|Born||? years before Rapture|
|Died||Several hours before Glorious Appearing, was later resurrected|
|Occupation||Theological scholar, later spiritual mentor to the Tribulation Force and cyber-pastor|
|Relatives||Wife (murdered), stepchildren (murdered)|
|Religion||Originally Judaism, later Christian|
|Spiritual State||Saved during the Tribulation|
|First Appearance||Tribulation Force|
Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah (SEE' yown (like "own") Ben JOO-dah) (or just Ben-Judah in the film series), who is a character in the Left Behind series, is a Jew, a rabbinical scholar, and former student of Chaim Rosenzweig.
Ben-Judah does not appear in the book; however, during the events of the book, he was commissioned by the Israeli government three years before the Rapture to undertake a study as to how the Jews would recognize the Messiah when he comes. Ben-Judah reviewed multiple religious holy books in this study, including the Torah, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the Talmud, and the New Testament. Dr Ben-Judah was also a polyglot and the confirmed languages that he can speak fluently (though he has a strong Hebrew accent in English) are modern Hebrew, Classical Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Ancient Koine Greek, English, Norwegian, and Spanish. Dr Ben-Judah was beginning to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth met the descriptions of prophecy, but had not committed himself when Christ raptured His church.
Two weeks later, when United Nations secretary-general and Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia and a host of American and Israeli delegates arrived in Israel to sign a seven-year treaty of peace, and at the behest of Buck Williams, Ben-Judah guided Buck to the Western Wall so that Cameron could speak with the two prophets, Eli and Moishe, men resurrected from Biblical times to bear witness to Christ and begin converting 144,000 Jews to become witnesses for Him.
The meeting with the two witnesses had a profound effect on Ben-Judah, who spoke Nicodemus's words to Jesus while the two witnesses took turns speaking Jesus' words. Ben-Judah went away from the meeting with much to think and pray about. The next day, Carpathia and the Israelis signed the peace treaty, and shortly after that, Ben-Judah made a one-hour broadcast on CNN International (GNN in the film series) to present his findings. At the end of it, he proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah and was coming again soon.
Many Israelis and Jews worldwide were outraged at Ben-Judah, but he began to teach and meet with Jews all around the world, as more and more began to convert to Christ. Eighteen months later, his wife and teenage step-children were horribly slaughtered and Ben-Judah, the chief suspect, was forced into hiding. Buck was guided to him with hints from the two witnesses at the Wailing Wall, and secretly conducted Ben-Judah out of Israel by way of Egypt, to be flown back to the United States for exile and sanctuary.
Just before this, the Chicago-based Tribulation Force's own leader and teacher, Bruce Barnes, died of an apparent virus, and Ben-Judah essentially took his place to teach, now reaching out as a cyber-pastor to a worldwide audience. (In the Dramatic Audio series, Ben-Judah used a webcam to broadcast his messages over the Internet instead of using text messages as in the novels.) Ben-Judah, believing himself to be protected by God's power, insisted on returning to Israel to meet with most of the 144,000 witnesses in order to teach them.
Only hours before Antichrist's resurrection, Tsion has an out-of-body experience, where he witnesses the host of heaven, archangel Michael battling Lucifer in dragon form. The dragon and his angels were cast down to Earth near the end of this experience, signaling that Satan is ready to make war against the saints by raising Nicolae from the dead through his indwelling.
He moves to Petra where Nicolae Carpathia drops two bombs and a "daisy cutter" just minutes after his arrival, only for God to supernaturally protect him and the refugees. There he resides until the Battle of Armageddon when he leaves to help defend the holy city.
Both he and Buck Williams are killed by Unity Army soldiers there. He is resurrected at the Glorious Appearing, and is specially rewarded by Jesus for his preaching of the Gospel worldwide saying, "untold millions are entering the kingdom because of your bold proclamation of Me being the Messiah." after having been reunited with his wife and children in heaven.
Tsion Ben-Judah and former fellow Tribulation Force members lead a missionary trip to Egypt, which Tsion commands the local parliament to be renamed Osaze, after turning a planned debate on the issue into a string of insults; despite Tsion's arrogance or possibly because of it, the Egyptian parliament complied. At the end of the Millennial Kingdom period, Tsion is welcomed into heaven with the rest of the believers.
In Other Media
- In Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, Tsion is played by Lubomir Mykytiuk.
- In the Dramatic Audio presentations, Tsion Ben-Judah was voiced by Greg Lackner.