Ben-Hur was transformed from bible scripture to a movie
because it is the most read scripture in the Bible. The
scripture tells the story of a man, Judah Ben-Hur, who
trades his life as the prince of Jerusalem with the life of a
slave. The story tells of his journeys and triumphs as a slave.
The story starts with the five wise men as their journey to
find Jesus. When they arrive in Bethlehem they come bearing
gifts for the newborn king. After the birth of Jesus the movie
changes to two Roman soldiers who are in a meeting.
One of the soldiers, Tribune Musala, is an old friend of
Judah. Judah comes in and meets with Musala and invites
him to his home for dinner and to see his family. Musala tells
Judah how the Romans will conquer his people and if he
wants to save his family he can turn in the Rebels who plan
to revolt. Judah is enraged that his friend would ask him to
turn in his own people, and storms out of the meeting.
After the meeting Judah returns home to find an old
friend/slave of his there waiting for him. The slave asks
permission that his daughter be allowed to marry. Judah
gladly grants his wish and meets the young woman, Esther.
The two have a private talk in which Judah grants Esther her
freedom and says that he will wear her slavery ring until he
finds his true love.
The Romans enter Jerusalem and the entire city watched
from rooftops. As Judah and Esther watched Esther
accidentally knocks a shingle loose and scares a horse
causing it to kick and buck a general from the horse killing
the general. The Romans enter the city and arrest Judah, his
sister, and mother. His friend Musala orders Judah to be
sent to the galleys. Judah escapes from confines to find
Musala and asks him why he would do this to a friend.
Musala says, “People will fear me for persecuting my own
A chain gang of slaves traveling through the desert stop so
the Romans can get a drink of water. The guards allow the
slaves very little water, but allow their horses to drink a
plentiful amount. The guards say “No water for him” referring
to Judah. A man gives Judah water and the guard gets angry
and yells at the man. The guard and the man look at each
other and the guard cowards. The man is portrayed as
At the end of the desert travels Judah finds himself in the
galleys of a boat as a numbered rower. He spends over
three years in the galleys of numerous boats. Governor Arius
who puts Judah up to an endurance test rules the boat. Most
of the other slaves pass out due to the rigors of the test,
however Judah withstands the test and wins. As they are
going into battle Arius has a guard unchain Judah. The boat
is rammed and Judah escapes from the galley and sees Arius
get knocked into the water. Judah saves Arius and the two
watch the boat sink as they float on a piece of wood.
The next day a Roman boat saves the two. Arius tells all on
the boat that Judah saved his life. When they return to land
Arius plea’s with the Roman government to free Judah. They
the give Judah to Arius to do with him as he wishes. Arius
then has a celebration where he gives Judah a family ring and
asks him to be his adopted son. He also makes Judah the
sole heir to his land and possessions. A few weeks after the
ceremony Judah tells Arius that he wishes to return to
On his journey back to Jerusalem Judah crosses paths with
an Arab who he makes friends with and agrees to race for
them in the Circus. Judah and the Arab enjoy a fulfilling meal
and at the end to show delight they belch. The better the
belch the better the meal.
When he returns home he finds Esther and her father. Her
father was tortured by the Romans to find out where Judah’s
fortune is hidden. The old man does not give in and is
tortured so that he can no longer walk.
Judah meets with Musala and orders him to find his mother
and sister. He also challenges Musala to race against him in
the Circus. Musala finds Judah’s mother and sister only to
find out that they have leprosy. The two were released from
prison after five years. Upon their release they find Esther
and beg her not to tell Judah of their condition and to rather
tell him that they are dead.
When the Circus takes place Judah races for the Arabs.
Musala has a “Big Chariot” which means that he has spikes
on his wheels. Musala uses the spikes to destroy the wheels
of the other racers. Musala tries to destroy Judah’s wheels
and whip him at the same time, however Judah grabbed the
whip and took it away from Musala causing him to lose
control of the horses and get drug behind his horses until he
lets the reins go and is trampled by another chariot. Judah
won the race and was crowned victor. After the race
doctors want to amputate Musalas legs, however he wants
to wait to see Judah first. Judah arrives and Musala tells him
that his family is not dead and that they are in fact in the
valley of the lepers. Musala then died in front of Judah.
When Judah goes to the valley of the lepers he sees Esther,
he gets angry with her for lying to him. She explains their
plea to her. Judah then returns to the valley again the next
day, this time to see his mother and sister. When he sees his
mother she tells him that his sister, Tirza is dying. They go to
see Tirza and take her to Rome. When they arrive they find
out that a man is being tried. They find that the man being
tried was actually Jesus being crucified.
As Jesus is carrying his cross up the hill he falls down and is
whipped. Judah gave him some water as he did for Judah in
the past. One of the guards kicks the water away from
Jesus. The four watch as Jesus is crucified. Later that night
the three women are sitting in a cave when a bad storm rolls
in. At the peak of the storm Jesus died. After the death of
Jesus Marium and Tirza are cured of their Leprosy. They
then see Judah the next day and everyone was happy that
they were cured.