27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites then took Joseph to Egypt. 29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! He tore his clothes,
Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 37:28
And Jehuda said to his brethren, What profit of mammon should we have if we killed our brother, and covered his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Arabians, and our hands shall not be upon him to kill him; for our brother is our own flesh. And his brethren agreed. And the Midianite men, masters of business, passed by; and they drew and brought up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Arabians for twenty mahin of silver; and they bought sandals of them. And they brought Joseph to Mizraim. And Reuben returned to the pit; for he had not been with them to assist when they sold him, because he had sat fasting on account that he had confounded the couch of his father; and he had gone and sat among the hills, that he might return to the pit and bring him up for his father, if haply he might avert his anger.
5 So I will set Judah on fire, and it will consume Jerusalem’s fortresses.” 6 This is what the Lord says: “Because Israel has committed three covenant transgressions—make that four—I will not revoke my decree of judgment. They sold the innocent for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample on the dirt-covered heads of the poor; they push the destitute away. A man and his father go to the same girl; in this way they show disrespect for my moral purity.
Notes and References
"... Whatever the precise cause, Joseph's brothers did indeed hate him, and that is why they sold him as a slave to caravanners bound for Egypt. One minor detail is left hanging in this part of the story. The Bible says that Joseph's brothers 'sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver' (Genesis 37:28), but it does not say what the brothers did with the money. A number of texts, however, contain the somewhat strange assertion that they then spent the money on shoes ... The source of this tradition originally had nothing to do with the story of Joseph. Once, in ancient times, the prophet Amos had rebuked the people of Israel in these terms ... in time, this general condemnation came to be understood as a specific reference to the story of Joseph. For Joseph certainly was a 'righteous man' - righteousness was his outstanding characteristic - and the traditional Hebrew text does say that he was sold 'for silver.' Who could Amos have been talking about if not him? ..."
Kugel, James L. The Bible as it Was (pp. 251-252) Harvard University Press, 1998
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