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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Lots, Casting

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This mode of determining a matter was ordered of God to be practised over the two goats on the day of atonement. Leviticus 16:8-10 . God also commanded that the land should be divided by lot. Numbers 26:55,56 . The people resorted to it for various purposes on the return from exile. Nehemiah 10:34; Nehemiah 11:1 . God overruled among His people how the lot should fall, as stated in Proverbs 16:33; "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." He also could direct it among the heathen to work out His own purposes, as He did in the case of Haman, which so deferred the period of the execution of his design that there was time for the action of Esther, and for new edicts to be sent all over the kingdom, that the Jews might be saved from destruction. Esther 3:7; Esther 9:24 . The various names, dates, etc., for selection were marked on pieces of wood, potsherd, etc., and these 'lots' were then shaken together either in a vessel or the fold of a garment, till one came out.

The lot was also used by the Roman soldiers in parting the garments of the Lord. Psalm 22:18; Mark 15:24 . In order to fill up the vacancy caused by the fall of Judas, the lot was resorted to; but was on that occasion accompanied by prayer that the Lord would show which of the two He had chosen. Acts 1:26 . There is no instruction in the N.T. as to casting lots. It would have been quite out of place among the disciples while the Lord was with them, as also now that the Holy Spirit has been given to the Christian.

The land being 'divided by lot' in a future day means rather that the land will be 'allotted,' for God has Himself directed where each of the twelve tribes shall be situated. Ezekiel 45:1; Ezekiel 47:22; Ezekiel 48:29 .

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Lots, Casting'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/l/lots-casting.html. 1897.

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