For Bible Study Nerds

At the time when the angel instructed Joseph to flee King Herod, Egypt had become a kind of safe haven for Jews forced to leave their home country.

Egypt (like Herod’s Judea) was under Roman control—but was outside of King Herod’s authority. Jewish philosopher, Philo (15 B.C—50 A.D.) lived during that time and reported that Alexandria, Egypt alone had about 1 million Jews living in relative safety there. Although Egypt wasn’t exactly close to Joseph and Mary, it wasn’t too far either. The border between Judea and Egypt was about 80 miles away from their home in Bethlehem—a distance that could be covered within days.

Because of its heavy Jewish population, accessible walking distance, and its peaceful coexistence with Judea as part of the Roman Empire, Egypt was the ideal place for Joseph to hide his family from Herod’s murderous intent. And that’s exactly what he did.

Pyramid of Khafre ca. 2525 B.C. Giza, Egypt

Works Cited:

[ZB1, 17]



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