🔼The name Sidon: Summary
- Fishery, Hunting Place
- From the verb צוד (sud), to hunt or fish.
🔼The name Sidon in the Bible
There are two Sidons mentioned in the Bible, a man and a town:
- The first born son of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:15).
- A Phoenician town a little over a day's journey north of Tyre, mentioned among the boundaries of the Canaanites (Genesis 10:19). This town rose to prominence and began to oppress Israel (Judges 10:12). The Sidonian main deity, Ashtoreth, was apparently so enticing that even Solomon succumbed to its charms (1 Kings 11:5) (Solomon borrowed much more from the Phoenicians; see our article on the name Hannibal). Much later, both Jesus and Paul visited Sidon on their mission trips (Matthew 15:21, Acts 27:3; Sidon is spelled in Greek Σιδων, and a Sidonian would be a Σιδωνιος; Acts 12:20).
The name Sidon is used 11 times in the New Testament; see full New Testament concordance.
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Sidon
The etymology and original meaning of the name Sidon is unknown, formally spoken, but a Hebrew audience would probably tie the name Sidon to the root group צוד (sud):
The verb צוד (sud) means to hunt or fish, or more general: to get meat rather than veggies, and by working for it in the wild rather than purchasing it at a store. This verb obviously has a very strong cognitive connotation in the Bible, which would concern an active pursuit of problems and their solutions, rather than learning from whatever happens (veggies) or absorbing other people's theories at some school (food store).
Noun ציד (sayid) means a hunting or game. Noun ציד (sayyad) means hunter. Noun מצד (mesad) means fastness or stronghold (a typically defensive structure). Noun מצוד (masod) may mean siege works or hunting implement (like a net). Likewise, the nouns מצודה (mesoda) and מצודה (mesuda) mean net, fastness or stronghold.
Both nouns ציד (sayid) and צידה (seda) mean provisions or food. The denominative verb ציד (sid) means to supply oneself with food.
The letter nun, upon which this name ends, may be a remnant of the waw-nun couple that creates a localized or personified manifestation of the verb (Place Of Such And Such; Guy That Does Such And Such).
Because Sidon is a coastal city, most of the hunting done there would be fishing, and so NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Zodhiates' Complete Word Study Dictionary read Fishery. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Fishing, and enthusiastically adds Plenty Of Fish.