• 1. Eldest son of Canaan (Gen. x. 15; I Chron. i. 13).
  • 2. According to Strabo (xvi. 2), the oldest city of Canaan; situated twenty miles south of Beirut. Its territory extended from the slopes of the Lebanon to the coast, and was bounded on the south by Asher and Zebulun (Gen. xlix. 13; Josh. xix. 25). In its flourishing period the city had a winter and a summer harbor, which are now filled with sand. The city is said to have been called after the eldest son of Canaan (Gen. x. 19; Josephus, "Ant." i. 10, § 2); but the name may also have been derived from the extensive fisheries () in which the inhabitants engaged. It was ruled by independent kings (Jer. xxvii. 3), and had its own cult (Judges x. 6; II Kings xxiii. 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 (I Kings xvi. 31).The prophets of Israel were continually referring to the great importance of Zidon as a commercial city (Isa. xxiii. 2, 4, 12; Joel iv. [A. V. iii.] 4-7). It lost this position when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Palestine and part of Phenicia. Ezekiel's prophecy referring to it (Ezek. xxviii, 20-24) dates from a later time. Isaiah (xxiii. 1-14, according to Duhm; xxiv. 10, according to Cheyne) refers to the destruction of the city by Artaxerxes Ochus in 351 B.C. There are also various references in the Talmud to the city. Ze'era says (Meg. 6a): "The tribe of Zebulun, which borders upon Sidon, complains of its mountainous country, with its superabundance of streams and seacoast, and is answered by reference to Deut. xxxiii. 19, pointing out the advantages of this region": "sefune" is said to mean the murex from which the purple dye is obtained; "temune" is said to be an allusion to the abundance of fish; and "ḥol" is said to refer to the Phenician glass which is made from the sands. In the seventh century Zidon was identified with Zeboud in Galilee or with Bagdal of Yo (; Gen. R. xcviii. 16).Down to the middle of the nineteenth century the population did not exceed 8,000 inhabitants, but this number has increased to 15,000 within the last fifty years; of this number about 10,000 are Mohammedans, and 800 Jews. The latter are very poor, and are dependent almost entirely upon the Ḥaluḳḳah. Zidon is still considered to be outside the Pale of Palestine; and pious Jews direct their bodies to be taken after death to a more southerly city.
  • Sepp, Jerusalem und das Heilige Land, ii. 450-466, Ratisbon, 1876;
  • Neubauer, G. T. pp. 294-295;
  • Schwarz, The Holy Land, p. 174.
  • For data on the ḥaluḳḳah see Die Jüdische Presse (Mayence), 1897, passim.
J. S. O.
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