish; but Josephus, from the son of Canaan. It had a very commodious harbor, which is now nearly choked up with sand: it was distant one day's journey from the fountains of the Jordan, 400 stadia from Berytus, and 200 stadia from Tyre (Strabo, xvi. pp. 756-757). It was situated in the allotment of the tribe of Asher, but never conquered (); on the contrary, it was sometimes a formidable enemy (). Even in Joshua's time it was called Tsidon-Rabba, or Great Zidon (). It was noted in very early times for its extensive traffic (; ) and manufactures, particularly glass. Frequent reference to it occurs in Homer. The best vessels in the fleet of Xerxes were Sidonian. Its modern name is Saide. In Hasselquist's time (1750) its exports to France were considerable; but at present its traffic is chiefly confined to the neighboring towns; the population is about 15,000.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Zidon'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/z/zidon.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [10]

An ancient town of Phoenicia, 20 m. N. of Tyre, and the original capital.