The pit was empty, no water, but full of snakes and scorpions. The pit is the mind, water – Torah, snakes and scorpions – bad thoughts.
Joseph's brothers threw him into an empty pit, an environment without Torah and full of spiritual dangers, negative influences from all sides.
A crisis in life is a trial. There, lying in the pit, Joseph could have brewed thoughts of hatred towards his brothers, who, out of jealousy and hatred of him, stripped him of his clothes and threw him into the pit. Succumbing to such negative thoughts is tantamount to inviting into one's psyche snakes and scorpions.
Besides symbolizing Torah, water appears in the Bible idiomatically as a mirror that reflects the face of one that looks into it, and reflects emotional vibrations of the heart of one person to another. Water reflects emotion: If you love me I love you back, and if you hate me I hate you back.
This gives a new, positive interpretation to the Torah's description of the pit as being empty of water. Joseph was able to overcome the nature of water to reflect emotion, the temptation to brew thoughts of hatred towards his brothers. He thereby saved himself from the imminent threat of the snakes and scorpions.
He was able to keep his head in the right place, to concentrate on the Divine Providence at work, suddenly finding himself alone in a pit, without water and full of lurking dangers. He turned to God and asked Him to save him, acknowledging that maybe he also was to blame in causing his brothers to hate him. He promised God, "If You get me out of here, I'll try to improve and get my act together."
( April 8, 2011 )
The comparison between Joseph and his brothers, and the comparison of Haman to Mordecai, seem to be a comparison of sacrifice or offering because each believed his offering to produce a desired result. This caused me to look at Cain and Abel. Each put forth an offering. The Hebrew word for "offering" in translates the same, (in my limited understanding). But I notice the word "offering" of Abel has a -Vav- at the end. How does this change the meaning? Or does it?
Also since any and every animal killed in or out of the camp, (for food?), required offering at the door of the Tabernacle or that "soul is to be cut off from among his people", (Leviticus 17). as was Cain! – Is it possible that this story is simply reflecting their diet? "Ye shall surely die" from forbidden fruit has to be continuously rectified? Adam and Eve could only be covered with skins. So after the Garden life could only continue by blood. Animals do have life and feel pain. But that is the sorrow we must 'live' with? And Cain did not want to eat flesh? It seems it could not have meant simply that vegetables are improper sacrifice because Moses didn't begin sacrifice of flour or corn he "walked the entire house" as you have said and merely instructed what was, is, and is to come.