Rashi's Shita
So far, our explanation has followed according to Rashbam and Chizkuni. [I recommend that you read them inside, and note how they differ slightly from our presentation above.]

Now we will take a minute to discuss the more popular interpretation, i.e. that the brothers themselves sold Yosef, which is presented by Rashi and Radak.

To explain this "shita" (opinion), we must return to the two questions raised earlier in the shiur: (a) where are the brothers eating and (b) where is Reuven - and we must change our basic assumptions.

According to this opinion, the brothers sat down to eat nearby the pit, and for some reason, Reuven left them. Rashi suggests that he either went home to learn with his father, or that he had taken a short walk to do some 'soul-searching' (see Rashi, Radak, and "Further Iyun").

There are two ways to explain what happened. Either when the Midyanim came by, the brothers employed their services as 'middlemen' to sell Yosef to the Yishmaelim (see Rashbam's second explanation), or possibly "Yishmaelim" is synonymous with the "Midyanim" (see Radak).

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