Esther, raised by Zacherias and by the Community of God was an unusual person. Even within the community she was unusual. She knew things that she could not know, things that, perhaps, she should not know. She was careful with her words, not just because she wanted to be kind and truthful (of course she wanted to be those things) but because her words would unduly alarm and confuse even others in the community. Her intelligence was certainly very great, but something more than intelligence was there in her mind. She did not want to be accused of witchcraft, but perhaps she was a witch -- what else would explain her knowledge, her dreams, her fantasies, and her goals. But she was more than a witch.
When she was very small, and Mary was still a leader of the community, the woman had once approached Esther to pick her up and hold her, As she reached out her arms to the little girl her eyes filled with tears and she drew back abruptly. Had the child done something wrong. Oh, no said Mary, its just that there is so much of him in her. Others thought she referred to the girl's father; but both Zacherias and Esther knew she was talking about the teacher.
Later as members of the community, out of fear, or anger, or disagreement, began to add to the teacher's teachings, they sometimes looked to Esther for approval and they never got it. The spirit of the teacher was in her and she could say with authority, "he would never have said something like that" though she was not born until years after his death.
As she had stood at the massacre site and touched the bodies, she knew instantly and instinctively that there were two different stories there: the story of the massacre -told and retold with minor variations over many incidents and many years. And there was the story of Elizabeth's death, a mystery
Some things were obvious to any intelligent eye: the mark of a rusty knife only partially hiding the marks of strangulation as opposed to the clean, deep, long, limb severing slashes of the well maintained swords of professional soldiers. There were other signs which an Archimedes might have explained but she could not. But stronger and deeper were the feelings, the inner voice.
"The voice of your sister's blood cries out to me from the ground." What could that mean? She had not killed her sister. She was not God. Was this message meant for her? What should she do? She knew that she must find her sister's murderer, confront him, and forgive him, and make sure he(?) would not behave in like manner again.
And Reuben stood behind her wanting to want to be helpful.