- Cecilie Brons , Textiles and Cult in the Ancient Mediterranean, , , ,
- Antonio D'Ambrosio , Women and Beauty in Pompeii, J. Paul Getty Museum, , ,
- B.R. Jones , Ariadne's Threads, The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age, , ,
- Mireille M. Lee , Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece, , , ,
- Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Liza Cleland , Greek and Roman Dress from A to Z, , , ,
- Kelly Olson , Dress and the Roman Woman, Self-Presentation and Society, , ,
- Chiara Spinazzi-Lucchesi , The Unwound Yarn, Birth and Development of Textile Tools Between Levant and Egypt, , ,
- Caryn Tamber-Rosenau , Women in Drag, Gender and Performance in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature, , ,
- Kristi Upson-Saia , Early Christian Dress, Gender, Virtue, and Authority, , ,
- Kristi Upson-Saia , Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity, , , ,
- - - , ANE: DISCUSSION LIST FOR THE STUDY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, , Coat of Many Colors: Joseph+Tamar=sacrifice
- James M. Freeman , Manners and Customs of the Bible, , , 42,43, 67. -- COAT OF PIECES
XXXVII, 3. Israel loved Joseph: and he mad him a coat of many colors.
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. xiii,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 Jacob. It was merely an instance of parental favoritism.
- Richard Heard , Higgaion, May 22, 2006, Jim misses the point
In a second post
on Joseph's and Tamar's wearing of a כתנת הפסים, Jim takes a couple of
potshots and misses the point. Maybe my point just got lost in my long
blockquote, but I might as well continue the conversation.
let's quickly dispense with Jim's quibbling over my use of the word
"parenthesis." Come on, Jim, you know as well as I do that a
"parenthesis" is a grammatical construction, an aside, that has nothing
inherently to do with what punctuation marks or grammatical structures
are used to demarcate it. In this case, the כי in 2 Sam 13:18 clearly
introduces an "aside" that is properly called a "parenthesis"
(dictionary definition: "a word, clause, or sentence inserted as an
explanation or afterthought into a passage that is grammatically
complete without it"). Don't joust with straw windmills, Jim.
Now let's get to the main point. In the new post, Jim writes:
I am simply attempting to come to terms with the fact that the author
of 2 Samuel seems to take pains to clarify the kind of person who wore
a כתנת הפסים; i.e., young girls. ... The issue is "who would wear such
a thing as a כתנת הפסים.Jim continues to misconstrue the function of the parenthetical comment. The author of 2 Samuel 13 does indicate that the "king's virgin daughters" wore כתנת הפסים, but it does not thereby indicate that a כתנת הפסים is a garment worn exclusively
by females. Just because the king's virgin daughters typically wear
כתנת הפסים does not mean that other people, including males, never wore
כתנת הפסים. "Many young women these days have pierced noses" does not
perforce imply that "few men these days have pierced noses." It's Jim,
not the author of 2 Samuel 13, who has turned this into a gendered
The evidence from Samuel indicates that it's a garment worn by females.
When "shown" (verbally) the iconographical evidence against "gendered garments," Jim responds:
notwithstanding. Indeed, the iconography which exists is all external
to Israel. If Assyrians and Egyptians portray Israelites or Judeans
wearing the clothing normally attributed to women, wouldn't this
demonstrate their lack of respect and even disdain for such "men"?No, Jim, it doesn't. What it demonstrates is that "gendered garments" are your issue, not the ancients' issue. You, not the Beni Hasan artist, are the one who "disdains" mean who wear what you, not the ancients, consider "women's garments."
In my earlier post,
I explained the exegetical importance of the כתנת הפסים in each context
(Genesis 37 and 2 Samuel 13). By "gendering" the garment, Jim is
exposing his own ideology, not the biblical writers', and creating a
"problem" where none exists. The evidence is that men and women dressed
very much alike in ancient times, and 2 Samuel 13:18 really does not
- Richard Heard , Higgaion, May 22, 2006, Jim West and Joseph's coat
Jim West posted an interesting question earlier today:
curious phrase כתנת הפסים in Genesis 37:23 only occurs in the Hebrew
Bible again at 2 Sam 13:18- כתנת הפסים which is further described as כי כן תלבשן בנות המלך הבתולת מעילים. My question- why does Joseph wear a
virgin girl's robe? Why does he dress like one of the maiden girl's in
the king's court? It's a strange curiosity.Actually, I
don't think it's any stranger than the constantly shifting template on
Jim's blog, but that's another matter (sorry, Jim, I couldn't resist).
The simple answer is that Jim is overemphasizing, or rather,
"over-exclusivizing," a side comment. 2 Samuel 13:18 does not "make
such a big deal about" it. Jim's the one doing that. All 2 Samuel 13:18
does is make a parenthetical comment to the effect that Tamar was
wearing clothing that was typical of the "king's daughters" at that time. 2 Samuel 13:18 does not imply that such tunics were exclusively
worn by the "king's daughters," nor that men could or would not dress
in similar fashion. Still less does 2 Samuel 13:18 imply that the author and/or ancient readers of Genesis 37
would have considered Joseph's tunic to be "women's wear." As others
pointed out on the Biblical Studies e-mail list, and as I will show
below, our iconographical evidence does not suggest a great deal of
difference between "women's wear" and "men's wear" in the Iron Age
The phrase in question, כתנת הפסים, is a curious one. As I described in a another post published some time ago,
Hebrew text describes Joseph's special garment as a כתנת פסים, which
the Septuagint translator(s) rendered as a χιτῶνα ποικίλον (which was
then taken over in the Vulgate as tunicam polymitam and
thence into other European languages as the famous "technicolor
dreamcoat"). The Greek text unambiguously means "multi-colored tunic"
or "variegated tunic," but not so the Hebrew. In order for the Hebrew
description to be rendered as "multi-colored tunic" it would need to
literally be "tunic of colors," and we would need to show that there
was such a word in biblical Hebrew as פס meaning "color." The only ??
attested (elsewhere than Gen 37:3 and 2 Sam 13:18) in the Tanakh,
however, is an Aramaic word in Daniel 5:5, 24 apparently meaning "the
palm of the hand" (it doesn't just mean "hand," it seems, because it
stands in the phrase פס ידה). The question is whether to take our
translational cue from the Septuagint or from the Aramaic portion of
Daniel. Very few modern translations render פסים as "multi-colored":The "long-sleeved" nature of the coat itself
is exegetically significant in both cases, but not because of
intertextual resonance between the two passages.
JPS: "an ornamented tunic"Only
the WEB and the HCSB still retain "coat of many colors." It seems me
that the JPS, NET, and NIV translators are persuaded that there is
little philological support for the "multi-colored" translation, but
they don't want to get too far from the idea of "ornamentation." NRSV,
NCV, GW, and BBE are following the philological evidence internal to
the Bible just where it goes, by understanding פס as an Aramaism (or,
as Gary Rendsburg might have it, a feature of nortern Israelian
Hebrew), understanding כתנת פסים as "tunic of palms/soles," and then
trying to render that in smooth English as something like "long robe
NET: "a special tunic"
NIV: "a richly ornamented robe"
NRSV: "a long robe with sleeves"
NCV: "a special robe with long sleeves"
GW: "a special robe with long sleeves"
BBE: "a long coat"
Joseph's case, a "long robe with sleeves" would be quite distinct from
typical Bronze-to-Iron Age Canaanite garb as seen, for example, in the
Beni Hasan paintings (as shown here). Our iconographical evidence
suggests that we should be thinking of Jacob and his sons as typically
wearing "kilts" and going bare-chested (men only), or wearing tunics
that fasten over one shoulder and have skirts that drape to the knee
(men and women). A long-sleeved, long-skirted tunic would be quite
atypical in this context, and would be unsuited to typical agricultural
or pastoral work. Joseph's כתנת הפסים, then, marks--in its context in
Genesis 37--a kind of exemption from the labor to which his brothers
were otherwise subject (as also shown, contextually, by the fact that
he does not go with them to Dothan to shepherd the flock, but stays
home with his father).
In Tamar's case, the narrator of 2 Samuel
13 indicates that a "long robe with sleeves" is typical of the "king's
daughters." Unlike Joseph, Tamar is not dressed in an unusual
fashion that would draw attention to her. Nor, being covered from neck
to wrist and to toe, is she dressed immodestly by any stretch of the
imagination. Tamar--or at least Tamar's dress--is thus excluded from
consideration as a factor inciting Amnon's lust. Certainly she does not
come to his "sick bed" dressed seductively. This is quite a contrast to
2 Samuel 11, where David espies the naked Bathsheba and then puts into
motion his designs up on her.
Thus the detail of Joseph and
Tamar each wearing a כתנת הפסים does in fact matter in each story--but
independently, and in quite different ways.
- Iman Saca , Embroidering Identities: A Century of Palestinian Clothing, ,
- Caryn Tamber-Rosenau , Striking Women: Performance and Gender in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature, Dissertatie, , ,
- Dr. Jim West , Blog, 22 May 2006, A Strange Curiosity
The curious phrase כתנת הפסים in Genesis 37:23 only occurs in the Hebrew Bible again at 2 Sam 13:18- כתנת פסים which is further described as כי כן תלבשן בנות המלך הבתולת מעילים
. My question- why does Joseph wear a virgin girl's robe? Why does he
dress like one of the maiden girl's in the king's court? It's a strange
- Dr. Jim West , Blog, 22 May 2006, Chris Heard and the Coat of the Virgins
On Higgaion Chris suggests, a la my earlier posting and our ongoing discussion on the Biblical Studies List that I am overemphasizing, or rather, "over-exclusivizing," a side comment [in] 2 Samuel 13:18.
I really don't believe that to be the case at all. In fact, I am simply
attempting to come to terms with the fact that the author of 2 Samuel
seems to take pains to clarify the kind of person who wore a כתנת הפסים;
i.e., young girls. And though Chris calls the comment in Samuel a
"parenthesis" he knows as well as we all do that no such punctuation
exists in Biblical Hebrew. We may call something a parenthetical but of
course that is our label- not theirs.
Chris gives, then, nice
detail about the meaning of the phrase. I think it fair to say that
there's no one these days who would argue that the traditional "coat of
many colors" is correct. That is not the issue. The issue is "who would
wear such a thing as a כתנת הפסים.
evidence from Samuel indicates that it's a garment worn by females.
Iconography notwithstanding. Indeed, the iconography which exists is
all external to Israel. If Assyrians and Egyptians portray Israelites
or Judeans wearing the clothing normally attributed to women, wouldn't
this demonstrate their lack of respect and even disdain for such "men"?
short, though Chris makes some excellent points, none of them really
have to do with what seems to me the central issue. Now, if you don't
mind, I have to go change my template again....
Mede mogelijk dankzij