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Genesis 37:29

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

Genesis 37:29 in Other Translations

KJV
29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
ESV
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes
NLT
29 Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief.
MSG
29 Later Reuben came back and went to the cistern - no Joseph! He ripped his clothes in despair.
CSB
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

Genesis 37:29 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 37:29

And Reuben returned unto the pit
It is very probable he had pretended to go somewhere on business, with an intention to take a circuit, and come to the pit and deliver his brother, and go home with him to his father. The Jews say F2 he departed from his brethren, and sat down on a certain mountain, that he might descend in the night and take Joseph out of the pit, and accordingly he came down in the night, and found him not. So Josephus F3 says, it was in the night when Reuben came to the pit, who calling to Joseph, and he not answering, suspected he was killed:

and, behold, Joseph [was] not in the pit;
for neither by looking down into it could he see him, nor by calling be answered by him, which made it a clear case to him he was not there:

and he rent his clothes;
as a token of distress and anguish of mind, of sorrow and mourning, as was usual in such cases; Jacob afterwards did the same, ( Genesis 37:34 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F2 Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 38.)
F3 Antiqu. l. 2. c. 3. sect. 3.

Genesis 37:29 In-Context

27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.
30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 34; Genesis 44:13; Numbers 14:6; Joshua 7:6; 2 Samuel 1:11; Job 2:12">2Ki Job 2:12; 2 Kings 5:7; 2 Kings 11:14; 2 Kings 22:11; Job 1:20; Job 2:12; Isaiah 36:22; Isaiah 37:1; Jeremiah 36:24; Jeremiah 41:5; Joel 2:13