Genesis 37:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.

New Living Translation
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph--a beautiful robe.

English Standard Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.

New American Standard Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.

King James Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors for him.

International Standard Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his brothers, since he was born to him in his old age, so he had made a richly-embroidered tunic for him.

NET Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because he was a son born to him late in life, and he made a special tunic for him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because Joseph had been born in Israel's old age. So he made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colours.

King James 2000 Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

American King James Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

American Standard Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colours.

Darby Bible Translation
And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was son of his old age; and he made him a vest of many colours.

English Revised Version
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

World English Bible
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors.

Young's Literal Translation
And Israel hath loved Joseph more than any of his sons, for he is a son of his old age, and hath made for him a long coat;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

37:1-4 In Joseph's history we see something of Christ, who was first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot of Christians, who must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom. It is a history that has none like it, for displaying the various workings of the human mind, both good and bad, and the singular providence of God in making use of them for fulfilling his purposes. Though Joseph was his father's darling, yet he was not bred up in idleness. Those do not truly love their children, who do not use them to business, and labour, and hardships. The fondling of children is with good reason called the spoiling of them. Those who are trained up to do nothing, are likely to be good for nothing. But Jacob made known his love, by dressing Joseph finer than the rest of his children. It is wrong for parents to make a difference between one child and another, unless there is great cause for it, by the children's dutifulness, or undutifulness. When parents make a difference, children soon notice it, and it leads to quarrels in families. Jacob's sons did that, when they were from under his eye, which they durst not have done at home with him; but Joseph gave his father an account of their ill conduct, that he might restrain them. Not as a tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithful brother.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - Now (literally, and) Israel loved Joseph more than all his children (literally, sons), because he was the son of his old age - literally, a son of old age (was) he to him; not a son possessing the wisdom of advanced years (Onkelos), but a son born in his old age (Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch, et alii), which was literally true of Joseph, since he was born in his father's ninety-first year. Yet as Joseph was only a year or two younger than the children of Bilhah and Zilpah, and as Benjamin was still later born than he, the application of this epithet to Joseph has been explained on the ground that Benjamin was at this time little more than a child (Keil), and had not much come into notice (Murphy), or perhaps was not born when this portion of the narrative was originally written ('Speaker's Commentary); or that Joseph had obtained the name before Benjamin's birth, and that it had clung to him after that event (Inglis). Josephus ('Ant.,' 2:02, 1) gives another reason for Jacob's partiality which is not inconsistent with the statement in the text, viz., the beauty of his person and the virtue of his mind, διὰ τε τὴν τοῦ σώματος εὐγένειαν καὶ διά ψυχῆς ἀρετής. And he made him a coat of many colors - literally, a coat (kithoneth, from kathan, to cover; vide Genesis 3:21) of ends (Keil, Lange), i.e. a tunic reaching to the ancles, and with sleeves reaching to the wrists, and commonly worn by boys and girls of the upper ranks (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 7:08, 9; 2 Samuel 13:18), or a coat of pieces (Kalisch, T. Lewis, Wordsworth); hence a variegated garment, χιτὼν ποικίλος (LXX.), tunica polymita (Vulgate), a coat of many colors (Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'). "Such garments are represented on some of the monuments of Egypt. At Beni-Hassan, for example, there is a magnificent excavation forming the tomb of Pihrai, a military officer of Osirtasen I., in which a train of foreign captives appears, who are supposed to be Jebusites, an inscription over one person in the group reading, "The Chief of the Land of the Jebusites. 'The whole of the captives are clad in parti-colored garments, and the tunic of this individual in particular may be called "a coat of many colors" (Thornlcy Smith, 'Joseph and his Times,' p. 12). It has been supposed that Jacob's object in conferring this distinction on Joseph was to mark him out as the heir to whom the forfeited birthright of Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:1) was to be transferred (Kurtz, Lange, Gerlach, Bush, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary,' &c.); but the historian only mentions it as a token of affection, such as was customary in those times for princes to bestow upon their subjects, and parents on their children (vide Thornley Smith, 'Joseph and his Times,' p. 11). Roberts says the same thing is still done among the Hindoos, crimson, purple, and other colors being often tastefully sewed together for beautiful or favored children (vide 'Oriental Illustrations,' p. 43).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children,.... He being the firstborn of his beloved Rachel, and a lovely youth, of a beautiful aspect, very promising, prudent and pious: the reason given in the text follows:

because he was the son of his old age; being ninety one years of age when he was born; and the youngest children are generally most beloved, and especially such as are born to their parents when in years. Benjamin indeed was younger than Joseph, and is described in like manner, Genesis 44:20; and for this reason one would think had the greatest claim to his father's affections; wherefore some give a different sense of this phrase, and render it, the "son" or disciple of "elders", "senators", i.e. a wise and prudent man: and indeed, if being the son of his old age was the reason of his affection, Benjamin had the best claim to it, being the youngest, and born to him when he was still older; and this sense is countenanced by Onkelos, who renders it,"because he was a wise son to him:''and so the reason why he loved him more than the rest was, because of his senile wisdom; though a child in years, he was old in wisdom and knowledge. Abendana observes, that it was a custom with old men to take one of their little children to be with them continually, and attend upon them, and minister to them, and lean upon their arm; and such an one was called the son of their old age, because he ministered to them in their old age:

and he made him a coat of many colours; that is, had one made for him, which was interwoven with threads of divers colours, or painted, or embroidered with divers figures, or made with different pieces of various colours: according to Jerom (f), it was a garment which reached down to the ankles, and was distinguished with great variety by the hands of the artificer, or which had long sleeves reaching to the hands; and so the Jewish writers (g) say it was called "passim", because it reached to the palms of the hands: this might be an emblem of the various virtues which early appeared in him; or rather of the several graces of the Spirit of God implanted in him, and of the raiment of needlework, the righteousness of Christ, with which he was clothed, Psalm 45:14; and of the various providences which Jacob, under a spirit of prophecy, foresaw he would be attended with.

(f) Trad. Heb. in Gen. fol. 72. A. (g) Bereshit Rabba, ut supra. (sect. 84. fol 73.1.)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. son of his old age—Benjamin being younger, was more the son of his old age and consequently on that ground might have been expected to be the favorite. Literally rendered, it is "son of old age to him"—Hebrew phrase, for "a wise son"—one who possessed observation and wisdom above his years—an old head on young shoulders.

made him a coat of many colors—formed in those early days by sewing together patches of colored cloth, and considered a dress of distinction (Jud 5:30; 2Sa 13:18). The passion for various colors still reigns among the Arabs and other people of the East, who are fond of dressing their children in this gaudy attire. But since the art of interweaving various patterns was introduced, "the coats of colors" are different now from what they seem to have been in patriarchal times, and bear a close resemblance to the varieties of tartan.

Genesis 37:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Joseph's Dreams
2These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic. 4His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.…
Cross References
Genesis 37:23
So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe--the ornate robe he was wearing--

Genesis 37:31
Then they got Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.

Genesis 37:32
They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, "We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son's robe."

Genesis 44:20
And we answered, 'We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother's sons left, and his father loves him.'

2 Samuel 13:18
So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore.
Treasury of Scripture

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

loved.

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.

John 13:22,23 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spoke…

son.

Genesis 44:20-30 And we said to my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child …

a coat.

Genesis 37:23,32 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come to his brothers, that they …

Judges 5:30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man …

2 Samuel 13:18 And she had a garment of divers colors on her: for with such robes …

Psalm 45:13,14 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of worked gold…

Ezekiel 16:16 And of your garments you did take, and decked your high places with …

colours. {Kethoneth passim}, a coat made of stripes of different coloured cloth.

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