Gospel that Luke mentions Nazareth in Galilee to be the place where Virgin mary was called by the angel Gabriel that she would certainly bore Jesus. Additionally there, she married Joseph. However, it was in the town of Bethlehem where Jesus to be born. One deserve to ask: Why spouses determined to walk indigenous Nazareth come Bethlehem, when Virgin Mary was in such an advanced pregnancy? the was indeed a lengthy journey, which can have taken lock from 4 up to seven days. The answer have the right to be discovered in the Biblical verses:

“In those days Caesar Augustus authorize a decree that a census need to be take away of the whole Roman world. <…> and everyone visited his very own town come register. For this reason Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee come Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, since he belonged come the house and also line the David. The went over there to register through Mary, that was pledged to be married to him and also was expecting a child” (Luke 2:1-5).

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Joseph to be obliged to leaving Nazareth because that Bethlehem as he go not desire to danger being punished for not paying the tax. And also probably it to be God’s will certainly which make him to take also Mary, so Micah’s prophecy around upcoming Messiah, could be fulfilled: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are tiny among the clans of Judah,
out that you will certainly come for me one that will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are indigenous of old,
from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)

Which path?

The exact means which Mary and Joseph took to obtain from Nazareth to Bethlehem is not defined in any kind of of the Gospels. However, follow to the works of the ancient historian Josephus Flavius:“It is the tradition of the Galileans at the time of festival to pass v the Samaritan region on their way to the holy City.” therefore we can suppose that the pair might have taken a way which lock usually required to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

They might have descended from Nazareth trough Jezreel valley to Samaria and from there to Jerusalem and also Bethlehem in Judea. Probably, on your way, lock were organized by various world as in ~ those times, in the close to East, it to be a typical tradition come overnight the travelers.

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“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” (1 Peter 4:9)

There exists also another concept that since of consistent conflicts in between Samaritans and also Jews, Mary and Joseph can have preferred the method through Jordan sink to avoid meeting the human being of Samaria. Yet if they would certainly have complied with this way, would certainly they pass through Jerusalem?

According to the Protoevangelium that James, damages of the octagonal in shape Kathisma (Greek because that “seat” or “chair”) church native the fifth century, located on the method between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, mark the place where mar rested before reaching Bethlehem.

Hiking the Nativity Trail

In no covid times, adventure tourists will certainly hike a path that the Holy pair might have actually followed, well-known as the Nativity Trail. The trail traverses 160 kilometres passing v beautiful, though sometimes rough terrains, rocky hillsides, desert valleys and the multiple always-green olive groves, wherein hikers have an possibility to rest simply as Mary and Joseph did.

The trail stops in the Biblical towns of Nazareth, Nablus (ancient Shechem), Jericho and also Bethlehem, and smaller towns along the way.

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During the journey, hikers space able to experience neighborhood hospitality and also stay in villagers’ homes, Christian monasteries, regional B&Bs, Bedouin tents, etc.

This year you deserve to take a digital Christmas tourism in the footsteps of Mary and also Joseph and join jajalger2018.org’s distinct Mary and also Joseph’s Christmas tour along the Nativity Trail. The digital tour is reserved for Sunday, December 20, 2020 in ~ 2pm EST. Register here.

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Beata Andonia works for the Bethlehem tourist bureau and blogs regularly around Bethlehem forjajalger2018.org-Holy land Tours. She is initially from Poland and moved come Bethlehem in 2010.