Genesis 37:20
Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast has devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
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(20) Into some pit.—Heb., into one of the pits, that is, cisterns dug to catch and preserve the rain water. In summer they are dry, and a man thrown into one of them would have very little chance of escape, as they are not only deep, but narrow at the top. The Jewish interpreters accuse Simeon of being the prime mover in the plot, and say that this was the reason why Joseph cast him into prison (Genesis 42:24).

37:12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Those children who are best beloved by their parents, should be the most ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethren were against him. They thought to slay him from malice aforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1Jo 3:15. The sons of Jacob hated their brother because their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams and the like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in their hearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. God overruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. His own not only received him not, but crucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design to redeem and save us.His brothers cast him into a pit. "This master of dreams;" an eastern phrase for a dreamer. "Let us slay him." They had a foreboding that his dreams might prove true, and that he would become their arbitrary master. This thought at all events would abate somewhat of the barbarity of their designs. It is implied in the closing sentence of their proposal. Reuben dissuades them from the act of murder, and advises merely to cast him into the pit, to which they consent. He had a more tender heart, and perhaps a more tender conscience than the rest, and intended to send Joseph back safe to his father. He doubtless took care to choose a pit that was without water.19. Behold, this dreamer cometh—literally, "master of dreams"—a bitterly ironical sneer. Dreams being considered suggestions from above, to make false pretensions to having received one was detested as a species of blasphemy, and in this light Joseph was regarded by his brethren as an artful pretender. They already began to form a plot for Joseph's assassination, from which he was rescued only by the address of Reuben, who suggested that he should rather be cast into one of the wells, which are, and probably were, completely dried up in summer. Cast him into some pit; partly, as unworthy of burial; partly, to cover their villanous action; and partly, that they might quickly put him out of their sight and minds.

Some evil beast hath devoured him, there being great store of such creatures in those parts. See 1 Kings 13:24 2 Kings 2:24. Come now therefore, and let us slay him,.... Agree to do it, and actually do it:

and cast him into some pit; or, "one of the pits" (s), which were near, and were dug for the collection of rainwater, as was usual in those countries where water was scarce:

and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him; which would seem plausible, since wild beasts were frequent in those parts, as lions and bears, see 1 Kings 13:24,

and we shall see what will become of his dreams; who will be the lord then, and reign, and have the dominion, he or we.

(s) "in unam cisternarum", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "in unam ex cisternis istis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in unam fovearum", Schmidt.

Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
20. one of the pits) Cisterns, or tanks, are necessary in that country for the storage of water. Long droughts are frequent, and the heat very great. Water is needed for the flocks and herds. The tanks are frequently covered with a stone. The aperture is narrow, and the sides of the tank converging.Verse 20. - Come now therefore, and lot us slay him, and cast him into some pit (literally, into one of the pits or cisterns in the neighborhood), and we will say (sc. to his father and ours), Some (literally, an) evil beast hath devoured him (which will account for his disappearance); and we shall see what will become of his dreams - or, what his dreams will be. In a short time the hatred of Joseph's brethren grew into a crime. On one occasion, when they were feeding their flock at a distance from Hebron, in the neighbourhood of Shechem (Nablus, in the plain of Mukhnah), and Joseph who was sent thither by Jacob to inquire as to the welfare (shalom, valetudo) of the brethren and their flocks, followed them to Dothain or Dothan, a place 12 Roman miles to the north of Samaria (Sebaste), towards the plain of Jezreel, they formed the malicious resolution to put him, "this dreamer," to death, and throw him into one of the pits, i.e., cisterns, and then to tell (his father) that a wild beast had slain him, and so to bring his dreams to nought.
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