Then there passed by Midianites, merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
All Commentaries on Genesis 37:28 Go To Genesis 37
Chromatius of Aquileia
Let us observe a great mystery: for Joseph twenty pieces of gold were given, for the Lord thirty pieces of silver. The servant was sold at a higher price than the Master. To be sure people are wrong in fixing the price of the Lord, because the One who is sold is beyond human evaluation. Let us consider this mystery with more attention. For the Lord the Jews offered thirty pieces of silver; for Joseph the Ishmaelites offered twenty pieces of gold. The Ishmaelites bought the servant at a higher price than that paid by the Jews for the Master. The first worshiped in Joseph the image of Christ; the latter only had contempt for the reality itself that was in Christ. Therefore the Jews offered a lower price for Christ, because they estimated the passion of the Lord to be cheap. But how is it possible to estimate the passion of the Lord to be cheap, when it is the price for the redemption of the entire world? Listen to the apostle, who demonstrates that to us by saying, “You were bought at a high price.” And listen to the apostle Peter, who says in a similar manner, “You were ransomed from your futile ways not with perishable things like silver and gold but with the precious blood of the immaculate Son of God.” If we were bought back from death with gold or silver, our ransom would have been cheap, because humanity is more precious than gold and silver; but in truth we are ransomed at an invaluable price, because the one who ransomed us through his passion is invaluable.