|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:31-36 When Satan has taught men to commit one sin, he teaches them to try to conceal it with another; to hide theft and murder, with lying and false oaths: but he that covers his sin shall not prosper long. Joseph's brethren kept their own and one another's counsel for some time; but their villany came to light at last, and it is here published to the world. To grieve their father, they sent him Joseph's coat of colours; and he hastily thought, on seeing the bloody coat, that Joseph was rent in pieces. Let those that know the heart of a parent, suppose the agony of poor Jacob. His sons basely pretended to comfort him, but miserable, hypocritical comforters were they all. Had they really desired to comfort him, they might at once have done it, by telling the truth. The heart is strangely hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Jacob refused to be comforted. Great affection to any creature prepares for so much the greater affliction, when it is taken from us, or made bitter to us: undue love commonly ends in undue grief. It is the wisdom of parents not to bring up children delicately, they know not to what hardships they may be brought before they die. From the whole of this chapter we see with wonder the ways of Providence. The malignant brothers seem to have gotten their ends; the merchants, who care not what they deal in so that they gain, have also obtained theirs; and Potiphar, having got a fine young slave, has obtained his! But God's designs are, by these means, in train for execution. This event shall end in Israel's going down to Egypt; that ends in their deliverance by Moses; that in setting up the true religion in the world; and that in the spread of it among all nations by the gospel. Thus the wrath of man shall praise the Lord, and the remainder thereof will he restrain.
Verses 31, 32. - And they - i.e. Joseph's Brethren, including Reuben, to whom manifestly the matter had been explained (Candlish thinks Reuben may have been deceived by his brethren), and who wanted the courage either to expose their wickedness or to dissent from their device for deceiving Jacob - took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, - more correctly, a he-goat of the goats, since the name of goat seems to have belonged in a wider sense to other animals also (Gesenius); usually understood to mean the somewhat older he-goat which was used as a sin offering - Leviticus 16:9; Leviticus 23:19; Numbers 7:16; Numbers 15:24 (Furst) - and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colors (vide on ver. 3), and they brought it (or caused it to be brought by the hands of a servant) to their father, and said (of course by the lips of the messenger), This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. Either Jacob's sons had not the fortitude to witness the first outburst of his grief, or they had not the effrontery requisite to carry through their scheme in their own persons, and were accordingly obliged to employ another, probably a slave, to carry home the bloody coat to Jacob in Hebron.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they took Joseph's coat,.... After they had told Reuben what they had done with him, who being willing to make the best of things as it was, joined with them in the following scheme: by this it appears, that when they took Joseph out of the pit they did not put his coat on him, but sold him naked, or almost so, to the merchants:
and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; that being, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi observe, most like to human blood.
Genesis 37:31 Parallel Commentaries
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