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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Phoenicia, Phenicia, or Phenice

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Acts 15:3 , in its largest sense, designated a narrow strip of country extending nearly the whole length of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea, form Antioch to the borders of Egypt. But Phoenicia Proper was included between the cities of Laodicea in Syria and Tyre, and comprehended mainly the territories of Tyre and Sidon. Before Joshua conquered Palestine this country was possessed by Canaanites, sons of ham, divided into eleven families, of which the most powerful was that of Canaan, the founder of Sidon, the head of the Canaanites properly so called, whom the Greeks named Phoenicians. Only these preserved their independence under Joshua, and also under David, Solomon, and the succeeding kings; but they were subdued y the kings of Assyria and Chaldea. Afterwards, they were successively subject to the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

The Phoenicians were long renowned as a rich, cultivated, and powerful people. They were a confederacy of commercial cities, each of which with the adjacent territory was subject to its own king. Their coast was crowded with towns; and their fleets were the first to lose sight of the shores, traverse the whole Mediterranean, and establish their commerce and their colonies even on remote coasts of Europe and Africa. The productions of all known lands were exchanged in their markets, Ezekiel 27:1-36 . Carthage, the early rival of Rome, was a Phoenician colony; as were also Cadiz and Tarshish in Spain, Ezekiel 38:13 . Their language was almost identical with that of the Jews, and may be traced in the names of several Spanish cities. Solomon was indebted to them for aid in erecting the temple, and in building and navigating his ships. See TYRE. Their territory lay between the seashore and the summits of Lebanon; and being well watered and fertile, it produced at its various elevations a rich variety of agricultural products. Its inhabitants were worshippers of Baal and Ashtoreth.

At this day, Phoenicia is in subjection to the Turks, and belongs in the pashalic of Acre, not having had any national or native kings, or any independent form of government, for more than tow thousand years. The name Phoenicia is not in the books of Hebrew Scripture; but only in the Maccabees and the New Testament. The Hebrew always reads Canaan, Isaiah 23:11 , margin. Matthew calls the same person a Canaanitish woman, Matthew 15:22 , whom Mark calls a SyroPhoenician, Mark 7:26 , that is, a Phoenician of Syria, because Phoenicia then made a part of Syria.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Phoenicia, Phenicia, or Phenice'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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