In reading the story of Joseph, it is hard
to figure out who bought and sold Joseph. In
Gen 37:25-28 it reads: " behold, a
company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with
their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh,
going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said
unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay
our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and
let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let
not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother
and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen;
and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the
pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for
twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph
into Egypt." Gen 37:36 "And the Midianites
sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer
of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard."
What was so unusual about Joseph's coat?
RESPONSE: Translations have discerned it
to be a robe of many pieces (which
include different colors) or a robe
that was long and had sleeves. The
real question is what it symbolized.
Of course, it was given to Jacob's
favorite son of his beloved Rachel.
And, the robe itself was not the garb
of an average worker: it was a robe
worn by someone of the leisure class
or a prince. Joseph's brothers had
to work. This robe was not suitable
for work. You can see immediately
why the brothers were unhappy that
Joseph is not only given a specially-made
robe, but one that sets him apart
from the labor required of the rest
of the household.1
1 John Gibson. Genesis: The Daily Study Bible
Series. Louisville: Westminster John
Knox Press, 1982 vol 2 p. 227.