According come the gospels, Jesus frequently took the roadway to Jerusalem because that the annual feasts. The key feasts were Passover (in early spring), Pentecost (in so late spring), and Tabernacles (in early fall). Yet we know Jesus also spent at the very least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

For many of his life, Jesus lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee about 60 mile north the Jerusalem. And for the last few years, the made his headquarters in Capernaum, an additional 20 mile or so eastern of Nazareth. Today, you can drive native Jerusalem come Galilee in much less than two hours. 

But Jesus no drive, the walked. Which means this wasn’t a two-hour trip for him, it was a to walk of numerous days.

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Jesus had two key routes he can take to get to Jerusalem. Us don’t understand what people called these courses in the very first century, therefore we’ll comprise reasonable names:

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

These were really different routes, each through pluses and also minuses.

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming from Nazareth come Jerusalem, the shorter route was definitely the Samaritan Road, i m sorry ran an ext or less straight south. Together the crow flies, the street is 64 miles, however it had to be at least 70 miles by road.

A common traveler can walk 15 come 20 miles in a day, which method that you can walk from Nazareth to Jerusalem in around 4 days. If you set a an extremely aggressive pace, girlfriend might have the ability to make it in 3 days. If you to be really acquisition it easy, you could do it in 5.

Most the the Samaritan Road goes v the hill nation of Samaria and also Judea at altitudes increase to around 2000 feet. In a hot nation like Israel, the would typical slightly cooler temperatures. 

But it would likewise mean going through Samaria, i m sorry was adversary territory. We understand that periodically the Samaritans harassed Jews coming to the feasts. Occasionally they eliminated people.

That’s one reason numerous travelers determined a various route.

Walking the Jordan Way

Many travelers from Galilee go an end run on Samaria. They’d reduced southeast indigenous Galilee until they reached the Jordan River. Then they’d take it the roadway straight southern along the river till they got to Jericho. Finally, castle turned west and also hiked up into the Judean hill nation to Jerusalem.

From Nazareth come Jerusalem by the Jordan method was probably 85 to 90 miles. Therefore a reasonable time to walk the distance would certainly be 5 days. Again, you could collection an aggressive pace, and you can make that in only 4 days. Or taking things slower 보다 normal, you might take 6 days. 

So the Jordan Way took about a day much longer than the Samaritan Road. This route drops in elevation most of the means from Nazareth to Jericho. Nazareth is about 1200 feet over sea level, if Jericho is around 850 feet listed below sea level.) The lower the elevation, the greater the average temperatures. So this route was definitely hotter.

The final day’s hike native Jericho approximately Jerusalem would have actually been tough. The change in altitude is nearly 3000 feet end a food of about 16 miles. That’s an ext than a 3% grade. 

This last day that the trip was the notorious Jericho Road—arid, rocky, lonely, and also steep. Here’s a photo I take it of this nation on a recent expedition to Israel: 


The Jericho Road was well known for bandits, for this reason the smart traveler go in a largish group and also took a weapon.

But the one advantage that the Jordan way was the you didn’t have to go with Samaria.

Which course Did Jesus Take?

Jesus appears to have used both roads. We have a story around him walking through Samaria. And also we have a story about him going with Jericho.  

We don’t know which way he took more often. If I had actually to guess, I’d say the he make the decision based largely on temperature, and also partly top top time. 

In early spring, nights can be cold, and also the Jordan way would be warmer and also therefore more inviting. 

In so late spring and early fall, days can be hot, and also the Samaritan road would be cooler and an ext tempting.

But Jesus would also have sweet the cost of the extra work to go by the Jordan Way. Jesus wasn’t wealthy. He and also his brothers functioned as day-laborers. Every job on the road to Jerusalem to be a day not earning money ~ above the job.

Where did Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could involved Jerusalem for 3 or four or five weeks in ~ a stretch, so more than likely most Galileans stayed home for most feasts. However even so, there would have actually been numerous thousand world on the road to Jerusalem at the very same time together Jesus.

There to be no chains of motels that can handle the many world all in ~ once. 

Which means most everyone camped out along the way. 

You i will not ~ need a time for camping, i m sorry is great because a tent would certainly be too lot weight to lug along.

All you yes, really needed was a good wool cloak. Everybody had one. A hefty wool cloak to be a standard component of her wardrobe, precisely because you could both stay it and also sleep in it. 

A cloak would commonly be huge enough come wrap twice around your body, which made it a an extremely effective sleeping bag.

You can carry your cloak in a leather bag slung on her shoulders. Friend could also carry food in the bag. 

Other Necessities on the road to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t require to bring extra clothes. You might just wear the same wool tunic because that the entirety trip to Jerusalem and back. Yes, it would gain dirty ~ a few weeks, and also it would certainly smell, however everyone else would be dirty and smelly too, for this reason it i will not ~ be a huge deal.

But girlfriend did need to carry water. As soon as you walk mile every day in the warm sun, water is essential. Girlfriend could bring water in a waterskin on her shoulder. You can refill it along the way, mix it through beer or wine to death germs.

You also needed a long cloth belt to wrap approximately your waist. If friend folded this correctly, it held your money safely. A couple of silver dinars would certainly buy food and drink because that the whole trip.

Finally, you can slip a short knife into your belt as a defense versus bandits.

And that’s all you needed. Just enough gear to get you safely come Jerusalem and also back. Light sufficient to carry.

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Jesus and his family and friends do this trip numerous times end the years. 

What carry out you think? go the road to Jerusalem with Jesus sound prefer an adventure precious taking? In my forthcoming series of novels, Crown of Thorns, we’ll take the journey number of times.