Coat Of Many Colors: Shoes As Art

what coat of many colors has shoes in it

The Coat of Many Colors is a biblical reference to the garment that Jacob gave to his son Joseph, as described in the Book of Genesis. This coat symbolized Jacob's favouritism towards Joseph, which caused jealousy among his brothers. The coat is mentioned in the Bible as a colourful, embroidered, striped, or illustrated garment, possibly made of fine wool or silk. It is also associated with royalty and wealth. In popular culture, the coat has been referenced in music and literature, including Dolly Parton's song Coat of Many Colors and Thomas Mann's tetralogy Joseph and His Brothers.

Characteristics Values
Name Coat of Many Colors
Type Song, Biblical garment
Owner Joseph (Biblical figure)
Owner's Parents Jacob and Rachel
Creator Dolly Parton
Composition 1969
Release September 1971
Album Coat of Many Colors
Album Track Second single
Peak Chart Position #4 on the U.S. country singles charts


The biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors

Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel and had at least 11 brothers. He was his father's favourite son, which he signified by giving Joseph a "long coat of many colors". This caused resentment among Joseph's brothers, who already disliked him for being a dreamer and for being their father's favourite. They plotted to kill him but were stopped by the eldest brother, Reuben, who convinced them to throw Joseph into a pit instead. Reuben secretly intended to rescue Joseph later. However, while Reuben was away, the other brothers decided to sell Joseph to a group of Ishmaelite traders for 20 pieces of silver. They then dipped Joseph's coat in goat blood and presented it to their father, declaring that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts.

Jacob was heartbroken and mourned for Joseph, believing he was dead. Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egypt, where he was sold to Potiphar, an official in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Joseph's gift for interpreting dreams impressed Potiphar, and he was put in charge of Potiphar's house and everything in it. However, when he rejected the advances of Potiphar's wife, she falsely accused him of wrongdoing, and Joseph was thrown into prison.

While in prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of two men: the king's chief butler and baker. He predicted that the butler would be restored to his position within three days, and this came true. He also foretold that the baker would be executed within three days, which also came to pass. However, the butler forgot about Joseph until two years later when Pharaoh himself had a strange dream that none of his advisers could interpret. The butler then remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him. Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, and he successfully interpreted Pharaoh's dream, predicting seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Impressed, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of preparing for the coming famine. As a result, Joseph became the most important person in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.

Meanwhile, back in Canaan, Joseph's family was suffering from the famine. Jacob sent his ten eldest sons to Egypt to buy food, keeping only Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother, at home. When the brothers arrived in Egypt, they bowed before Joseph, not recognising him as their brother, and he played a trick on them. He accused them of being spies and kept Simeon, the second-oldest, as a prisoner, telling the others to bring Benjamin to him if they wanted Simeon back.

When the brothers returned to Canaan, their father was distraught, fearing he would lose Benjamin as he had lost Joseph and Simeon. However, with no other choice, they eventually returned to Egypt with Benjamin. This time, Joseph received them kindly and revealed his true identity to his brothers, forgiving them for their past actions. He invited them to live close to him in Egypt, where he could protect them and ensure they had enough food during the famine.

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The song 'Coat of Many Colors' by Dolly Parton

"Coat of Many Colors" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Dolly Parton. It was released in September 1971 as the second single and title track from the album of the same title. Parton composed the song in 1969 while travelling with Porter Wagoner on a tour bus. She wrote the lyrics on the back of a dry cleaning receipt from one of Wagoner's suits, and when the song became a hit, Wagoner had the receipt framed.

The song tells the story of how Parton's mother stitched a coat for her out of rags, and as she sewed, she told her child the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Parton, excited about the coat, rushed to school, only to be laughed at and mocked for wearing a coat made of rags. The song concludes with Parton singing about how she felt rich despite having no money, because of the coat her mother made for her.

The song has been interpreted as "a world of things", teaching "about bullying, about love, about acceptance, about good parents". It has also been ranked highly in various lists, including Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", where it was ranked at number 263, and in a list of the 50 best Dolly Parton songs, where it was ranked at number 2.

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The meaning and symbolism of the coat

The coat of many colors, or "ketonet passim" in Biblical Hebrew, is a garment that appears in the Hebrew Bible and is given to Joseph by his father Jacob. This coat is described as a royal garment and is said to have been a symbol of Jacob's favoritism towards Joseph, suggesting that he was considered better than his other offspring. The coat is also mentioned in Thomas Mann's tetralogy "Joseph and His Brothers," where it serves as a central symbol and is tied back to the veil of Ishtar.

The coat of many colors is also referenced in Dolly Parton's song "Coat of Many Colors", where it tells the story of how Parton's mother stitched a coat for her daughter out of rags. The song explores themes of bullying, love, acceptance, and good parenting.

The symbolism of the coat of many colors has been interpreted in various ways. In the Biblical context, it represents the divine favor of God and is associated with royalty and wealth. It symbolizes all the favor of God, His divine grace, power, and love, as well as the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The coat is also seen as a reminder of Joseph's father's favoritism, which led to jealousy and conflict within the family.

In a broader sense, the coat of many colors can be seen as a symbol of resilience, humility, and forgiveness. Joseph's journey, from being sold into slavery by his brothers to becoming the savior of his people, reflects his ability to rise above adversity and maintain a humble and forgiving spirit.

Overall, the coat of many colors is a powerful symbol that carries religious, cultural, and personal significance. It serves as a reminder of God's favor, the importance of family, and the resilience of the human spirit.

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The consequences of Jacob's favoritism

  • Jealousy and Resentment: Jacob's other sons became extremely jealous of Joseph due to their father's favoritism. They saw the special coat as an indication that Joseph would assume a leadership role in the family, which further fueled their resentment.
  • Murderous Intent: The Bible states that Jacob's partiality made his half-brothers so jealous that they were initially ready to murder Joseph (Genesis 37). This demonstrates the intense anger and hatred that favoritism can evoke.
  • Deception and Family Discord: To avoid murdering Joseph, his brothers sold him into slavery to a company of Ishmaelite merchants. They deceived their father by dipping Joseph's coat in goat blood and telling him that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. This caused immense grief to Jacob, who believed his son was dead.
  • Grief and Loss: Jacob suffered tremendous sorrow and anguish upon hearing the news of Joseph's supposed death. He had to live with the belief that he had lost his beloved son, which caused him profound pain and heartache.
  • Family Separation: Joseph's sale into slavery resulted in a prolonged separation from his family. He was forced to leave his home and live as a slave, far away from his father and siblings.
  • Interpersonal Conflict: Jacob's favoritism created rivalries and discord among his sons. The brothers' relationships were damaged, and the family dynamic was disrupted, leading to a breakdown of trust and unity within the family.
  • Long-Lasting Impact: The consequences of Jacob's favoritism had long-lasting effects. Joseph's story continued, and he eventually rose to a position of power in Egypt, playing a crucial role in the survival of his family during a famine. However, the initial pain and conflict caused by Jacob's favoritism had already taken a toll on the family.

These consequences highlight the destructive nature of favoritism within a family. It is essential to recognize and address favoritism to prevent such detrimental outcomes and foster a harmonious and loving family environment.

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The coat's destruction and Joseph's ultimate betrayal

The biblical story of Joseph's coat of many colours is one of family drama, jealousy, betrayal and redemption. The coat itself symbolised Jacob's favouritism towards Joseph, his son with Rachel, who was Jacob's favourite wife. Jacob's other sons hated Joseph and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph's dreams further fuelled his brothers' hatred. In his dreams, Joseph's brothers bowed down to him, suggesting he would rule over them. When Joseph shared these dreams, his brothers' jealousy intensified. Jacob then sent Joseph to the fields to check on his brothers as they worked. Already displeased by a previous bad report Joseph had given about them, the brothers decided to kill him. However, Reuben, the eldest, persuaded them to throw Joseph into a pit instead. Before Reuben could rescue Joseph, the other brothers sold him to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.

The brothers then took Joseph's coat, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. They brought the bloodied coat to their father, claiming that a fierce animal had devoured Joseph. Jacob identified the coat and believed that Joseph had been torn to pieces. Thus, the coat was destroyed, and Joseph suffered the ultimate betrayal at the hands of his brothers.

This series of events set in motion Joseph's journey to Egypt, where he would eventually become governor and save his people from famine. Despite the initial betrayal, Joseph would later comfort his brothers and provide for them and their families.

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Frequently asked questions

The song "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton recounts how Parton's mother stitched a coat for her out of rags. Excited about the coat, Parton describes how she went to school, only to find that the other children were laughing and making fun of her for wearing a coat made of rags.

In the simplest sense, Joseph’s coat of many colors symbolised favour. It was a garment given to Joseph by his father Jacob. It wasn’t a work garment like his brothers would wear, but rather an elaborate work of art that was made to stand out.

Joseph’s beautiful coat of many colors was destroyed. His brothers stripped him of his coat, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. They then showed the bloodied coat to their father, claiming that Joseph had been devoured by a fierce animal.

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