When I read about the Judas substitute in early church I become very curious about "to give lot" to choose the new apostle.

And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:23-26 ASV

I know that in the Old Testament, it was common use Urim and Thummim, for example, to make a decision.

But I want to know how the apostles gave lots for them, what means give lot in that context?


1 Answer 1


"Casting lots", "drawing lots", or "giving lots" are all terms used in the Bible to describe various forms of Cleromancy. In modern terms, casting lots would be the equivalent to flipping a coin, drawing straws, or rolling dice in order to determine the will of God. In other words, those casting lots would leave their decision up to "chance", trusting that God would intervene and direct the outcome of the lots. In scripture, it is usually implied that God did indeed intervene and the outcome was indeed God's will.

There have been various methods for casting lots throughout history. Since the Bible does not record the particular method that they used, we can merely speculate what it might have been in this case.

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