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Coat of many Colours. (Gen. xxxvii. 3)


Harmer, in his Observations (vol. ii. p. 386), informs us thatmany colours” in this connection does not mean striped, flowered embroidered, or “printed” with several colours, but having “divers pieces of different colours sewed together” in patchwork. The Hebrew word is passeem. In 2 Sam. xiii. 18 we are told that king’s daughters wore a garment of many colours or divers pieces. Dr. Adam Clarke says that similar garments “are worn by persons of distinction in Persia, India, and some parts of China to the present day.” The great offence was this: Jacob was a sheik, and by giving Joseph a “prince’s robe” he virtually announced him his heir. (See Divers Colours.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Coals of Fire
Coalition Government
Coast Clear
Coast Men of Attica
Coasting Lead (A)
Coasting Trade
Coasting Waiter
Coat of Arms
Coat of many Colours. (Gen. xxxvii. 3)
Coats, Hosen, and Hats (Dan. iii, 21)
Cob (A)
Cobbler Poet (The)
Cobbler’s Punch
Cobbler’s Toast

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Divers Colours [in garments]