According to the gospels, Jesus routinely took the roadway to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. The key feasts to be Passover (in beforehand spring), Pentecost (in late spring), and Tabernacles (in at an early stage fall). But we recognize Jesus also spent at least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

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

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

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Jesus had two key routes he might take to obtain to Jerusalem. We don’t understand what people called these courses in the an initial century, so we’ll consist of reasonable names:

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

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

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming from Nazareth come Jerusalem, the much shorter route was certainly the Samaritan Road, which ran an ext or much less straight south. As the crow flies, the distance is 64 miles, but it had to be at the very least 70 mile by road.

A common traveler can walk 15 to 20 mile in a day, which way that you can walk indigenous Nazareth come Jerusalem in about 4 days. If you collection a an extremely aggressive pace, friend might be able to make the in 3 days. If you were really acquisition it easy, you can do that in 5.

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

But that would likewise mean going v Samaria, i m sorry was adversary territory. We recognize that periodically the Samaritans harassed Jews comes to the feasts. Sometimes they killed people.

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

Walking the Jordan Way

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

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

So the Jordan Way took around a day longer than the Samaritan Road. This course drops in elevation many of the means from Nazareth come Jericho. Nazareth is roughly 1200 feet over sea level, if Jericho is around 850 feet below sea level.) The lower the elevation, the higher the median temperatures. For this reason this path was certainly hotter.

The final day’s hike from Jericho as much as Jerusalem would have been tough. The change in altitude is virtually 3000 feet over a course of around 16 miles. That’s much more than a 3% grade. 

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


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

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

Which course Did Jesus Take?

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

We don’t know which means he took much more often. If I had to guess, I’d say that he made the decision based greatly on temperature, and also partly ~ above time. 

In early on spring, nights could be cold, and the Jordan method would be warmer and therefore an ext inviting. 

In late spring and early fall, days might be hot, and the Samaritan road would it is in cooler and an ext tempting.

But Jesus would likewise have weighed the expense of the extra day to walk by the Jordan Way. Jesus no wealthy. He and his brothers functioned as day-laborers. Every work on the roadway to Jerusalem was a day not earning money ~ above the job.

Where did Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could pertained to Jerusalem for three or 4 or five weeks in ~ a stretch, so more than likely most Galileans stayed home for many feasts. But even so, there would have actually been several thousand people on the roadway to Jerusalem at the same time as Jesus.

There to be no chains of motels that can handle that many civilization all at once. 

Which means most everyone camped out along the way. 

You i will not ~ need a tent for camping, which is good because a tent would be too lot weight come lug along.

All you really needed was a great wool cloak. Everybody had one. A heavy wool cloak was a standard component of her wardrobe, precisely due to the fact that you could both wear it and sleep in it. 

A cloak would commonly be large enough come wrap twice about your body, which made the a very effective resting bag.

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

Other Necessities top top the roadway to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t require to bring extra clothes. You can just stay the exact same wool tunic because that the whole trip to Jerusalem and back. Yes, that would acquire dirty after ~ a couple of weeks, and it would smell, but everyone else would certainly be dirty and smelly too, therefore it wouldn’t be a huge deal.

But friend did need to lug water. Once you walk miles every day in the hot sun, water is essential. Girlfriend could lug water in a waterskin on your shoulder. You can refill it follow me the way, mix it through beer or wine to kill germs.

You likewise needed a long cloth belt come wrap roughly your waist. If girlfriend folded this correctly, it hosted your money safely. A few silver dinars would certainly buy food and drink for the entirety trip.

Finally, you might slip a brief knife into your belt as a defense against bandits.

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

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

What do you think? does the roadway to Jerusalem v Jesus sound like an adventure worth taking? In my forthcoming series of novels, Crown of Thorns, we’ll take the journey number of times.