Plan C - Yehuda's:
A Quick Buck
Now that we have established that Reuven and the brothers are sitting down to eat at a distance far away from the pit, we can continue our study of the narrative:
"And the brothers sat down to eat, and they lifted up their eyes and saw a caravan of Yishmaelim coming from the Gilad carrying [spices] ... to Egypt. Then Yehuda said to his brothers, 'What do we gain by killing our brother? ... Let us sell him [instead] to the Yishmaelim; after all he is our brother, our own flesh,' and his brothers agreed." (37:25-27)[From Yehuda's suggestion, it becomes clear that the brothers truly planned to allow Yosef to die and were totally unaware of Reuven's intention to save him.]
Plan C (to sell Yosef instead) puts Reuven in a predicament. On the one hand, he cannot disagree with the brothers; if he would, they may begin to suspect his true plan. On the other hand, he cannot allow them to sell Yosef, for he feels responsible to save Yosef.
Reuven has only one alternative - he must quickly excuse himself and run to the pit to free Yosef before his brothers sell him.
What happens when Reuven returns to the pit? We'll soon see. But before we continue, we must provide a little background on Israel's geography, which is essential towards understanding the psukim that follow.