Genesis 37:3

3 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[a] robe for him.

Genesis 37:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 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.
ESV
3 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.
NLT
3 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.
MSG
3 Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the child of his old age. And he made him an elaborately embroidered coat.
CSB
3 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.

Genesis 37:3 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 37:3

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 F6, 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 F7 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, ( Psalms 45:14 ) ; and of the various providences which Jacob, under a spirit of prophecy, foresaw he would be attended with.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 Trad. Heb. in Gen. fol. 72. A.
F7 Bereshit Rabba, ut supra. (sect. 84. fol 73.1.)

Genesis 37:3 In-Context

1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 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.
4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

Cross References 5

  • 1. S Genesis 17:5
  • 2. S Genesis 25:28
  • 3. Genesis 43:27; Genesis 44:20
  • 4. ver 23,31,32; 2 Samuel 13:18-19
  • 5. Genesis 43:34; Genesis 45:22; 1 Samuel 1:4-5; Esther 2:9

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32.