Matthew 27:33

ESV And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),
NIV They came to a place called Golgotha (which means 'the place of the skull').
NASB And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,
CSB When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull),
NLT And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means 'Place of the Skull').
KJV And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

What does Matthew 27:33 mean?

Jesus is being escorted by an execution squad of four Roman soldiers and accompanied by a stranger named Simon, who was forced to carry His crossbeam (Matthew 27:32). Finally, they arrive at the place of the crucifixion. We know little about the exact location of Jesus' death. The location is named "Golgotha," a word referring to a skull, possibly because it was often used for this purpose. The location is visible to many people (John 19:19–20; Matthew 27:39), in keeping with Rome's use of crucifixion as a terrifying warning. In Latin manuscripts, the term was translated using the word calvaria, from which the location has come to be called "Calvary" in English.

This spot was certainly outside the ancient city limits. Hebrews 13:11–12 makes a connection between Israel's animal sacrifices for sin, burned outside the camp, and Jesus' crucifixion outside the walls of Jerusalem: "For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood."

Scripture's lack of detail over the exact spot of the crucifixion is likely a deliberate choice. Humanity has a habit of idolizing physical things (2 Kings 18:4); sites traditionally associated with Jesus' birth, death, and burial already attract such attention.
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