Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ben Hur

Ben-Hur is a story about betrayal, romance, and redemption that will captivate you through most of the book.
Ben-Hur has a childhood friend, Messala, who betrays Ben-Hur as a young man. He serves on the galleys because of Messala’s betrayal, and spends many sleepless nights wondering what became of his mother and sister who Messala took as prisoners. After rowing for almost three years he saves the life of the tribune in a sea battle. The tribune, in gratitude, adopts Ben-Hur as his son.
A few years later the tribune dies leaving everything to his adopted son, Ben-Hur. Ben-Hur now is rich and has been educated in academics and trained in the art of soldiery and has also raced chariots in the circus.
During one of his travels he finds a man who was once his father’s servant, and had amassed great wealth through trading goods. The combined wealth of Ben-Hur and his new wealth from his father’s servant were enormous.
Then Ben-Hur finds out that Messala is in a chariot race coming up, and wanting revenge for what happened to him and his family by racing against him and beating Messala. Ben-Hur then goes to a sheik Ildherim, who has a team of horses but no driver, and asks to drive his team. After Ben-Hur proves he can drive the team, the sheik accepts him as his driver.
Then Ben-Hur, through another person, makes a bet, worth a lot of money, to Messala. Messala accepts to save face in the face of his peers, even though he cannot afford the sum if he loses.
Ben-Hur wins the race against Messala and runs his own chariot into Messala’s so that it breaks up flinging Messala into the ground and the path of the other horses hooves, crippling Messala for life.
Ben-Hur afterwards wanting to spend his wealth wisely and for a right and good cause is told of the coming of the Messiah by Balthasar, who is a friend of sheik Ildherim. He then decides to spend his wealth in preparing an army for Christ, who he believes is going to be a king and destroy the Roman emperor setting the Jews free and ruling over them for eternity. What he doesn’t understand, as Balthasar tries to show him, is that Christ is coming, and has came, to serve and to save souls for a life after death and to prepare a place for the regenerate to live with him after His and their death.
He puts together and trains 2-3 legions of Galileans to fight for Christ and put Him on a throne. Then Ben-Hur follows Christ as he teaches, waiting for Him to give the word for them to fight for Him. As he follows Him and listens to Him, he starts to realize that maybe Christ isn’t, and wasn’t, here to be a king. Eventually, when Christ is captured and lead to be crucified, Ben-Hur realizes the truth of Christ’s coming and sees how much more wonderful and great it is.
Ben-Hur is also reunited with his mother and sister, who were imprisoned by Messala and the procurator in a cell filled with the disease of leprosy and eventually released. After they were released they were healed by Jesus. Ben-Hur also marries his father’s servant’s daughter and raises a family with her. Overall I think this was a good book especially in showing how the thought of many Jews was that Christ would come and lead them in throwing off the Romans and set up as a king and rule them. The author was very descriptive, almost too descriptive sometimes, but for the most part kept up a good storyline that had interesting things happening in it. I do not think it clearly showed how wanting revenge is not just and Christ-like, but rather showed you can get your revenge even if it takes time.

Posted by ME

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