Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's the deal with Joseph's robe?

Was there more to the special robe that Joseph received than just a fancy piece of clothing? His brothers were very angry, was something else going on behind the scenes (Genesis 37)?

There was a ceremony involving such robes in the Ancient Near East that marked the recipient as the father’s primary heir. Joseph, the eleventh son in the family lineage takes the rights of the firstborn. Joseph gets the farm. When he receives this special robe, the situation is packed with emotions because the whole family inheritance is at stake. This was a volatile moment because the older boys would have clearly seen that Joseph had been placed before all of them. This was a recipe for sibling civil war, and that is exactly what happened.

–John Ortberg

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