The census was carried out all over Empire most of Europe : but in Palestine, it was carried out in a Jewish way rather than a Roman way. This meant that families had to register in the their historical tribal town rather than where they lived.
The Story of the First Christmas (1959 Version)
This also meant that Joseph and the very pregnant Mary would have had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as this was town that Joseph's family the royal family of David originally came from - a journey of about 70 miles kilometres. The journey would have taken about three days and they might well have arrived in the evening, because if they had arrived earlier in the day, it is more likely that they would have found somewhere to stay. In those times, there weren't really such things as motels or inns, you normally would have stayed with some extended family or relations. A more accurate translation of 'inn' would be 'guest room'.
Most houses would have been shared with the animals that the family kept.
Star of Bethlehem
The animals were a kind of 'central heating' at night keeping the house warm! As many people would have traveled to Bethlehem for the census, all the houses, or certainly upper levels were full. During the festival, Jews live outside in temporary shelters the word 'tabernacle' come from a latin word meaning 'booth' or 'hut'.
It was the custom in those times to wrap a new born baby very tightly in long bandages called swaddling clothes.
The arms and legs of the baby were also wrapped, so they couldn't move. This was done because they thought it helped the baby to grow strong, straight limbs!
And as no proper crib was available, the new baby boy was placed in a manger, or feeding trough. There's a theory that Jesus might have been born a couple of miles outside of Bethlehem where there was a special shepherds' watch tower called the Migdal Eder. So Jesus might have been born out with the shepherds.
- Star of Bethlehem - Wikipedia.
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The dates that we use now were set by Monks and religious leaders in the Middle Ages and before. Shipped from UK.
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