Golgatha1 -Norma Roberston Theory


“And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink…” (Mat. 27:33-34)

Many have searched for the “Place of the Skull” by looking for a natural land formation that looks like a skull.  Instead they should have looked into the meaning of the word Golgotha.

 The Hebrew word for the Greek Golgotha is Golgolet. Golgolet H1538 literally means “a skull, poll, head,” and when it’s put back into its proper context the true meaning of Golgotha becomes obvious.  KJV:

Numbers 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; H1538

Numbers 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. H1538    NASB: head by head (skull)

1 Chronicles 23:24 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, H1538 man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.

As you can see from the above scriptures, golgolet is used in the context of taking a census or a poll by counting the “heads” or “skulls” of the individuals over age twenty. By the time the first century rolled along, Golgolet was called Golgotha in Greek and became associated with an actual place where they counted people as they entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

Golgotha was on the Mount of Olives, at the Red Heifer Bridge.

Golgatha2 -Norma Roberston Theory

Bethphage, Outside the Camp

The last three books of the Third Division (Daniel, Ezra/Nehemiah, and Chronicles) are also Canonical books, but they are books that were not kept in the library rooms within the Temple that were associated with the three main compartments of the Temple. These three books were kept outside the confines of the Temple, but still in a sacred area on the Mount of Olives located just outside the camp of Israel in the walled city of Bethphage. This is where the census and genealogical records were kept to prove who was an Israelite, a Levite and Priest, etc.

If a male, over the age of 20, wanted to cross over the Red Heifer Bridge, whose name was in question then a priest would walk to Bethphage. a sabbath days journey of 2000 cubits, to check the genealogical records.  This tells us that Bethphage was not any more than 2000 cubits from the end of the red Heifer Bridge where the counting of heads took place.  It is known that from the Holy of Holies to the Red Heifer Altar was also 2000 cubits which places the altar near the top of the Mt of Olives and Bethphage just over the summit on the other side of the Mt of Olives.

The Counting of Heads

It all begins with this command of God.

Exodus 30:11-12 “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: ‘When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to Yahweh, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.'”

The ransom to be paid became a required a half-shekel payment from each male over the age of twenty.