By Mary Vee
The brothers cheered tossing their coins in the air and slapping each other other on the back. Simeon, Dan, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, and Naphtali felt like having a party. They didn't even notice Reuben coming back from checking on the sheep.
Reuben scratched his head. "What's going on?" He noticed his brothers tossing money in the air. "Where'd you get the money from?"
Simeon walked over to his brother and slapped him on the back. He could barely talk with all the laughing. "Reuben. Reuben, you missed the most exciting time." He turned to his brothers. "Right? Am I right?"
The brothers cheered again. Reuben shook his head. "What? What'd I miss?"
Judah stepped forward. "We got rid of Joseph." He chuckled and slapped his knee. "We did it! We're free."
Reuben's face grew red. "Got rid of Joseph? What do you mean got rid of Joseph."
Dan and Gad rolled their eyes. "Don't worry. He's safe."
"Safe? Where?" Reuben huffed.
Simeon stepped closer and set his hand on Reuben's shoulder. "There was a caravan. Traveling Ishmaelites taking their wares to Egypt to sell. We sold Joseph to them. Here hold out your hand--this is your share."
Reuben flung his hand behind his back. "Don't give me that. I--we--" He ran to the pit and kneeled down. He shaded his eyes to see better. "Where's Joseph? I left him right here!" Reuben's heart raced. He looked toward the sky. "I wanted to take him back home." He tore his clothes and huffed. "What did they do?" He ran back to his brothers. "Where's Joseph?"
Asher and Issachar shrugged. "We told you. We sold him to the Ishmaelites. What's the problem? He's gone--we're rid of him."
Reuben paced and wrung his hands. "What am I going to do? Joseph is no more; and I, where can I go? I'm the one who has to tell Father. I'm the one responsible."
Simeon walked near him. "Calm down. I have an idea. We have his special coat that Father made for him. We dip it into the blood of a goat then take it to him. We can ask him if it's Joseph coat and let him figure out what happened."
Reuben walked a short distance away. He punched his fist into his hand and paced. After a short, he returned to his brothers. "I don't like it, but it seems to be the only thing we can do."
The brother hurried the sheep back to their father's home. When he came out to greet them they showed him the coat. "Father, we found this. Do you know if it is Joseph's?"
Jacob looked at the coat. Tears dripped down his cheeks. He grabbed the coat and held it close. "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." He collapsed to his knees and tore his clothes. He wept. "Joseph, my son."
Reuben and his brothers tried to comfort their father, but nothing they said did any good. Jacob wept for days. He couldn't stop. He wept for his son Joseph."
What do you think would have happened if Reuben or any of the other brothers told their father the truth? Most likely they would have been punished. They probably would have to go find Joseph. What else? Selling Joseph as a slave really wasn't a good idea. Lying to their father made matters worse. What could you learn from this story? Click the comment button to tell us.