The place of Crucifixion mentioned by all 4 Gospel Writers may look like another fact in the Life and Death of our Messiah, but in this post I will attempt to show that there is Great Significance in Christ being put to death at this exact place
A Ransom for our Souls
In Exodus, God mentions the need for a Ransom/Atonement to be made for the souls of each house – the exact payment being Half a Silver Shekel which was used to make the sockets of the Sanctuary. This payment commanded by God was to be exacted when a census (Numbering – פקד – Pakhad) was taken.
Exo 30:12-14 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number(פקד – Pakhad), then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest(פקד – Pakhad) them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered(פקד – Pakhad), half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered(פקד – Pakhad), from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
Exo 38:25-26 And the silver of them that were numbered(פקד – Pakhad) of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered(פקד – Pakhad), from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
The Census of David
Almost everyone knows of the event where David takes a Census and is punished by God, but also receives revelation of where God had chosen as the Place where He would place His Name forever.
2Sam 24:9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number (מפקד – Miphkhad) of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
1Chr 21:5 And Joab gave the sum of the number(מפקד – Miphkhad) of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
A Place of Census in the period of the Temple?
In the Writings of Nehemiah and Ezekiel the Census (Miphkhad) is also mentioned as a place, pointing us towards the possibility of the Census being collected at a special place.
Neh 3:31 After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad(מפקד – Miphkhad), and to the going up of the corner.
Eze 43:21 Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place(מפקד – Miphkhad) of the house, without the sanctuary.
The special piece of information in Ezekiel is that the Bullock of the Sin Offering was to be burnt at the “Appointed Place” (מפקד – Miphkhad) which means the census as seen above.
The Place of Census – (מפקד – Miphkhad) – The Clean Place outside the Sanctuary
We see the place where the Bullock of the Sin Offering was to be burnt mentioned before in Scriptures.
Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.
Lev 4:12 Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.
The above place could also be the place of offering the Red Heifer mentioned in Number 19. What is this special place outside the Camp? We see some clues in the same chapters of David’s Census.
David buys “The Place” and “The Threshing Floor”
In 2Samuels 24 and 1Chronicles 21 David buys two pieces of property for two different amounts of silver/gold from a Jebusite called Ornan/Araunah.
2Sam 24:22-25 And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
1Chr 21:24-27 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place (HaMaqom) six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
As we know the above property becomes the place of the Temple built on the Mountain range of Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac (Gen 22:2 / 2Chr 3:1). Could these 2 places be the Temple Mount and the Clean place outside the Camp. The Clean place would have been situated to the East of the Temple as the Red Heifer was sacrificed at a place where the blood could have been sprinkled before the Tabernacle as mentioned in Number 19:3,4. The Mount towards the East of Mount Zion where the Temple was situated is a place where Christ frequented often (Luke 22:39) – namely Mount of Olives. My suggestion is that this would have been the place of Yeshua’s Death – the place of the Threshing Floor which David bought and also the place of the Census (Miphkhad).
Golgotha and the Place of Counting Heads/Skulls
All of the Gospel writers mention the place of Yeshua’s Death mentioning that it was called Golgotha which means “Skull”. Various people have thought that the place itself looked like a skull or that a skull of a famous individual such as Adam was buried here. But it is clear that “Golgotha” speaks of the place of Census.
Mt 27:33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
Mk 15:22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
Luk 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary (Latin for Skull derived from Kraneon where we get Cranium/skull), there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
John 19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Golgotha in Hebrew is “Gulgoleth” which means skull and is used most often with the Census/Numbering of people.
Exo 38:26 A bekah for every man (Gulgoleth-Head/Skull), that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
Num 1:2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls(Gulgoleth-Head/Skull);
Num 1:18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls(Gulgoleth-Head/Skull).
Num 1:20 And the children of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls(Gulgoleth-Head/Skull), every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
So it maybe more accurate to say that all of the Gospel writers are pointing to the fact that the place Christ was crucified was the place of Numbering/Census where the heads/skulls were counted.
Golgotha – in direct view of Temple and near a Garden
The place where He died was also in direct-view of the Temple as the Centurion sees the veil tearing in the Temple. Golgotha being situated on Mt Olives is most probable as it is of higher altitude than Mt Zion. This and the fact that John mentions that there was a garden where He was crucified makes this theory even stronger. Mt of Olives is where Yeshua spent His last hours before being captured, where He was crucified, where He resurrected, where He ascended to Heaven and to which place He would return as well(Acts 1:10-12).
Lk 23:44-47 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
John 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
Yeshua and the payment of Atonement/Ransom for our souls
We see that no mere man can make a payment for the redemption of another’s soul. But more than once does the New Testament mention that He came for that exact reason.
Psa 47:8,9 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
1Pet 1:18,19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Tim 2:5,6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The piece of money in the mouth of the fish
Yeshua also speaks of this exact Half Shekel payment in the below account recorded by Matthew. In it He says that the sons of the King are free of making this payment.
Mt 17:24-27 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute (Didrachmon – Double Drachma which is equal to two Half Shekels) money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute (Kensos – Census)? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Is it also a coincidence that Yeshua says that the money will be found inside the mouth of a fish – the same sign He gave to those who asked a sign of Him in Mat 12:39 – The Sign of Jonah.
Golgotha which means Skull is connected with the counting of “Gulgoleth”(heads/skulls) in the Census mentioned in Exodus 30&38. This census which is taken as Ransom for the souls of God’s people is later connected to a special place known as “Miphkhad” which is likely the second property (other than Temple Mount) bought by King David. The Gospel writers are pointing out that Yeshua’s death on a cross was done at a specific place where the Ransom for His people was exacted – the Miphkhad (Place of Census). He is not simply our Atonement, His Atoning work was done in a place chosen by the father – as the author of Hebrews says “Heb 13:11,12 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” The offering, the date and the place was chosen by God. In it we see a work of Atonement which is complete to the very minute detail.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!