Returning Home

Now the coast is clear, Mary, Joseph and Jesus can return back to Nazareth where they originally came from.

The Story in the Bible

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead.'

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: 'He will be called a Nazarene.'

Matthew 2:19-23

The History behind Joseph, Mary and Jesus returning from Egypt in the Christmas Story

Herod was very old and very ill at the time that ordered all the baby boys to be killed, sending the holy family into exile in Egypt. He was suffering from a very extreme case of delusional paranoia and killed anyone who posed even the slightest threat! He changed his will several times over the last few months of his life, as some of his sons were killed. He even ordered some of his sons to be killed, if he thought that were becoming too powerful!

Shortly before he died, Herod ordered all of Israel's rich and powerful people to be shut in the great hall of Jerusalem. He then gave orders to his sister to have all of the rich people killed after he died, so they could not become king after him!

Five days before Herod died, he killed the eldest of his remaining sons (who should have become king after him) and named his son Archelaus as the next King. When Herod died, he was buried in the Garden of Herodium near Bethlehem and Archelaus became King.

If you thought Herod was a bad King, Archelaus was far worse! That is why, when the holy family returned to Judea, they went back to their old town of Nazareth rather than returning to Bethlehem. Nazareth had a different ruler to Bethlehem because it was in the kingdom of Galilee not Judea.

Archelaus persecuted more people than Herod and spent all the people's tax money on things for himself rather than the kingdom. In the year 6 he was banished by the Romans to Gaul (a part of the Roman Empire that's now France) as a punishment!

Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived in Nazareth until Jesus started his teachings. This fulfilled another prophesy in the Old Testament of the Bible.