Last Updated on June 1, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 603
Forbidden to ever return to the Hezron home, Daniel forlornly heads back up the mountain. He does not look forward to telling Rosh that he has failed to enlist Joel’s help in the cause.
Two Roman soldiers come up behind Daniel, and they demand that he provide a drink of water for their horses. Daniel reacts without thinking. He throws water in one soldier’s face. The payback is immediate: Daniel is dealt a crushing blow to the ribs.
The injury is bad, but Daniel manages to escape. He runs away, but the pain is overwhelming. He decides that his only chance for help is to go back to Joel’s home. Malthace answers the door, but unaware of his injury, she tries to get rid of Daniel, citing her father’s injunction. But it is not only her father Malthace is worried about. She knows that Joel is pulled in two directions: either a safe life of studying or Daniel’s decidedly unsafe life of active rebellion. Fearing for Joel’s safety, Malthace begs Daniel to “leave him alone.”
Before he can retreat, unconsciousness overtakes Daniel. When he awakens, Malthace is standing over him. She has hidden him in a storage room, accessible through a secret passageway. Malthace dresses his wounds and tries to ease his pain. Joel joins them, pleased that Daniel has come. They assure Daniel that he can recuperate there and that even if Rabbi Hezron found out, he would never hand Daniel over to the Romans. Daniel accepts the twins’ kindness.
Although Daniel has a physical set back in this chapter, he moves forward spiritually and emotionally. His impulsiveness, fueled by long-nurtured hatred, nearly kills him. He has not yet learned the lessons of Jesus, nor has he matured enough to harness his anger. This time, Daniel’s rash actions physically harm only him, but by going to Joel and Malthace’s house, he also endangers the Hezron family. His discovery there would be akin to harboring a fugitive.
Daniel’s injury, however, propels the story forward. Having nowhere else to turn, Daniel physically and emotionally seeks out the only people he knows who truly seem to care. It helps him form a human bond beyond the one he shares with his immediate...
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