Objects the casting or drawing of which was a common method for determining the divine will in ancient Israel and in NT times. No detailed description of the actual procedures involved or of the precise nature of the instrument(s) used is offered in the Bible. Still, several momentous decisions involved the use of lots. Saul, Israel’s first king, was selected in this manner (1Sam 10:16-26
), the conquered land was apportioned among the tribes by lot (Num 26:55
; Josh 14:2
), the identity of Achen as the thief of the spoil from Jericho was discovered by lot (Josh 7:14
), and by this means Jonathan was found to be the (unwitting) violator of his father’s oath (1Sam 14:42
). The ranks of Temple personnel were also determined by lot (1Chr 24:5
; 1Chr 25:8
; 1Chr 26:13
; Luke 1:9
). The soldiers who crucified Jesus divided up his possessions by lot (Matt 27:35
; Mark 15:24
; Luke 23:34
; John 19:24
), and Matthias was chosen in this way to replace Judas among the twelve apostles (Acts 1:26
16Saul said to his uncle, “He told us that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingship, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him an ... View more
55But the land shall be apportioned by lot; according to the names of their ancestral tribes they shall inherit.
2Their inheritance was by lot, as the Lord had commanded Moses for the nine and one-half tribes.
14In the morning therefore you shall come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe that the Lord takes shall come near by clans, the clan that the Lord takes shall com ... View more
42Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.
5They organized them by lot, all alike, for there were officers of the sanctuary and officers of God among both the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar.
8And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.
13and they cast lots by ancestral houses, small and great alike, for their gates.
9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.
35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;
24And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,
“They divided my ... View more
26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.