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Genesis 37:21

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.

Read Genesis 37:21 Using Other Translations

And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his life."
But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said.

What does Genesis 37:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 37:21

And Reuben heard [it]
Overheard what they said, not being in the consultation; perhaps knowing his temper and disposition to be more mild and gentle, and being the elder brother, might fear he would overrule matters against them, and therefore Simeon and Levi did not choose to have him in the debate; or he might be at some distance and entirely absent when the consultation was held, and their intention was reported to him by some of them:

and he delivered him out of their hands;
from slaying him; that is, he endeavoured to do it by proposing another scheme:

and said, let us not kill him;
or let us not smite the soul F20; the dear soul, or take away life.


FOOTNOTES:

F20 (vpn wnkn al) "ne percutiamus vel occidamus animam", Sam. Ar. Syr.
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