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Genesis 37:3

Context

37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 1  because he was a son born to him late in life, 2  and he made a special 3  tunic for him.

Genesis 37:23

Context

37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 4  of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore.

Genesis 37:32

Context
37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 5  and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”

1 tn The disjunctive clause provides supplemental information vital to the story. It explains in part the brothers’ animosity toward Joseph.

sn The statement Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons brings forward a motif that played an important role in the family of Isaac – parental favoritism. Jacob surely knew what that had done to him and his brother Esau, and to his own family. But now he showers affection on Rachel’s son Joseph.

2 tn Heb “a son of old age was he to him.” This expression means “a son born to him when he [i.e., Jacob] was old.”

3 tn It is not clear what this tunic was like, because the meaning of the Hebrew word that describes it is uncertain. The idea that it was a coat of many colors comes from the Greek translation of the OT. An examination of cognate terms in Semitic suggests it was either a coat or tunic with long sleeves (cf. NEB, NRSV), or a tunic that was richly embroidered (cf. NIV). It set Joseph apart as the favored one.

4 tn Heb “Joseph”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “and they sent the special tunic and they brought [it] to their father.” The text as it stands is problematic. It sounds as if they sent the tunic on ahead and then came and brought it to their father. Some emend the second verb to a Qal form and read “and they came.” In this case, they sent the tunic on ahead.



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