Posted 22 Jan 2010
I’ve just completed the scene in Genesis 37, where Jacob gives a coat of many colours to Joseph.
Some time ago, whilst I was reading the Old Testament, I decided that it would be a good idea to create a banner for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. I thought it would be easier to identify them in my drawings, if they had some sort of banner or heraldry. The 12 tribes of Israel are direct decedents of the 12 sons of Jacob.
For several months I have been drawing the banners, basing my designs in scripture to be found in Genesis 49:1-28, where Jacob blesses his sons. Genesis 49 verse 1 says, ‘Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what is going to happen to you in the days to come.’ There follows Jacob’s prophesy about each son, which provided a visual image for my banner design. For example, Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son) is described by Jacob as being ‘as unruly as the waves of the sea’ & so I thought I would create a sea wave pattern & colour scheme, which reflects this prophecy.
Here are the 12 sons of Jacob, with Jacob’s prophetic words for each son, followed by the design element (often an animal) & colours I have used for each heraldic banner:
|Name||Prophetic words||Banner design||Colours|
|Reuben||Unruly as the waves||Double wave pattern||Blues & greens|
|Simeon||Man of violence, angry, murderer,||Ox with bent leg||Brown on Red|
|and crippled oxen just for sport||(crippled)|
|Levi||(As Simeon)||2 crossed swords||Silver & brown|
|Judah||a young lion||Lion’s head||Orange, brown|
|Dan||a snake beside the road||Coiled viper (snake)||Light yellow/green|
|a poisonous viper along the path||on Dark green|
|that bites the horse’s heels|
|so the rider is thrown off|
|Napthali||is a deer let loose, producing||Deer’s head||Yellow on light green|
|Gad||will be plundered by marauding||2 crossed scimitars||red, gold & silver|
|bands, but he will turn and||(swords)||on yellow|
|Asher||will produce rich foods,||Bread, grapes||purple, green, gold|
|food fit for kings||& gold cup||brown on lilac|
|Issachar||a strong beast of burden||Donkey||Grey on Red Brown|
|he will bend his shoulder to the task|
|Zebulun||will settle on the shores of the sea||Boat in harbour||Brown, green|
|and will be a harbor for ships||on waves||on blue|
|Joseph||is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree||Date palm tree||Green, blue, brown|
|beside a fountain||& fountain||on Dark blue|
|Benjamin||Benjamin is a wolf that prowls||Wolf’s head design||Grey on Red|
Having decided on which design element & colour would reflect which son, it was easy, when it came to drawing this particular cartoon (Jacob giving the coat to Joseph) to simply colour each son’s clothing according to the colour scheme I had previously worked out.
Below is a copy of the cartoon I have just finished, with details of who’s who.
I have made the skin & hair colour of several of the son’s of Jacob similar, which is to reflect their particular parantage. As the diagram below shows, Jacob had 4 wives: Leah & Rachel, & each of their maidservants. From those 4 women came the 12 sons of Jacob…
Genesis 35:22-26 (NLT)
These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
The sons of Leah were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
The sons of Leah I have grouped together & given them the same skin & hair colour.
The sons of Rachel, the sons of Bilhah & the sons of Zilpah are similarly grouped together by skin & hair colour.
Genesis 37 – Jacob’s sons – Who’s who
Follow this link to see this Bible Cartoon on the BC Gallery page, with download & purchase options:
Bible Cartoon: Genesis 37 – Joseph’s Dreams – Scene 02 – The coat of many colours
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