67. Coat of Pieces

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Or, “a coat of pieces.” The ordinary tunic was a garment worn next to the skin, reaching to the knees, and usually without sleeves. Joseph’s coat is supposed to have had sleeves, and to have reached to the wrists and ankles; a luxurious robe, and a mark of distinction such as, in later times, Tamar and the other daughters of the king wore (2 Sam. 13:1818And she had a garment of divers colors upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. (2 Samuel 13:18)). The “pieces” may have been different pieces of cloth variously colored, and of which the garment was made; or they may have been various colored threads, stripes, or plaids. In India coats of different colored patchwork are made for favorite children, pieces of crimson, purple, and other colors being sewed together. Jackets are sometimes embroidered with gold and silk of various colors. It is believed that a child thus clad will be saved from evil spirits, since the attention of the spirits will be diverted from the child by the beauty of the garment. There is no evidence of any such superstition in the case of Jacob. It was merely an instance of parental favoritism.