THE NATIVITY TRAIL - THE START OF THE JOURNEY FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child".- Luke 2: 1-5

THE NATIVITY TRAIL OF MARY AND JOSEPH
There is really no reliable way to determine how long it took Mary and Joseph to get from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Because the distance between these areas is about 100 miles, and a human walking could accomplish about 20 miles, it is likely that it took around a week or so. Time would have been taken out for sleeping and eating.
From Nazareth they would have crossed over the mountains through Cana to the southern shores of the Sea of Galilee. There they would have rendezvoused with others going south.
It was the norm for people to travel these routes in groups to avoid robbers. Usually a self-appointed guide/protector was paid a fee in order to go along with his group.
*There is no donkey in the Bible account for Mary to ride. Walking, though drudgery, might have been easier for a woman nine months pregnant than riding a donkey. Mary would have been a teenager at the time and doubtless a hardy one as most people of the time had to be to survive.
*Mary riding in a Donkey ?
( It is not mentioned in the Scriptures but it is mentioned in the second-century Christian writing, Protoevangelium of James, chapter 17. So, it is a very early Christian tradition.)
The route started on the west shores of the Jordan River. Just south of Beth Shean parties crossed the river into what is now Jordan. The route was easier and safer from there to Jericho where they crossed back. The temperature in this fertile green valley would have been more mild than would be found on the mountains around Bethlehem.
To this point the route would have traversed mostly smooth terrain. From Jericho to Bethlehem would have required going through the barren Wilderness of Judea. Here especially the protection afforded by group travel would have been essential. It was along this road the Good Samaritan encountered the man who had been beaten and robbed.
Once they arrived in Bethlehem it afforded them no Regency. An “inn” was simply a caravansary. There was one in Bethlehem which King David named for one of his generals. Such consisted of a plot of ground cleared of most stones out of which a perimeter “fence” would have been made. It restricted animals within it.
An inn was in no way anything like a hotel or motel. It was an outdoor walled off place where people and their animals slept together as they often did in the field. Within they were protected and had a bit of shelter.
The mountains around Bethlehem are porous providing many caves. Some of these caves were used to shelter livestock. Often a cave would have more than one chamber. The animals were kept in the outer chamber and provided warmth for the family deeper within. This is similar to what Eskimos allegedly do with their dogs in their igloos. Such caves were called mangers. There is no innkeeper in the Bible narrative but there must have been some proprietor to allowed Mary and Joseph to use the manger. It afforded more privacy than would have the inn itself.
THE NATIVITY TRAIL - THE START OF THE JOURNEY FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM THE NATIVITY TRAIL - THE START OF THE JOURNEY FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 14:45 Rating: 5

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