In the novel The Bronze Bow, what does Hezron say is stronger than all the power in Rome?

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Hezron, Joel's father, is a Rabbi, or teacher of the Jewish Law. He is also a Pharisee, a member of a strict sect of Jewish leaders whom Jesus said valued outward observance of the law over inward qualities such as mercy, justice, and faith. When Daniel visits Joel at his...

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Hezron, Joel's father, is a Rabbi, or teacher of the Jewish Law. He is also a Pharisee, a member of a strict sect of Jewish leaders whom Jesus said valued outward observance of the law over inward qualities such as mercy, justice, and faith. When Daniel visits Joel at his home, he stays for their meal and engages in an uncomfortable conversation with Hezron.

The man actually knew of Daniel's father and his fate at the hands of the Romans. Instead of showing sympathy, he states coolly, "He was a good man, your father, but a rash one." The conversation turns to the one topic that is always uppermost in Daniel's mind: the Roman occupation of Israel. Hezron states that he is grieved about the captivity of the Jews just as Daniel is. However, he views the Roman presence as a punishment from God on the Jewish nation and believes that they must bear it patiently. He compares the ineffectiveness of the Zealots to "buzzing mosquitoes."

He then tells Daniel what he thinks is more powerful than Rome, namely, "the Law, given to Moses and our fathers." Long past the day when the Romans have "vanished from the earth," he says, the Law will remain. This is small consolation to Daniel since it envisions a lifetime of subservience to people he despises. Hezron tells Daniel to "go in peace" but commands him to never return to their home. He has given Daniel no hope to help him deal with his inner turmoil.

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When Hezron says that the Law of Moses is more powerful than the whole might of the Roman Empire, he is emphasizing the enormous spiritual strength that the Jews derive from their religion, which sustains them throughout the period of Roman occupation. Here on earth the Romans may enjoy military superiority, but theirs is merely a temporal authority, which, like all the things of this world, is transient. Contrast that to the Law of Moses, whose authority is truly timeless and transcendent. Hezron is scathing of the zealots because they adopt the same attitude as the Romans. They think that what really matters in this world is the attainment and exercise of earthly power. As well as being wrong-headed from a practical standpoint, this attitude diverts the attention of zealots away from the most important thing of all for any Jew: fidelity to the Law.

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In Chapter 5, Daniel gets permission from Rosh to travel to Capernaum to recruit Joel to join Rosh's band. Daniel visits Joel's beautiful home in the middle of the city and is invited to have dinner with his family. During dinner, Daniel expresses his hate and bitterness towards the Romans in front of Joel's father, Hezron. Hezron scolds Daniel for openly criticizing the Romans and tells him that he must learn to keep his thoughts to himself. Hezron then explains to Daniel that the Zealots do not take into account the numerous troops and massive force that Rome possesses. Hezron proceeds to tell Daniel that Israel has one great strength mightier than Rome: "the Law, given to Moses and our fathers" (68). Hezron believes the Law will remain even after the Roman Empire is reduced to nothing and that the Jews must remain loyal to the Law. 

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