Matthew 2:13-15 NRSV

13" Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

14 Then Joseph[h] got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt,

15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

Jesus family was a poor family. Why I say this? According to the Law poor families could for their sacrificial offering give,“a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Leviticus 5:5-7

Luke 2:22-24 (NRSV)

22 "When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord."

23" (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”),

24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

I estimate that this is a journey of approximately 700Km (About 420 miles) overland.

So,Where did Jesus family find the money to make the long journey to Egypt?

  • In my course on late antiquity, years ago, I learned that Joseph, as a carpenter, which was an honorable profession, was a middle class. Moreover, even if they run out of money, given the tragic circumstances, they could have borrowed money for travel to Alexandria (for surely they went there, the New York of that era, where a huge Jewish diaspora lived that time) and then stayed there with some relatives. I do not think it is a very essential question, not because it is not interesting, but because info is too terse to give any definitive and deepened answer, I guess. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 21:09
  • Levan, I know that this is not a spiritual question, nor the answer required. There is however a plausible answer in the scriptures, and which I will post in due course, provided some else does answer it. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 21:21
  • I don't believe you will find an answer in Scripture. There is a tradition out of the early Church that gifts of the wise men contributed towards this. I cannot locate the source for this, though.
    – user33515
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 22:02
  • Not quite sure why you'd think one needs money to travel; nomads, after all, aren't particularly wealthy.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 23:00
  • At the time of sacrificing, they were poor. Two years later, after the visit of the Magi and after Herod's persecution they had the gifts of the Magi, particularly the gold.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 23:41

2 Answers 2


By God's providence the Wiseman came with appropriate gifts for the great king to furnish preparation for the journey that was ahead of him. One of the gifts was gold. It was timely because immediately after receiving the financial means they moved to Egypt through warning in a dream:

Matthew 2:1,9-11

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

  • Samuel: You are correct, the gifts given to the family by the astrologers from the east provided the financial means for the family to escape to Egypt. The astrologers were many and not three as depicted in Hollywood movies (+1) Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 19:23

From before his birth to after his death and resurrection Jesus had the support of a number of wealthy sponsors. He lived in Egypt until he was eight, where his mother's husband worked as a stone mason -- a good job at the time. Jesus may have accrued advantages of learning that weren't normally available to kids from tiny villages in Israel. His sophistication may have given him the social charisma that attracted Jewish disciples and followers in numbers large enough to draw the attention of administrators and officials.

When Jesus returned to Nazereth, Israel he became a favorite of the rabbis at the temple in Jerusalem. Saul (later named Paul) was a Roman citizen and student at the temple where he studied under the now famous Rabbi Gemaliel. Jesus and Saul were the same age and probably knew each other. For some reason, perhaps it was personal jealousy or immaturity, Saul hated Jesus. Jesus probably wasn't thrilled to see a Roman "oppressor" taking up space in the temple either, even if he was Jewish like he was. Who knows?

It is one of the great ironies of the Bible that Saul would later come to write fourteen books in the new (at the time) Scriptures and change his name to Paul, perhaps to better conceal his identity from religious leaders who may have disapproved of his submission to the love of his former rival.

Jesus was crucified under a sign that said he was the King of the Jews in three languages. The Romans buried him in a rich man's tomb, and honored him by protecting his gravesite with a Roman Honor Guard.

During an inspection of the grave three days after, authorities discovered that his body had been stolen, apparently while the guards slept.

Jesus, the Christ

  • Are any of these claims regarding sources of wealth supportable by references to historical sources or Biblical verses? If so, then you should cite those sources. The link at the end of your answer should be removed as this is not an appropriate venue for advertising your site.
    – user17080
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:33

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