Bible Story of Joseph's Coat of Many Colors

Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, resided in the realm of Canaan with his family of at least twelve siblings. He was Rachel's firstborn and Jacob's eleventh son. Of all his sons, Joseph was the favorite of his father, signified by the gift of a "long coat of many colors".  In addition to the coat of many colors, Joseph had two dreams that caused his brothers to resent him and plot his ruin.  These dreams symbolized Joseph's apparent supremacy and provoked his brothers to betray him. 

According to Genesis, his brothers then contrived against him and would have killed him if the eldest brother Reuben had not intervened. As an alternative, he convinced them to throw Joseph into a pit and secretly intended to rescue him later. However, while Reuben was away, the others decided to sell him to a group of Ishmaelite traders. When the traveling Ishmaelites appeared, the brothers pulled Joseph up and sold him to the merchants for 20 pieces of silver. The brothers then soaked Joseph's coat in goat blood and presented it to their father, declaring that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts.

Learn more from the full Bible Story of Joseph.

Bible Commentary on Genesis 37

In Joseph's history, we see something of Christ, who was first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the life 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, he was not bred up in idleness. Those who do not truly love their children, who do not instill responsibility and work ethic. 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. (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Jacob's love was partial, for he loved Joseph more than his other sons. Such love divided his family and opened the door to hatred. Thus Jacob was not yet perfected in love, for perfect love is impartial. But Christ loves all equally and died for all. Joseph's brothers were blinded by their hatred for him, and therefore, could not understand the things of God.

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