While the brethren of Joseph were deliberating upon his
fate, seven Midianitish merchantmen passed near the pit
in which he lay. They noticed that many birds were circling
above it, whence they assumed that there must be water
therein, and, being thirsty, they made a halt in order to refresh
themselves. When they came close, they heard Joseph
screaming and wailing, and they looked down into the pit
and saw a youth of beautiful figure and comely appearance.
They called to him, saying: "Who art thou? Who brought
thee hither, and who cast thee into this pit in the wilderness?"
They all joined together and dragged him up, and
took him along with them when they continued on their
journey. They had to pass his brethren, who called out to