Why didn't Joel's father, Hezron, approve of the Zealots?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hello! In The Bronze Bow, Daniel finally arrives at Joel's house. Joel's sister, Malthace, answers the door, but visibly shrinks from Daniel. He is embarrassed and angry to be treated this way, but he remembers that he is only a common Jew and Joel is a Pharisee's son. Traditionally, any common Jew who visits a Pharisee's house must leave his cloak at the door; this supposedly prevents the household from being declared ritually unclean.  Joel tries to assuage Daniel's irritation by making the excuse that Malthace just likes to put on airs.

However, when Daniel meets Hezron, Joel's father, he receives the same initial reaction Malthace exhibited earlier.

He gazed with distaste at Daniel's unlawful garment.

When Hezron finds out that Daniel is in league with the Zealots, he is disapproving. He thinks Daniel is over-reacting when he tells Hezron that the Romans are the enemy and should be treated as such. Hezron tells Daniel that their beautiful synagogue was built with Roman funds and that they should be grateful to the Romans for such largesse. Daniel retorts that he will never set foot in it because Jewish blood has been shed for this privilege. Hezron does not approve of the brash and violent uprisings the Zealots are responsible for.  He feels that their lack of judgment and patience has only contributed to 'rows of crosses, and burning villages, and heavier taxes.' He feels that the Zealots have not been realistic in assessing their advantages against such an imposing army, and wishes that they would place their trust in the enduring Law instead.

Thanks for the question.