A question that has captivated religious scholars: How far did Mary and Joseph travel in their trek to Bethlehem? For many, the Christmas story is so familiar that it can be easy to forget the details.
But when we take a closer look at the journey Mary and Joseph undertook, it becomes clear how remarkable their travels were. In this blog post, Shahid will examine some notable details about “how did Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem?”
How far did Mary and Joseph travel?
How far did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem? Christmas time invokes thoughts of Mary and Joseph’s slow ascent to Bethlehem, the city where Jesus Christ was born. For Joseph and Mary, the difficulties began well before the birth of their son. They had to travel from Nazareth in Galilee’s northern highlands all the way south for a mandatory Roman census registration.
How many miles did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
To get to the city where Joseph’s ancestors lived, the distance Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem is 90 miles. They went south along the peaceful plains of the Jordan River before climbing the hills and ending up in Bethlehem.
“It was a memorable yet strenuous journey,” recalled Strange, who directs an excavation team at the long-lost city of Sepphoris. “People used to travel up to about twenty miles a day in antiquity, and our trek consisted of continuous hills, which made it quite challenging.” “It certainly wasn’t easy.”
It is speculated that Joseph and Mary’s journey would have been limited to 10 miles a day due to Mary’s proximity to giving birth.
Strange described the winter journey through the Judean desert as miserable. The temperatures usually in the 30s during the day and rainfall that could only be called “heck.” At night, it was brutally cold, no doubt adding to the discomfort.
How did Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
Day 1: They made their way from Nazareth to Beth Shean.
On the first day of their journey, Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Beth Shean, a city located about 16 miles away. This journey would likely have taken them several hours on foot or on a donkey, but they stayed overnight in Beth Shean before moving on.
Days 2 and 3: Through the Jordan River Valley, starting in Beth Shean
Mary and Joseph found refuge in the Jordan River Valley with freshwater and edible plants like date palms. They sought safety by camping close to the river due to their family’s lack of acceptance of Mary’s pregnancy out-of-wedlock. Considering this social stigma, it is likely that any villages nearby would not have offered them a place to stay either.
Day 4: From the Jordan River Valley to Jericho/the North End of the Dead Sea
Mary and Joseph traveled south through the West Bank, along the Jordan River until they reached the north end of the Dead Sea. This journey was a bit longer than their first day’s travel since it was about 25 miles away from Beth Shean.
Day 5 and 6: Travel from Jericho/the northern end of the Dead Sea to magnificent Jerusalem.
Mary and Joseph’s journey from Jericho to Jerusalem was no easy feat, as it was an ascent the entire way. One reason why this two-day trip could be hard is that the Dead Sea is at the lowest point on earth, while Jerusalem is in the hills.
Day 7: From Jerusalem, head to Bethlehem
This is the final stretch of their expedition, a mere five-mile descent to David’s city south of Herod’s Jerusalem.
With countless potential hazards that could be encountered, the journey was a risky endeavor. Wild animals like lions and bears prowled the Jordan River Valley’s forests, while robbers lurked around every corner. Signposts warning travelers still remain today, indicating how perilous this route was.
How far did Mary and Joseph travel to be taxed?
Luke tells the story of Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem. It was in response to an imperial order that everyone pay taxes in their hometowns.
This helps explain why Jesus was born not where his parents lived but instead in Bethlehem. It’s because Mary had already become pregnant with Jesus by this stage. Thus, it seems clear that both Matthew and Luke offer different accounts of the birth of Jesus.
Mary and Joseph were required to travel a great distance to register for their taxes in Bethlehem. It has been accepted that they had taken a route from Nazareth, their home town, which meant it was at least 106 miles (170 kilometers), or four days’ walking.
This journey was probably very difficult, considering Mary was reportedly pregnant with Jesus at the time. Mary and Joseph’s determination is clear from the fact that they finished the hard journey despite all the problems they faced.
How far did Mary and Joseph travel to Egypt?
According to the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15, Herod’s atrocious acts were fulfilled through the murder of innocent children. To get away from him, the family had to walk 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Bethlehem to Egypt.
After Herod’s death in early 4 B.C., Joseph received a vision from an angel urging him to return to Israel to ensure their safety. Mary and her family carried out this prophecy (Hosea 11:1) as they trekked back home from Egypt.
Unlock some facts from the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem.
The visit to Bethlehem could be a foreshadowing of Palm Sunday.
Travel with Jesus and Mary in the womb from east to Jerusalem, the same place of Jesus’s triumphant return on Palm Sunday riding a donkey.
The Magi were probably ancient astronomers from Babylon.
Shrouded in wonder, the magi remain one of the most mysterious characters from the Nativity story.
The origin and motivation behind why Mary and Joseph followed the star to find Jesus on Christmas Day is still a mystery today.
The Bible identifies Babylon as “the East,” and it’s not the only time this phrase is used in Scripture. We can be sure that they hail from this part of the world.
Rather than dazzle with illusions and sleight of hand, these individuals were diviners. They sought to read the patterns of the stars to gain insight. They were astronomers as well as astrologists.
It is thought that the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem took one week to complete.
Biblical scholars agree that Mary and Joseph had to travel 90 miles in four days, at a pace of 2.5 mph with no time for rest or other needs. This strenuous feat is both remarkable and unbelievable if one stops to consider it!
FAQs How far did Mary and Joseph travel? How did Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
How long did Mary and Joseph’s journey from Bethlehem to Egypt take them?
It has been speculated that their entire expedition from Bethlehem to Nazareth spanned over three years. A distance of 1242.80 miles traversed on the back of an animal too frail for any other task.
How much time did Mary and Joseph need to travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem?
That was an arduous trek that could have taken anywhere from four to seven days.
In Egypt, how long did Mary and Joseph live after Jesus was born?
After Joseph’s dream, the Holy Family returned home via the same route they took in Egypt three years before.
Where did Mary and Joseph settle—Egypt or Nazareth?
All the narratives of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels echo the fact that he was born in Bethlehem before later relocating with his family to Nazareth. Matthew’s Gospel tells of Joseph and Mary’s journey to avoid Herod’s attempts to kill Bethlehem infants.
How far did Joseph and Mary travel? European-borderlands.org would say that Mary and Joseph made an incredible journey of 90 miles for the birth of their child. The greatest takeaway from this entire tale is that with great faith comes tremendous adventure. May their faith be our inspiration as we continue our own personal journeys on earth.