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Casting of Lots
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Lots
Lots (גּוֹרָל‎, goral). Objects that were cast to reach a randomized and impartial decision.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Lots, Casting of
Lots, Casting of. Practice common in the OT, less common in the NT prior to Pentecost, and absent in the biblical narrative after Pentecost.In the Bible the practice was used in a variety of circumstances, including (1) the selection of the scapegoat (Lv 16:8–10); (2) the allocation of the tribal inheritance
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Lots
Lots[Heb gôrāl; LXX klḗros (Lev. 16:8–10 Nu. 26:55; etc.)]; [Heb. qesem] (Ezk. 21:22 [MT 27]); NEB AUGUR’S ARROW; AV DIVINATION; [Gk. klḗros] (Mt. 27:35; Mk. 15:24; Lk. 23:34; Jn. 19:24; Acts 1:26). Both Heb. gôrāl and Gk. klḗros have two primary meanings: (1) a device used to determine the
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Lots, Casting of
LOTS, CASTING OF Practice common in the OT, less common in the NT prior to Pentecost, and absent in the biblical narrative after Pentecost.In the Bible the practice was used in a variety of circumstances, including (1) the selection of the scapegoat (Lv 16:8–10); (2) the allocation of the tribal inheritance
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Lot, Lots
lot, lots, objects that could be cast or drawn as a means of determining the divine will. References to the use of lots abound, and the legitimacy of this means of determining the divine will is never questioned. Still no detailed description of the actual procedures involved or of the precise nature
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Lots
LOTS. The casting of lots was a widely used method of coming to a decision in the ancient world, and especially, as among the Jews, to ascertain God’s will. The exact nature of the objects cast is not certain, though they probably were some kind of marked stones.A momentous decision was made by lot
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Lots
LotsObjects cast to determine an answer beyond human comprehension or to make a decision requiring divine guidance. Heb. gôrāl originally meant “stone” or “pebble,” but eventually came to mean “destiny” or “fate.” Lots were presumably small stones or pieces of wood and are always referred to as being
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Lots
Lots (Heb. gôrāl; Gk. klḗros). Objects cast or thrown to call upon God or gods (cf. Jonah 1:7) to render a decision either beyond human understanding or otherwise demanding impartiality—as in the division of land or goods. Used throughout the ancient world, Israel viewed lots in the context of
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Lots
LOTS Marked objects cast like dice to make choices in a seemingly random way. The casting of lots was a common means of deciding a question or resolving some dispute in ancient times. Casting lots was accepted by Israelites as a means of determining the will of the Lord, an outlook summed up by Prov
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Lot
Lot (literally a pebble). The custom of deciding doubtful questions by lot is one of great extent and high antiquity. Among the Jews lots were used with the expectation that God would so control them as to give a right direction to them. They were very often used by God’s appointment. “As to the mode
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Lot, Lots
Lot, Lotslot, lots, objects the casting or drawing of which was a common method for determining the divine will in ancient Israel and in nt times. A range of questions, usually posed or subdivided so that a yes or no would suffice, were dealt with in this manner. The Hebrew word goral, the standard
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Lots, Casting of
LOTS, CASTING OF — a way of making decisions in Bible times, similar to drawing straws or casting a pair of dice to determine what course or direction to follow. The word “lots” occurs 70 times in the Old Testament and seven in the New Testament. Most of the occurrences were in the early period when
Key passages
Nu 26:55

Surely the land will be divided by lot. They will inherit according to the names of the tribes of their ancestors.

Pr 18:18

The lot will put an end to disputes, and between powerful contenders it will decide.

Mt 27:35

And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots.