and threw him into the pit. This pit was normally used to store water, but it was empty at the time.
Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they noticed a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking spices, balm, and myrrh from Gilead to Egypt.
Judah said to the others, "What can we gain by killing our brother? That would just give us a guilty conscience.
Let's sell Joseph to those Ishmaelite traders. Let's not be responsible for his death; after all, he is our brother!" And his brothers agreed.
So when the traders a came by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces b of silver, and the Ishmaelite traders took him along to Egypt.
Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the pit. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in anguish and frustration.
Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, "The boy is gone! What can I do now?"
Then Joseph's brothers killed a goat and dipped the robe in its blood.
They took the beautiful robe to their father and asked him to identify it. "We found this in the field," they told him. "It's Joseph's robe, isn't it?"
Their father recognized it at once. "Yes," he said, "it is my son's robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn in pieces!"
Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He mourned deeply for his son for many days.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)