Perez meaning | Perez etymology

Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Perez in Biblical Hebrew
Biblical male character
Browse Biblical names alphabetically

Search this site

This project depends on the support of readers like you.
Please help...

The name Perez in the Bible

Perez (or Phares as some translations have it) is one of Judah's twin sons with Tamar, who was actually the wife of Judah's late son Er (Genesis 38:29).

Judah manages to impregnate her while not realizing who she is (he thinks she is a prostitute). When she shows up pregnant, Judah wants to execute her, but clever Tamar made sure she could prove that Judah was the father. When Tamar gives birth to Perez and his brother Zerah, Zerah is on the way out first but Perez shoves him out of the way and becomes the first-born. Hence it is said of Perez, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" (Genesis 38:29).

Since Perez, not Zerah, is the ancestor of Jesus Christ, many interpreters see a connection between Jacob and Esau, who also swapped the coveted predicate of being first-born (Genesis 25:30-34). The name Perez appears in both genealogies of Christ, and is spelled in Greek as Φαρες, Phares (Matthew 1:3, Luke 3:33).

The ethnonym פרצי, Perezite(s) occurs once in the Bible, in Numbers 26:20.

Etymology of the name Perez

The name Perez comes from the root-verb פרץ (paras) meaning break through:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Perez meaning

NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names agree: The name Perez means A Breach. Jones adds the eloquent Irruption.

עABARIMPublicationsFor the Love of the Word