However, if God permitted polygamy to stand as an example not to be followed, then one wonders why conflict among David's wives--Michal, Abigail, Ahinoam, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah
, and Bathsheba--is not mentioned.
Similarly, regarding the ritual of the eglah
arufah, a heifer slaughtered when a body is found in a field and the murderer is unknown, the Bible speaks of atonement for the people (Deut.
Perhaps on this basis, the midrash interprets this gift not as a reference to wagons (the plural of agalah), but rather to heifers (the plural of eglah).
What is the connection between the Joseph story and the laws of the eglah arufah?
One way of connecting the Joseph story and the eglah arufah is by noting that both deal with a body that is either dead (Deut.
By sending an eglah arufah, so to speak, to Jacob, Joseph is hinting that Jacob, like the elders, is not responsible for Joseph's death.
When Joseph sends the sign of the eglah arufah, he may be saying in essence: yes, I was sacrificed, but unlike the real eglah arufah, I am alive.