E3 on the Map.

Phoenicia in Smiths Bible Dictionary. (land of palm trees) a tract of country, of which Tyre and Sidon were the principal cities, to the north of Israel, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea bounded by that sea on the West, and by the mountain range of Lebanon on the east. The name was not the one by which its native inhabitants called it, but was given to it by the Greeks, from the Greek word for the palm tree. The native name of Phoenicia was Kenaan (Canaan) or Kna, signifying lowland, so named in contrast to the ad joining Aram, i.e. highland, the Hebrew name of Syria. The length of coast to which the name of Phoenicia was applied varied at different times. 1. What may be termed Phoenicia proper was a narrow undulating plain, extending from the pass of Ras el-Beyad or Abyad, the Promontorium Album of the ancients, about six miles south of Tyre, to the Nahr el-Auly, the ancient Bostrenus, two miles north of Sidon. The plain is only 28 miles in length. Its average breadth is about a mile; but near Sidon the mountains retreat to a distance of two miles, and near Tyre to a distance of five miles. 2. A longer district, which afterward became entitled to the name of Phoenicia, extended up the coast to a point marked by the island of Aradus, and by Antaradus toward the north; the southern boundary remaining the same as in Phoenicia proper. Phoenicia, thus defined is estimated to have been about 120 miles in length; while its breadth, between Lebanon and the sea, never exceeded 20 miles, and was generally much less. The whole of Phoenicia proper is well watered by various streams from the adjoining hills. The havens of Tyre and Sidon afforded water of sufficient depth for all the requirements of ancient navigation, and the neighboring range of the Lebanon, in its extensive forests, furnished what then seemed a nearly inexhaustible supply of timber for ship-building. Language and race. –The Phoenicians spoke a branch of the Semitic language so closely allied to Hebrew that Phoenician and Hebrew, though different dialects, may practically be regarded as the same language. Concerning the original race to which the Phoenicians belonged, nothing can be known with certainty, because they are found already established along the Mediterranean Sea at the earliest dawn of authentic history, and for centuries afterward there is no record of their origin…,+Phoenicia/
Region. (Phoenix, plur. Phoenices, in Greek means ‘purple’). The name Phoenicia also appears as Phenice and Phenicia. These people were Canaanites, and in the 9th century B.C. the Greeks gave the new appellation Phoenicians to those Canaanites who lived on the seacoast and traded with the Greeks. Phoenicia was a narrow coastal territory from Mount Carmel, or from Acco, north to Acco or Nahr el-Kebir (Eleutherus), in some periods reaching 200 miles in length. At some points the territory was included from Mount Carmel to the Orontes River.

By 1250 B.C. the Phoenicians were well established as the navigators and traders of the Mediterranean world, enjoying the commerce that had once been in the hands of the Aegeans. Their communities were organized into city-states; the greatest of these were Tyre and Sidon; others were Tripoli, Aradus, and Byblos. These were the home cities, but wherever the Phoenicians journeyed across the Mediterrean they founded posts and colonies that later became independent states. Of these the most important were Utica and Carthage (founded in the 9th century B.C.).

In NT times Phoenicia extended as far S as Dor, sixteen miles S of Tyre. Its main cities were Tyre and Sidon. In Roman times the cities continued to exist, but Hellenistic culture had absorbed the last traces of Phoenician civilization.

At the present time it consists of the Republic of Lebanon and South Latakia.

Obad. 1:20; Acts 11:19; 15:3; 21:2.

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Phoenicia in Bible Cities
More about Ancient Phoenicia


Noah Moses

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