Golgotha–the Place of the Skull


Golgotha–the Place of the Skull 

Wow!  I keep thinking about my dear friends on this blog and I realize I’ve not truly communicated with you for some time.  (Unless you want to call a poem and a few pics of a groundhog decent communication!)

I want you to know that I’m not just blogging “at you” but I do actually pray for you.  If you’re interested in the cross of Jesus, you’re on the right blog!  There is no sweeter commonality than the cross of Jesus!

Let’s talk about the location of the cross today.  I’ve often wondered why it’s called by two names—Mount Calvary and Golgotha, a place on a hill outside the walls of Jerusalem.  (I’m SO excited to share this with you!)

The place of the crucifixion is one place known in three languages—which is why Pilate wrote “This is Jesus, King of the Jews” in three languages and had it tacked to the top of the cross.  There were three main languages in the days of Jesus.  So, let’s break this down:

Golgotha—Aramaic (language of the Hebrews)

Κρανιον Kranion 2898 (Strong) is the name in Greek

Calvarius (from where “Calvary” is derived) is the Roman language (Latin)

Interestingly, all three names mean “Skull”.

Whose skull are we talking about here?

There was a discovery in the late 1800s by archeologists who found that one location they believed to be Mount Calvary (or Golgotha, which I’ll use interchangeably here) was a hill with small caves that looked like a skull when you stand back and look at it.

I am still reading (very slowly and meditatively) The Meal that Heals by Perry Stone.  Pastor Stone points out that it’s quite possible that it is called “The place of the skull” because David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem:

David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent (I Samuel 17:54 NIV).

Think about that—why did David bother to travel ALL the way to Jerusalem (I think about 18 miles from the battle) just to bury Goliath’s head? 

Speaking of David . . .

I “accidentally” sat beside a young man yesterday at (of all places) a baby shower.  (This is the first baby shower I ever attended where there were about 12 men present!)  Anyway, there were few chairs so I sat across from my daughters beside a young man I didn’t know.  The young man to my right looked over at me—Michael!!  I was thrilled to see my student from first and second grades beside me.  He proceeded to tell my daughters that he loved first and second grade and wished he could go back.  He said, “Yeah, one year we learned about the armor of God and there was this manikin in the back closet clothed with the armor of God.  The next year we studied David all year long . . . I mean all year!”

Michael proceeded to recall the Christmas party, the puppet show, the classroom acting, the movie day, and all the fun things we did back then.  And yes, ittook us all year to study the life of David.

David . . . there’s something about the life of David.  I even named my son Johnathan DAVID.  It’s a name high on Hope’s list.  In fact, my parents thought they were going to have a boy and I was to be named DAVID.  (Sort of grows on you, eh?)

So . . . I do love to teach on David.  I’ll restrain myself as this is getting long.  But I do want to stress that King David put the sword in a tent (and later retrieved it to use it as his own weapon) and journeyed the whole way to Jerusalem to bury the head of Goliath.  There’s something on that.

Anyone care to jump in?  Please do.  All you Bible students, please CHIME

Painting by R. Leinweber–David and Goliath

IN!!  All you “wanna be” Bible students, chime in!  Any comments on David or Mount Calvary/Golgotha are welcome!  Why did David take the head of Goliath to Jerusalem and bury it there?

About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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79 Responses to Golgotha–the Place of the Skull

  1. Larry Who says:

    Here’s some thoughts:

    David could have not gone into the main part of Jerusalem because the city was inhabited by a vicious enemy of Israel, the Jebusites, at that time. So most likely David was only near Jerusalem, which means he could have taken Goliath’s head to the largest cemetery in Israel, the Mount of Olives. This cemetery had about hundred and fifty thousand graves, including many prophets.


    • THOMAS MCGLONE says:

      some think the head was buried on the Mount of Olives, and the crucifixion took place there, which makes sense since all the sacrifices of the temple (and the Red Heifer which took place on the Mount of Olives) were conducted east (within the temple)of the Holy of Holies, and the temple was oriented to the east = towards the Mount of Olves.


  2. I love it–great comment here, Larry. But then I think about this . . . David was the man after God’s own heart and God even made the way for him to sneak up on Saul with his soldiers/guards sleeping around him and take his spear and cut off a piece of his robe. So, it’s possible God gave David the “inside plan” to go into Jerusalem. On the other hand, shedding of blood for executions were handled outside the city because the city was considered sacred–at least in Jesus’ day. So maybe, he buried it outside Jerusalem, but not at the Mount of Olives–at Mt. Calvary. What do you think? Everyone else feel free to jump in. No thought is dumb. I honestly think we will generate more questions than answers! And thanks for being brave and jumping in here, Larry!


  3. David says:

    Frankly, I would have thought that he did as was often done then and even as recently as one or two hundred years ago: Put it on a spear and display it on the city wall so everyone could see it. But as commented by Larry, at the time Jerusalem wasn’t in Jewish hands, so that’s a very good question. Why bring it to a city that you didn’t control? A warning to them, perhaps?


    • I love it that we have “David” chiming in here! (This is getting more mysterious all the time!) I forgot about the city wall “show and tell” that was the norm for back then. Good point. Now I want to research the origins of Jerusalem. I’m studying Ancient Civilizations with my daughters–using the textbook Mystery of History. I’ll see what I can find.


      • Barbara says:

        Since the bible does not say that he buried the head of Goliath in a cave or mountain
        outside of Jerusalem, everything is speculation. Do not read in to what isn’t there. The answer is: it is unknown what he did with the head of Goliath.


      • Thanks for jumping in here, Barbara! You are probably right–it is an unknown or at least speculative. The good news is that in all our speculation we are all looking at the cross, drawing others in to look with us. Good to hear from you!


  4. Ron Rush says:

    Interesting observation and something I have never studied or put together. Also I think the place was named like so many “intimidating, world, and even spiritual wicked places” for the so purpose to cause fear, dread, and to shoot down any ideas that someone could outdo or rise up and overtake them… IE Roman power, and or even the subservient powers of the Enemy of our souls and the Jewish powers of the religious system in place under the Sadducee and Pharisees. The whole purpose of the Enemy is FEAR and Control…Jesus exposed and crushed both on the Cross and the Resurrection! One more note on David and Goliath is he cut off his head, which in scripture is a reference to the authority or ruling control. Another thought just came to mind is a reference in Genesis 3:15 concerning the prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion that the serpents head would be crushed by the bruising heel of Jesus’ feet from the cross.
    Along with this a future reference of the Antichrist is he/she would receive a head wound that would be “miraculous” healed… IE is this literal or could it be a symbol of “removal of one authority figure to another ????? This will require some more study and prayer, but I’m convinced when we need to know the Lord will give us insight to this truth to set us free to do His will ! Thanks for listening.

    Ron Rush


    • Great insights here, Ron! Thanks for chipping in. The whole purpose of the enemy is fear and control. Goliath was controlling and paralyzing the Israelite soldiers with his boasting and mocking. He created fear. One thing I noticed about this with North Korea and advocating for the people there, is that the fear and control often paralyze people. It’s like no one can move. Also note how the fear was met with faith and then Goliath’s soldiers ran in fear–fear backfires.

      One thing I really like that you brought up is Genesis 3:15. The serpent’s head will be crushed by the heel of the seed of the woman. Amazing to think that if the giants of those days (OK, we’re really going deep now folks) were actually the sons of fallen angels, then they were the seed of satan. Whew. I taught the life of David and don’t recall diving into this little reference that tells us where he buried his head. (It’s probably too gross to share with first and second graders, so maybe that’s why I skipped it, I don’t remember.)


    • David says:

      I hadn’t thought about the various “heads” that were injured or prophesied to be injured before. That’s an interesting observation. Regarding fear, it works for a period of time. There eventually will come a time when people stop being afraid but become very mad. Then watch out; it leads to revolution. Recent examples: Libya, Egypt, and Syria. Unfortunately, usually the end result is another ruler who ends up using fear. Adams said regarding our Constitution, that it is designed “for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” We’re reaching that point now and soon we may have a president who will try to instill fear and then it’ll all hit the fan.


      • It’s true our world is in what our friend David here refers to as a “revolution” and what I call “a people movement”. Whatever you call it, the people of oppressed nations are rising up like never before to protest the iron fist of intimidation, fear, and dictatorship. I would like to especially add that in the kingdom of earth, fear is magnified and even given more power, the more we listen to its threats. In the kingdom of God, fear is like a tiny dustball with a great big mouth. Squash it!

        David operated in God’s kingdom and God was SO pleased to name him the king of Israel. Despite Goliath’s size, David saw God as bigger. Despite Goliath’s loud threats, David threatened Goliath. David saw God as the larger of the two giants. And we must do the same. I love the quote from John Adams. We studied his life last year in home school. There is a series of films on the life of John Adams based on the book written by David McCullough that is worth the time viewing it, especially the first couple of segments.


  5. One more thought–David was the king who conquered the city of Jersualem and made it the capital of Israel around 1055 BC. I think in Joshua 1 -11 the city was called “Jebus”. I don’t know who first called it Jerusalem?


    • David says:

      I have seen reference by many that Salem in Genesis (think Melchizedek) was a reference to Jerusalem but have never been entirely comfortable with that, Jebus being it’s name at the time, unless Salem became Jebus. But don’t think so.


      • I looked up “Jerusalem” at http://www.biblegateway.com to find out when it was first mentioned in the Old Testament. I found the first mention in Joshua 10:1:
        Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
        Later in Joshua 10 it says that Joshua conquered 5 kings, including the king of Jerusalem at that time.

        And what about this? Speaking of giants and Jerusalem:
        Joshua 15:8
        And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

        I didn’t see this before–David, your comments and the comments of others made me curious to seek out the first time Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible.


  6. hello im dutch so please pardon my english as it my not be up to standards (being a dyslectic dont help either).

    ok for my thoughts on the matter, the exact date when David took the head to Jerusalem isnt stated.
    and the events in i sam 17:54 is not sequential

    if we read a little further:
    53And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

    55As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

    in verse 57 he takes the head to Saul.

    so for as far as we know, david took the head everyware he went. it was an enormous feat he, with the power and guidens of GOD, did.

    if i would be David, i would surely make sure everyone knew who i was and what i did. the later use of the phillistines sword.

    just my two cents.

    God bless! He is rissen!!


    • Hans, your English is quite good! Thank you for commenting on this post. As a woman, I think carrying around the head of a giant is pretty gross, but I guess to a warrior that was quite the thing to do. I didn’t see that verse 57 said that Saul asked to see David and he had the head in his hand. In fact, I wondered if verses 55 – 58 kind of went back or “back-tracked” a bit on the story as it happened. But you may be right–perhaps he did indeed take it with him and especially to the king. Welcome to Lift Jesus Cross, Hans!


  7. james says:

    Another thought about Goliath’s head that David cut off
    A. Jesse sent David to the battle lines (this had been going on for 40 days) . Jesse knew what his son would do, yet he told him not about Goliath. Jesse knew his son was destine to be a king. He forgot not Samuel’s annointing. The supplies sent to the captain and his brothers, etc., was just an open door for Jesse to get David to the battle lines.
    B. So David sunk the stone in Goliath’s head, and then cut his head off, and from that day King Saul would not let David go home to his father but made David stay in Jerusalem with Saul, where David brought Goliath’s head, (note for you guys; the STONE was still in Goliath’s cut off head)
    C. Now I heard what Perry Stone thinks David did with Goliath’s head, buried at the site of future Calvary?
    D. Now I thought about this and pondered to myself , if I was David what would I do with Goliath’s head?, why I would send it with carriers from Jerusalem to my Father (Jesse) so he could see what I did, even with the STONE remaining in the fore head, so my daddy would be proud of me, and what he sent me to do for the nation of Israel, without giving me a complete set of instructions when he sent me on my way, because he knew the Lord was with his son, and he had the Spirit of God in him, and the battle was the Lord’s and the Lord himself would show David what to do, yet it was David’s Father Jesse who was really responsible for Goliath’s head and David knew this.
    E. Kind of like Jesus, proud to take us also and in that day yet to come, present us to his Father also.

    Thanks you guys, for reading these alternate thoughts concerning Goliath’s head. James


  8. james says:

    Some believe that David burried the skull of Goliath in the same exact place that Jesus was to be crucified years later. Goliath was a giant who decended from satans seed, the product of fallen angels having sex with women. Goliaths skull was buried under Jesus to fullfill what is said in genesis 3:15, “He will strike at your head while you strike at his heal” There are many paralells here, David was from the tribe of Judah as was Jesus. neither David or Jesus looked like a great soldier as most everyone had imagined a king or saviour to be. Some believe this was also the same place that Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was a type of God and Isaac a type of Christ. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son just as God did with Jesus. Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering just as Jesus carried the cross. Abraham said God will provide a sheep or a lamb but it actually turned out to be a ram because it was not yet time for “the Lamb” or Jesus to be sacrificed. Isaac was spared his life that day just as Jesus was raised from the dead. Everything in the bible has a purpose, nothing is by chance or without reason or symbolic of something. This may alslo have been the same place that Melchizedek blessed Abraham and then Abraham paid a tithe to priest Melchizedek who was a type of Christ. see Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews 5:6-10, 6:20-7:28


    • Derek says:

      There’s no angels having sex with women. That’s a misinterpretation of the scriptures and lies from the book of Enoch.


      • I’ve heard arguments from both sides about the origin of the giants. I’m not one to debate such things, but I am glad to post opposing views on the blog, as long as thoughts are posted with kindness and a sincere love for God and for truth.
        I keep wondering–how do we find so many people commenting on this post! We have 50 comments and still counting on a post written two years ago! I wonder how people find us?


      • Derek says:

        Jesus Himself said that the angels neither marry nor are given in marriage, Mk. 12:25. That kinda rules out that angels were marrying women and bringing forth a hybrid race.


    • Mark says:

      Spot on .this is the perfect answer.the fulfilment of gen.3


  9. james says:

    it is also possible that this was the same place where the garden of Eden was, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the place of original sin. kind of makes sense that all of these things mat have happend literally in the same exact place. remember Goliath was from a place called Gath. Calvary is also known as Golgotha ….gol- gatha. interesting. Remember when Jesus cursed the fig tree on his way into Jerusalem, Mathew 21:18-19. could this have been the tree of knowlege of good and bad, or at least the same place where the tree once stood?


    • James, you have so many thoughts on this! Yes we also wonderedif the head of Goliath was buried under Mt. Calvary or “Golgatha”, of which “Gath” is included. That would surely show how Jesus crushed the head of his enemy. THanks for jumping in!


  10. james says:

    Hi this is James, looks like I read that some other James have made comments? My only comment concerning Goliaths’ head referenced David sending it by currier to his Father Jesse. Question, where in scripture does it say David buried Goliaths’ head?, I can’t find this, or are you all assuming this? Thanks James


    • Hello James, I did’t realize there were two men named James commenting here. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Here’s the scripture: “David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent (I Samuel 17:54 NIV).” Perhaps we assumed someone would have to eventually bury it? Ugh. What a post!


      • Leigh Anne says:

        I heard a Messianic Rabbi teach on this very subject last Shabbat, And, I followed up with him to find out about documentation for Goliath’s skull being buried outside the ancient city of Jerusalem. He said that it was according to Jewish tradition that it is buried at Golgotha. the relation to Genesis 3:15 was brought out in his teaching. bc Goliath is thought to be the offspring of the Nephalim, which would correspond well with seed of the devil from Genesis. Rabbi Joel told me that the Jews would not have allowed the head of hte Gentile,Goliath to be buried within the ancient city. This is how he explained what he could to me: “place of the skull” is oddly named Golgatha, a possible corruption of the Hebrew for ‘Goliath Gath.’ There is not a scripture passage though that can prove this, but he believes the theory has some merit in light of what can be pieced together. So, that is where the discussion ultimately ends – no biblical proof. Maybe other elements in the future could confirm this (archaeology, etc…).
        I found your blog when I was searching for crumbs of documentation. I find this concept exciting. I hopethat I’ve contributed somewhat to your discussion. I know that just reading your thoughts was good to me; if we can’t confirm this stuff now, at least there is some consolation in knowing that others are thinking along the same lines. God bless you all.


      • Okay, Leigh Anne, you added to Ruben’s recent thought that the Gentile’s head would need to be buried outside Jerusalem. That makes me consider that the exact placement of the cross on Calvary was to be a bridge between Jerusalem (Jew) and those outside (Gentile). My goodness, beautiful thoughts here!


  11. ruben bosques says:

    Some people believe that Galgotha was the place David burried Goliath’ head. If thats the case it wasnt in Jerusalem. It was outside of Jerusalem.


  12. Shelley Rowell says:

    I believe that is where the last of the physical giant’s heads was buried and Jesus on the cross being placed on Goliath’s skull meets the verse in Genesis 3:15 “He will crush your head and you will strike his heel”. Goliath was one of the last physical demons, the nephilim. The nephilim’s souls were bound to Earth when they died and are now the “evil spirits in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12) that we are told we are now fighting against. The first covenant gave power over the physical. The second blood covenant gave children of the Kingdom power over these spiritual forces so we could have it “on Earth as it is in heaven” by studying the word of God and speaking it over our lives.


    • Shelly, please do update me on the “Nephilim”. That’s a term I’ve not heard or, if I did hear it, I’ve forgotten. Thanks for jumping in!


      • Kenneth says:

        Hello great Discussion! The Nephilim is a term in the ASV translation of the Bible in Genesis chapter 6….


      • Kenneth, I do remember that now. The NASV is the version I clung to since my teen years. There are references like this sprinkled throughout the Bible but they are difficult to connect. I like to read ancient manuscripts so that I’m up on the “reading material” utilized by people in Jesus’ days. For example, The Secrets of Enoch were known by Jesus and the disciples, but that book was never canonized as part of scriptures.


  13. David Brazier says:

    I saw Perry Stone talk about that also! I missed the 3 different language part all meaning skull! I believe it to be so! I think the 5 stones where for the remaining brothers of Goliath. I think the Bible mentions the 4 of them and I believe David killed them also!


    • Glad you chimed in here, David! It seems that the hearts that are closest to God are also willing to fight on His behalf.


    • jaydilli says:

      This comment is a bit late to the conversation (March 2015), but in reference to why would David carry the head around. Remember King (Saul) had promised freedom, treasure and a bride to the one who defeated the giant. (what an incredible inheritance Jesus won for us).

      As for the name Golgatha, I heard a Jewish cultural teacher who is a fluent Hebrew speaker say the word comes from this story. Goliath from Gath becomes Gol (iath) + Gath(a). Which becomes the cultural name everyone called it.

      So God ultimately fulfilled Genesis 3:15 as the Cross of Christ is planted into the soil of the location of the buried skull of “type” of Snake. (consider Goliath’s armor for clues to his spiritual identity).

      *Sorry I just realized these thoughts have already been mentioned later in the comments. Sorry for the repetition.

      But I would add the 5 stones might be considered in a different light than for the brothers of Goliath.

      What if they represent the Torah (5 books Of Moses) the covenant books to the Jew? Yet David only needed one Stone to silence the enemy. In the same way, Jesus during His temptation with Devil used only One of Five stones. The enemy tried to speak lies and Jesus calling on the Written word (Torah 5 books/stones) saying “it is written…” silenced the devil only quoting one book/stone …Deuteronomy. Each response is a direct quote from Deuteronomy.

      Hope this adds something to the dialogue.


      • I’m glad you posted your thoughts on this. Better late than never! I never thought of the five covenant books or the one stone/book of Deuteronomy. The thought on covenant would definitely match David’s reply: “How dare this uncircumcised Philistine defy the armies of the Living God?!” Thanks for jumping in!


  14. cyp says:

    There are many theories on the name. My favourite theory is that of Origen. But before that I must point out that for the jews living at the time it was clear why the place was named like this. Now on to the Origen theory. This theory is based primarely on the supposed location of Eden and a tradition that states that Adam was buried close to the gate of Eden. As you probably already realized this theory states that the skull belonged to Adam. Of course there are a lot of theories, but this is one of the most probable ones.


    • I’m amazed at the various viewpoints and the high interest in this post! Thank you for chiming in. May we all remember this week that no matter how big the giant, we have an even BIGGER giant GOD inside of us who trains our hands to “war” against sin and against those things that hurt us.


      • kgbezts says:

        I’m very late to this discussion and very interested. (and English is also not my first language). Talking about Adam. Please look at Joshua 3:16. When the nation crossed the Jordan into the promised land the waters backed up to a pllace called Adam. I believe each and every detail in the Book is very important. Blessings!


      • Ron Rush says:

        Yep it is Adam, so what is your point exactly? I hope that this doesn’t sound trite or cold. Ron Rush

        Sent from my iPad



  15. gregg says:

    If you have ANY questions about this AFTER hearing Perry’s IN DEPTH teaching message I would be amazed..From David killing Goliath..to his mighty men killing the remaining giants including Goliaths brother..to bringing head to Jeruselem ..Gods mighty men wiping that evil seed off the face of the earth!to God telling Satan in the garden “you shall strike his heel (where did the Romans drive the spike..in the heel!) and he shall crush your head (Christ crushed satans skull)..absolutly life changing mind blowing!..I’m going with Perry’s 35 years of non stop study and 30 years of traveling to Israel..literally TENS of thousands of hours of study..If he’s right how wonderful!..if he’s wrong (we’ll know when we get to heaven!) then where does that leave us?


  16. Sam says:

    Could Golgata be the place where the skull of Adam is buried?
    Didnt Noa keep his ancestors skull with him, I think I read this in the Bible.


    • I’m not sure about that, Sam. But we know that Jacob asked Joseph to take his bones with him when he left Egypt. And some ancient writings indicate that Adam and Eve’s graves were in a cave and later taken with Noah on the ark. Great thoughts!


  17. Sam says:

    This article comes to the conclusion its Gol-gath-a


  18. Oceanus says:

    On the question as to why Golgotha was called the place of the skull, I offer a slightly different perspective, based on the Roman idea of crucifixion. That idea was that the name of a person who committed a crime against the Roman state, in the case of Jesus the crime of sedition, was to be blotted out from human memory. The idea behind crucifixion was to deny honorable burial to the offender, and that there would be no memorial to that person’s name. During the long years of Roman occupation, thousands of Jews were crucified, and they were not taken down from their crosses but left for the crows. And when the birds of the air, and the insects and microorganisms had done their work, and one by one the bones of the malefactor fell to the ground, the dogs and the rats did theirs. There is one bone however that dogs cannot get a purchase on, and that is the cranium. The ground would have been littered with them and thus come to be known as “the place of the skull,” or “the place of skulls.” And you may be sure that the Romans posted an adequate guard at the place, to assure that no grieving relative would snatch even a single bone to memorialize that person, still less to enshrine his memory.
    Impious as it may be to say it, if the humble carpenter of Palestine was crucified by the Romans, it is exceedingly unlikely that he was taken down from his cross, let alone put into an expensive and handsome tomb in a garden. The events following the death of Jesus of Nazareth must fall therefore not into the realm of historical fact but of religious legend.


    • Oceanus (love that name!), I saw all of the historical references and went directly to a history/Bible expert, Pastor Ron. He was kind enough to respond and I am glad to give you more to think about here:

      To sea,
      I appreciate your insight and a history lesson. I found it revealing and encouraging. I have read several accounts of the “Romans crucifixion” and sense you brought up this interpretation of the “place of the skull” . I have a few questions for you to consider. 1st if what you are saying can be true and actually stated in some written form then there would have to be several of these “places of the skull” right ? Jerusalem was not not the only place that the Romans crucified criminals . Historical writings can confirm this.
      2nd Your interpretation of Jesus would have to hang on the cross does not coincide with Roman Law and Jewish customs at the time the “gospels” accounts of Jesus. Even Josephus’ writings account for Jesus crucifixion and Jewish observances of the handling the dead and the Sabbath rituals. Rome allowed the practice of Judaism to maintain order and control in Judea. Thus the New Testaments gospel accounts are a written record and clarify that Jesus’ body was removed before the start of the Sabbath ( approximate 6 pm Friday), and his body was laid to “rest” in a “new” tomb. Also these and many other New Testament writings account that Jesus arose bodily 3 days later and that’s why his skull or any other bones are not around the place of the skull at Jerusalem of the grave tombs. The second question I have for you is this: If what you interpret is true then Jesus serves as a great influential teacher who’s bones were eaten and who’s skull eventually rotted or was consumed by insects, rodents, or micro-organisms and that’s the end of it, but what if the “New Testament Gospel” accounts are true Where does that leave you?
      I look forward to your response.


  19. Oceanus says:

    Dear Pastor Ron:
    Thanks for your response to my post and your interest in this question. I shall try to answer your points in order.
    I’m sure you’re right that the Romans had places of crucifixion in all of their jurisdictions. And that maybe more than one was named, or nicknamed, “the place of skulls.” And where Palestinian Aramaic was spoken, more than one of them, in those other locales, might have been called Golgotha. (See Wikipedia for a long and interesting etymology of both Golgotha and Calvary.) But the others would have been “small-g” Golgothas, with the one at Jerusalem understood to be THE Golgotha. Like when we hear uttered the place-name “Central Park,” we understand it to be the one in New York, not the “Central Parks” in Plantation, Florida or Norfolk, Nebraska.
    As to what Roman law and Jewish customs were circa 30 AD, I’m not sure what we can know for sure. Josephus, for example was not a contemporary of Jesus, but apparently born some years after the Crucifixion. So he was not writing as an eyewitness to the events of that period, but reporting on the Jewish chronicles (which certainly would not have testified to the resurrection!). Also there are many editions of Josephus’ works over the centuries, and some are thought to be corrupt, i.e., added to by the early Catholic Church fathers. Also I sometimes think that the all-powerful Romans didn’t give two figs for what the Jews wanted, and could easily afford to go along with some of their customs and utterly disregard others, as it suited them..
    You write that, quote “the New Testaments gospel accounts are a written record and clarify that Jesus’ body was removed before the start of the Sabbath ( approximate 6 pm Friday), and his body was laid to “rest” in a “new” tomb. Also these and many other New Testament writings account that Jesus arose bodily 3 days later . . .”, unquote. But the “gospel accounts” were not written for decades after the events they purport to describe. In other words, they were conveyed by word of mouth for a long time before they were set down in writing. I would maintain that there is no way in the world that the events of that week (in 29 D?) can be reconstructed. Everything reported up to the death of Christ may be taken as history (except for the miracles, upon which history is silent), but everything after that belongs in the realm of religious legend. HISTORY, rightly practiced, simply does not testify to supernatural happenings.
    Jesus of Nazareth was considered to be seditious against the Roman state. The idea that Pilate, the Roman procurator, would then allow him to be taken down from his cross, wrapped in fine linen and given honorable burial after trial, conviction and bloody execution for same, seems extremely unlikely to me. The Gospel account of Joseph of Arimathea is a simple narrative in itself, but there are a thousand legends about him, most of them probably inventions. (That he miraculously escaped a sealed prison cell, that he later escaped to England (!) to become a bishop there, etc.)
    If I understand you last question, “but what if the “New Testament Gospel” accounts are true Where does that leave you?” If the accounts are not verifiable by the rules of historical scholarship, it cannot be known whether they are true or not. We do know that people do create religious legends that later become doctrine (I give you the founding legends of Mormonism and Mohammedanism, to name only two of many hundreds.) The followers of Jesus were unlettered men, what can the reliability of their oral traditions, that only decades later got written down, be?
    As to “where it leaves me,” do I take you to mean that there is some dire consequence awaiting me for expressing an honest opinion? That there is a terrible penalty for expressing doubt about these things? I can only reply that fear cannot be a component of any honest religion, that one must not base his beliefs or ideas on either fear of punishment or expectation of reward, but only on the results of his honest inquiry.
    Respectfully submitted, OCEANUS.


    • Oceanus, I so appreciate your respectful submissions to the blog! I’m sure you will hear from Ron soon right here in the reply box–his weekends are busy! Honest inquiries are good, but I want you to believe the best from Ron. There is a verse in I Corinthians 13 that says that love believes the best. Now, you don’t know Ron and you really don’t know me. So I want to introduce you to this thought–Ron and his wife LOVE people! And I love people, too. So expect that we think the best of you and truly want to answer to our best capability. We are limited. I’m thankful that we serve an unlimited God. With so many questions coming from your heart, I am encouraged that you desire very much to believe the truth, but you want to be sure you have the truth and not a lie. I want to add this and then perhaps Ron will add more. Jesus said, “Seek and you shall find. Ask what you need and it will be given to you. Knock and the door will be open.” If you want the truth, ask God for it. Keep seeking like you are here on this blog. You WILL find the truth–and truth will set you free.


      • Oceanus says:

        Dear LCJ (if I may take the liberty to abbreviate your name)
        I feel like you are very much talking down to me when you say, “I am encouraged that you desire very much to believe the truth, but you want to be sure you have the truth and not a lie.” It implies that you are gifted, in a way that I am not, to discern truths from falsehoods. You do not go on to say what you subtly imply is “a lie” in the opinion I published on your site (and it is mere opinion, and only that), so you have not given me much to respond to.
        Instead of elaborating on that, you merely go on to give quotations from the Bible that have already been uttered and heard so many thousands of times that they have almost become cliches. (I can honestly claim, I think, to have read more of the Bible than many a person calling himself Christian.)
        You then go on to say, “If you want the truth, ask God for it.” In my humble opinion, that is not how truth, that is to say factual information, is found. The facts of any case must be dug out with mental labor, not by asking God, and the facts of any case do not have anything to do with religious opinions or on how reverently or regularly one reads the Bible. Piety can be just as mistaken as arrogance can, in my experience.
        How Golgotha got its name was our subject. I gave a speculative, but I think reasonably well-informed response. In order for the story of Jesus being taken down from the cross to be true, you would have to believe—and of course with historical evidence prove—that every Passover, because of the tender feelings of the Jews, the Romans allowed all the crosses in the Judean province of Palestine to be dismantled and their unpleasant contents be taken away for honorable burial, not just the one cross of Jesus. And there must have been more than one of these at any given time, for the Jews were always furnishing rebels to Roman rule and victims to their harsh and cruel punishments. I do not find this to be believable.
        It was not my intention to get into theological discussions on your site. I think it far more interesting, for example, to entertain questions like one that is still asked to this day, ”Could this stripling David really have killed Goliath, with a stone from a “slingshot?” I think he could have and went forth with perfect confidence to do so, if the story is at all true, and I am prepared to say why I think so—using factual information and not religious opinion—should anyone be interested to know.
        As to the truth setting me free, I consider that I am so already—free to explore, to investigate, to think, to come to my own conclusions and to publish them.
        Yours, Oceanus.


    • thejoyfulpursuitofladywisdom says:

      I appreciate your research, Oceanus. I’d like to share some of mine. https://scholasticahq.com/supporting_files/7302/attachment_versions/7312
      “There are other factors that can be researched considered to create a more realistic
      simulation.First, our simulation assumed that David was stationary when he let go of the
      sling. However, the text never said that David stood still when he let go of the sling. If
      David was moving at a certain velocity, it has an additional effect on the motion of the sling.” According to 1 Samuel 17:48, David ran towards Goliath as he whirled his sling.
      Of course, Bible believers take into account God in the story. Goliath fell face down. If it was totally the kinetic energy, then I would assume Goliath would have fallen backwards from the frontal force.

      Not sure if the stone was the cause of death, but pretty sure the separation of his head from his body secured it. David took the head to Jerusalem.
      There have been recent archeological discovers that give credence to the truth of the historic value of the Bible.
      The Bible is not all inclusive. John 21:25 states the reason: “There are so many other things that Jesus said and did; that if these accounts were also written down, the books could not be contained in the entire cosmos.”
      In the debate a few weeks ago between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, Evolution vs Creationism, Bill Nye put several plugs in for teaching ‘real science’ in public schools. It seemed Bill Nye didn’t have respect for a book (The Bible) that had been interpreted into American English from manuscripts thousands of years old that had been written from oral tradition. He used the example of the children’s game called “Telephone” to prove how twisted truth can get the more it’s retold. Mr. Nye was also adamant in his thinking that ‘creationism cannot predict anything’.

      I definitely do not have the scientific mind, nor the grasp of the scriptures Mr. Ken Ham possesses. But I would have liked Mr. Ham to have pointed out a few things that the bible sort of ‘predicted’. (It was ahead of science by thousands of years.)

      Washing hands after touching dead things.
      “This is a serious business, for everyone who comes into contact with a human corpse must purify himself.” Numbers 19:1
      According to the United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.” Yet for years most doctors rejected the practice of washing their hands between examining a corpse before that of pregnant women.

      Human waste needs to be disposed of properly to prevent the spread of disease.
      “As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement.” Deuteronomy 23:13

      The eighth day is the best day physically to circumcise baby boys.
      Leviticus 12:3


  20. Caitie Burns says:

    He buried it in golgotha and later on when Jesus was crucified his cross crushed the skull representing him defeating sin. The skull represented sin because Goliath was a giant made by the fallen angels coming down to Earth and marrying the women on Earth. So those children were what you could call demigods… half human half angel. (all these mythologies get their myths from somewhere) So… ya. Guess I actually am getting something out of 6th grade Catholic school


  21. Michael says:

    Just finished studying that Chapter again…The Story is Incredible…Everything that happened had a meaning…The place,the time,numbers mentioned…incredible!!!…A lot i’ve discovered even about Christ in the story…the issue of the head is however inconclusive though..


  22. Pingback: Golgotha–the Place of the Skull | Charlenecleoeiben54123's Blog

  23. luis says:

    “He ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away. And the children of Israel returning, after they had pursued the Philistines, fell upon their camp. And David taking the head of the Philistine, brought it to Jerusalem: but his armour he put in his tent.” (1 Samuel 17:51–54, D-R)

    This would explain why the “place of the skull” is oddly named “Golgotha.” The term is a corruption of Hebrew for “Goliath Gath”:

    Goliath Gath > GoliGath > GolGath > GolGatha

    So King David killed the enemy of Israel (Goliath of Gath) and then brought the giant’s head to Jerusalem. Jews would not have permitted the Gentile giant’s head to be buried in the city walls. It would have been buried outside the city walls. This matches with what we know about the location of Golgatha. It was outside the city walls.

    The slaying of Goliath by David was one of the most important events in “Israelite history.” The location of the giant’s head would have been known by all. Hence, “Golgatha” is likely the the place of not just any old skull, but the place of the skull of Goliath of Gath.
    this kinda makes sense to me im just starting to learn about hebrew roots
    taken from -taylor marshal


  24. Alyssa says:

    Just running across these comments years later.. Just thought I would chime in on this awesome discussion.

    Concerning the Angels having sex with women later resulting in a bread of giants.. If we believe in the bible, the book of truth, then we also have to believe that there were in fact giants. Which means that they do, just as humans or any other created being, have an origin. The scripture in Gen. 6 states that they took wives of which they chose. So, when I read this I don’t necessarily think that these women had a choice but were, for lack of better words, forced into these unions or sexual relationships.. just something to think about anyway.


    • So glad you jumped in here, Alyssa. Welcome! There are people out there who have such a depth of knowledge on this sort of thing. We value your input. I’d have to say I really don’t know. Or maybe, “I’m not convinced” of any view yet. Great discussion!


  25. Tinashe says:

    According to Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa, David’s action of carrying the skull to Golgotha was a prophetic action where if you go back to the bool of Genesis 3:15, God gives a prophetic word unto the seed of the woman and seed of the devil. The woman’s seed was supposed to be bruised at the feet, meaning it is a minor injury culminating from a fight. And is you analyse Jesus’ death at the cross, it is believed His feet were bruised at the ankle, similar to how the snake should attack the feet according to God’s word. That was a bruise because Jesus despite the fight His spirit did not depart till He Himself surrendered otherwise He wouldn’t have died.

    Similarly interesting, as for the skull of Goliath, its position was rightfully placed under Jesus’ feet at Golgotha. The picture given to symbolise the head of the devil (seed of the snake) being crashed, meaning being defeated. Little did the devil know that the death of Jesus at the cross meant his defeat, his head was crushed at Mt Calvary, that is where the fight ended and Jesus being bruised resurrected on the third day after the healing from bruise and as for the devil he lost his dominion over God’s chosen ones through Jesus.


    • Tinashe, I don’t know you or the person you refer to as “Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa” but your insights here are very good. I want to thank you for chiming in and sharing. The last line, “The devil lost dominion over God’s chosen ones through Jesus” is so true. I recently did a word study on the word “dominion” searching scriptures for that word in the online study help http://www.BibleGateway.com . Thanks for chiming in.


  26. Calvin Redden says:

    I too am very interested in this.
    What came to mind when I read this passage is that Israel didn’t actually occupy the city of Jerusalem at this time. So I see it almost as a prophecy of young David to the Jebusites saying, “one day God will bury you to the ground also.” Or it could just be a tuanting gesture.
    What do you think?


    • Hello Calvin, thanks for chiming in. I didn’t realize–or perhaps I’d forgotten–that David prophesied this. I personally believe David was led by God in all of his choices at this point. He just left the hillsides of Bethlehem in full fellowship with God. The hillside of battle made God no smaller in his eyes. Love your input!


  27. ellie says:

    I don’t think angels were sexual beings. I think God made other humanoids (example Neanderthal man, whose DNA was manipulated by Satan, and these were the ones who took the daughters of men.


  28. Joy Mahad says:

    My name is Joy and i must say i have really been blessed, as i read through one thing is certain that whatever David did by carrying the head of Goliath around was a spiritual act. Colosians 2:15 “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, truimphing over them” This is Jesus Paul is talking about, The devil is a defeated foe just like david truimphed over the philistines when he cut off the giants head, As to where the head is burried i really don’t know but i know what God wants us to know he reveals to us whatever its not for us he does not tell us,. Thank you so much AND BE BLESSED.


    • Joy, such powerful thoughts! Thank you for sharing that scripture. What is amazing to me is that this was a “show”, because David already killed Goliath with the stone. So this act was prophetic and the show was necessary–perhaps to intimidate the enemy? I love David’s audacity to yell out the name of the God of Israel, his God, and RUN TOWARD the giant, not just stand there and hope for the best. Thanks for chiming in!


  29. Billy says:

    Please, Jesus said the peacemaker are the sons of God. I’m not sure about the reference in Gen. 6. May the Sons of God in Gen. 6 be the children of Seth?


  30. michael says:

    Interesting,,,from this discussion i have one thought,,,how can one believe that the Israelites would not allow the skull of goliath to be buried on the sacred TEMPLE MOUNT,,,when the dome of the rock in my opinion substantiates,,,,,there is a paramount significance,,,the head of goliath,,his tomb is the dome for IS 14:12,,,,,is interesting for fellowship.


  31. Arif Noel Khan says:

    You have a great discussion going on here. I found it quite interesting.

    This question, “Why did David bother to travel ALL the way to Jerusalem (about 18 miles from the battle) just to bury Goliath’s head?” comes up often when people talk about the David and Goliath episode. It is quite intriguing why David did it. People, with the thought at the back of their minds that the Old Testament was a shadow of the New Testament, ask, “Is there an analogy with the David and Goliath’s incident and the crucifixion of Christ? Does David’s victory over Goliath culminate with the Jesus’ victory over sin and death on the cross? Did David bury Goliath’s head at Golgotha?”

    I should like to share what I believe was David’s reason to take the head to Jerusalem.

    First, as with all enquiry into the Word of God, we begin with the premise laid down in the scripture in 2 Peter 1:20, 21 (RSV, KJV), “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of the scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will (impulse) of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

    This settled, the second important principle of interpretation to keep in mind is that scripture must be interpreted by scripture. There is no room whatsoever, for us to believe that we can read our own thoughts, ideas, notions or feelings into the scriptures. The Word of God is the revelation of the mind and heart of God. it is not to be mistaken for a piece of a burst balloon which we can stretch any which ways to apply to what we might happen to think it applies to.

    There is a small story, which goes like this—
    A boy asked his father, “Dad, how big is God?”
    Looking up at the sky his father saw an airplane and asked his son, “How big is that airplane?”
    The boy responded, “It is small, Dad! You can hardly see it!”
    Then the father took his son to an airport hangar. Standing in front of one of the airplanes, the father asked, “And how big is this airplane?”
    The boy responded, “Oh, Daddy, this plane is enormous!”
    At this point, the father said to him, “That is how it is with God! How big He is depends on the distance between you and Him. The closer you are to Him, the bigger He is in your life.!”

    I will use this story to try to explain how a difference in perceptions made the all the difference in that battle that day. After that, I will give my understanding of the reason why David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem.

    Now, to come to the David and Goliath incident. You would notice that at this particular point in history the people of Israel are not under the yoke of the Philistines. They have their own king and enjoy their sovereignty. Goliath poses a challenge which becomes a threat to their sovereignty. Israel and their king are not able to match up. The situation in their relationship with God at that moment is that they view God as that plane in the sky, far away. In contrast, David, a lad barely fifteen years old, shows up with a relationship with God so close, personal and intimate, that for him God is like the plane in the hangar. David’s position is the one Paul articulated so well in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” David has a small stone in his sling, a big faith in his heart, his hand is a glove that God wears as He slings that small stone at Goliath killing him instantly. The issue here is faith, which can only exist when there is a proximity with God.

    The application of this divine principle finds scope in our lives when we face challenges to our freedom from sin. Those temptations are the Goliaths in our daily experience.

    When Christ came, Israel had already lost their sovereignty. They were under the suzerainty of Rome, they had a puppet on the throne, who was not an Israelite, and they were under the stranglehold of a diabolical religious system that would not allow them, if they were hungry, to pluck ears of wheat from a field they happened to be walking through on a Sabbath. In their perception God was for them like the plane in the sky and their situation vis a vis sin was what Paul, again, described accurately, “Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24.

    The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin. He paid the price of our souls. He ransomed us and won for us freedom from sin. Gideon of the Old Testament is the true archetype of Christ in the New Testament. Gideon through faith overthrew the yoke of the Philistines, and won freedom for Israel.

    The lesson for us is that when we are faced with temptation to sin, we overcome it through faith, which we have in God because He is there with us in the plane hangar. David’s dealing with Goliath is our example. But, when our situation is that we have succumbed to temptation and have sinned and the yoke of sin and the guilt now weigh us down, we flee to Jesus for deliverance, which by faith we get from Him because He paid the price on the cross. Gideon is our paradigm and Christ our Saviour.

    It is intriguing why David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem. Why was not the head disposed of along with the body as must have been done with the rest of the Philistines that were killed that day is a question that baffles many a Bible scholar. Jerusalem was at that time not under the control of the Israelites. The Jebusites that lived there were hostile to the Hebrews; they resisted David even after his coronation as king of Judah and Israel. Initially, David was able to only occupy the stronghold of the city, which he called the City of David.

    Such being the antagonism between the Israelites and the Jebusites, why did David take Goliath’s head there. Only one possibility fits the logic. David did it to serve notice to the Jebusites that it was their turn next.

    The Bible tells us that David took the head to Jerusalem and stops at that. There is no mention of any place in or around Jerusalem, where David might have deposited the head. Therefore, we have no liberty to bring in Golgotha, which is a cave on the slopes of Calvary.

    Other than this straightforward interpretation of the episode I see no way of stretching the imagination to construe that it implied any other significance. I find myself unable to muster sufficient reason to believe that David disposed that head at Golgotha. However, what presents itself as the obvious thing that David would have done after the day’s battle was ended, was to come by night to Jerusalem and nail the head to the city gate, so that when the gates were opened next morning, the inhabitants got the message.

    I hope this will help take the discussion forward.


    • Arif, I enjoyed your writing and your contribution to this discussion. The example of the airplane in the sky or the airplane in the hangar is a good one. David definitely saw God as a much larger giant that Goliath! And Goliath and no idea of the huge power that resided within that little shepherd boy.

      Thanks for chiming in!


  32. Rev. Don Smith says:

    The Giant (Goliath) represents DEATH, remember no one wanted to face the giant, it would be certain death, except one, a Shepherd boy, David. This battle took place in a valley, David wrote: “Yea though I walk through the valley of shadow of death…” So David the Shepherd boy took Israel’s victory over death to Jerusalem. David wrote the 23rd Psalm, the Lord is my Shepard… Christ is the Shepard that got the victory over death, by going to Jerusalem and dying on the cross, the biggest Giant for all man that no one could stand against is death, it took a one Shepard. I don’t know how much more evidence we can get in scripture that Goliaths head was buried where Jesus died. They believed by faith that Jesus was going to die for them in the future, and marked the spot with Goliaths head. Jesus killed death with his death, and death couldn’t hold him down because he was worthy to take on that Giant. NO sin in him


    • Great insights, Don. God taught us so much through shepherding sheep!


      • Rev. Don Smith says:

        Thanks Lift the Cross of Jesus:
        Death (Giant) looks at us as ruddy, no respect of persons. But the Giant said, “Choose you a man for you” We the Church (Israel) did! And he didn’t come down from the natural mountain to the valley, but he came down from the highest place of all, Heaven.
        God Bless

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your thoughts on this, Don. It is true, we are created to be part of His body. I’ve memorized Romans chapter 12 this year, a chapter that focuses on the body of Christ and our position of humility before God and actions of love toward one another. Thanks for sharing!


  33. Rev. Don Smith says:

    I wanted to Add this: Goliath is the head of DEATH, Christ is the head of the CHURCH.(LIFE) We cant go head to head in a battle against death and win, unless our head is Christ, and in order for that to be the case we have to be apart of the body. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son, hath not life. Eat of this bread for it is my body….


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