Ben-Hur – A classic novel by Lew Wallace

Long before Amarendra Bahubali and Bhallaldeva fought for kingdom of Mahishmati in Bahubali movie, there were two friends in Rome – Judah Ben-Hur and Messala who clashed due to the difference in ideals. One favored Rome while other was proud to be a Jew. For Messala, Romans were powerful and Jews inferior. Apart from these two protagonists, there is a third protagonist – Jesus of Nazareth in this classic novel. Set during the times of Jesus Christ, this story begins with meeting of Messala and Judah. During the friendly meeting, Judah discovers that Messala has become egoistic and considers Jews a weak race. Both the friends part away. A tragic fate lands Judah Ben Hur in imprisonment, accused of killing a Roman official. Messala not only imprisons Judah, but also seizes his property, home and belongings. Judah’s mother and sister are sent behind bars on order of Messala.

Poster of the 2016 movie – Ben-Hur

Judah Ben Hur is subjected to inhuman torture in galleys, rowing a gigantic slave ship. But good fortunes are on side of Judah. A pirate attack on the Roman ship gives an opportunity for Judah to escape from the Roman ship and seek refuge. With the help of his new allies – Simonides, Balthasar and Sheikh Ilderim, Judah competes against Messala in a chariot race. He not only defeats Messala but also leaves him penniless. After seeking his vengeance, Judah goes in search of his mother and sister. Here he meets the son of God – Jesus Christ and begins on a new mission to spread the greatness of son of God. Jesus heals the leprosy of Judah’s mother and sister and finally Judah finally reunites with his long lost family.

Here the story doesn’t end. Jesus is crucified and Ben-Hur is helpless to save his son of God from getting crucified. Ben Hur offers water to the bleeding Jesus and here he remembers it was the same saintly figure who had offered water to Judah when he was being taken to galleys. Judah Ben-Hur realizes that forgiveness is the biggest redemption of all as his lord didn’t even protest against the sufferings inflicted on him. Judah Ben Hur becomes the biggest messenger of Christ and lives his later life in helping the needy.

Lew Wallace’s novel ‘Ben Hur’ is set during biblical era and it is an enlightening experience reading about Jesus in this fictional epic book. Ben-Hur was adapted into motion pictures and TV movies countless times. It is the 1959 adaptation that swept the Oscar. Ben-Hur has everything that you desire in an epic movie – Betrayal, Redemption, love, roman battles and breathtaking chariot races. Once you have completed reading Ben-Hur, you will definitely curious to read Bible stories and the legend of Jesus Christ. I had read Ben-Hur in 2013 and found it an interesting epic. In the second time, I understood the spiritual philosophy and found the reading very enlightening. Along with Ben-Hur, I too realized that forgiveness is biggest redemption. Once you have completed reading Ben-Hur, you will also enjoy reading King Arthur and knights of round table, Ivanhoe, Three Musketeers and Man in the iron mask.

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One thought on “Ben-Hur – A classic novel by Lew Wallace

  1. ‘Ben Hur’ is one of the most famous fictional stories set in the Biblical era and it reamins to be so because of the vastly famous 1959 film which was a huge hit and also swept a total of 11 Oscars. I too had read the story at childhood and watched the film in boyhood. While the film is, by today’s comparison, a bit tame and simple, the 15-minute chariot race scene remains to be one of the finest action scenes of all time in its practical thrills and the massive sets and visuals, especially in the galley scenes, are indeed impressive even today.

    Reading this review of Lew Wallace’ book has helped me to go back to those wonderful memories of childhood again, Prashant. Keep it up.

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