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Summary and Analysis Chapter 5

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Rabbi Hezron: Joel and Malthace’s father.

Summary
It is the month of Nisan, the “time of the first harvest.” Daniel is feeling restless, tied down to blacksmithing and longing for the action Rosh promises.

Rosh agrees to let Daniel try to locate Joel, for Joel “might be useful.” Rosh sends Daniel on the rather lengthy journey with no money, no food, and only scant advice.

Daniel encounters crowds of people waiting to see “the teacher.” He catches a glimpse of Jesus on the shore, speaking to the fishermen and eager throngs. He looks just as he had the first time Daniel saw him.

Jesus speaks in parables. He compares the kingdom of heaven to a “pearl of great value.” Roman soldiers interrupt Jesus’ sermon. Their very presence is unsettling, and Daniel’s hatred of them is rekindled. Daniel continues to desire the active rebellion that Rosh promises.

Daniel makes his way to Joel’s home. He is counting on the “unwritten law” that says strangers must always be afforded food and shelter. What he has not counted on, however, is the enormous wealth of Joel’s family. A slave opens the elaborate doors to the home. Malthace, a bit taken aback by the filthy and travel-weary Daniel, does not exactly give him a warm welcome. Joel, however, displays none of his sister’s reluctance. Still, Daniel is made to feel inferior as he is asked to leave his cloak in the hallway lest he, “the unclean,” infect a Pharisee’s home.

An uncomfortable exchange takes place between Daniel and Rabbi Hezron, Joel’s father. Hezron believes that the Law is what will save the Jews; Daniel, on the other hand, wants to pursue active rebellion. The rabbi tells Daniel to never return to his home. Daniel feels that he has lost more than a recruit in Joel but also his first real friend.

Analysis
Enthusiasm for Jesus’ teaching is growing exponentially. Belief systems are being challenged, including those of the Pharisees, who feel that the Law will be their deliverance. Jesus does not dismiss the Law, but neither does he preach that it will free the people. Also being challenged are those who believe hatred and violent opposition will win freedom from tyranny. Instead, Jesus preaches tolerance and forgiveness, something Daniel at this point is wholly unable to accept.

Some light is shed on Rosh’s true...

(The entire section is 618 words.)