Perez-uzzah The breach of Uzzah, a place where God "burst forth upon Uzzah, so that he died," when he rashly "took hold" of the ark (Sa2 6:6). It was not far from Kirjath-jearim (q.v.).
Perfection See SANCTIFICATION.
Perfumes Were used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Exo 30:35; Pro 7:17; Sol 3:6; Isa 57:9); and also in embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mar 14:8; Luk 24:1; Joh 19:39).
Perga The capital of Pamphylia, on the coast of Asia Minor. Paul and his companions landed at this place from Cyprus on their first missionary journey (Act 13:13, Act 13:14), and here Mark forsook the party and returned to Jerusalem. Some time afterwards Paul and Barnabas again visited this city and "preached the word" (Act 14:25). It stood on the banks of the river Cestrus, some 7 miles from its mouth, and was a place of some commercial importance. It is now a ruin, called Eski Kalessi.
Pergamos The chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven churches" was planted here (Rev 1:11; Rev 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, inasmuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed his testimony with his blood. This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20 miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city.
Perida Kernel, Neh 7:57. (See PERUDA.)
Perizzites Villagers; dwellers in the open country, the Canaanitish nation inhabiting the fertile regions south and south-west of Carmel. "They were the grazers, farmers, and peasants of the time." They were to be driven out of the land by the descendants of Abraham (Gen 15:20; Exo 3:8, Exo 3:17; Exo 23:23; Exo 33:2; Exo 34:11). They are afterwards named among the conquered tribes (Jos 24:11). Still lingering in the land, however, they were reduced to servitude by Solomon (Kg1 9:20).
Persecution The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, "a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race", sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab's example in this respect was followed by Manasseh, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (Kg2 21:16; compare Kg2 24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad record may be made. Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel by force (Mat 7:1; Luk 9:54; Rom 14:4; Jam 4:11, Jam 4:12). The words of Psa 7:13, "He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors," ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, "He maketh his arrows fiery [shafts]."
Perseverance of the Saints Their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life. This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, Joh 10:28, Joh 10:29; Rom 11:29; Phi 1:6; Pe1 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1.) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jer 31:3; Mat 24:22; Act 13:48; Rom 8:30); (2.) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer 32:40; Joh 10:29; Joh 17:2); (3.) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa 53:6, Isa 53:11; Mat 20:28; Pe1 2:24; Joh 11:42; Joh 17:11, Joh 17:15, Joh 17:20; Rom 8:34); and (4.) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (Joh 14:16; Co2 1:21, Co2 1:22; Co2 5:5; Eph 1:14; Jo1 3:9). This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue therein for some time. (See BACKSLIDE.)
Persia An ancient empire, extending from the Indus to Thrace, and from the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia, on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European group. One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in Persia. Cyrus II., king of Anzan, finally united the divided power, conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia, and carried his arms into the far East. His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube.