Hasidic Jews are in a snowy region watching a calf being born. From the previous quote, we can assume it's an unblemished red heifer on which no yoke has formed. A young man is left in charge of the care of the heifer, and before the men who inspected it leave, they give him a gun.
Modern day Jerusalem, two months later. There's some sex going on. Clothes on, if you can believe it. It's our protagonists. Peter Connelly and Lynn Monahan. Peter has been there for seven months, but has still not unpacked.
Peter calls his wife in the middle of the night. She hangs up on him. On TV is a story of Yussef Khalid, believed to be in Israel. He is wanted for the murder of someone in the US. The man he killed was the son of an important senator.
Peter tumbles with and Israeli detective Golan Cohen. They're after the same guy, but for different reasons. While in hot pursuit of Khalid, Peter sees a young woman with flaming red hair that stops him dead in his tracks.
In New Mexico, in a large compound in the middle of the desert, a little boy is on the cusp of his 13th birthday. He's behind a glass window as two others are discussing his fate. A woman says he's sensitive and hearing other boys. He's lonely. The boy is Josh. A man gives him a harsh truth. His parents are dead, not coming for him. He must focus. He's been studying all these years for a very important reason. The time is upon us, the time is now.
Lynn and Peter are discussing his chase about town after Yussef. They run into the ambassador who is not pleased. The Israelis want Khalid for a robbery.
In a bar later, Peter spots the redhead again and follows her. He loses her in a crowded religious celebration, but she knew he was behind her and walks up to him. She asks him to join her on her walk.
In New Mexico Josh is crying, despite his orders not to. He keeps hearing other children talking, but Debbie assures him there are no other children there. He wants her to take him to "the spot" again. It's an outside spot, a small patch of grass. He's absolutely delighted.
The redhead is surprised to learn Peter is married. She introduces herself as Emma Wilson. She's there on fellowship with the University of Pennsylvania, working on a dig. She's dreamed of working as an archeologist in Jerusalem ever since she was a little kid. She takes Peter to the tunnels in which she works. A back entrance.
They're looking for the Ark of the Covenant. If they've been searching that long, then why hasn't anyone found it? They've all been looking in the wrong place. She takes him to a spring of holy water, strips and jumps in. After a moment of hesitation, he follows. They kiss, but he doesn't touch her. She asks why he followed her. He reminds her of someone. Someone he loved? Someone he lost. They hear people and jump out of the water. Nobody is supposed to be down there. It's tunnel 7, which means they're too close to the temple mount. Nobody is supposed to go there. There is a lamb and a group of Jews. They proceed to slaughter the lamb during a ceremony. It's a bit too realistic.
Golan is interviewing Yussef. He's wondering why he killed an antique dealer and escaped his own country. There is an item in a bag that disappeared a month ago.
When Peter wants to call in the group in the tunnels, Emma panics and tells him not to. When she says "If I don't see you first," he is taken aback. She runs back to him, hugs him and puts a stone into his pocket before walking away.
Back in his room, Peter plays a message from Vickie. She's his daughter. She says "If I don't see you first."
Back in the snow with the red heifer. The young man says they're coming for them tomorrow. He is taking great care of the adorable little animal.
At the Embassy, Peter is later and Golan is there. A body was found. It's Emma. Peter was caught on a security camera image with her a couple hours before her death. He's not easily recognizable.
In New Mexico, Josh makes a break for it.
Peter intends to tell Lynn about the photo. Instead of getting it out, she assumes he's noting the similarities with his daughter. Since he's put off by her assumption, he goes against her order and tells Golan he's been assigned to work the case with him.
They head to Emma's apartment and Peter finds a notebook which he decides to keep for himself. He also finds a book by Ian Margrove, her mentor, inscribed to her as his favorite student. When they go to the dig, he claims to have no idea who she is. Peter asks specifically about tunnel 7, to which Margrove says the authorities won't allow them to dig there.
Peter pretends he left his sunglasses inside and goes back in to snoop around without Golan. He revisits the spots he went with Emma, but the route to the tunnel with the sacrifice is now sealed off cinder blocks.
Pastor Billingham receives word in New Mexico that they will be picking up the calf just miles outside the arctic circle tomorrow. The bah mitzvah boy is prepped and ready. He then receives word Josh is gone. Everyone but Debbie is called to fan out and find him.
At his hotel, Peter learns his "lady friend" is waiting for him so he gives the notebook to the hotel clerk to keep safe. Lynn is pissed Peter told Golan he was assigned. She says he called her asking him to bring him over here to get him away from anything that reminded him of his daughter. She's just trying to keep him safe.
She wants him to take Yussef to the airport to hand him off tonight. When Golan hands him off to Peter, he tells him he finally likes something about him since he rode the wave of the lie to stay on the case.
While Peter is transporting, Golan goes to get info on the item that was stolen. A super crazy thing happens. It's set up that Yussef is set free by way of car accident (to which Peter gives one hell of a chase afterward), but when he catches up to the car, it's empty. Meanwhile, Golan learns the item that was stolen is used to talk to God. There are stones that go inside of it and if they're found, imagine the possibilities.
Debbie is crying in New Mexico when she hears a boy laughing. She thinks she hears Josh. She follows the laughter. She finds another little boy looking exactly like Josh. His name is Joshua. He says it's very nice to meet her. Meanwhile, the first Josh has been caught. His feet were not to have touched the ground. They're soiled. Fay shoots him dead.
The empty car is right outside of Emma's apartment. Peter goes inside where he is taken at gunpoint by Yussef and asked to empty his pockets. He discovers the stone inside. When he turns around after Yussef has fled, it is gone while all else remains.
Golan learns they've identified who is in the photo with Emma.
Peter looks at Emma's notebook and discovers drawings of the gemstone. As he's flipping through it, his wife calls. She doesn't think she can do this anymore. The police arrive for him. He hides the notebook, puts his hands behind his head and says the door is open.