A coat of many colours

Posted by Shae on April 04, 2003

In Reply to: A coat of many colours posted by Harikrishnan Menon on April 04, 2003

: : origin is OK but what about its meaning, or at least, connotations? Any ideas?

: I've heard that the coat (ketonet pasim) worn by Joseph, commonly known as the "coat of many colours", could probably be more accurately translated from Hebrew as "ornamented or patterned tunic" or "a long garment with sleeves". Perhaps someone who can read the Bible in the original may be able to confirm or deny this!

: Incidentally, the Webber-Rice musical "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is an interesting take on the Biblical episode.

The exact meaning of the Hebrew wording seems to be uncertain, but the garment was certainly very ornate. Ornate clothing and weaponry are associated with authority and leadership in many cultures. Could it be that Jacob (Isreal) gave the gift to Joseph to signify that Joseph was to be his successor as head of the family?