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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Lot

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Gôrâl (גֹּרָל, Strong's #1486), “lot.” This word is attested 77 times and in all periods of the language (if a traditional view of the formation of the canon is accepted).

Gôrâl represents the “lot” which was cast to discover the will of God in a given situation: “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat” (Lev. 16:8—the first occurrence). Exactly what casting the “lot” involved is not known.

Since the land of Palestine was allocated among the tribes by the casting of the “lot,” these allotments came to be known as their lots: “This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom …” (Josh. 15:1).

In an extended use the word gôrâl represents the idea “fate” or “destiny”: “And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us” (Isa. 17:14). Since God is viewed as controlling all things absolutely, the result of the casting of the “lot” is divinely controlled: “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord” (Prov. 16:33). Thus, providence (divine control of history) is frequently figured as one’s “lot.”

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Lot'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/l/lot.html. 1940.

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