Toddler Jesus in a Walker

Holy Mary and Joseph! Don't you know those things aren't safe?! Get Jesus out of that thing before he goes down a flight of stairs. Child safety standards in First Century Bethlehem (yes, Bethlehem, not Egypt) were obviously deficient. Or at least as the Clèves Master, an anonymous Fifteenth Century Dutch artist, imagined them in an illuminated manuscript.


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Of course they know the walker is unsafe. That's why they put a big safety helmet on their baby's head.
And, most likely, it's the same reason why mom is also wearing her helmet while playing in her walker.
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"It was common at the time for artists to imagine ancient times to be similar to their own."
For the less educated artist this would probably have been the case, but there was a long tradition in European painting to set ancient scenes in contemporary settings. Often elements from several eras were thrown together: a Holy family dressed in ancient Roman garb in a 17th century church.

The idea, in addition to being a simple matter on convenience, was to bring the ancient story into a setting more familiar to the intended viewers, thus bringing a story from a distant place home.
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Ah, but he's clearly under two years of age, which is why he's using a walker. And it wouldn't be Nazareth because Luke 2: 39-52 establishes that Jesus didn't arrive there until he was much older.
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...uh, actually, probably not Bethlehem -- Egypt or Nazareth (See Matthew 2:19). The Bible is fuzzy on exact dates...but they fled the Romans to Egypt and them returned to Nazareth. But why quibble about unsafe toddler walkers when in just a few years these shining examples of parental standards will forget the Son of God at the market. Hello, Child Services? Who allowed these people to be foster parents? Oh, nevermind...
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Poor people typically don't have stairs in their home to worry about. The walker would have been good for keeping the baby occupied and relatively safe while mom and dad were working. Also, I have never seen a painting depicting the Holy family as having a Middle Eastern appearance. Always white people with European clothes.
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