Surah Yusuf Ayat 20 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 20
And they sold him for a reduced price – a few dirhams – and they were, concerning him, of those content with little.
The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him!
Later they sold him for a paltry sum – just a few dirhams; they did not care to obtain a higher price.
And they sold him for a low price, – for a few Dirhams (i.e. for a few silver coins). And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.
And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.
And they bartered him for a paltry price, (some) numbered dirhams; and they esteemed him lightly (Literally: were of the ascetics, i.e., refused to have anything to do him)
and then sold him for a small price, for a few pieces of silver: so little did they value him.
Quran 12 Verse 20 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yusuf ayat 20, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(12:20) Later they sold him for a paltry sum – just a few dirhams; they did not care to obtain a higher price.
15. Though the matter of the disposal of Prophet Joseph by his brothers was simple, the Bible has made this very complicated. It is obvious that the brothers threw Joseph into the well and went away. Afterwards a caravan came there and pulled him out and carried him to Egypt where they sold him. But the Bible says that the brothers cast him into a pit: then a company of Ishmaelites came there and they agreed to sell him to them. But in the meantime the Midianite merchantmen had drawn and lifted up Joseph and sold him to the Ishmaelites who brought him into Egypt. (Gen. 37: 25-28). But the authors of the Bible forget this sale transaction and further on in v. 36 say that Prophet Joseph was sold in Egypt by the Midianites and not by the Ishmaelites as stated in v. 28. But the Talmudic version of the matter is a little different from this. It says that the Midianites drew Joseph up from the pit and carried him along with them. As they passed by, the sons of Jacob saw Joseph with them and accused them of stealing their slave. At this a furious quarrel arose and they were ready to enter upon a bloody fray. But a bargain was concluded and the sons of Jacob sold their brother to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver, who afterwards sold him to the Ishmaelites for the same amount. Then the Ishmaelites took him into Egypt and sold him there. Incidentally, it is this Talmudic version that has given rise to the tradition among some Muslims that the brothers of Joseph had sold him. But it should be noted that the Quran does not confirm this tradition.
The tafsir of Surah Yusuf verse 20 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Yusuf ayat 19 which provides the complete commentary from verse 19 through 20.
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