Genesis 37:33

Hebrew Bible

31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.” 33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph has surely been torn to pieces! 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned for his son many days.

Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 37:33


And they sent it by the hand of the sons of Zilpha and of the sons of Bilhah the figured garment; and they brought it to their father, and said, This have we found; know now, whether it be thy son's garment, or not. And he recognised it and said, It is my son's garment: a beast of the wilderness hath not devoured him, neither hath he been slain by the hand of man; but I see by the Holy Spirit, that an evil woman standeth against him.

 Notes and References

"... Ps-J Gen 37:33 also presents an apparently contradictory translation on account of its addition of the negative particle אל where the narrative lacks it in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew text, the brothers of Joseph come to Jacob with Joseph’s bloodied garment; they lead Jacob to believe that Joseph was torn to pieces by an animal, and at v. 33 Jacob exclaims in lamentation that Joseph is dead. In Ps-J, however (and in the Fragment Targumim and in Manuscript D), Jacob declares that Joseph is not dead, but rather alive.

Again the question arises: How did the targumist start with the Hebrew text and arrive at the Aramaic rendition in this case? Analysis of the passages shows that in this instance too the targumist encountered a number of textual incongruities that prompted him to look at the verse interpretively and to resolve the incongruities he perceived to emerge in the Hebrew. ..."

Zhakevich, Iosif J. Contradictions and Coherence in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (pp. 54-55) Harvard University, 2016

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.