What does the Bible say about Casting Lots?
"Casting lots" refers to a method of making decisions or determining outcomes by drawing or throwing objects (lots) and then interpreting the results based on chance. In ancient times, people used various objects, such as stones, sticks, or specially marked tokens, as lots. The process involved randomly selecting one of these objects, and the decision or outcome was considered to be guided by divine providence or fate.
The Bible mentions casting lots in several instances, and it was a method used in ancient times to make decisions or determine God's will. Here are a few references to casting lots in the Bible:
Casting Lots in the Bible
Proverbs 16:33 (NIV):
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord."
This verse suggests that even though the outcome appears to be determined by chance (casting lots into the lap), ultimately, God is in control of the decision.
Leviticus 16:8 (NIV):
"He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat."
In the context of the Day of Atonement, the high priest would cast lots to determine which of the two goats would be sacrificed to the Lord and which one would be the scapegoat, symbolically carrying away the sins of the people.
Joshua 18:10 (NIV):
"Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the Lord, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions."
Casting lots was used to distribute the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel.
Acts 1:26 (NIV):
"Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles."
After Judas Iscariot's betrayal and death, the remaining apostles cast lots to choose a replacement, and Matthias was selected.
For related reading, learn more about what the Bible says about "Is gambling a sin?"
Discover more scripture quotes about "casting lots" in the Bible below: