How did Bible verses inspire the hiding place? What is the role of Isaiah 32:2 in The Hiding Place and for the ten Boom family?
Isaiah 32:2 is a Bible verse that mentions a hiding place, which the ten Boom home became. Read about how Isaiah 32:2 inspired Casper ten Boom even before the Beje took in Jews.
Casper ten Boom and Isaiah 32:2
The home was always filled with children, whom the ten Booms came to regard as members of their family—scores of children passed through the ten Boom home, known as the Beje, marking the house in Corrie’s mind as a hiding place of refuge and sanctuary from a world that was often cruel and indifferent. Casper could never bear the idea of a home without children and could never close his door to a child in need. In this, the family took their inspiration from Isaiah 32:2: “And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
Keeping the Faith Going
The bedrock of this faith was what would sustain Corrie ten Boom and her family through the horror of the Nazi occupation. This faith would be her salvation—as well as the salvation of all those whom she rescued from persecution and almost certain death, as their home would become both a spiritual and a literal hiding place.
As the war progressed, the Beje increasingly became a refuge for Jews looking to hide from Nazi persecution. Every night seemed to bring a new knock to the door, and a new person looking for refuge. The situation was becoming unsustainable: there was only so much room at the Beje, and the home was situated dangerously close to the local police headquarters. In 1942, The watch shop was not yet a full-fledged safehouse. It was instead being used as a temporary hiding place for individual Jews or Jewish families seeking refuge from the Gestapo before they could be sent to more permanent safehouses, usually in the remote Dutch countryside.
Improving the Physical Hiding Place
Isaiah 32:2 continued to be inspirational. But the lack of a true hiding place for the people at the Beje was a major cause for concern. When Smit went up to Corrie’s room, however, he found that the architecture of the house was ideally suited for constructing a secret hiding place.
Smit installed a false brick wall in Corrie’s room, behind which was to be the secret room where Jews would be able to hide. Corrie was astonished by the thoroughness and quality of Smit’s work. It was perfect, totally undetectable from the outside. There was enough room to stand and walk around in the hiding place, as well as a well-hidden vent that would let air in from the outside. The hiding place was only accessible through a small sliding panel, which was hidden behind bookshelves in front of the false wall. The space was now beyond the spiritual hiding place of Isaiah 32:2.
Turning to Faith After Arrest
The ten Booms were placed in a small holding cell together while they awaited whatever fate lay in store for them. Peter advised Corrie to lie down and not say anything, lest she betray any information to one of the Gestapo plants in the cell with them. At last, Rolf arrived at the station. Still operating as an ordinary Haarlem police officer and undetected by the occupation authorities, Rolf discreetly told Willem that he would be able to flush any incriminating documents or evidence down the toilet.
In their hour of need, the family turned to what had always sustained them in dark times—their Christian faith. In addition to Isaiah 32:2, there were other verses that inspired them. As they waited in the dank cell in the Haarlem jail, Casper recited from memory Psalm 119:114, “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”
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Here's what you'll find in our full The Hiding Place summary :
- Why devout Christian Corrie ten Boom decided to stand up to the Nazi occupation
- How ten Boom and the Jewish neighbors she was hiding were caught
- How ten Boom survived the concentration camp and left with even stronger faith