Who are the Perizzites?

Perizzites, which means “villagers” or “dwellers in the open country,” were one of the people who lived in the Land of Promise.  They are one of the Nations of Ham found on the Biblical Timeline Chart around2300 BC.

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Map of Canaan

They stayed in Canaan prior to the time of Jews.  They were one of the tribes mentioned in the Bible that God wanted to expel from the land He gave to Abraham. Later on, they were one of the nations conquered by Joshua. They managed to stay in the kingdom but as slaves of Solomon. Aside from the Bible, there have been no other references concerning their ethnicity and origin except for the anonymous Pirati mentioned in an Egyptian vocabulary directory. There’s a very slim chance of finding anything about them from the scraps found in Amarna, either.

The City of Perizzites

In the early part of the Bible, the dwelling place of the Perrizites was not specifically identified, but was described as in the south part of Canaan in the “hill country” granted to Judah and Ephraim. It was an open town near Bethel and Ai in the middle of Hor and Negeb. When the battle with Judah took place, the city of Bezek, a city described only as part of Judah, was identified as the dwelling land of the Perizzites. It is believed that around the mountains of Ephraim stretching up to Judah was the place of the Perizzites.

What Part of the Bible Mentions the Perrizites?

  • Genesis 13:7. Abram and Lot fight over the land where the Canaanite and Perizzite also reside.
  • Genesis 15:18-20. Perizzites are among the descendants of Abram to live in the Land of Promise.
  • Joshua 9:1. The king of the Perizzites is one of the kings from the west beyond of Jordan River.
  • Joshua 11:3. Perizzites lived in the “hill country” together with the Amorites, Hittites, and Jebusites.
  • Joshua 17:14-15. Joshua told the children of Joseph to go up to the forest land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.
  • Joshua 24:11. Perizzites were one of the nations that battled with Joshua.
  • Exodus 3:8, 17. Perizzite is one of the six nations that live in the “good and spacious” land of “milk and honey”.
  • Exodus 23: 23. God commands the destruction of the Perizzites and five other nations.
  • Exodus 33:1-2. God promised Moses that He will send away the six nations including the Perizzites from the land he pledged to Abraham.
  • Exodus 34:8-11. God made a pact with Moses that if Moses follows all His orders, He will move the Amorite, Canaanite, Hittite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite out of Moses’ way.
  • Deuteronomy 7:1, Joshua 3:10. Perrizites are one of the seven mighty nations that God wanted to drive away.
  • Deuteronomy 20:17. God commanded Israelites to completely annihilate the six tribes comprised of Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite.
  • Judges 1:4-5. Canaanites and Perizzites were attacked and defeated by Judah killing 10,000 armies at the city of Bezek, where they also came across and battled against its king, Adoni-bezek.
  • Judges 3:5. Perizzites are one of the six tribes that the children of Israel dwelt together with.
  • 1 Kings 9: 20, 2 Chronicles 8:7. Perizzites as not among the descendants of Israel.
  • Ezra 9:1-2. Israelites, priests, and Levites continued to live with the neighbouring nations also practicing their “disgusting” ways because they took “their daughters for themselves and for their sons”.
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