The Hiding Place

by Corrie ten Boom

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Student Question

Where is the reference to the hiding place in Chapter 2 of The Hiding Place?

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Just a little past the halfway point of the chapter, there is a recounting of how Father gathers the family around to read the Bible before they begin their day.  Father puts on his spectacles and reads the following passage from the Book of Psalms -

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path...Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word..."

As he reads, Corrie wonders idly what kind of hiding place is being spoken of, and what is there to hide from.  This Bible reading is a foreshadowing of what is soon to come, when the Ten Boom home will become a hiding place for countless Jews who are hiding from the Nazis, who want to exterminate them.

Earlier in the chapter, in a further development of the theme of foreshadowing, Corrie describes in detail the floorplan of the house.  The first story is largely taken up by the watch shop and workroom, and the two rooms on the second level belong to Tante Jans.  Above these rooms is

"a narrow attic beneath the steep, sloping roof...for as long as (Corrie can) recall, this space (has) been divided into four truly miniature rooms.  The first one, looking out over the Barteljorisstraat - and the only one with a real window - (is) Tante Bep's.  Behind it, strung like railroad compartments off a narrow aisle, were Tante Anna's, Betsie's and our brother Willem's.  Five steps up from these rooms...(is) Nollie's and (Corrie's) small room, beneath (theirs) Mama's and Father's room, and beneath theirs the dining room with the kitchen tacked like an afterthought to the side of it".

The house's unusual construction makes it truly a labyrinth, and with a few small modifications, it will soon become the perfect hiding place, a refuge for the Jews who have nowhere else to turn (Chapter 2).

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