"Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath."- Judges 3:1-3

"All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee."- Joshua 13:16

"When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy."- Deuteronomy 7:1-2

So were Sidonians meant to be spared when Joshua invaded Canaan? Were they the same as the Canaanites, except for the fact that they lived in Lebanon?

2 Answers 2


Genesis 10:19-20 tells us that Sidon was the northern most boundary of the land of Canaan.

"The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha."

All of the sons of Canaan were under the curse imposed by Noah including the Sidonians who descended from Canaan's oldest son Sidon. Eleven nations had descended from Canaan and are listed in Genesis 10:15-18 and 1Chronicles 1:13-16,

"Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites."

The fulfillment of Noah's curse upon Canaan would see its fulfillment in the time of Joshua when the Gibeonites (Hivites who lived in Gibeon) were pressed into service as common labors to the Israelites. They became "hewers of wood and drawers of water." They were 'fetch and carry' servants.Thus fulfilling the words of Noah,

“Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants he shall be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”

But to answer your question, yes, they were to be destroyed along with every nation descended from Canaan.


"The Sidonians.—In Genesis 10:15 “Sidon” is the eldest son of Canaan. They maintained their complete independence to the last." -Ellicott

"The Lord was pleased to try them by the remains of the devoted nations they spared." -Matthew Henry

They were meant to be driven out/conquered like all the rest of heathen peoples.

  • So why weren't they included in the 7 nations listed in books like Deuteronomy? 7 holds a special numerical significance so these nations are more important than we think. Commented May 16, 2019 at 9:31

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