Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ben-Hur summary

Judah Ben-Hur is a 17 year old Jew at the time of the roman occupation of Judea. His boyhood friend, Messala, comes back from Rome to help to govern the province of Judea. But he is no longer the Messala Judah once knew. He is a Roman now. Judah realizes that they can no longer be friends, and he leaves him.

Later that day he stands on the roof of his house to watch the new govenor parade in. He accidentily knocks a tile from the roof and hits the govenor on the head. The govener, being slightly furious at Judah, sends him to the galleys and his mother and sister are sent to a rather unpleasent prison. All of their possessions,
including their house are taken by the romans. Judah is furious at Messala for doing this and vows to kill him.

Three years later Quintis Arrius takes over the ship that Ben-Hur is rowing in.
They are attacked by pirates and Ben-hur saves Arrius' life. Arrius is very grateful to Ben-Hur and adopts him, making him the heir to all his property.

Five years later Judah arrives in Antioch. There he meets a wealthy merchant named Simonides and his daughter, Esther. Ben-Hur thinks she is very pretty, but he has more important things to think about. He finds out that Simonides is his fathers servant and he asks him where is mother and sister are. Simonides does not know where they are and sorrowfully tells Ben-Hur that he does not know.

Simonides does not say that he believes Ben-Hur or not. Ben-Hur goes away and meets Shiek Ilderim. Shiek Ilderim owns a very fine team of horses and Ben-Hur is an expert charioteer. He asks if he can be Ilderim's charioteer. He knows that Messala will also be in the race and he wishes to humiliate him by winning.

There he meets an Egyptian named Balthazar and his beautiful daughter, Iras. Balthazar was one of the three wise men and he tells Judah that he should forgive Messala. Judah is not ready to do that.

He is quite taken with the beautiful Iras and spends as much time as he can with her.

Simonides has Judah come to him and he tells him that he is indeed his fathers servant and gives his fortune to him. Ben-Hur gives most of it back to him. Simonides than says that the king whom Balthazar had seen long ago, would have need of an army to conquer the romans. He suggests that that is what Ben-Hur should do with his fortune. Ben-Hur agrees.

When the day of the chariot race arrives people from all over the world are there. For a long time Messala has the lead. But he was to close to the wall. His chariot hit the wall and he fell out. Ben-Hur won the race and Messala is without use of his legs, and has lost his fortune from a bet he made that he would win.

In Jerusalem the tribune in charge of the prison finds a cell that has been almost completely blocked up. The only opening was a small one left for feeding the prisoners. I must say that must have been very unpleasent conditions to live in.

He opens it up and finds two women who have leprosy. He gives them clothes and they are brought out of the city. Unknown to him they are Ben-Hur's mother and his sister, Tirzah.

After the chariot race Judah continues his search for His mother and sister. He finds out that they are lepers and believes they have been stoned. So he follows Jesus and begins to gather followers for his army. Amrah, an old servant belonging to the Hurs know where Tirzah and her mother are and she brings food to them every day. She heard Judah talking about how Jesus cured lepers and she brings Tirzah and her mother to a road which Jesus will use to get to Jerusalem. Jesus cures them and Ben-Hur was in the following of Jesus sees them and is reunited with his family.

That friday he follows Jesus up to where he will be crucified. While he was watching along with thousands of other people he finally understands that Jesus will not have his kingdom on earth but in heaven.

Five years later, he is married to Esther and they decide what to do with there fortune.
They built the catacomb of San Calixto.

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