|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.
Verse 33. - And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast (vide ver. 20) hath devoured him (this was precisely what his sons meant him to infer); Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces - טְרֹפ טֹרַפ, the inf. abs. Kal with the Pual expressing undoubted certainty.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he knew it, and said, it is my son's coat,.... He took it, and examined it, and was soon convinced, and well assured it was his son's coat; read the words without the supplement "it is", and the pathos will appear the more, "my son's coat!" and think with what a beating heart, with what trembling limbs, with what wringing of hands, with what flowing eyes, and faultering speech, he spoke these words, and what follow:
an evil beast hath devoured him; this was natural to conclude from the condition the coat was in, and from the country he was sent into, which abounded with wild beasts, and was the very thing Joseph's brethren contrived to say themselves; and in this view they wished and hoped the affair would be considered, and so their wickedness concealed:
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces; or "in rending is rent" (d); he is most certainly rent in pieces, there is no question to be made of it; it is plain, and it must be the case.
(d) "discerpendo discerptus est"; Drusius, Schmidt.
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