Jacob's Affection for Joseph not Misplaced
Genesis 37:3
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

Enabled to study characters, alike by long experience and natural shrewdness, he was eminently fit to discover the spirit of Joseph's accounts; and had he detected a vile motive, his heart would have turned from the slanderer; for he had himself thoroughly completed his moral purification. Further, the general conduct of the brothers were such as to let unfavourable statements appear at least as no deceitful fabrications. And, lastly, depravity and meanness are totally at variance with those noble qualities of Joseph's mind, which we shall soon have opportunities to unfold, and which alone could make him the worthy medium of the great plans of Providence. Too young to listen to prudence, and too generous to regard expediency, his pure and susceptible mind repeated in harmless innocence what passed among his brothers; and open and communicative, he knew no artificial reserve. He, therefore, is not even liable to the reproach of carelessness; for he would have seen no wrong in his conduct, even had his attention been directed to it; following the unrestricted impulses of his nature, he had not yet commenced to reflect upon his feelings, or to control and direct his emotions. But was it not blamable on the part of Jacob, so decidedly to prefer one son to all the others? Ought not a father to bestow an equal share of affection upon all his children? This question is but partially to be answered in the affirmative. Certainly, the natural love of a father, which is the result of the close relationship, is very generally equally ardent towards all his children; he will, with the greatest sacrifices, support, educate, and protect all his offspring. But another affection, based upon esteem or internal affinity of characters, may be superadded to the natural love, as will frequently be the case with parents of strongly-marked mental or moral organization; and thus that love is produced which is the emancipation from the blind rule of instinct, and consists in the prevalence of reason and moral liberty. And if it is not reprehensible in a father to feel more strongly for the children in whom he finds his own existence more distinctly renewed, or who are more susceptible of culture and refinement, it can, at the utmost, only be deemed an imprudence if the predeliction is manifested before the less beloved children. But though it is no moral offence, it may become a source of envy, strife and domestic discord. This truth was neglected by Jacob when he made for his favoured son Joseph a long and costly robe. The ample and folding garments of persons of wealth and distinction were not seldom composed of, or covered with, pieces of various costly stuffs, tastefully arranged — ambitious vestments, well calculated to account for the feelings of animosity on the part of Joseph's brothers.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

WEB: Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors.

Imprudent Testimonies of Regard
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