(The Selling of Joseph to the Ishmaelites)

(The Selling of Joseph to the Ishmaelites)
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With very fresh, bright, printed colour. A scene from the Old Testament story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. The figure of the boy Joseph stands in the centre of the design, weeping and wringing his hands, as the Midianites sell him to two stout Ishmaelite merchants for twenty pieces of silver. One merchant puts his hand around the boy’s shoulders, while the other counts out coins, and a camel stands in the background. Joseph’s elder brothers, jealous of their father Jacob’s love for Joseph, had planned to murder him, casting him into a pit in Dothan. He had been rescued from the pit by a passing party of Midianites, who then subsequently sold him to some Ishmaelite merchants on their way to trade in Egypt. Meanwhile Joseph’s brothers had repented of their plan to murder him, planning to sell him into slavery instead, and returned to the pit to find him gone. They dabbled his coat of many colours (which they had previously removed) in the blood of a goat, and returned to their father saying that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.