Casting lots (Job 6)

Bilderesultat for casting lots bible meaning

A clay cube in Akkadian provides archaeological evidence for the use of lots in the ancient Near East. This “lot”, a cube approximatelyu 2,5 cm in diameter, commemorates the selection by lot of lahali to serve as the minster of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (ca. 828 B.C.).

Bilderesultat for akkadian clay cube for casting lots

Through other forms of divination were prohibited in Israel (Deuteronomy 18:9-14), the casting of lots was permitted. Proverbs 16:33 makes this clear: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord“. Lots were cast for various purposes:

  • They settled the apportionment of land, guaranteeing that it was divinely inherited (Numbers 26:55).
  • The narrowed a field of candidates in determining a selection (Saul in 1 Samuel 10:20 ff, Mathias in Acts 1:26), order of service (temple personnel in 1 Chronicles 24:5 ff, Zechariah in Luke 1:8 ff) or guilt (Achan in Joshua 7:14 ff, Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14:4 ff).
  • They were used for dividing or distributing people (orphans in Job 6:27, prisoners of war in Joel 3:3 and Nahum 3:10).
  • The sac red lots called “the Urim and the Thummin” were used to determine the will of the Lord in a particular matter (Numbers 27:21).

Bilderesultat for casting of lots

Illustration: The Urim and the Thummin


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