The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George SpeareHe trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35)
The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.
The Bronze Bow Quotes
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Ebol tells Daniel that they are needed to help Rosh. They are to ambush a pack train and take one of the slaves it is carrying, a large black man. Ebol tells him they must go immediately, and to get rid of the boy and his sister. Rushing back to them to do so, Joel wants to know what is going on. Daniel tells him to take his sister down the mountain immediately, that there will be trouble here soon, but Joel is defiant and suspects that Rosh is nearby.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. Samson: a mute, freed slave rescued from a Roman prisoner caravan. Daniel explains to Ebol that he knows them from Galilee and that they had wandered into Rosh’s territory inadvertently.
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Chapter 2 Summary
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This book is set in first-century Galilee. Daniel's father was killed in front of him, as an example, by the Roman occupiers. His uncle did not have money to pay the tax, so he was thrown in jail; when his father tried to break Daniel's uncle out of jail, they were both crucified. Even at eight, he hates and distrusts the Romans and vows that he will avenge his father's death. His mother dies of grief after her husband's death, and Daniel's younger sister, Leah, is traumatized by these events, possessed by demons, and never leaves the house. His parents' death is because of the purchase of a shawl.