According to the gospels, Jesus routinely took the road to Jerusalem because that the annual feasts. The main feasts were Passover (in beforehand spring), Pentecost (in late spring), and also Tabernacles (in at an early stage fall). However we understand Jesus likewise spent at the very least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

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

But Jesus no drive, that walked. Which means this no a two-hour trip for him, it was a walk of number of days.

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Jesus had two key routes he might take to acquire to Jerusalem. We don’t recognize what civilization called these courses in the very first century, so we’ll make up reasonable names:

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

These were very different routes, each v pluses and also minuses.

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming native Nazareth to Jerusalem, the shorter route was certainly the Samaritan Road, i beg your pardon ran much more or much less straight south. Together the crow flies, the street is 64 miles, yet it had to it is in at least 70 mile by road.

A usual traveler deserve to walk 15 come 20 miles in a day, which means that you can walk from Nazareth to Jerusalem in about 4 days. If you collection a an extremely aggressive pace, friend might have the ability to make the in 3 days. If you to be really taking it easy, you might do that in 5.

Most of the Samaritan Road goes through the hill country of Samaria and Judea in ~ altitudes up to around 2000 feet. In a hot nation like Israel, the would typical slightly cooler temperatures. 

But the would likewise mean going with Samaria, which was opponent territory. We recognize that sometimes the Samaritans harassed Jews coming to the feasts. Periodically they killed people.

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

Walking the Jordan Way

Many travelers native Galilee did an end run top top Samaria. They’d cut southeast native Galilee till they got to the Jordan River. Then they’d take it the road straight south along the river till they reached Jericho. Finally, castle turned west and hiked up into the Judean hill nation to Jerusalem.

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

So the Jordan Way took about a day much longer than the Samaritan Road. This path drops in elevation most of the way from Nazareth to Jericho. Nazareth is roughly 1200 feet over sea level, if Jericho is about 850 feet below sea level.) The reduced the elevation, the higher the median temperatures. So this course was absolutely hotter.

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

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


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

But the one advantage of the Jordan means 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 about him walking with Samaria. And we have actually a story around him going v 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 greatly on temperature, and also partly top top time. 

In at an early stage spring, nights might be cold, and also the Jordan method would be warmer and therefore more inviting. 

In so 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 also have weighed the expense of the extra day to walk by the Jordan Way. Jesus no wealthy. He and also his brothers functioned as day-laborers. Every day on the road to Jerusalem to be a day no earning money on the job.

Where walk Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could concerned Jerusalem for three or four or five weeks at a stretch, so more than likely most Galileans stayed home for many feasts. But even so, over there would have been numerous thousand human being on the road to Jerusalem at the very same time as Jesus.

There were no chain of motels that can handle that many civilization all at once. 

Which means most everyone camped out follow me the way. 

You i will not ~ need a tent for camping, i m sorry is an excellent because a tent would be too much weight come lug along.

All you really needed was a an excellent wool cloak. Everybody had one. A heavy wool cloak was a standard component of your wardrobe, precisely since you might both undertake it and sleep in it. 

A cloak would commonly be large enough come wrap twice about your body, i m sorry made the a an extremely effective resting bag.

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

Other Necessities on the road to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t need to carry extra clothes. You can just wear the exact same wool tunic for the totality trip come Jerusalem and also back. Yes, it would obtain dirty ~ a couple of weeks, and also it would certainly smell, yet everyone else would certainly be dirty and smelly too, so it i will not ~ be a big deal.

But you did need to carry water. As soon as you walk mile every job in the warm sun, water is essential. You could lug water in a waterskin on her shoulder. You could refill it along the way, mixing it with beer or wine to kill germs.

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

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

And that’s all girlfriend needed. Just sufficient gear to acquire you safely to Jerusalem and back. Light enough to carry.

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Jesus and also his family and friends do this trip countless times over the years. 

What perform you think? walk the road to Jerusalem through Jesus sound choose an adventure precious taking? In my forthcoming collection of novels, Crown that Thorns, we’ll take that journey several times.