[b-hebrew] Coat of sleeves, or many colors?

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sun Aug 7 19:06:51 EDT 2005

On Sun  7 Aug 2005 (16:49:07), villandra at austin.rr.com wrote:
> The lessons for this Sunday included the story of the sale of Joseph
> into slavery by his brothers.
> MInister said that the "coat of many colors" is a translation error and
> it was actually a "coat with sleeves".
> I understood that the coat of many colors was a typical Canaanite
> garment. 
> Which actually was it?

 According to Genesis 37:3, Jacob gave Joseph a "coat of many colours"
 K:ToNeT PaSSiYM as a mark of special favour. The same phrase denotes a
 royal robe in 2 Samuel 13:18. Some commentators prefer to translate this
 "a long robe with sleeves"; but WF Albright, in /The Archaeology of
 Palestine/, Pelican Books, 1949, p 209, shows a reproduction of the
 Beni Hassan Tomb painting, circa 1890 BC. A 20" frieze depicts a group
 of Semitic itinerant tinkers (men, women and children) visiting Egypt
 with their goats and donkeys (compare Genesis 43:24). They are carrying
 weapons for protection, a lyre for entertainment, and the tools of their
 trade. Most are dressed in longer or shorter *sleeveless* "coats of many
 colours", whereas the Egyptians in the picture have short white kilts. 

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF                                       ZFC Hf
 <ben.crick at NOSPAM.argonet.co.uk>
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