Catholic Dictionary




A Phoenician city that is the present site of Saida, in Lebanon, a few miles south of Beirut. It is one of the oldest cities mentioned in Scripture, dating back to the second millennium B.C. (Genesis 10:19)). Sidon became an important seaport and shipbuilding center during successive regimes of Persian, Greek, and Roman domination. In the Old Testament its reputation for evildoing aroused the wrath of prophets warning Sidonians of a terrible fate. Ezekiel, for instance, quoted Yahweh as threatening, "I will send the plague to her; blood shall flow in her streets, and in her the dead will fall." (Ezekiel 28:23). In the New Testament we are told that Jesus visited Tyre and Sidon on his way to the Sea of Galilee (Mark 7:31). Sometime later Paul visited friends in Sidon on one of his journeys (Acts 27:3).