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PERIZZITES ():

Canaanitish tribe settled in the south of Palestine between Hor and Negeb, although it is not mentioned in the genealogy in Gen. x. According to the Biblical references, Abraham, when he entered Palestine, found the Perizzites dwelling near the Canaanites (ib. xiii. 7), and God promised to destroy both these peoples (ib. xv. 20). Jacob reproved his sons because of the crime of Shechem, inasmuch as he feared the Perizzites and the Canaanites (ib. xxxiv. 30). Moses promised the Israelites to bring them unto the place of the Perizzites and the Amorites (Ex. xxx. 8); and at a later time the tribes of Simeon and Judah conquered the Canaanites and the Perizzites (Judges i. 4). The Perizzites were among the tribes that were not subjected to tribute by Solomon (I Kings ix. 20-22), while the complaint was brought to Ezra that the priests and the Levites would not separate themselves from the Perizzites and the other peoples of the land (Ezra ix. 1).

The view was formerly held that the Perizzites were a prehistoric tribe which became assimilated to the Canaanites when the latter invaded Palestine; but this is in contradiction to the fact that the Perizzites are not mentioned in the genealogy. More recent commentators are of the opinion that the names "Perizi" and "Perazi" are identical, and that the Bible has included under the name "Perizzites" all stocks dwelling in unwalled towns.

Bibliography:
  • Riehm, Handwörterb. 2d ed., p. 1211;
  • Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl. s.v.;
  • Hastings, Dict.Bible, s.v.
D. S. O.
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