1. God assigned the land to the Tribes by the casting of lots

After defining the boundaries of  Israel’s territories, Moses divided the land by “lot”:

And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, This [is] the land which ye shall inherit by lot (Numbers 34: 13)

The lot was used by the Jews as a fair means of  fairly and impartially dividing their deeded land among the tribes.  They then cast lots to subdivide the inheritance of each tribe to the families (1 Chronicles 6: 61 for example).   The lot was also used  in the following examples:

  1. King David used the lot to assign duties to the priests (1 Chronicles 24)
  2. David also used the lot to assign duties to the music ministers (1 Chron 25)
  3. Nehemiah and his team cast lots to impartially designate the time the people should bring wood for the fires in the temple (Nehemiah 10: 34)
  4. The purpose of the lot was to “cause  contentions to cease and parteth between the mighty” (KJV).  In other words,  “the lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders” (ESV). (Proverbs 18: 18)

2. God invented the “lot”

The Prophets revealed that God invented the lot as a method of revealing His Will:

a.  Prophet Isaiah spoke about God’s anger with the nations and the outpouring of His wrath and destruction on them. The prophet spoke of the anger of the Lord over the Controversy of Zion”  The Prophet spoke of the desolation of  the land of Israel and its barrenness. No one would live there except the wild beasts, owls, vultures and dragons. Its fertility would  be replaced by thorns,  nettles  and brambles.

We need to note that Prophet Isaiah began to prophesy about 809 BC,  204 of years before the first exile in 605 BC and before the desolation in 586 BC.   Isaiah revealed in the text of  Isaiah 34: 7 that God would call the animals and birds to inhabit the land and assign their portions by lot:

And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein (Isaiah 34: 17).

He allots their portions; his hand distributes them by measure. They will possess it forever and dwell there from generation to generation (Isaiah 34: 17). 

The Prophet further reveals that God also measures out each boundary “by line” or with a measuring tape when He divides the land by the lot.

b. Prophet Jeremiah revealed that God assigned judgments to Israel by lot:

This [is] thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,” says the LORD, “for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods. (Jeremiah 13: 25)

c. Prophet Daniel revealed that God has deeded an eternal inheritance for those who love Him:

  But go thou thy way till the end [be]: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12: 13)


3.  God used the lot to deed His property and possessions to His children

The earth is the Lord’s and as landlord, He wanted to show the Jews and earth’s inhabitants a fair and impartial method of:

  • assigning property
  • solving disputes
  • assigning duties
  • among others

This is not gambling. God decided on the land portions by lot and precisely measured out each portion with a ruler. This further confirms that He has an eternal plan and reason for each nation having a specific land mass.