This structure is regarded as being the well in which the brothers of Yusuf (upon him be peace) [Joseph], out of jealousy, threw him inside and from which he was found by a passing caravan and sold as a slave in Egypt. It is known locally as ‘Jubb Yussef’ and is located near Kibbutz Amiad in the Galilee. It consists of a dug-out pit with a diameter of one meter and depth of about four meters, roofed by a cupola supported by four pillars, and surrounded by ancient graves.
- Yusuf (upon him be peace) was the son of Yaqoob (upon him be peace). He had 11 brothers, 10 of whom were older than him. His father loved him dearly which made the other brothers envious and they decided to get rid of him. They took him with them to graze the animals intending to kill him but one of the brothers opposed killing him and said it would be better to throw him into the bottom of a pit (jubb). Allah (ﷻ) mentions this in the Quran in Surah Yusuf:“One among them said: Kill not Yusuf but, if ye must be doing, fling him into the depth of the pit; some caravan will find him.” [12:10]
- When Yusuf (upon him be peace) was cast into the pit, Allah (ﷻ) told him that he, Yusuf, would one day remind his brothers of this incident.“Then, when they led him off, and were of one mind that they should place him in the depth of the pit, We inspired in him: Thou wilt tell them of this deed of theirs when they know (thee) not.” [12:15]
- Years later, when Yusuf (upon him be peace) became the treasurer and inspector of Egypt’s storage chambers he met his brothers again, reminded them of what they had done and forgave them.
- Jubb Yussef is mentioned for the first time in the middle of the 10th century, but the current structure is of a later period. According to evidence of travellers, the pit, which had been 10 meters deep, had held good drinking water up until the 19th century. Afterwards, due perhaps to the earthquake of 1837, the pit collapsed and since then has not been mentioned as a source of water. The pit and cupola were located in a quadrangle which also had a small mosque; this was still mentioned by travellers in the 19th century, though nothing remains of it today.
- In the 12th and 13th century, the Crusaders accepted the Muslim story about the site. In the year 1189, Salahuddin passed through the site on his way to the Siege of Acre.
- There is disagreement as to the exact location of the pit in which Yusuf (upon him be peace) was thrown in. Some commentators have placed it in Jerusalem, while others say it was in Syria. Allah (ﷻ) knows best.