“If to Babylon my brothers go, I must accompany them,” said Perreeza, with much decision. “It must be so! Jerusalem will have no charms for me when those I love dearer than life are far away!”
“Surely that would be our joy and desire,” replied Azariah, “but alas! I fear it will not be possible to have such a request granted. The exact number is selected and no females are marked on the captive list.”
“But dear brother, an effort must be put forth without delay to procure thy sister permission.”
“Yea, beloved, and an effort will be put forth, promptly and urgently.”
This answer of the brother partly soothed the troubled spirit of the young damsel, and the suggestion on her part opened a little door of hope before the brothers.
Amonober, father of these interesting youths, was a brother of King Josiah. Another brother was Baromon, who had died leaving a widow, Josepha, a son, Daniel, and two daughters. The two families stood among the foremost in the religious and social life of the Holy City. Young Daniel was one of the noble youths chosen by Nebuchadnezzar to go to Babylon. His pious and noble mother and sisters, after their first outburst of grief, committed him to God’s care. They became reconciled to their bereavement through the counsel of Jeremiah, who declared that the God of Israel was shaping the whole affair for the advancement of his kingdom on earth.
Daniel and the Amonober children, from their first interview with the officers of the King of Babylon, had left a very favorable impression on the minds of those high dignitaries; and although, in reality, they were but captives of war, they were treated with that high civility due to nobility and rank. This caused much astonishment to the youths themselves, and served in part to calm and reconcile them to their lot. The ardent desire of Perreeza to accompany them to the land of their captivity had been made the subject of their thoughts, and served if possible to deepen in their minds the fountain of pure affection.
Early next morning, the brothers bent their footsteps towards the temporary residence of one of Nebuchadnezzar’s officers, with whom, at this time, they had to do. The manner in which they formerly had been received gave them some encouragement to hope that their mission would be crowned with success. They soon reached the “spot, and were admitted.
“And what is the pleasure of these young noblemen of Judah?” asked Barzello, with a pleasant smile.