When I first read the Bible's Proberbs 16:33

The lot is cast into the lap,

but its every decision is from the LORD.

I didn't understand the meaning of "The lot is cast into the lap", thus I checked this article

Proverbs 16:33 (CEB) The dice are cast into the lap; all decisions are from the LORD.

So I understand the meaning of "The lot is cast into the lap" is like rolling a dice. So the word "lot" should equal "dice2. But I couldn't find "lot" equals "dice" in the dictionary. The closest meaning I can find is the synonym of "lot" is "destiny" (according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8). But "destiny" combines with "is cast into the lap" feels weird, doesn't it?

So I want to ask, why they use the word "lot" instead of "dice" in this case, does "lot" equals "dice"?

  • Oh, there is a reference answer here: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/7468/… . But I want to look this as the view of an English translator. – 123iamking Jan 14 '18 at 2:36
  • Formatting: don't use "code formatting" for quotes. Also, the expression is "want to". We say "wanna" but don't write it in standard English. – James K Jan 14 '18 at 9:19

You’re not going to find this definition in normal dictionaries because the word is not really used that way anymore. This is one of the definitions for lot in the OED:

Any of a set of objects, such as dice, used in games of chance. Usually in pl. Now chiefly hist.

Looking at what BH had to say about this, perhaps the more relevant definition from the OED is:

Any of a set of objects (such as pieces of wood or paper) used in methods of random selection to secure a decision in resolving disputes, dividing goods, choosing people for an office or duty, etc., by an appeal to chance or a divine agency believed to be involved in the results of chance. Frequently as the object of verbs denoting the method used, as cast, draw, throw, †send, †warp, etc. Now chiefly hist. except in to cast lots at Phrases 2a(a), to draw lots at Phrases 2a(b).



Lot (CHANCE) to make a decision by choosing from a set of objects such as pieces of paper or sticks that are all the same except for one:

For example; We drew lots to decide who would go.

  • Please do not repeat existing answers – user22427 Jul 30 at 7:23

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