Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,
and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied.
So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived at Shechem,
a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
“They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan.
But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other.
“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.
“Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.