Verses 3-4 “3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.)”
The whole world was to be taxed. By “whole world” (v.1) is meant all of the countries and districts of the Roman Empire. Joseph’s ancestral town was Bethlehem, a small agricultural village about six miles from Jerusalem. The trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about eighty-five miles distance. We do not know what means of conveyance was employed to transport Mary to Bethlehem. Often it is assumed that Mary rode on a donkey, but that is being read into the Bible account since the Bible does not tell us that detail. She may have ridden in a cart pulled by a donkey, or in a wagon pulled by a horse. Or, as many have suspected, she may have ridden on a donkey. The important thing is that they did arrive at Bethlehem, because it was prophesied that the Christ would be born there (Micah 5:2). We see the providence of God in bringing Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem; for it is He who arranged the time of the birth, the taxing, and even the mode of transportation.