Genesis 37:3, 4 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
In locations with more than one child, such as a home or school, it can become very easy for parents or care providers to develop a preference for one over another. While this may happen unintentionally, at other times one’s sequence of actions will hint at such preferences.
In particular, if one child appears more gifted or has more complex needs than others, a lot more attention might be directed towards them. Thus, the others, who may then feel left out and are not receiving enough attention may begin to exhibit traits that actually warrant some attention.
From the onset, Israel’s attitude towards his sons always seemed like a perfect recipe for disaster. Because while there were twelve brothers, his actions made it clear where his preference and heart lay. He made it pretty easy to identify that he had a very soft spot for Joseph and the coat of many colours only accentuated this.
The resultant wasn’t really surprising since the remaining brothers responded in a manner that showed their dislike about their father’s choice. Unfortunately, the object of their hatred was not Israel, but Joseph, the recipient of his love. That is the heart of men hence the reason God’s love, expressed in Jesus, was given for the whole world. Not preferentially, but globally, so that no one might have an excuse since all have received the same measure of His love.