Ben-Hur in Bits and Pieces

I apologize for getting behind on updating this book. I even missed posting my Friday Fun Facts! 🙂

In the year of our Lord 24.

How the true 1st edition of Ben-Hur looks. His wife had  influence over the cover design seen here.
How the true 1st edition of Ben-Hur looks. His wife had influence over the cover design seen here.

The 1st two chapters of Book 2 basically give descriptions of the sailing vessels used during this time, and the types of workers who performed different duties, the most important seemingly being the rowers.

Arrius was the captain of this ship, and his attention had been caught by a Jewish rower, known only as rower #60.

“Ithamar, of the house of Hur.”

Chapter three has Arrius calling rower #60 to him (known to us from here-on-out as Ben-Hur) to find out his story. With hope and a happy heart Ben-Hur explains he seeks word of his mother and sister, and how the falling tile that knocked out the Roman Governor had labeled him an assassin.

Chapter 4 starts out like you would expect a children’s adventure story to begin, with pirates chasing down the fleet of Arrius. As it became obvious to Ben-Hur as he observed the actions of the crew around him and Arrius, they were indeed preparing for battle. It is a difficult thing to read that the oarsmen were all shackled to their benches, preventing any chance of escape in the event of a disaster (pg. 92). Ben-Hur was seized with anticipation, guilt, and shame as he wondered if he himself would be chained to his seat as the rest of the oarsmen were. He indeed was not; and knew then that Arrius had indeed placed him in a higher stature.

I will spare you the gruesome details of the battle that took over the sea. As Ben-Hur realized that the Romans had boarded their ship, he knew that Arrius could indeed be fighting for his life, and if he were killed, Ben-Hur would likely never get to see his mother, sister, and the Holy Land.

Both Ben-Hur and Arrius ended up in the water as the ship was overtaken and began to break apart and flood. As Arrius slowly regains consciousness and grasps what has happened, he reveals to Ben-Hur that he did indeed know his father, and loved him.

From page 100:

I shall be duumvir, and thou! I knew thy father, and loved him. He was a prince indeed. He taught me

a Jew was not a barbarian. I will take thee with me. I will make thee my son. Give thy God thanks, and call

the sailors. Haste! The pursuit must be kept. Not a robber shall escape. Hasten them!” (Wallace, 1880).

At the conclusion of book 3, both return to Quintus Arrius’ home, and Ben-Hur is made his adopted son and receiver of everything he owns upon his death.

On to book 4, with a goal of being done by week’s end! (I get a feeling I may likely regret saying that).

Wallace, L. (1880). Ben-Hur. Harper and Brothers Franklin Store.

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