patriarch pā´trēärk [key], in biblical tradition, one of the antediluvian progenitors of the race as given in Genesis (e.g., Seth) or one of the ancestors of the Jews (e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and, sometimes, the sons of Jacob). The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is the name of one of the Pseudepigrapha.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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