Categories: Joseph, Men in the Bible
What was so unusual about Joseph's coat? The colors?
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.