Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Genesis 37:3

One of the discoveries that I have made during my MLT project was the proper translation of Genesis 37:3. Let's take a look at the several traditional translations first:
YLT Gn 37:3 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
CLV Gn 37:3 And Israel loves Joseph more than any other of his sons, for a son of his old age is he, to him. And he makes for him a distinctive tunic
AV Gn 37:3 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
So what exactly did Israel make for his son? Here is my, and I think, proper translation of this passage:
(Gen 37:3) And Israel loved Joseph from all of his sons, for a son of old age is he to him. And he made for him a coat of handiwork.
Why handiwork? Well, because it was the ultimate expression of love on the part of Jacob. He loved son of his beloved wife so much that he made him a tunic with his own hands. This is how this passage should be understood.

Once you add this new detail, the whole story of Joseph starts to make much more sense. For example, when brothers brought back his hand-made tunic back covered in blood to their father, no wonder he lamented. For Jacob, Joseph was like Isaac to Abraham - the most beloved son. Jacob was Israel's "handiwork" (no pun intended). Therefore, when Israel saw blood-covered tunic, he most certainly was heart-broken because he saw the best deeds of his hands - gone!

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