Suggest a Site
General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Now accepting banner ads!
JIM - How long were Joseph, Mary and Jesus in exile in Egypt before Herod died?
JOEL - Here are the related scriptures:
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of aEgypt have I called my son.
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 ¶ But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Matt 2: 13-21)
As Matthew 2 above records Joseph, Mary, and her Son remained in Egypt until after the death of Herod the Great, which event was made known by an
angelic visitation (verses 19-20). No specifics are given in the scriptures as to the time between Herod's death and the return of Mary and Joseph and Jesus to Israel. We can only speculate that their stay in the foreign land was probably brief, for Herod did not long survive the babies he had slain in Bethlehem.
In the return of the family from Egypt Matthew finds a fulfillment of Hosea's prophetic vision: "Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Hosea 11:1)
They were probably back in the land of Jerusalem more than a few years before Jesus turned 12 years old. In Luke we read:
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. (Luke 2:41-42)
If they went from Nazareth to Jerusalem "every year" for the passover, it is doubtful that they went back and forth from Egypt to Jerusalem every year, so if they indeed went there every year their stay in Egypt may have been less than a year. But this is nothing but a guess.