Patriarchs (Bible)  

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The Patriarchs (האבות HaAvot in Hebrew) of the bible are ancestors: in the narrowest definition they are Abraham, the ancestor of all the Abrahamic nations, his son Isaac, the ancestor of the nations surrounding Israel/Judah, and Isaac's son Jacob, also named Israel, the ancestor of the Israelites: these three figures are referred to collectively as the patriarchs of Judaism, and the period in which they lived is known as the Patriarchal period. Their primary wives – Sarah (wife of Abraham), Rebekah (wife of Isaac), and Leah and Rachel (the wives of Jacob) – are known as the Matriarchs. Thus, Judaism has three patriarchs and four matriarchs.

More widely the term can be used to refer to the twenty ancestor-figures between Abraham and Adam, the first man - the first ten of these, between Adam and Noah, are called the Antediluvian patriarchs, because they came before the Flood.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Patriarchs (Bible)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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