Genesis 37-39 HCSB

Genesis 37:3

“coat of many colors” reflects the traditional rendering. The footnote has “Or, robe with long sleeves.” However, no source is listed as to why that could be a valid translation, or if that is a translation of something else. It would help to include in the footnote, something like: “Hebrew meaning uncertain; Septuagint and Vulgate (and Syriac): robe with long sleeves.


Upon discovering Joseph’s disappearing, Reuben asks, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?” Footnote: Lit And I, where am I going?

This may be a matter of style, but the “literal” question seems more pertinent. The only place they were going (prior to this incident) is back to their father, Isaac. But now with Joseph gone, the question is “And I, where am I going?” In other words, the context seems to fit this question more than “What am I going to do?” Certainly that will be the process he goes through when he faces his father, but at this moment, the “where” is center. Thus, I would recommend the switch of the text and footnote to give better clarity to what Reuben was struggling with.


“No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.”

This is a case of awkward wording, especially for oral reading. Notice that the way it is written, it could be that “my son” is the one who is mourning. Granted the comma helps in the written word, but read it aloud, even with a pause, and it is confusing.

But it could also be misleading. Do we know that he is claiming that his son is in Sheol? Nothing in text supports that view (at least what I could find). The Hebrew suggests that Jacob will go to Sheol, and will be mourning in the process of getting there (i.e. the rest of his life). It seems that it should be “No, I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.”

38:26  “She is more in the right than I…” (with footnote, “more righteous”). For me, “more right” just doesn’t sound appropriate in this text. I would switch the text and the footnote.

GENESIS 39:3, 4, 6, 8 “in his hand”

The same phrase occurs in each verse. But HCSB misses what seems to be a critical connection with v. 3

MT (39:3, 4, 6, 8):  בְּיָדֽוֹ׃ ( “in his hand”)

HCSB: When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made everything he did successful

39:4 under his authority

39:6 under Joseph’s authority

39:8 under my authority

Granted, for vs. 4, 6, 8 HCSB offers the footnote “in his hand” it does not do so for vs. 3. Thus, the critical connection with God’s blessing “in his hand” is lost.





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