Phoenicia (Phenice)
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Phoenicia (Phenice)
Bible Meaning: Palm country, land of palm trees, palm tree
Strong's Concordance #G5403, #G5405

The word Phenice in the KJV version of Acts 11:19 and 15:3, as well as Phenicia in Acts 21:2 all refer to the area known as Phoenicia. Phenice, in Acts 27:12, is the KJV misspelling of the word Phoenix, a city located on the island of Crete.

The name Phoenicia is not used in the Old Testament. The inhabitants of the region were many times referred to as Sidonians (or Zidonians, Deuteronomy 3:9, Judges 3:3, 10:6, 18:7, 1Kings 5:6, 16:31). The people, in the period of the Old Testament, occupied the narrow but fertile land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Lebanon mountain range. Ancient Phoenicia stretched from the city of Tyre in the south to Zarephath, Sidon and ultimately to the island of Arvad in the north.

Ironically, although those in Phoenicia gave the western world its alphabet, very little of their literature has survived to this day.


The cities of Tyre and Sidon were well-known producers of an expensive purple pigment. Their skill in working with such a rare dye was so well known that King Solomon requested Tyre's King Hiram to send him a man specializing in it (2Chronicles 2:7) to supervise building Jerusalem's temple.

Phoenicia in the Old Testament Map
Ancient Phoenicia

Those in Phoenicia were also highly skilled seamen who established trading relationships with far-flung countries using their expertly crafted ships of cedar. They traded with people up and down the Mediterranean and even established colonies in North Africa (Carthage) and Spain (Cadiz and Tarshish).

New Testament Events

Jesus visited the region of Tyre and Sidon in the middle of 29 A.D. A woman, who discovered where the Lord was staying in Phoenicia, begged him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. It was only after she persisted in her request that her little girl was freed from demons (Matthew 15:21 - 28, Mark 7:24 - 30).

The Apostle Paul visited the region of Phoenicia during his third missionary journey when he met with Christians in Tyre for one week (Acts 21:1 - 3).

Important Verses

Acts 11:19
Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice (Phoenicia), and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Acts 15:1 - 3
And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice (Phoenicia) and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

Acts 21:1 - 2
And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

and finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia (Phoenicia), we went aboard, and set forth.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).