Matthew 27:33
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) A place called Golgotha.—The other Gospels give the name with the definite article, as though it were a well-known locality. It is not mentioned, however, by any Jewish writer, and its position is matter of conjecture. It was “nigh unto the city” (John 19:20), and therefore outside the walls (comp. Hebrews 13:12). There was a garden in it (John 19:41), and in the garden a tomb, which was the property of Joseph of Arimathæa (Matthew 27:60). A tradition, traceable to the fourth century, has identified the spot with the building known as the Church of the Sepulchre. One eminent archaeologist of our own time (Mr. James Fergusson) identifies it with the Dome of the Rock in the Mosque of El Aksa. Both sites were then outside the city, but were afterwards enclosed by the third wall, built by Agrippa II. The name has been supposed by some to point to its being a common place of execution; but it is not probable that the skulls of criminals would have been left unburied, nor that a wealthy Jew should have chosen such a spot for a garden and a burial-place. The facts lead rather to the conclusion (1) that the name indicated the round, bare, skull-like character of the eminence which was so called; and (2) that it may have been chosen by the priests as a deliberate insult to the member of their own body who had refused to share their policy, and was at least suspected of discipleship, and whose garden, or orchard, with its rock-hewn sepulchre, lay hard by (Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51; John 19:38). A later legend saw in the name a token that the bones of Adam were buried there, and that as the blood flowed from the sacred wounds on his skull his soul was translated to Paradise. The more familiar name of Calvary (Luke 23:35) has its origin in the Vulgate rendering (Calvarium=& skull) of the Greek word Kranion, or Cranium, which the Evangelist actually uses.

Matthew

THE CRUCIFIXION

Matthew 27:33 - Matthew 27:50
.

The characteristic of Matthew’s account of the crucifixion is its representation of Jesus as perfectly passive and silent. His refusal of the drugged wine, His cry of desolation, and His other cry at death, are all His recorded acts. The impression of the whole is ‘as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.’ We are bid to look on the grim details of the infliction of the terrible death, and to listen to the mockeries of people and priests; but reverent awe forbids description of Him who hung there in His long, silent agony. Would that like reticence had checked the ill-timed eloquence of preachers and teachers of later days!

I. We have the ghastly details of the crucifixion.

Conder’s suggestion of the site of Calvary as a little knoll outside the city, seems possible. It is now a low, bare hillock, with a scanty skin of vegetation over the rock, and in its rounded shape and bony rockiness explains why it was called ‘skull.’ It stands close to the main Damascus road, so that there would be many ‘passers by’ on that feast day. Its top commands a view over the walls into the temple enclosure, where, at the very hour of the death of Jesus, the Passover lamb was perhaps being slain. Arrived at the place, the executioners go about their task with stolid precision. What was the crucifying of another Jew or two to them? Before they lift the cross or fasten their prisoner to it, a little touch of pity, or perhaps only the observance of the usual custom, leads them to offer a draught of wine, in which some anodyne had been mixed, to deaden agony. But the cup which He had to drink needed that He should be in full possession of all His sensibilities to pain, and of all His unclouded firmness of resolve; and so His patient lips closed against the offered mercy. He would not drink because He would suffer, and He would suffer because He would redeem. His last act before He was nailed to the cross was an act of voluntary refusal of an opened door of escape from some portion of His pains.

What a gap there is between Matthew 27:34 - Matthew 27:35! The unconcerned soldiers went on to the next step in their ordinary routine on such an occasion,-the fixing of the cross and fastening of the victim to it. To them it was only what they had often done before; to Matthew, it was too sacred to be narrated, He cannot bring his pen to write it. As it were, he bids us turn away our eyes for a moment; and when next we look, the deed is done, and there stands the cross, and the Lord hanging, dumb and unresisting, on it. We see not Him, but the soldiers, busy at their next task. So little were they touched by compassion or awe, that they paid no heed to Him, and suspended their work to make sure of their perquisites,-the poor robes which they stripped from His body. Thus gently Matthew hints at the ignominy of exposure attendant on crucifixion, and gives the measure of the hard stolidity of the guards. Gain had been their first thought, comfort was their second. They were a little tired with their march and their work, and they had to stop there on guard for an indefinite time, with nothing to do but two more prisoners to crucify: so they take a rest, and idly keep watch over Him till He shall die. How possible it is to look at Christ’s sufferings and see nothing! These rude legionaries gazed for hours on what has touched the world ever since, and what angels desired to look into, and saw nothing but a dying Jew. They thought about the worth of the clothes, or about how long they would have to stay there, and in the presence of the most stupendous fact in the world’s history were all unmoved. We too may gaze on the cross and see nothing. We too may look at it without emotion, because without faith, or any consciousness of what it may mean for us. Only they who see there the sacrifice for their sins and the world’s, see what is there. Others are as blind as, and less excusable than, these soldiers who watched all day by the Cross, seeing nothing, and tramped back at night to their barrack utterly ignorant of what they had been doing. But their work was not quite done. There was still a piece of grim mockery to be performed, which they would much enjoy. The ‘cause,’ as Matthew calls it, had to be nailed to the upper part of the cross. It was tri-lingual, as John tells us,-in Hebrew, the language of revelation; in Greek, the tongue of philosophy and art; in Latin, the speech of law and power. The three chief forces of the human spirit gave unconscious witness to the King; the three chief languages of the western world proclaimed His universal monarchy, even while they seemed to limit it to one nation. It was meant as a gibe at Him and at the nation, and as Pilate’s statement of the reason for his sentence; but it meant more than Pilate meant by it, and it was fitting that His royal title should hang above His head; for the cross is His throne, and He is the King of men because He has died for them all. One more piece of work the soldiers had still to do. The crucifixion of the two robbers {perhaps of Barabbas’ gang, though less fortunate than he} by Christ’s side was intended to associate Him in the public mind with them and their crimes, and was the last stroke of malice, as if saying, ‘Here is your King, and here are two of His subjects and ministers.’ Matthew says nothing of the triumph of Christ’s love, which won the poor robber for a disciple even at that hour of ignominy. His one purpose seems to be to accumulate the tokens of suffering and shame, and so to emphasise the silent endurance of the meek Lamb of God. Therefore, without a word about any of our Lord’s acts or utterances, he passes on to the next group of incidents.

II. The mockeries of people and priests.

There would be many coming and going on the adjoining road, most of them too busy about their own affairs to delay long; for crucifixion was a slow process, and, when once the cross has been lifted, there would be little to see. But they were not too busy to spit venom at Him as they passed. How many of these scoffers, to whom death cast no shield round the object of their poor taunts, had shouted themselves hoarse on the Monday, and waved palm branches that were not withered yet! What had made the change? There was no change. They were running with the stream in both their hosannas and their jeers, and the one were worth as much as the other. They had been tutored to cry, ‘Blessed is He that cometh!’ and now they were tutored to repeat what had been said at the trial about destroying the temple. The worshippers of success are true to themselves when they mock at failure. They who shout round Jesus, when other people are doing it, are only consistent when they join in the roar of execration. Let us take care that our worship of Him is rooted in our own personal experience, and independent of what rulers or influential minds today say of Him.

A common passion levels all distinctions of culture and rank. The reverend dignitaries echoed the ferocious ridicule of the mob, whom they despised so much. The poorest criminal would have been left to die in peace; but brutal laughter surged round the silent sufferer, and showers of barbed sarcasms were flung at Him. The throwers fancied them exquisite jests, and demonstrations of the absurdity of Christ’s claims; but they were really witnesses to His claims, and explanations of His sufferings. Look at them in turn, with this thought in our minds. ‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save,’ was launched as a sarcasm which confuted His alleged miracles by His present helplessness. How much it admits, even while it denies! Then, He did work miracles; and they were all for others, never for His own ends; and they were all for saving, never for destroying. Then, too, by this very taunt His claim to be the ‘Saviour’ is presupposed. And so, ‘Physician, heal Thyself,’ seemed to them an unanswerable missile to fling. If they had only known what made the ‘cannot,’ and seen that it was a ‘will not,’ they would have stood full in front of the great miracle of love which was before them unsuspected, and would have learned that the not saving Himself, which they thought blew to atoms His pretensions to save others, was really the condition of His saving a world. If He is to save others He cannot save Himself. That is the law for all mutual help. The lamp burns out in giving light, but the necessity for the death of Him who is the life of the world is founded on a deeper ‘must.’ His only way of delivering us from the burden of sin is His taking it on Himself. He has to ‘bear our griefs and carry our sorrows,’ if He is to bear away the sin of the world. But the ‘cannot’ derives all its power from His own loving will. The rulers’ taunt was a venomous lie, as they meant it. If for ‘cannot’ we read ‘will not,’ it is the central truth of the Gospel.

Nor did they succeed better with their second gibe, which made mirth of such a throne, and promised allegiance if He would come down. O blind leaders of the blind! That death which seemed to them to shatter His royalty really established it. His Cross is His throne of saving power, by which He sways hearts and wills, and because of it He receives from the Father universal dominion, and every knee shall bow to Him. It is just because He did not come down from it that we believe on Him. On His head are many crowns; but, however many they be, they all grow out of the crown of thorns. The true kingship is absolute command over willingly submitted spirits; and it is His death which bows us before Him in raptures of glad love which counts submission, liberty, and sacrifice blessed. He has the right to command because He has given Himself for us, and His death wakes all-surrendering and all-expecting faith.

Nor was the third taunt more fortunate. These very religious men had read their Bibles so badly that they might never have heard of Job, nor of the latter half of Isaiah. They had been poring over the letter all their lives, and had never seen, with their microscopes, the great figure of the Innocent Sufferer, so plain there. So they thought that the Cross demonstrated the hollowness of Jesus’ trust in God, and the rejection of Him by God. Surely religious teachers should have been slow to scoff at religious trust, and surely they might have known that failure and disaster even to death were no signs of God’s displeasure. But, in one aspect, they were right. It is a mystery that such a life should end thus; and the mystery is none the less because many another less holy life has also ended in suffering. But the mystery is solved when we know that God did not deliver Him, just because He ‘would have Him,’ and that the Father’s delight in the Son reached its very highest point when He became obedient until death, and offered Himself ‘a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing unto God.’

III. We pass on to the darkness, desolation, and death.

Matthew represents these three long hours from noon till what answers to our 3 P.M. as passed in utter silence by Christ. What went on beneath that dread veil, we are not meant to know. Nor do we need to ask its physical cause or extent. It wrapped the agony from cruel eyes; it symbolised the blackness of desolation in His spirit, and by it God draped the heavens in mourning for man’s sin. What were the onlookers doing then? Did they cease their mocking, and feel some touch of awe creeping over them?

‘His brow was chill with dying,

And His soul was faint with loss.’

The cry that broke the awful silence, and came out of the darkness, was more awful still. The fewer our words the better; only we may mark how, even in His agony, Jesus has recourse to prophetic words, and finds in a lesser sufferer’s cry voice for His desolation. Further, we may reverently note the marvellous blending of trust and sense of desertion. He feels that God has left Him, and yet he holds on to God. His faith, as a man, reached its climax in that supreme hour when, loaded with the mysterious burden of God’s abandonment, He yet cried in His agony, ‘My God!’ and that with reduplicated appeal. Separation from God is the true death, the ‘wages of sin’; and in that dread hour He bore in His own consciousness the uttermost of its penalty. The physical fact of Christ’s death, if it could have taken place without this desolation from the consciousness of separation from God, would not have been the bearing of all the consequences of man’s sins. The two must never be parted in our grateful contemplations; and, while we reverently abjure the attempt to pierce into that which God hid from us by the darkness, we must reverently ponder what Christ revealed to us by the cry that cleft it, witnessing that He then was indeed bearing the whole weight of a world’s sin. By the side of such thoughts, and in the presence of such sorrow, the clumsy jest of the bystanders, which caught at the half-heard words, and pretended to think that Jesus was a crazy fanatic calling for Elijah with his fiery chariot to come and rescue Him, may well be passed by. One little touch of sympathy moistened His dying lips, not without opposition from the heartless crew who wanted to have their jest out. Then came the end. The loud cry of the dying Christ is worthy of record; for crucifixion ordinarily killed by exhaustion, and this cry was evidence of abundant remaining vitality. In accordance therewith, the fact of death is expressed by a phrase, which, though used for ordinary deaths, does yet naturally express the voluntariness of Christ. ‘He sent away His spirit,’ as if He had bid it depart, and it obeyed. Whether the expression may be fairly pressed so far or no, the fact is the same, that Jesus died, not because He was crucified, but because He chose. He was the Lord and Master of Death; and when He bid His armour-bearer strike, the slave struck, and the King died, not like Saul on the field of his defeat, but a victor in and by and over death.

Matthew 27:33-34. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha — A Syriac word which signifies a scull, or head. In Latin it is called Calvary. The place was so named, either because malefactors used to be executed there, or because the charnel-house or common repository for bones and sculls might have been there. Being upon an eminence, it seems to have been a proper spot of ground for the execution of criminals, as those that were crucified there might be seen at a considerable distance, and by a great number of spectators. They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall — The word χολη, here rendered gall, is used with great latitude in the Septuagint. The Hebrew word, signifying wormwood, is twice so rendered, Proverbs 5:4; Lamentations 3:15. At other times it seems to denote any bitter or poisonous infusion that tasted like gall. Mark says, They gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh, εσμυρνισμενον οινον. But, it seems, the two evangelists speak of the same ingredients. For though Mark terms that wine which Matthew calls vinegar, he may really have meant vinegar, which was a common drink among the ancients, (see Numbers 6:6,) and such as might very properly be called wine, as it was usually made of wine, or of the juice of grapes. Besides, it is well known that the ancients gave the general name of wine to all fermented liquors whatsoever. It is evident, therefore, that to reconcile the evangelists here, we have no occasion for the reading of Beza’s copy, which has οινον instead of οξος. As to the other ingredient of this potion, it is probable the bitter, or poisonous infusion of Matthew mentioned above, might be called myrrh by Mark, because it had myrrh mixed with it; there being nothing more common than for a medicine, compounded of many ingredients, to take its name from some one of them that is prevalent in the composition. Or the evangelists maybe reconciled more directly by supposing, that the word used by Matthew and rendered gall, and which, as we have seen, is applied to wormwood, signifies any bitter drug whatsoever, and therefore may denote myrrh, which has its name from a Hebrew word signifying bitterness. Casaubon has given a third solution of this difficulty. He thinks that our Lord’s friends put a cup of myrrhed wine into the hands of one of the soldiers to give to him, but that the soldier, out of contempt, added gall to it. Whatever were the ingredients in this liquor, it is probable that it was offered to Christ by some of his friends, with a view to stupify and render him insensible of the ignominy and pain of his punishment. For it appears it was not unusual to give criminals drink of this kind, before their execution, in order to make them insensible of the pains of death. Jesus, however, refused the potion that was offered him, because he would bear his sufferings, however sharp, not by intoxicating and stupifying himself, but through the strength of faith, fortitude, and patience.

27:31-34 Christ was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, as a Sacrifice to the altar. Even the mercies of the wicked are really cruel. Taking the cross from him, they compelled one Simon to bear it. Make us ready, O Lord, to bear the cross thou hast appointed us, and daily to take it up with cheerfulness, following thee. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? And when we behold what manner of death he died, let us in that behold with what manner of love he loved us. As if death, so painful a death, were not enough, they added to its bitterness and terror in several ways.Golgotha - This is a Hebrew word, signifying the place of a skull. This is the word which in Luke is called "Calvary." The original Greek, there, also means a skull. The word "calvary" is a Latin word meaning "skull," or place of "skulls." It is not known certainly why this name was given to this place. Some have supposed that it was because the mount resembled in shape a human skull. The most probable opinion, however, is that it was a place of execution; that malefactors were beheaded there or otherwise put to death, and that their bones remained unburied or unburned. Golgotha, or Calvary, was probably a small eminence on the northwest of Jerusalem, without the walls of the city, but at a short distance. Jesus was put to death out of the city, because capital punishments were not allowed within the walls. See Numbers 15:35; 1 Kings 21:13. This was a law among the Romans as well as the Jews. He also died there, because the bodies of the beasts slain in sacrifice as typical of him were "burned without the camp." He also, as the antitype, suffered "without the gate," Hebrews 13:11-12. The place which is shown as Calvary now is within the city, and must also have been within the ancient walls, and there is no reason to suppose that it is the place where the Saviour was put to death. Mt 27:27-33. Jesus Scornfully and Cruelly Entreated of the Soldiers, Is Led Away to Be Crucified. ( = Mr 15:16-22; Lu 23:26-31; Joh 19:2, 17).

For the exposition, see on [1374]Mr 15:16-22.

See Poole on "Matthew 27:34".

And when they were come to a place called Golgotha,.... The true pronunciation is "Golgoltha", and so it is read in Munster's Hebrew Gospel. It is a Syriac word, in which language letters are often left out: in the Syriac version of this place, the first "l" is left out, and the latter retained, and it is read "Gogoltha": and so, in the Persic, "Gagulta"; and in the Arabic, "Gagalut". The Ethiopic version reads it, "Golgotha"; and so, Dr. Lightfoot observes, it is read by the Samaritan interpreter of the first chapter of Numbers:

that is to say, a place of a skull: some say Adam's skull was found here, and from thence the place had its name; this is an ancient tradition, but without foundation (m): it seems to be so called, because it was the place where malefactors were executed, and afterwards buried; whose bones and skulls in process of time might be dug up, and some of them might lie scattered about in this place: for, one that was executed as a malefactor (n),

"they did not bury him in the sepulchres of his ancestors; but there were two places of burial appointed by the sanhedrim; one for those that were stoned, and for those that were burnt; and another for those that were killed with the sword, and for those that were strangled; and when their flesh was consumed, they gathered the bones, and buried them in their place;

i.e. in the sepulchres of their ancestors. This place was as infamous as our Tyburn, and to be crucified at "Golgotha", was as ignominious as to be hanged at Tyburn; which shows what shame and disgrace our Lord was brought, and what he condescended to bear on our account,

(m) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 4. 5. (n) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Sauhedrin, c. 13. sect. 2, 3.

{6} And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

(6) He is led out of the city so that we might be brought into the heavenly kingdom.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 27:33 Γολγοθᾶ, Chald. גֻּלְגָלְתָא, Heb. גֻּלְגֹלֶת meaning a skull. Jerome and most other expositors (including Luther, Fritzsche, Strauss, Tholuck, Friedlieb) derive the name from the circumstance that, as this was a place for executing criminals, it abounded with skulls (which, however, are not to be conceived of as lying unburied); while Cyrill, Jerome, Calovius, Reland, Bengel, Paulus, Lücke, de Wette, Ewald, Bleek, Volkmar, Keim, Weiss, on the other hand, trace the name to the shape of the hill.[35] The latter view, which is also that of Thenius (in Ilgen’s Zeitschr. f. Theol. 1842, 4, p. 1 ff.) and Furer (in Schenkel’s Lex. II. p. 506), ought to be preferred, because the name means nothing more than simply a skull (not hill of skulls, valley of skulls, and such like, as though the plural (skulls) had been used). A similar practice of giving to places, according to their shape, such names, as Kopf, Scheitel (comp. the hills called Κεφαλαί in Strabo, xvii. 3, p. 835), Stirn, and the like, is not uncommon among ourselves—(Germans).

ὅ ἐστι κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος] which, i.e. which Aramaic term denotes (ἐστί) a so-called (λεγόμ., Kühner, II. 1, p. 232) place of a skull, Lat.: quod calvariae quem dicunt locum significat. It was probably a round, bare hill. But where it stood it is utterly impossible to determine, although it may be regarded as certain (in opposition to Raumer, Schubert, Krafft, Lange, Furer) that it was not the place within the city (the so-called Mount Calvary), which subsequently to the time of Constantine had been excavated under the impression that it was so,—a point, however, which Ritter, Erdk. XVI. 1, p. 427 ff., leaves somewhat doubtful. See Robinson, Paläst. II. p. 270 ff., and his neuere Forsch. 1857, p. 332 ff. In answer to Robinson, consult Schaffter, d. ächte Lage d. heil. Grabes, 1849. But see in general, Tobler, Golgatha, seine Kirchen und Klöster, 1851; Fallmerayer in the Abh. d. Baier. Akad. 1852, VI. p. 641 ff.; Ewald, Jahrb. II. p. 118 ff., VI. p. 84 ff.; Arnold in Herzog’s Encykl. V. p. 307 ff.; Keim, III. p. 404 ff.

[35] In frying to account for the origin of the name, the Fathers, from Tertullian and Origen down to Euthymius Zigabenus, make reference to the tradition that Adam was buried in the place of a skull. This Judaeo-Christian legend is very old and very widely diffused (see Dillmann, “zum christl. Adambuch,” in Ewald’s Jahrb. V. p. 142); but we are not warranted in confidently assuming that it was of pre-Christian origin (Dillmann) simply because Athanasius, Epiphanius, and others have characterized it as Jewish; it would naturally find much favour, as being well calculated to serve the interests of Christian typology (Augustine: “quia ibi erectus sit medicus, ubi jacebat aegrotus,” etc.).

33. a place called Golgotha] The site of Golgotha is unknown; it was outside the walls, but “nigh to the city” (John 19:20), probably near the public road where people passed by (Matthew 27:39), it contained a garden (John 19:41). The name, which = “place of a skull,” is generally thought to be derived from the shape and appearance of the hillock or mound on which the crosses were reared. This, however, is uncertain. Pictures often mislead by representing the crucifixion as taking place on a lofty hill at a considerable distance from the city.

The English “Calvary” comes from the Vulgate translation of Luke 23:33, “Et postquam venerunt in locum qui vocatur Calvariæ.” Calvaria=“a bare skull.”

33–50. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Mark 15:22-37; Luke 23:33-46; John 19:18-30.

St Mark’s account differs little from St Matthew’s. St Luke names the mockery of the soldiers and the words of the robbers to one another and to Jesus. Three of the sayings on the cross are related by St Luke only: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do;”—“Verily, I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise;”—“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Among other particulars recorded by St John alone are the attempt to alter the superscription—the commendation of His mother to John—the breaking of the malefactors’ legs—the piercing of Jesus—three sayings from the cross: “Woman, behold thy son!” and to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!”—‘I thirst”—“It is finished.” St Matthew and St Mark alone record the cry of loneliness: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

Matthew 27:33. Κρανίου, of a skull) The hill was called so from its shape.[1193]

[1193] Not, as I am inclined to think, from the skulls of malefactors punished with death, which lay about there; for Golgotha, in the singular, means a skull, sc. the place of a skull.—B. H. E.

From all quarters in the circuit of the cross the whole world might behold the Son of God suspended thereon.—Harm., p. 562.

Verse 33. - A place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull; quod est Calvariae locus (Vulgate). Hence the Latinized name Calvary. The word means "a skull;" but why the spot was so called is a doubtful question. That it was the usual place of execution is a suggestion with no proof, and one would expect the designation in this case to be "the place of skulls." Tradition (authorized by Origen) pointed to it as the spot where Adam was buried, and where his skull was found - a story that seems to have arisen from the typical reason that it was congruous that the first Adam and the second Adam should meet in death, the latter winning the victory there where the former showed his defeat. Most probably the name was given to it as descriptive of its appearance, a bare space of rock (not a hill) denuded of verdure, and bearing a distant resemblance to a human skull wanting hair. The actual situation of Calvary is hotly contested by exegetes and travellers, and is still far from being determined. The only criterion offered by our accounts in the Gospels is that it was without the then walls of the city, not far from one or the gates, and by the side of one of the principal roads leading from the city to the country. A certain knoll on the hill Gareb towards the northwest, by which the Damascus road led, and to which Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:39) refers, is supposed, not very happily, to answer these requirements, If the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on the northwest of Jerusalem, really contains the actual Golgotha and the tomb of our Lord, the course of the second wall as usually drawn cannot be correct, as it embraces this site completely (see the Guardian, August 30, 1893, p. 1353). Opinion, always altering, has lately been inclined to endorse the authenticity of many of the traditional sites in the holy city and its neighbourhood. Further discoveries will set this and other matters at rest. Meantime, judgment must be suspended (see on ver. 51). Matthew 27:33Golgotha

An Aramaic word, Gulgoltha, equals the Hebrew, Gulgoleth, and translated skull in Judges 9:53; 2 Kings 9:35. The word Calvary comes through the Latin calvaria, meaning skull, and used in the Vulgate. The New Testament narrative does not mention a mount or hill. The place was probably a rounded elevation. The meaning is not, as Tynd., a place of dead men's skulls, but simply skull.

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