PARAH, PERATH (Heb. פָּרָה, פְּרָת), town (Parah) listed among the cities of Benjamin with Avvim and Ophrah (Josh. 18:23). Jeremiah was bidden by the Lord to hide his girdle by the Perath (AV translation: Euphrates); when the girdle was later removed, it was found spoiled, as a prophetic sign (Jer. 13:4, 7). It is now generally assumed that these references are to the ancient settlement at Tell Fāra and to the Wadi Fāra, a deep gorge near Jeremiah's birthplace Anathoth. In Hasmonean times, Bacchides fortified the place (I Macc. 9:50; as Pharathon). The Zealot leader Bar Giora camped at Ain near the river Pheretai in the First Jewish War (Jos., Wars, 4:512). The Wadi Fāra contains many remains of the Byzantine period. Its main source, ʿAyn Fāra (1,135 cu.m. daily), supplied Herodian Jericho with water by means of a rock-cut channel; during the British Mandate this water was pumped to Jerusalem.
Avi-Yonah, Geog, 36–37, 105; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 404.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.