1. A. Rueben’s role was protector and life-saver to Joseph. The other brothers wanted to kill him on the spot, make it look like a wild animal devoured him, all the while laughing at Joseph and his dreams. Rueben stepped in and “delivered him out of their hands” (p.63 Hebrew Bible Gen 37:26), suggesting they just throw him in the pit instead. Rueben wanted to be able to come back and get Joseph and take him back to his father.
Judah saw the Ishmaelites passing by in a caravan and suggested that they sell him instead of killing him without profit. And “not lay our hands on him for he is our brother, our own flesh” (p.6 Hebrew Bible Gen 37:26)
B. What happened to Joseph is that his brothers agreed to sell him so “when some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.” (p.6 Book of Hebrew Gen 37:27-28). Is Joseph sold to Ishmaelites by his brothers? Yes. Or is he kidnapped by the Midianites? Maybe. Or do the Midiantes sell him to the Ishmaelites? I don’t know, thinking not.
C. How do we know what really happened? It is, of course, difficult to say exactly. A few different things could have happened: maybe Joseph’s brilliant brothers couldn’t figure out a way to get Joseph out of the pit (or didn’t have the right equipment), and some passing Midianites (who were passing with the Ishmaelites) had the know how &/or the ladder), and were able to retrieve Joseph out of the pit. Maybe the Midianites also knew who to go to when dealing with the Ishmaelites and acted as a go between, tacking on an even higher service charge out of the twenty pieces of silver the Ishmaelites paid Joseph’s brothers for Joseph. This is the possibility that comes to mind. What I love about the Bible is that it is a Divine Mystery in many places!
II A. Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai.
B. “At that time people began to invoke the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).
III. I just read in my