How long is the journey from Babylon to Bethlehem? How old was Jesus when they got there?


I'm trying to figure out roughly how old was Jesus when the Magi arrived? One of the key factors could be considered to be that they saw the star of his birth and then travelled to Jerusalem, where they tell Herod about it (Matt 2:7) and then went on to Bethlehem.

The Magi came from the East, it is believed from Babylon, so how long does it take to travel the distance. From Google Maps you can see the distance is about 1,150km.

Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 11.01.16.png

In Ezra 7:9 we learn, Ezra's entourage (probably included children and elderly people) took four months to travel from Babylon to Jerusalem.

It's likely the Magi's caravan would have taken a little less time but they may have had to delay a while to prepare for the journey, so a few months certainly gives us a good idea.

This actually ties in with the fact that Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem for at least 40 days, until the end of Mary's 'purification'. (Luke 2:22). It seems that the couple stayed on a Bethlehem for a while, surrounded, as they would have been, by Joseph's family.

The other factor is that after discovering the time the Magi saw the star, King Herod orders children under 2 to be killed in and around Bethlehem. (Matt 2:16)

So, it seems from this baby Jesus would have been between a minimum or about 4 months and a maximum of 2 years old.

To me, Herod's paranoia is likely the element making this net wider rather than the Magi's delay in coming. This and the fact that in the chronology of Jesus' birth, Herod being alive is a factor that already moves the birth date back into what we call BC years. If Herod is alive not only for the birth but 2 years later for the 'massacre of the innocents', it would push the date of Jesus' birth back another 2 years.

So in conclusion, in the comic I believe I will draw Jesus looking about 6-9 months old.

Please feel free to comment if you have any insight or wisdom on the topic. Thanks