According come the gospels, Jesus regularly took the road to Jerusalem because that the yearly feasts. The key feasts were Passover (in at an early stage spring), Pentecost (in late spring), and also Tabernacles (in at an early stage fall). But we know Jesus also spent at least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

For many of his life, Jesus resided in Nazareth, a town in Galilee about 60 mile north of Jerusalem. And for the last couple of years, the made his headquarters in Capernaum, one more 20 mile or so eastern of Nazareth. Today, you can drive indigenous Jerusalem come Galilee in much less than 2 hours. 

But Jesus didn’t drive, he walked. Which method this wasn’t a two-hour expedition for him, it was a to walk of numerous days.

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Jesus had actually two key routes he might take to obtain to Jerusalem. We don’t know what world called these routes in the first century, for this reason we’ll consist of reasonable names:

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

These were an extremely different routes, each through pluses and minuses.

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming indigenous Nazareth to Jerusalem, the much shorter route was absolutely the Samaritan Road, i beg your pardon ran more or less straight south. As the crow flies, the distance is 64 miles, yet it had actually to be at the very least 70 miles by road.

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

Most that the Samaritan Road goes through the hill country of Samaria and Judea at altitudes increase to about 2000 feet. In a hot country like Israel, the would average slightly cooler temperatures. 

But the would additionally mean going through Samaria, i m sorry was adversary territory. We recognize that sometimes the Samaritans harassed Jews comes to the feasts. Sometimes they eliminated people.

That’s one reason plenty of travelers determined a various route.

Walking the Jordan Way

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

From Nazareth come Jerusalem by the Jordan way was most likely 85 come 90 miles. For this reason a reasonable time to walk the distance would certainly be 5 days. Again, friend could collection an aggressive pace, and also you could make it in just 4 days. Or taking points slower 보다 normal, you can take 6 days. 

So the Jordan Way took around a day much longer than the Samaritan Road. This course drops in elevation many of the way from Nazareth come Jericho. Nazareth is roughly 1200 feet over sea level, while Jericho is about 850 feet listed below sea level.) The lower the elevation, the greater the average temperatures. So this path was certainly hotter.

The final day’s hike indigenous Jericho approximately Jerusalem would have actually been tough. The change in altitude is almost 3000 feet over a course 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 steep. This is a snapshot I take it of this nation on a recent expedition to Israel: 


The Jericho Road was infamous for bandits, so the smart traveler go in a largish group and also took a weapon.

But the one advantage of the Jordan method was that you didn’t have to go v Samaria.

Which path Did Jesus Take?

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

We don’t know which way he took an ext often. If I had to guess, I’d say the he made the decision based largely on temperature, and also partly ~ above time. 

In at an early stage spring, nights can be cold, and the Jordan way would be warmer and also therefore an ext inviting. 

In so late spring and early fall, days might be hot, and also the Samaritan roadway would it is in cooler and much more tempting.

But Jesus would additionally have weighed the expense of the extra work to go by the Jordan Way. Jesus wasn’t wealthy. He and also his brothers worked as day-laborers. Every job on the roadway to Jerusalem was a day no earning money ~ above the job.

Where go Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could come to Jerusalem for three or 4 or 5 weeks in ~ a stretch, so probably most Galileans stayed house for most feasts. But even so, there would have actually been number of thousand people on the road to Jerusalem in ~ the same time together Jesus.

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

Which means many 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 much weight to lug along.

All you yes, really needed was a great wool cloak. Everybody had one. A heavy wool cloak to be a standard part of her wardrobe, precisely because you might both wear it and also sleep in it. 

A cloak would typically be big enough come wrap twice approximately your body, i m sorry made that a an extremely effective sleeping bag.

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

Other Necessities top top the roadway to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t need to carry extra clothes. You might just wear the exact same wool tunic for the whole trip to Jerusalem and back. Yes, that would obtain dirty after ~ a couple of weeks, and also it would smell, however everyone else would be dirty and also smelly too, so it i will not ~ be a large deal.

But you did need to carry water. Once you walk miles every job in the warm sun, water is essential. Friend could lug water in a waterskin on your shoulder. You might refill it follow me the way, mixing it with beer or alcohol to kill germs.

You likewise needed a long towel belt to wrap around your waist. If you folded this correctly, it hosted your money safely. A couple of silver dinars would buy food and drink because that the whole trip.

Finally, you could slip a short knife right into your belt as a defense against bandits.

And it is all friend needed. Just sufficient gear to acquire you safely come Jerusalem and also back. Light sufficient to carry.

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

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