37:13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 4 are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 5 Joseph replied. 6
37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,
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 The text uses an interrogative clause: “Are not your brothers,” which means “your brothers are.”
5 sn With these words Joseph is depicted here as an obedient son who is ready to do what his father commands.
6 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here I am.’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.