Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jericho to Jerusalem

How long does it take to walk from Jericho to Jerusalem?  It took me 8 hours today to cover the distance of 15 miles (24 km) with an elevation increase of about 3400 feet (1060 m).  Not counting breaks, our group of 15 walked for six and a half hours.  It would have taken longer if it had been hotter or if we had run into Condoleeza Rice.  Fortunately, she went to Jericho today to solve the Middle East conflict.

Jesus traveled this route many times.  In fact, every time that he came to Jerusalem from Galilee, he would have traveled up the same Ascent of Adumim (unless permitted to travel through Samaria; cf. John 4 and Luke 9:52-53).  Scriptures record at least one trip of Jesus through Samaria and two trips by way of Jericho.  My guess is that he went this way dozens of times in his life.  Probably his parents had to climb back up to Jerusalem after realizing that their twelve-year-old boy wasn't in their caravan (Luke 2:41-50).  I would've been upset myself to have to make that return journey.

Parts of the Roman road are still visible in places, and the way today is safe and pleasant.  We didn't see any thieves, but did make a stop at the traditional "Inn of the Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:25-37).


Roman road from Jerusalem to Jericho

Sidenote: A couple of years ago I put together a photo essay on Jesus' Final Journey to Jerusalem for Jerusalem Perspective; it is available online to paid subscribers.

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7 Comments:

  • This post was chosen for the inaugural (and experimental) This Week in Early Writings.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 05, 06:58:00 AM  

  • I'm spending time preparing for a keynote/Bible Study on the Good Samaritan.
    I stumbled across your blog describe your walking trip "Jericho to Jerusalem".
    I'm becoming very interested in Khan el-Ahmar, as it could have been the image of an "inn" that Jesus was drawing upon. Do you think Jesus perhaps stopped there on his own journeys? Where is it exactly in relation to Jerusalem and Jericho?
    Rev. James Byers
    pastorjamesb@hotmail.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Feb 03, 04:47:00 PM  

  • Rev. Byers - the site is on the road between the two and about mid-way between Jerusalen and Jericho. I think it is less likely that there was an inn here in ancient times, as the trip between Jerusalem and Jericho is a single day's journey. Thus inns on either end would be sufficient. I am unaware of any remains in the area earlier than the Byzantine period. Certainly though Jesus passed by this area many times.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Tue Feb 03, 08:11:00 PM  

  • The whole Samaritan story was probably something Jesus had witnessed. Jesus did say that if you do something good for someone who is sick, you also do it to Jesus, and if you don't do something for someone who is sick, you don't do it for Jesus. But how does one interpret that line? Obviously Jesus wants us to be good to the less fortunate. But is Jesus always with the less fortunate? Is he there watching? Was he there when the Samaritan did his good deed? Was Jesus the man who fell among thieves? Or was he merely watching? This couldn't have been a made up story. He didn't say it was a parable, and when He spoke, He always spoke the truth, because He was the truth.

    By Blogger Columbia, at Sun May 15, 05:09:00 PM  

  • The whole Samaritan story was probably something Jesus had witnessed. Jesus did say that if you do something good for someone who is sick, you also do it to Jesus, and if you don't do something for someone who is sick, you don't do it for Jesus. But how does one interpret that line? Obviously Jesus wants us to be good to the less fortunate. But is Jesus always with the less fortunate? Is he there watching? Was he there when the Samaritan did his good deed? Was Jesus the man who fell among thieves? Or was he merely watching? This couldn't have been a made up story. He didn't say it was a parable, and when He spoke, He always spoke the truth, because He was the truth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun May 15, 05:10:00 PM  

  • i love this website, because it given me answer for me to identify distance of jerusalem to jericho. Jehovah Shalom.....

    By Blogger Pastor Mathew Victor, at Wed Dec 28, 03:27:00 AM  

  • I'm doing a Sunday School lesson on the good Samaritan, thanks for your blog post. I will use some of the information!

    By Blogger Mrs. Mobunny, at Wed May 08, 08:22:00 AM  

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