One of the twin sons of Judah by his daughter-in-law Tamar. At birth, Perez’ brother Zerah started to emerge first, but withdrew and Perez came out first, producing a perineal rupture of Tamar. (Gen. 38:24-30) Perez retained priority over his brother and is always listed ahead of him, and his house became the more famous of the two. (Ruth 4:12) Perez and his own two sons, Hezron and Hamul, are listed among those of Jacob’s lineage coming into Egypt, where all three became heads of individual families in Judah. (Gen. 46:8, 12) Aside from this no personal information about him is recorded.
The references to Perez are primarily genealogical, the bulk of Judah’s genealogies being traced through Perez. (1 Chron. 2:4, 5, 9-55; 4:1-20) The families of Perez and his two sons comprised a generous portion of the tribe of Judah at the time of the second wilderness registration. (Num. 26:20-22) Some of Perez’ descendants were in the first division of David’s monthly militia. (1 Chron. 27:3) Many sons of Perez returned from the Babylonian exile, and 468 of them resided in Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 9:3, 4; Neh. 11:4, 6) A direct genealogical line from Perez went through Boaz to David and finally to Jesus the Messiah.—Ruth 4:18-22; 1 Chron. 2:4-15; Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33.