Verse

Genesis 37:33

ESV And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
NIV He recognized it and said, 'It is my son's robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.'
NASB Then he examined it and said, 'It is my son’s tunic. A vicious animal has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!'
CSB His father recognized it. "It is my son's robe," he said. "A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces! "
NLT Their father recognized it immediately. 'Yes,' he said, 'it is my son's robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!'
KJV And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

What does Genesis 37:33 mean?

Jacob's 10 oldest sons have returned with their flocks from the north (Genesis 37:12). Joseph has not (Genesis 37:18–30). Instead, the brothers bring Joseph's blood-covered robe, the one specially given to him by Jacob (Genesis 37:3–4). Of course, this is a trick meant to disguise their own betrayal (Genesis 37:31–32). They cruelly asked their father to identify it.

Jacob affirms that the robe is Joseph's. He reaches exactly the conclusion they were hoping he would: that a wild animal has eaten Joseph. It's a skillful lie that requires no telling. Jacob is convinced that his favorite son, the firstborn of his beloved late wife Rachel (Genesis 30:22–24), has died at 17. His grieving will be intense, and, so it seems, permanent (Genesis 37:34–35). The depths of Jacob's pain are such that the mastermind of this plot, Judah, will one day offer himself as a substitute for his brother, Benjamin, to keep his father from another such experience (Genesis 44:18, 30–34).
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