In The Bronze Bow, what does Daniel think about the words of Jesus that those who live by the sword will perish by the sword?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the key themes of this novel is the supremacy of love and the way that it can conquer even the most fervent of hatreds. Daniel is a character whose very identity is defined by hatred of the Romans, who were responsible for the death of his parents. When Jesus questions Daniel and challenges him about what good can come from his devotion to his anger, Daniel initially responds with disbelief, as for him, his vow that he made to God to free Israel is linked so strongly to his hatred of the Romans and his commitment to oppose them with arms. Daniel initially cannot understand the message of love that Jesus is preaching. However, in Chapter 24, he is able to understand how destructive his hatred and his commitment to the sword has been:

Leah, like Samson, had perished by the sword he had meant for Rome. And like Samson she would not leave a single person on earth save himself who would know or care.

Leah's illness has shown Daniel the truth of the words of Jesus, as through his pursuit of violence he is only hurting those around him and ultimately, himself. It is in this final chapter that he is finally able to relinquish his hatred and embrace the gospel of love that Jesus has been trying to show him all along. This is shown in what is for Daniel a monumental sacrifice: inviting Marcus, the Roman soldier who loves his sister, into his house.

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