Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn son and should have been the one to take over the headship of the family. But in Genesis 35:22, Reuben slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah. Simeon and Levi, the next two, slaughtered an entire 06 the cupcity for one man’s rape of their sister, Dinah. Judah was pictured with many flaws and worldliness. There were probably other reasons, but in the end Jacob exercised his sovereign right and chose Joseph as his heir. This is the true meaning of the “multi-colored” coat. According to Boice and others, this is a mis-translation. “The Hebrew words that are so translated are generally thought to be uncertain.” He says that the two key words have been misconstrued to mean “many colored,” or “richly ornamented.” He goes on to say, “But it is more likely that it means that it was long sleeved and extended to his ankles. Boice explains, “A long-sleeved, tailored garment was worn by one who did not have to work. So when Joseph appeared in this coat, his brothers recognized it as a sign of his father’s choice of Joseph to be a manager, one preeminent over them.”

This is supported by other events in the story as well. Jacob is said to have sent Joseph to oversee his brother’s activities. Joseph brought back a bad report concerning them. Further, there is a rather obscure verse in the New Testament that points to the fact that Joseph was chosen as his father’s heir. Jacob didn’t own much land but what he did own was said to have been left to Joseph. We read that in John 4:5. It says that when Jesus “came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.” Indeed, Joseph was the chosen one of his father.

It was because of this sovereign choice by his father that Joseph’s brothers hated him. Genesis 37:4 tells us, “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.” Jesus, the beloved son of His Father, was the ultimate chosen one. He too was hated and had to suffer at the hands of his own people, just as Joseph did. He has established the principle that suffering proceeds glory! You know what happened! Joseph suffered but was elevated as ruler in all Egypt. Jesus was crucified but raised from the dead in glory! Today He sits on the thrown of glory to which every knee will bow one day. As believers in Jesus, Peter calls us “chosen ones.” As Paul expounds on the suffering in this world he reminds us that we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17-18). Are you suffering? Remember that suffering always precedes glory!