According come the gospels, Jesus regularly took the road to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts. The main feasts to be Passover (in beforehand spring), Pentecost (in so late spring), and also Tabernacles (in early fall). However we understand Jesus also spent at least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

For most of his life, Jesus stayed in Nazareth, a village in Galilee around 60 mile north the Jerusalem. And also for the last couple of years, the made his headquarters in Capernaum, one more 20 mile or so east of Nazareth. Today, you can drive native Jerusalem come Galilee in much less than two hours. 

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

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

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

These were really different routes, each with pluses and minuses.

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming from Nazareth come Jerusalem, the shorter route was absolutely the Samaritan Road, which ran much more or much less straight south. Together the crow flies, the distance is 64 miles, yet it had actually to it is in at the very least 70 mile by road.

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

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

But it would also mean going through Samaria, i m sorry was foe territory. We know that occasionally the Samaritans harassed Jews comes to the feasts. Sometimes they eliminated people.

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

Walking the Jordan Way

Many travelers from Galilee did an finish run on Samaria. They’d reduced southeast from Galilee until they reached the Jordan River. Climate they’d take it the road straight southern along the river until they reached Jericho. Finally, they turned west and also hiked up right into the Judean hill nation to Jerusalem.

From Nazareth come Jerusalem through the Jordan means was probably 85 to 90 miles. So a reasonable time come walk that distance would be 5 days. Again, you could collection an aggressive pace, and you can 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 route drops in elevation most of the means from Nazareth to Jericho. Nazareth is approximately 1200 feet over sea level, while Jericho is about 850 feet below sea level.) The lower the elevation, the higher the typical temperatures. So this path was certainly hotter.

The last day’s hike from Jericho up to Jerusalem would have been tough. The adjust in altitude is almost 3000 feet end a course of around 16 miles. That’s much more than a 3% grade. 

This critical day the the trip was the infamous Jericho Road—arid, rocky, lonely, and steep. Here’s a picture I took of this nation on a recent expedition to Israel: 


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

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

Which route Did Jesus Take?

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

We nothing know which means he took an ext often. If I had actually to guess, I’d say that he made the decision based greatly on temperature, and also partly on time. 

In at an early stage spring, nights might be cold, and the Jordan means would be warmer and therefore an ext inviting. 

In late spring and early fall, days can be hot, and the Samaritan road would it is in cooler and much more tempting.

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

Where go Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could concerned Jerusalem for three or four or 5 weeks in ~ a stretch, so most likely most Galileans stayed house for many feasts. But even so, over there would have been number of thousand civilization on the road to Jerusalem at the very same time as Jesus.

There to be no chains of motels that might handle that many world all at once. 

Which means most everyone camped out along the way. 

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

All you really needed was a good wool cloak. Everybody had one. A heavy wool cloak to be a standard part of your wardrobe, precisely since you can both wear it and also sleep in it. 

A cloak would frequently be huge enough come wrap twice approximately your body, i m sorry made it a really effective sleeping bag.

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

Other Necessities ~ above the road to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t require to bring extra clothes. You can just wear the exact same wool tunic because that the entirety trip to Jerusalem and back. Yes, the would gain dirty after ~ a few weeks, and also it would smell, yet everyone else would be dirty and also smelly too, so it wouldn’t be a large deal.

But girlfriend did need to lug water. When you walk mile every day in the warm sun, water is essential. Girlfriend could carry water in a waterskin on her shoulder. You could refill it follow me the way, mix it v beer or wine to kill germs.

You additionally needed a long fabric belt to wrap around your waist. If girlfriend folded this correctly, it hosted your money safely. A few silver dinars would buy food and also drink for the entirety trip.

Finally, you could slip a quick knife right into your belt together a defense against bandits.

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

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Jesus and his family and friends do this trip plenty of times over the years. 

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