The Empire under Augustus

In Matthew 2.13-15 Joseph flees Judea with Mary and the baby Jesus because an angel told him that Herod was going to try to kill the child. Joseph leaves at night for Egypt and he doesn’t return until a few years later after Herod’s death. I have always imagined this to be quite the trip, yet “Egypt” wouldn’t have been all that far after all.

The Roman Province of Egypt seems to have ended near the modern Gaza Strip (which borders modern Egypt) and it was the neighboring district to Judea. If I understand my geography correctly it would have been a little more than fifty miles from Bethlehem to the outskirt of the territory ruled by Herod the Great.

So it seems Jesus’ family would not have had to cross the Sinai Peninsula to be “in Egypt”, technically. That frames Jesus exile a little differently. At least it made me rethink what may have possibly happened.