Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Fishery, hunting
Strong's Concordance #H6721, #G4605

Sidon is spelled Zidon in most of the King James Old Testament. The city was considered part of Phoenicia, which in the Old Testament stretched from Tyre in the south to Arvad in the north.

Sidon (Zidon) was the name of Canaan's firstborn son who was also the great-grandson of Noah through Ham (Genesis 10:15).

A unique city

The city, located in modern-day Lebanon, is considered one of the oldest, continuously inhabited areas of the Middle East. According to Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, the city was famous for its trade and navigation. Those who lived in it were remarkable merchants and known for their luxury. In fact, even after coming under the control of the Roman Empire, Sidon still minted its own silver coins.

The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia states the following regarding the uniqueness of the city.

"It was ruled by independent kings (Jeremiah 27:3), and had its own cult (Judges 10:6, 2Kings 23:13). It had this advantage over Tyre, that it entered into relations with the Israelites when its king, Ethbaal, married his daughter Jezebel to Ahab (1Kings 16:31). The prophets of Israel were continually referring to the great importance of Zidon as a commercial city (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12, Joel 3:4 - 7)."

Location of Sidon Map

The city of Sidon was part of the tribe of Asher's inheritance in the Promised Land (Joshua 19:28 - 29). The tribe, unfortunately, was unable to remove the original inhabitants from the area (Zidon, Judges 1:31).

New Testament References

Sidon is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament, most notably as an area Jesus visited during his ministry and a place from which they came to hear him speak (Matthew 15:21, Mark 3:8, 7:24, 31, Luke 6:17). The Lord preached in the area around the city in the middle of 29 A.D.

The city also played a vital role in Apostle Paul's ministry. His fourth missionary journey begins when he, as a Roman prisoner, is taken by ship from Caesarea to Rome by a Centurion (Acts 27:1 - 3). His first stop on the trip is in Sidon where he is allowed to visit Christians in the city.

Important Verses


Genesis 10:15 - 17
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite . . .


Genesis 10:19
And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza: as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Matthew 11:21
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Mark 3:7 - 8
But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan: and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

Acts 12:20 - 21
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace: because their country was nourished by the king's country.

And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

Acts 27:1, 3
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band . . . And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius (the Centurion) courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).