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, 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, 33). This city was famous for its manufactures and arts, as well as for its commerce (1 Kings 5:6; 1 Chronicles 22:4; Ezek. 27:8). It is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezek. 27:8; 28:21, 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, 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.