The “place of the skull” has an intriguing history. This area of Jesus’ crucifixion is called both Calvary and Golgotha. The Greek word κρανίον (kran-ee-on), translated as Calvary, signifies skull-that part of the skeletal frame referred to as the cranium. The word Golgotha is a Hebrew word which likewise means skull-better referred to as the “place of the skull.” Why was Jesus crucified on a hill called the place of the skull? Are there any prophetic evidence?
In Genesis 3:15 we have the very first prophecy of the coming of the Lord Jesus to be the Savior of humanity:
“And I will put hostility between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The crushing of Satan’s head is our initial clue concerning why Jesus was crucified on Calvary, the place of the skull. Moses prophetically writes that there will come a time when the future seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.
As we move from Genesis even further into the Bible, we get another installment of information that clarifies the fulfillment of this prophecy. In 1st Samuel 17, we learnt about David’s battle with Goliath of Gath.
Goliath was the offspring of a human woman and an angel. Those fallen angels who descended to Mount Hermon introduced the “seed of the serpent” into the human race; even so after the Flood. Hence, Goliath, being an offspring of this unholy reunion was a giant; a Nephilim (“fallen one”).
After David slays the giant, he cuts his head off and brings it to Jerusalem. Victors would frequently behead their enemy and after that set them on a hill or a site that would show victory for all to see.
The fact that David brought Goliath’s head to Jerusalem is rather amazing considering that Jerusalem at this time was occupied by David’s opponents, the Jebusites. The question is, where did David bring the head of Goliath? The Scripture does not inform us however we would not be going too far out on a limb to recommend that the giant’s skull was buried on Golgotha.
The significance of Jesus being crucified on Calvary, the place of the skull, was to show His victory over His adversary, Satan, hence fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. As the nail would have been driven through the heels of the one crucified, the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was being partly fulfilled-Satan would bruise his heel. The rest of the prophecy was fulfilled as Jesus was lifted above the ground-the place of the skull- crushing the head of Satan. Jesus was literally in a position over His enemies, over the giants of evil.