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Patriarch

PATRIARCH (Gr. patriarchēs, the father of a family, tribe, or race). A title given in the NT to those who founded the Hebrew race and nation. In the NT it is applied to Abraham (Heb.7.4), the sons of Jacob (Acts.7.8-Acts.7.9), and David (Acts.2.29). The term is now commonly used to refer to the persons whose names appear in the genealogies and covenant histories before the time of Moses (Gen.5.1-Gen.5.32 and Gen.11.1-Gen.11.32, histories of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, et al.). In the patriarchal system the government of a clan was the right of the oldest lineal male. The patriarchal head was the priest of his own household.