Bible Maps: the Flight into Egypt 

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Life of Jesus Christ

Jesus of Nazareth

Mary and the newborn Jesus, Borgognone

The birth of Jesus

The flight into Egypt, by Giotto

The flight to Egypt

Crown of golden olive leaves

King Herod

Reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem at the time of King Herod

The Jerusalem Temple

Map showing where events in the life of Jesus happened

Maps of events
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Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Egypt

Route taken by Joseph, Mary and Jesus in their flight from King Herod the Great

The birth of Jesus and the flight into Egypt 

The story of Jesus is set out in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. 

The first three are called the ‘synoptic’ gospels because they are studied together owing to their similarity. The fourth gospel, John's, contains many details not found in the others and is different in many other ways also. 

According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born at Bethlehem in the days of King Herod, who died in the spring of 4 BC. Jesus’ birth probably occured in 4 or 5 BC. According to Luke (2:22-24), the child was presented at the Temple

Menaced by Herod, Joseph and Mary decided to flee to Egypt by night. The shortest way to leave Herod’s domain was seemingly by way of Ascalon, which lay on the main road to Egypt: the safer way of the desert would have been too arduous for a woman and a newborn baby.

The family arrived unharmed in the land of the Nile, where they found shelter and sustenance among the many Jews then living in Egypt. Exactly where they lived is unknown, but there was a sizeable number of Jewish enclaves there at the time, and Joseph and Mary probably had relatives or connections among them.

Gospel texts: Matthew 1:18 - 2:15
                          Luke 2:4-38


Ruins of the ancient city of Pelusium

(Above and below) Ruins of the ancient city of Pelusium, 
though which Jesus, Mary and Joseph probably passed on their journey to Egypt

Ruins of the ancient city of Pelusium


1st-2nd century coffin portrait from Egypt

This Egyptian coffin portrait was painted only a little after the time that Mary and Joseph lived there. The two peasant farmers from Galilee, parents of Jesus, would have encountered a highly sophisticated society capable of producing subtle paintings like the one above. It was a long way from Nazareth.

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Bible Study Resource, Life of Jesus: Map of the route taken in the Flight into Egypt by Joseph, Mary and Jesus


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Copyright 2006 Elizabeth Fletcher