وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍۭ بَخْسٍ دَرَٰهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ وَكَانُوا۟ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلزَّٰهِدِينَ
Asad Quran Translation
And they sold him for a paltry price - a mere few silver coins: thus low did they value him.
Malik Quran Translation
They (brought him to Egypt and) sold him for a petty price, a few dirhams (silver coins), they had such a low estimation of him.
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him! 1657 1658
Dirham: from Greek, drachma, a small silver coin, which varied in weight and value at different times and in different States.
There was mutual deceit on both sides. The Brethren had evidently been watching to see what happened to Joseph. When they saw the merchants take him up and hide him, they came to claim his price as a run away slave, but dared not haggle over the price, lest their object, to get rid of him, should be defeated. The merchants were shrewd enough to doubt the claim in their own minds; but they dared not haggle lest they should lose a very valuable acquisition. And so the most precious of human lives in that age was sold into slavery for a few silver pieces!
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
They ˹later˺ sold him for a cheap price, just a few silver coins—only wanting to get rid of him.1
Other possible translations: 1. “… so little did they value him.” 2. “… they had no interest in him.” In any case, they wanted to sell him immediately before someone claimed him. According to some Quran commentators, it was Joseph’s brothers who sold him to the travellers after he was picked up from the well. The verse states that Joseph was sold for a few worthless coins. Ironically, in 12:88 Joseph’s brothers came to him after he became Egypt’s Chief Minister, begging for supplies and saying that the only money they could afford was a few worthless coins. This is when Joseph revealed his true identity to them.
Piktal Quran Translation
And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.
Washarawhu bithamanin bakhsin darahima maAAdoodatin wakanoo feehi mina alzzahideena