"Ben-Hur" is a historical novel by Lew Wallace, a story of a hero named Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman who was falsely accused of an attempted assassination and enslaved by the Romans. Judah first encounters Jesus, who offers him a drink of water and encouragement, as Judah is being marched to a galley to be a slave. Their lives continue to intersect as the story unfolds.
Judah survives his ordeal as a galley slave, after befriending and saving the commander of his ship, who later adopts him. Judah goes on to become a trained soldier and charioteer. Judah returns home to Jerusalem to seek revenge and redemption for his family (they perished in a Roman jail). After witnessing the Crucifixion, Judah recognizes that Christ's life stands for a goal quite different from revenge. Judah becomes Christian, inspired by love and the talk of keys to a kingdom greater than any on Earth.
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