International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
pa'-tri-ark, patriarches). The word occurs in the New Testament in application to Abraham (Hebrews 7:4), to the sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8, 9), and to David (Acts 2:29). In Septuagint it is used as the equivalent of the head of the fathers' house, or of a tribe (1 Chronicles 24:31; 1 Chronicles 27:32 2 Chronicles 26:12). Commonly now the term is used of the persons whose names appear in the genealogies and covenant-histories in the periods preceding Moses (Genesis 5; Genesis 11, histories of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.; compare "patriarchal dispensation"). The problems connected with the longevity ascribed to the patriarchs in the genealogies and narratives in Genesis are dealt with in special articles.