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Summary and Analysis Chapter 20

The gatherings at the watchtower have ceased. The boys vow to begin again, but they will no longer serve Rosh. As Daniel immerses himself in his lonely work, Jesus’ admonition echoes in his head: “They who live by the sword die by the sword.”

Joel surprises Daniel with the admission that he has told his father everything. Daniel fears that the rabbi must hate him, but Joel assures his friend that his father not only does not hate him but will welcome Daniel into his home at any time.

Joel feels that he must join Rosh immediately because his father is sending him away to a distant school. This will mean that Joel can no longer fight for freedom. Daniel tells Joel that Rosh is no longer their leader. Joel fears that he personally has caused the break, but Daniel explains that Rosh is not the leader they thought he was. Joel says, “Then we must wait for a new leader.”

Daniel tells his friend to return to school. Joel is finally swayed by Daniel’s contention that the cause will require more than the support of farmers and laborers. “We’ll need priests and scribes too,” Daniel says, “and you can win them over because you understand them.”

Joel, however, has one more request before leaving. Jesus is in danger, he claims, and must be informed of the plots against him. He wants Daniel to warn Jesus.

This chapter opens in the month of Tishri, the traditional start of the Jewish New Year. Placing the action to come in this month is symbolic, for it is finally also a new year for Daniel spiritually. He has broken all mental and physical ties...

(The entire section is 433 words.)