They said to each other, "Look, here comes that master dreamer!
Let's kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and say that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we'll see what happens to his dreams."
When Reuben heard this, he tried to save Joseph from their plot. "Let's not kill him," he said.
"Let's not have any bloodshed. Put him into that cistern that's out in the desert, but don't hurt him." Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph from them and bring him back to his father.
So when Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his special robe with long sleeves.
Then they took him and put him into an empty cistern. It had no water in it.
As they sat down to eat, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying the materials for cosmetics, medicine, and embalming. They were on their way to take them to Egypt.
Judah asked his brothers, "What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up his death?
Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let's not hurt him, because he is our brother, our own flesh and blood." His brothers agreed.
As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
When Reuben came back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was no longer there, he tore his clothes in grief.