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ZOAN:

An important Egyptian city of great antiquity, almost as old as Hebron (Num. xiii. 22). The "princes of Zoan" are ranked in Isa. xix. 11, 13 with those of Noph (Memphis), and the city itself is mentioned in Ezek. xxx. 14 together with No (Thebes). The Israelitish embassies to it (Isa. xxx. 4) may imply that it was the residence of Pharaoh, and a similar allusion may possibly be traced in Ps. lxxviii. 12, 43, unless "the field of Zoan" is a poetic designation of Egypt in general.

Zoan (Hebr. ; the Egyptian "Ẓa'ne" [older form, "Ẓa'net"]; the Coptic "Ja[a]ne," "Jani"; and the "Tanis" of the Greeks) was situated in the Delta on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, not far from the modern lake of Menzalah and the northeastern frontier of Egypt. The ruins, excavated by Mariette in 1860 and, more thoroughly, by Petrie in 1883, have yielded monuments ranging from the sixth dynasty to the Roman period, when the city, once a royal residence, especially of the twenty-first or "Tanitic" dynasty, began to degenerate into the fishing-village represented by the modern Ṣan al-Ḥajar.

Bibliography:
  • Petrie, Tanis, London, 1885-87.
E. G. H. W. M. M.
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