Joseph’s Bloody Coat – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Joseph’s Bloody Coat

Genesis 37:31-35

Intro: We have all heard messages on Joseph’s coat of many colors. We have heard it preached many different ways.

By the way, Joseph had 4 coats – not just one.

               1. The Coat of the Son – 37:2 (picture of Jesus in John)

               2. The Coat of the Servant – 39:12 (garment – picture of Jesus in Mark)

               3. The Coat of the Sinner – 41:14 (raiment – picture of Jesus in Luke)

               4. The Coat of the Sovereign – 41:42 – (vestures – picture of Jesus in Matthew)

Zaphnath-paaneah= “treasury of the glorious rest”

This bloody coat though is a picture of something that we want to look at tonight.

There’s a message in this bloody coat.

I. The Representations of the Coat

The Bible is clear – Jacob made the coat – the coat of many colors.

Take it from me – for a dad to physically make a coat for one of his children, that has to be a big deal!

Joseph was special – so much so that the Bible says he loved Joseph more than all the other children.

The endowment of the coat was far more symbolic than any of us can imagine.

By taking the time and effort to personally fabricate that coat, he was making a gesture of great importance.

  • Genesis 37:4 When his brethren SAW THAT THEIR FATHER LOVED HIM MORE

This gift was a statement. This gift to Joseph meant something to Jacob – it represented something major to Jacob.

When he saw Joseph wearing that coat of many colors, no doubt it brought many things to his mind.

               A. It represented Fruit of the Womb – 30:1, 2, 22, 24 – Rachel was the recipient of a miraculous birth

               B. It represented Faith – 30:24 – the Lord shall add to me another son – Joseph= “Jehovah has added”

               B. It represented Freedom – 30:25 He had worked for Laban for now 20 years (31:38-41)

               C. It represented Fears – 33:1, 2 Jacob feared losing Rachel and Joseph – he tried to protect them

               D. It represented Fulfilment – 37:2 he had a son that loved him and he could trust him; he had an ally

               E. It represented the Future –37:11 even though Jacob rebuked him for dreaming, he observed it.

OBSERVE: to keep, guard, observe, give heed

There is no doubt about it; this coat represented something special and priceless between father and son.

The coat was a gift of love; a gift of a special bond that Jacob shared with Joseph and nobody else.

II. The Ruin of the Coat

A. The Coat was Stripped

  • Genesis 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

STRIPT: to strip, invade, strip off, make a dash, raid, spread out

In other words, they without warning and in an immediate, quick action invaded his life, his space, his world and robbed him of his coat.

It was his; but they had it.

What was rightfully his was now in the possession and control of others.

It was literally out of his hands.

The coat that had covered him, warmed him, identified him was gone.

The token and daily reminder of his father’s devotion and love was stripped away from him.

B. The Coat was Dipped

  • Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

They took his coat, and then proceeded to defile it in an unimaginable way.

They didn’t just sprinkle blood on it. 

They didn’t take a branch or handful of grass and smear a little blood on the coat.

They killed a goat, then proceeded to dip this beautiful, ornate, handmade, handstitched family heirloom in the bloody pool of blood that was forming on the ground around this dead goat.

This coat – a representation of so many beautiful and amazing things – was now sticky, bloody, dirty, stinking and nasty.

It was disgusting; it was filthy; it was repulsive; it was unusable.

C. The Coat was Shipped

  • Genesis 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.

This is a picture of the moment that the bloody, defiled, ruined, no doubt tattered and torn coat was handed to Jacob.

I don’t think we can begin to imagine the pain and anguish that one moment in his life would produce.

To make it worse, their attitude was one of DEVIOUS DECEIT.

They knew full well that was Joseph’s coat, and they knew how much it meant to Jacob.

They didn’t care. This valuable, beautiful, wonderful coat was being treated like a piece of garbage by the envious.

III. The Reception of the Coat

               A. Jacob’s Recognition – vs. 33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat;

The realization of what was going on slowly begin to seep into his consciousness and into his heart.

The facts before him were completely real. The bloody coat wasn’t a dream.

He wasn’t having a nightmare – this was real.

It wasn’t his imagination; it was tangible. He held it. He could see it; smell it; feel it.

               B. Jacob’s Reaction – vs. 33 …and evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

He imagined the worst.

He was dogmatic – THAT WITHOUT A DOUBT Joseph is rent in pieces.

Jacob did what most of us do when we are handed the ripped, torn, shredded, defiled, bloody coat of Joseph.

  • We allow our circumstances to blur our vision.
  • We allow our feelings to override our faith.
  • We allow our thoughts to cancel out the truth.
  • We allow what we are holding in our hands to drown out what God put in our hearts.

               C. Jacob’s Refusal – vs. 34, 35 …he refused to be comforted.

Even though there were people around him that tried to comfort him, he refused to let them.

His daughters and family saw his pain and tried to do something, and he wallowed in his misery.

He said, “I will go down to my grave mourning…”

By the way – being comforted is a choice. You can accept it or reject it.

IV. The Reality of the Coat

               A. It was indeed Jacob’s coat.

               B. It was indeed defiled and covered in blood.

               C. It was no doubt unusable and incapable of being salvaged.

What was once was a symbol of nobility was now nasty.

What was once a picture of devotion and delight was now a picture of death and destruction.

What brought warmth and comfort now brought pain and hurt and tears.

               BUT!!!!! – He couldn’t see the rest of the story.

The one that the coat represented was not lost. God knew right where Joseph was!

The one that the coat represented was not defiled. He was still pure and clean.

The one that the coat represented was not unusable. God was using him and about to use him even more.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought it was.

Jacob thought that His FRUIT WAS DEAD.

Jacob thought that HIS FAITH WAS IN VAIN.

Jacob thought that HIS FEARS WERE REALIZED.


Jacob thought that HIS FUTURE WAS OVER.

But it wasn’t!

The reality of the coat was that the love he’s shown Joseph was not in vain.

The reality of the coat was that the miraculous birth to his beloved wife had not ended in tragedy.

The reality of the coat was that the sweet fellowship and love he had with Joseph was not in vain.

The reality of the coat was that the training and mentoring of Joseph would still pay off.

The reality of the coat was that the dreams he’d observed and waited for were still going to come true.

The reality of the coat was that no matter how bad it gets, or how bad it seems, Joseph’s bloody coat was not the end.


In Genesis 45, Joseph revealed himself to his brethren.

  • In verse 4, he says, “I am Joseph. Doth my father yet live?”
  • In verse 9, he said, “Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
  • In verse 13, he said, “And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.”
  • In verse 17, Pharoah said, “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.”
  • In verse 25-28, “And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”

Stay with me. Do the math.

  • Joseph was approximately 17 when he was sold into slavery. Gen. 37:2
  • He was promoted to Prime Minister when he was 30. (that’s 13 years.) Gen. 41:46
  • Then 7 years of plenty, followed by 7 years of famine. (13 + 7 = 20)
  • It was sometime during the famine when his brethren came the first time.
  • It was much later when they came back the second time and he revealed himself.

For over 20 years, Jacob had held onto Joseph’s bloody coat.

For over 20 years, Jacob believed a lie.

For over 20 years, Jacob refused to be comforted and mourned.

He was so bad off that according to Genesis 45:27, his spirit was dead within him.


You may be holding a bloody, damaged, destroyed, defiled coat.

That bloody coat may be your marriage.

That bloody coat may be your family situation.

That bloody coat may be your testimony.

That bloody coat may be the hand of God upon your life.

Your heart may be in a thousand pieces.

You may be finished mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially.

But the story is not over.

This isn’t the end.

God is still working.

The whole time you’re sitting there holding that bloody coat, God is still fulfilling His plan.


The story is not over. All you can see is what is in the present!

Don’t let the bloody coat in your life cause you to give up and refuse to be comforted.