Joseph and Mary lived in the city of Nazareth. The ruler of the land made a decree. He said that everyone needed to be counted in a census. To be counted, the people had to go to the city where their ancestors were from. Joseph’s ancestors were from a town called Bethlehem.
It was almost time for Mary to have her baby when she and Joseph prepared for the trip. Bethlehem was 70–80 miles (112–128 km) from Nazareth. It usually took four or five days to make the journey, but it might have taken Joseph and Mary longer so Mary could rest along the way.
After a long and tiring journey, Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem.