It was the scene of a victory gained by David over the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:20; 1 Chronicles 14:11). It is called Mount Perazim in Isaiah 28:21. It was near the Valley of Rephaim, west of Jerusalem.
Some scholars suggest a site 4 km northwest of Jerusalem, named Sheikh Bodr, to be identical with Ba'al-Perazim.
It is not certain whether the occurrence in 2 Sam.5:20 name is:
- (a) a word play - David is punning on an existing local name.
- (b) an anachronism - such as "Abraham came to Dan" Genesis 14:14.
Yoshitaka Kobayashi considers it is an anachronism, but the use of Baal rather than El may indicate a play on an existing local name.
If the reference is to Mt. Perazim in Isaiah 28 then that suggests a mountain with a high ground position for David to attack. Alternatively, since David says "Yahweh burst-through" (פָּרַץ יְהוָה) "like bursting of waters" (פֶרֶץ מָיִם) it may be a reference to waters.
In the Amplified Bible he is called "Baal-perazim" the Master of the breakthrough.
- Suggested by the use of Baal rather than El. cf entry in Brown Driver Briggs, Hebrew Lexicon.
- Yoshitaka Kobayashi, Baal-Perazim, entry in Anchor Bible Dictionary