According come the gospels, Jesus regularly took the roadway to Jerusalem because that the yearly feasts. The key feasts were Passover (in early spring), Pentecost (in late spring), and also Tabernacles (in beforehand fall). However we understand Jesus likewise spent at the very least one Hanukkah (early winter) in Jerusalem.  

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

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

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

The Samaritan RoadThe Jordan Way

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

Walking the Samaritan Road

Coming indigenous Nazareth to Jerusalem, the shorter route was absolutely the Samaritan Road, which ran an ext or less straight south. Together the crow flies, the distance is 64 miles, however it had actually to be at least 70 miles by road.

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

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

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

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

Walking the Jordan Way

Many travelers native Galilee did an finish run on Samaria. They’d reduced southeast native Galilee till they got to the Jordan River. Climate they’d take it the road straight south 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 means was more than likely 85 to 90 miles. For this reason a reasonable time to walk that distance would certainly be 5 days. Again, you could set an wild pace, and you could make it in just 4 days. Or taking things slower 보다 normal, you can 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 way from Nazareth come Jericho. Nazareth is roughly 1200 feet above sea level, when Jericho is around 850 feet below sea level.) The lower the elevation, the higher the median temperatures. For this reason this path was absolutely hotter.

The final day’s hike native Jericho approximately Jerusalem would have actually been tough. The readjust in altitude is virtually 3000 feet over a food of around 16 miles. That’s more than a 3% grade. 

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

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The Jericho Road was well known for bandits, therefore the clever traveler go in a largish group and took a weapon.

But the one advantage of the Jordan method was the you didn’t have to go through 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 we have a story around him going with Jericho.  

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

In beforehand spring, nights could be cold, and also the Jordan means would be warmer and therefore much more inviting. 

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

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

Where walk Jesus Sleep?

Not everyone in Galilee could pertained to Jerusalem for three or 4 or 5 weeks at a stretch, so most likely most Galileans stayed house for most feasts. But even so, there would have actually been several thousand civilization on the roadway to Jerusalem in ~ the very same time as Jesus.

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

Which means many everyone camped out follow me the way. 

You i will not ~ need a tent for camping, which is great because a tent would certainly be too much weight to lug along.

All you really needed was a great wool cloak. Everybody had one. A hefty wool cloak was a standard part of your wardrobe, precisely because you can both undertake it and also sleep in it. 

A cloak would typically be large enough to wrap twice roughly your body, i m sorry made it a very effective sleeping bag.

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

Other Necessities on the road to Jerusalem

You wouldn’t need to carry extra clothes. You can just undertake the same wool tunic because that the totality trip to Jerusalem and also back. Yes, that would acquire dirty after ~ a couple of 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 you did need to bring water. As soon as you walk miles every work in the warm sun, water is essential. Friend could carry water in a waterskin on her shoulder. You can refill it along the way, mix it through beer or wine to kill germs.

You likewise needed a long towel belt come wrap about your waist. If friend folded this correctly, it organized your money safely. A couple of silver dinars would buy food and drink for the totality trip.

Finally, you could slip a brief knife into your belt together a defense versus bandits.

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

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

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