In The Bronze Bow, what does Joel read to Daniel and Thacia?
Joel reads to Daniel and Thacia from the Book of Enoch.
Joel is a rabbinical student and has studied the ancient scriptures in depth. When Daniel is wounded and is in hiding in Joel's and Thacia's father's house, Joel reads aloud the Song of David from the sacred scrolls containing the Book of Enoch. The lines on which he focuses talk about how God will deliver "His children and His elect" from those who hold them in bondage, and how the "wrath of the Lord of Spirits" will come down upon the oppressors and they will be "deliver(d)...to the angels for punishment". The passage that impresses the three young people the most reads,
"--God is my strong refuge, and has made my way safe...He made my feet like hinds' feet, and set me secure on the heights...He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze".
Joel, Thacia, and especially Daniel interpret the passage to mean that God wants them to rise up and fight their oppressors. Joel's father believes in the scriptures as well, but his understanding of it is that the Jews must not physically take arms and fight for their freedom, but must "leave the future to God". Joel has thought deeply on the subject on his own, however, and he and the others conclude that maybe God is waiting for them to act, and will strengthen them in their fight (Chapters 7 and 8).