Ben-Hur Quotes

Judah Ben-Hur: [after he is sentenced to the galleys] May God grant me vengeance! I will pray that you live until I return!
Messala: [ironically] Return?

Movie: Ben-Hur
Judah Ben-Hur: He gave me water, and the heart to live. What has he done to merit this?
Balthasar: He has taken the world of our sins onto himself. To this end he said he was born, in that stable, where I first saw him. For this cause, he came into the world.
Judah Ben-Hur: For this death?
Balthasar: For this beginning.

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Judah Ben-Hur: If you were not a bride I would kiss you goodbye.
Esther: If I were not a bride, there would be no goodbyes to be said.

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Messala: Look to the West, Judah! Don't be a fool, look to Rome!
Judah Ben-Hur: I would rather be a fool than a traitor... or a killer!
Messala: I am a soldier!
Judah Ben-Hur: Yes! Who kills! For Rome! Rome is evil!
Messala: I warn you...
Judah Ben-Hur: No! I warn you! Rome is an affront to God! Rome is strangling my people and my country, the whole Earth! But not forever. I tell you the day Rome falls there will be a shout of freedom such as the world has never heard before!

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Quintus Arrius: [a galley's 200 rowers are being told to shift gears... ] Battle speed! Attack speed! Ramming speed!

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Quintus Arrius: [startled from sleep to find Ben-Hur standing over him] Why are you here?
Judah Ben-Hur: I was ordered to report to you during my relief.
Quintus Arrius: Yes, I had forgotten... You could have killed me as I lay there! You're a condemned man, why didn't you?
Judah Ben-Hur: I'm not ready to die.
Quintus Arrius: What do you think will save you?
Judah Ben-Hur: The God of my fathers.
Quintus Arrius: Your God has forsaken you. He has no more power than the images I pray to. My gods do not help me; your God will not help you.

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Judah Ben-Hur : If you were not a bride, I would kiss you goodbye.
Esther : If I were not a bride, there would be no goodbyes to be said.

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1st Jailer : [ looking in records ] Miriam, wife... Tirzah, daughter.
Drusus : Yes, that's them. Are they alive?
1st Jailer : [ examining the records, he is pessimistic ] East section... lower level. Cell two. The jailer in that wing will know. [ Drusus is led down various passages into the lower dungeons ]
Drusus : How long since you've seen them?
2nd Jailer : Never - and I've been here three years. But they're alive, all right.
2nd Jailer : [ after demonstrating a slot in the bottom of the cell door ] The food disappears.

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Simonides : Judah-Ben Hur! You've come back to us like a returning faith! Oh Judah, I should like to laugh again. Let us laugh!
Judah Ben-Hur : We will laugh.
Simonides : There will be joy again in this house! We will celebrate! Among the dust and cobwebs... [ Simonides sobs ]

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Sheik Ilderim : Balthasar is a good man. But until all men are like him, we must keep our swords bright!
Judah Ben-Hur : And our intentions true! So I must leave you.
Sheik Ilderim : One last thought: There is no law in the arena; many are killed... I hope to see you again, Judah Ben-Hur.

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Judah Ben-Hur : [ dipping a hand in a stream ] When the Romans were marching me to the galleys, thirst had almost killed me. A man gave me water to drink, and I went on living. I should have done better if I'd poured it into the sand!
Balthasar : No.
Judah Ben-Hur : I'm thirsty still.

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Pontius Pilate : A grown man knows the world he lives in. For the moment, that world is Rome.

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Quintus Arrius : In his eagerness to save you, your god has also saved the Roman fleet.

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Quintus Arrius : Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.

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Messala : By condemning without hesitation an old friend, I shall be feared.

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Sextus : You can break a man's skull, you can arrest him, you can throw him into a dungeon. But how do you control what's up here? [ taps his head ]
Sextus : How do you fight an idea?

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Quintus Arrius : Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That's good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.

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[ last lines ]
Judah Ben-Hur : Almost at the moment He died, I heard Him say, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Esther : Even then.
Judah Ben-Hur : Even then. And I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand.

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Esther : Oh, Judah, rest. Sleep. For a few hours of the night, let your mind be at peace.
Judah Ben-Hur : [ bitterly ] Peace! Love and peace. Do you think I don't long for them as you do? Where do you see them?
Esther : If you had heard this man from Nazareth...
Judah Ben-Hur : Balthasar's word.
Esther : He is more than Balthasar's word. His voice traveled with such a still purpose... It was more than a voice... a man more than a man! He said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
Judah Ben-Hur : Children of God? In that dead valley where we left them? I tell you every man in Judea is unclean, and will *stay* unclean, until we've scoured off our bodies the crust and filth of being at the mercy of tyranny. No other life is possible except to wash this land clean!
Esther : In blood?
Judah Ben-Hur : Yes, in blood!
Esther : I know there is a law in life, that blood gets more blood as dog begets dog. Death generates death, as the vulture breeds the vulture! But the voice I heard today on the hill said, "Love your enemy. Do good to those who despitefully use you."
Judah Ben-Hur : So all who are born in this land hereafter can suffer as we have done!
Esther : As you make us do now! Are we to bear nothing together? Even love?
Judah Ben-Hur : I can hardly draw breath without feeling you in my heart. Yet I know that everything I do from this moment will be as great a pain to you as you have ever suffered. It is better not to love me!
Esther : It was Judah Ben-Hur I loved. What has become of him? You seem to be now the very thing you set out to destroy, giving evil for evil! Hatred is turning you to stone. It is as though you

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Judah Ben-Hur : I must deal with Messala in my own way.
Balthasar : And your way is to kill him. [ Judah's reaction indicates Balthasar is correct, as Sheik Ilderim looks on with dismay ]
Balthasar : I see this terrible thing in your eyes, Judah Ben-Hur, but no matter what this man has done to you, you have no right to take his life. He will be punished inevitably.
Judah Ben-Hur : I don't believe in miracles.
Balthasar : Your life is a miracle! Why will you not accept God's judgement?

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Balthasar : Pardon me - you are a stranger here. Would you be from Nazareth?
Judah Ben-Hur : Why do you ask?
Balthasar : I thought... you might be the one... the one I have come back from my country to find. He would be about your age.
Judah Ben-Hur : Who?
Balthasar : When I find him, I shall know him.

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Messala : By what magic do you bear the name of a Consul of Rome?
Judah Ben-Hur : You were the magician, Messala. When my ship was sunk, I saved the Consul's life.

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[ Judah confronts Esther and Malluch in the Valley of the Lepers ]
Judah Ben-Hur : [ angrily, to Esther ] Why did you tell me they were dead?
Esther : It was what they wanted. Judah, you must not betray this faith. Will you do this for them?
Judah Ben-Hur : Not to see them?
Esther : [ seeing Miriam and Tirzah approach ] They are coming... Judah! Judah, love them in the way they most need to be loved: not to look at them! Judah, let it be as though you had never come here. Please, Judah! [ Judah hides behind a boulder as Esther goes to meet Miriam ]
Miriam : Is Judah well? Is he happy? [ Judah's face twists in anguish ]
Esther : Yes. He is well. Your mind can be at rest for him. He is well, Miriam.
Miriam : I am content. [ she picks up the basket of food that Esther brought for them ]
Miriam : God be with you. [ she and Tirzah go back into the cave ]
Esther : [ going back to Judah ] They are gone. We can go back.
Judah Ben-Hur : [ bitterly ] Go back... to what?
Esther : Judah, they have one blessing left: to think you remember them as they were. Live your own life. Forget what is here.
Judah Ben-Hur : Forget? Forget? It's as if they were alive in a grave!
Esther : But what can you do?
Judah Ben-Hur : Undo what you've done! How could you have suffered them to come here? I must see them!
Esther : No Judah, please! Judah! [ Judah starts toward the cave but is stopped by Malluch ]
Esther : Oh, think, Judah, *think*! It will tear them apart if they see you!

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Sheik Ilderim : One God, that I can understand; but one wife? That is not civilized. [ nudges Judah ]
Sheik Ilderim : It is not generous!

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Sheik Ilderim : Was the food not to your liking?
Judah Ben-Hur : Oh, indeed! [ Balthasar gestures for Judah to burp in gratitude, and Judah burps ]

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Quintus Arrius : [ a galley's 200 rowers are gradually told to increase their pace ] Battle speed!... Attack speed!... Ramming speed!

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[ first lines ]
Balthasar : [ narrating ] In the Year of our Lord, Judea - for nearly a century - had lain under the mastery of Rome. In the seventh year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, an imperial decree ordered every Judean each to return to his place of birth to be counted and taxed. The converging ways of many of them led to the gates of their capital city, Jerusalem, the troubled heart of their land. The old city was dominated by the fortress of Antonia, the seat of Roman power, and by the great golden temple, the outward sign of an inward and imperishable faith. Even while they obeyed the will of Caesar, the people clung proudly to their ancient heritage, always remembering the promise of their prophets that one day there would be born among them a redeemer to bring them salvation and perfect freedom.

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Messala : [ greedily ] Drusus, as a boy I dreamed of commanding this garrison. And now the wheel has turned. I am in command.

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Miriam : As though He were carrying in that Cross the pain of the world. [ whispers ]
Miriam : So fearful.
Tirzah : And yet why is it... I'm not afraid anymore?

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Balthasar : [ during Jesus Christ's Crucifixion ] I have lived too long.

Movie: Ben-Hur