Joseph's brothers had gone to take care of their father's flocks near Shechem.
References for Genesis 37:12
Israel said to Joseph, "As you know, your brothers are taking care of the flocks near Shechem. Come. I'm going to send you to them." "All right," Joseph replied.
So Israel said to him, "Go to your brothers. See how they are doing. Also see how the flocks are doing. Then come back and tell me." So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley. Joseph arrived at Shechem.
A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, "What are you looking for?"
He replied, "I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?"
"They've moved on from here," the man answered. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan.' " So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan.
But they saw him a long way off. Before he reached them, they made plans to kill him.
"Here comes that dreamer!" they said to one another.
"Come. Let's kill him. Let's throw him into one of these empty wells. Let's say that a wild animal ate him up. Then we'll see whether his dreams will come true."
Reuben heard them. He tried to save Joseph from them. "Let's not take his life," he said.
"Let's not spill any blood. Throw him into this empty well here in the desert. But don't harm him yourselves." Reuben said that to save Joseph from them. He was hoping he could take him back to his father.
When Joseph came to his brothers, he was wearing his beautiful robe. They took it away from him.
And they threw him into the well. The well was empty. There wasn't any water in it.
Then they sat down to eat their meal. As they did, they saw some Ishmaelite traders coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, lotion and myrrh. They were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, "What will we gain if we kill our brother and try to cover up what we've done?
Come. Let's sell him to these traders. Let's not harm him ourselves. After all, he's our brother. He's our own flesh and blood." Judah's brothers agreed with him.
The traders from Midian came by. Joseph's brothers pulled him up out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for eight ounces of silver. Then the traders took him to Egypt.
Later, Reuben came back to the empty well. He saw that Joseph wasn't there. He was so upset that he tore his clothes.
He went back to his brothers and said, "The boy isn't there! Now what should I do?"
Then they got Joseph's beautiful robe. They killed a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
They took it back to their father. They said, "We found this. Take a look at it. See if it's your son's robe."
Jacob recognized it. He said, "It's my son's robe! A wild animal has eaten him up. Joseph must have been torn to pieces."
Jacob tore his clothes. He put on black clothes. Then he sobbed over his son for many days.
All of Jacob's other sons and daughters came to comfort him. But they weren't able to. He said, "I'll be full of sorrow when I go down into the grave to be with my son." So Joseph's father sobbed over him.
But the traders from Midian sold Joseph to Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh's officials. He was the captain of the palace guard.