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For uses not directly related to the Bible, see Patriarch (disambiguation).

The Patriarchs, known as the Avot in Hebrew, are Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Collectively, they are referred to as the three patriarchs (sh'loshet ha-avot) of Judaism, and the period in which they lived is known as the patriarchal period.

Their primary wives – Sarah (wife of Abraham), Rebeccah (wife of Isaac), and Leah and Rachel (the wives of Jacob) – are known as the Matriarchs. Thus, classical Judaism considers itself to have three patriarchs and four matriarchs.

Other usesEdit

In the New Testament, King David is referred to as a patriarch, as are Jacob's twelve sons (the ancestors of the Twelve tribes of Israel).

In addition, the title patriarch is often applied to the ten antediluvian figures Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. According to the Book of Genesis, these ten men are the ancestors of the entire human race.

Relation to other tribes Edit

Many of the tribes living in the Middle East, between the time of Abraham and the time of Christ, have a genealogical connection to the Patriarchs or their descendants. This list, taken from the book of Genesis, gives the details of that genealogy.



  • Nahor and Reumah, parents of Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah
  • Haran, father of Lot
  • Lot and his older daughter, parents of Moab (Moabites)
  • Lot and his younger daughter, parents of Ben-ammi (Ammonites)






The twelve tribes of Israel include ten of the sons of Jacob, (excluding Levi and Joseph) and the two sons of Joseph.

See alsoEdit

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