Summary and Analysis Chapter 14

Chapter 14 finds Leah much interested in weddings. She has heard about Nathan’s nuptials and has many questions for her brother. He humors her with answers but reacts angrily when Leah wants to know what will happen to her if he ever marries. Daniel says that he will never marry: his oath is more important than having a wife.

Tentatively, Leah asks Daniel about the Roman soldier who frequently comes to the shop. Daniel is enflamed at the suggestion that any Roman might be his “master.” Leah tries to get Daniel to see that the young man is not much different from him, a suggestion Daniel finds despicable. Daniel rails against Leah’s claim that he is being too harsh and that the solider is “homesick.” Tired of the discussion and of having to defend his hatred, Daniel leaves Leah to go up the hill and check in with Rosh.

Joktan’s immediate question is, “Did you bring anything to eat?” Daniel faces a morally uncomfortable moment when Joktan tells him that the rebels have had to reduce their food intake because the shepherds have been actively defending their flocks. Now that Daniel knows the men intimately who tend the beasts, the loss of income and food is more real to him.

Samson is overjoyed to see Daniel. Daniel too is pleased to see the enormous man who cannot hide his love.

Rosh immediately informs Daniel that he is “going to need him soon.” Rosh barely listens as Daniel explains recent events. The rebel leader is busy devouring mutton, a feast that Samson has procured, while the other men hungrily wait. That night, as Daniel sleeps on the uncomfortable ground, he ponders Simon’s choice of leaders. He also thinks about the stolen sheep the band had just consumed and wonders how Leah would fare if she lost her beloved goat. Daniel is at odds with himself, wondering where he belongs.

Despite the obvious signs, Daniel is still unaware that Leah is falling in love with the Roman soldier. Her interest in weddings is very telling, and her defense of the soldier speaks volumes, but Daniel is deaf to her inner needs.

The behavior of Jesus versus Rosh continues to become more sharply defined. As Rosh excludes his men from his personal feast, Daniel remembers how Jesus fed all of his followers and how each person in the crowd was considerate of his fellow man. Questions are becoming more prominent in Daniel’s mind: Who is actually being hurt by the “cause”? What kind of man is Rosh? What kind of leader is he? Daniel is near the precipice of a spiritual crisis; the admission that he now can even wonder where he belongs pushes him toward the spiritual revelation that is to come.