All three of the characters hate the Romans and their occupation. Joel and David want to join an army, fight, and conquer their invaders. Malthace believes that Israel has been conquered many times before and been delivered from the conquerors. While the boys want rebellion now, she is content to wait for a Messiah who will come with a host of angels and sweep their enemies away. It has always been so in the past and will be so again. This is the way Joel and Malthace's father believe. The boys are not content to sit and wait while the moderates, like Malthace and her father, are content to wait for divine intervention. Later, after the brother and sister hear what happened to Daniel's family at the hands of the Romans, they place they hands on the book of Enoch and swear to seek vengeance. They boys do not want Thace to be involved since she is a girl, but they let her swear the vow with them.