I will have this finished by tomorrow and will post my last one about this book! Then on to something new 🙂 I am really enjoying this story though, and will definitely be getting the movie this week to add to my collection. So, to continue on….
Simonides returns to Ben-Hur all of the property that was his, as well as everything he accumulated while running things. Ben-Hur simply returned it back to Simonides, lest the 120 talents that were Ben-Hur’s fathers, and what Simonides used to build his vast fortune.
It is also made clear to Ben-Hur that he must return to Rome, to finish what must be done for the coming of the Christ.
The next major portion of the book is focused on Ben-Hur getting prepared for the Circus, and hopefully exacting his vengeance on Messala.
The night prior to the games, a brochure given to Ben-Hur shows that he is named as such in said brochure; obviously the work of Messala. It should also be noted that no one is willing to place a wager on the race, because no one is willing to bet against Messala. The saloon that night is filled with supporters wearing the scarlet color that represents support of Messala: no other color is worn in the saloon. Sanballat, another Jew in Rome, proudly enters the saloon to take bets in the favor of Ben-Hur.
And then the chariot race is on! The details are descriptive, and you can just as well see this race taking place. Ben-Hur won, as I expected; Messala is left never to walk again, and another driver did not survive at all.
Book 6 is 30 days ahead of the night Ben-Hur left Antioch to go into the desert in search of his family with Sheik Ilderim.
The first sentence in Chapter 1 of Book 6:
A great change has befallen–great at least as respects the fortunes of our hero. VALERIUS GRATUS HAS
BEEN SUCCEEDED BY PONTIUS PILATE! (pg 240).
When I hear the name Pontius Pilate, I immediately think of a coward, someone who knew Jesus was innocent of the crimes spoke of him, yet he didn’t want to upset the people of his city. He let them decide who was to be crucified, Jesus or Barabbas, and then washed his hands of the whole situation (likely both literally and figuratively).
As this is going on, a person whom we today would consider a prison guard) brings to the attention of a tribune that he has discovered a woman and her daughter locked in a hidden prison cell for 8 long years. Finally, Ben-Hur’s Mother and sister are found. They refused to let the men who broke them free lay eyes on them, because they were lepers.
They were set free, being reminded of what the law for lepers was, and in the middle of the night stood at the gates, unsure of what to do next.
We return to Ben-Hur, who at last has Jerusalem in his sights. His first place to search is his former home.
Tirzah and her mother had of course the same idea; to return to their home. The women saw their son and brother sleeping, but did not wake him. They witnessed his reunion with their housemaid, Amrah, and were the next day driven from the village and told to go with the dead, as that is where lepers belonged. Amrah in turn heard the story of the women’s rescue at the water well, and had to decide if and how to tell Ben-Hur, for she feared his search for them would make him leprous as well. After seeing both mother and daughter, she was instructed to not tell Ben-Hur she had seen them, for it would mean his death. She obeyed, and tended to the two women both morning and night, and they lived in their tomb amongst the other lepers, waiting for death.
The tribune, on the other hand, had no such orders to obey and showed Ben-Hur the written document of how the two women were found. Finally, he knew they were lepers.
The end of book 6 details Ben-Hur defeating a Roman after Pilate has his disguised men kill those whom have gathered to see him and refuse to leave.
Wallace, L. (1880). Ben-Hur: The Tale of the Christ. New Jersey