a fishery, a town on the Mediterranean coast, about 25 miles north of Tyre. It received its name from the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah ( Genesis 10:15 Genesis 10:19 ). It was the first home of the Phoenicians on the coast of Palestine, 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 1 Kings 11:33 ). This city was famous for its manufactures and arts, as well as for its commerce ( 1 Kings 5:6 ; 1 Chronicles 22:4 ; Ezekiel 27:8 ). It is frequently referred to by the prophets ( Isaiah 23:2 Isaiah 23:4 Isaiah 23:12 ; Jeremiah 25:22 ; 27:3 ; 47:4 ; Ezekiel 27:8 ; Ezekiel 28:21 Ezekiel 28:22 ; 32:30 ; Joel 3:4 ). Our Lord visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Zidon = Sidon (q.v.), 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 Acts 27:4 ).
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.