Genesis 37:29
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes

Berean Study Bible
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes,

New American Standard Bible
Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments.

King James Bible
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Christian Standard Bible
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

Contemporary English Version
When Reuben returned to the well and did not find Joseph there, he tore his clothes in sorrow.

Good News Translation
When Reuben came back to the well and found that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes in sorrow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.

International Standard Version
Later, when Reuben returned to the cistern, Joseph wasn't there! In mounting panic, he tore his clothes,

NET Bible
Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! He tore his clothes,

New Heart English Bible
Reuben returned to the pit; and saw that Joseph wasn't in the pit; and he tore his clothes.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When Reuben came back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was no longer there, he tore his clothes in grief.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

New American Standard 1977
Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Reuben returned unto the cistern; and, behold, Joseph was not inside, and he rent his clothes.

King James 2000 Bible
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes.

American King James Version
And Reuben returned to the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

American Standard Version
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Ruben, returning to the pit, found not the boy:

Darby Bible Translation
And Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph [was] not in the pit; and he rent his garments,

English Revised Version
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Reuben returned to the pit; and behold, Joseph was not in the pit: and he rent his clothes.

World English Bible
Reuben returned to the pit; and saw that Joseph wasn't in the pit; and he tore his clothes.

Young's Literal Translation
And Reuben returneth unto the pit, and lo, Joseph is not in the pit, and he rendeth his garments,
Study Bible
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
28So when the Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. 29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes, 30returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?”…
Cross References
Genesis 37:34
Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days.

Genesis 44:13
Then they all tore their clothes, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.

2 Samuel 1:11
Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and all the men who were with him did the same.

2 Samuel 13:19
And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her robe. And putting her hand on her head, she went away crying bitterly.

2 Kings 5:7
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and asked, "Am I God, killing and giving life, that this man expects me to cure a leper? Surely you can see that he is seeking a quarrel with me!"

2 Kings 11:14
And she looked out and saw the king, standing by the pillar, according to the custom. The officers and trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed, "Treason! Treason!"

Job 1:20
Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped,

Jeremiah 36:24
Yet in hearing all these words, the king and his servants did not become frightened or tear their garments.

Treasury of Scripture

And Reuben returned to the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

he rent.

Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned …

Genesis 34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, …

Numbers 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which …

Judges 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and …

2 Kings 19:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his …

Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell …

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Acts 14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their …

(29) Reuben returned.--Evidently he was not present when Joseph was sold to the Midianites. This has been made into a difficulty, but really it confirms the truth of the narrative. For the difficulty arises solely from the supposition that Joseph's brethren immediately after casting him into the pit "sat down to eat bread," an act well described as most cold-blooded. But they were not actually guilty of it; for what the narrative says is that they were having their evening meal when the caravan came in sight. Reuben, between the casting of Joseph into the pit and the evening meal, had apparently gone a long round to fetch in the more distant cattle, and probably had remained away as long as possible, in order to feel sure that his brethren would on his return be at their dinner. He hoped thus to be able to go alone to the cistern, and rescue Joseph, and send him away home before the rest could interfere. Thus rightly understood, it is a proof of the trustworthiness of the history.

Verses 29, 30. - And Reuben (in whose absence apparently the scheme of sale had been concocted and carried through) returned to the pit (obviously with a view to deliver Joseph); and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes - a token of his mingled grief and horror at the discovery (cf. ver. 34; 44:13; 2 Samuel 13:31; 2 Kings 18:37; Job 1:20). And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child (or young man, as in Genesis 4:23, where יֶלֶד in the one hemistich is equivalent to אִישׁ in the other) is not; and I, whither shall I go - i.e. however shall I account for his disappearance? 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 (b) 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 (c) 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.

(b) Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 38.) (c) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 3. sect. 3.29, 30. Reuben returned unto the pit—He seems to have designedly taken a circuitous route, with a view of secretly rescuing the poor lad from a lingering death by starvation. His intentions were excellent, and his feelings no doubt painfully lacerated when he discovered what had been done in his absence. But the thing was of God, who had designed that Joseph's deliverance should be accomplished by other means than his.37:23-30 They threw Joseph into a pit, to perish there with hunger and cold; so cruel were their tender mercies. They slighted him when he was in distress, and were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, see Am 6:6; for when he was pining in the pit, they sat down to eat bread. They felt no remorse of conscience for the sin. But the wrath of man shall praise God, and the remainder of wrath he will restrain, Ps 76:10. Joseph's brethren were wonderfully restrained from murdering him, and their selling him as wonderfully turned to God's praise.
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