New International Version
Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups."
King James Bible
According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.
Darby Bible Translation
according to lot shall his inheritance be divided to each, be they many or few in number.
World English Bible
According to the lot shall their inheritance be divided between the more and the fewer."
Young's Literal Translation
according to the lot is their inheritance apportioned between many and few.'
Numbers 26:56 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The land shall be divided by lot - The word גורל goral, translated lot, is supposed by some to signify the stone or pebble formerly used for the purpose of what we term casting lots. The word hlot is Anglo-Saxon, from to divide, or portion out, i. e., fortuitously: it answers to the Greek κληρος, which some think comes from κλαω to break; because the lot, being a sort of appeal to God, ("The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord," Proverbs 16:33), broke off all contentions and litigations relative to the matter in dispute. From this original division of the promised land by lot to the children of Israel, all portions, appointments, offices, shares, or divisions in spiritual and ecclesiastical matters, were termed lots. So in the New Testament, the word κληρος, lot, is used to signify a portion of spiritual blessedness, and κληρονομια, a division by lot, an inheritance; and κληροι, the lotted or appointed persons to different works, shares, etc.; hence our word clergy, κληροι, persons appointed by lot to a lot, portion, or inheritance; see the case of Matthias, Acts 1:26. Persons thus appointed were by accommodation termed inheritors, because originally, when there could be no claims of exclusive right, all lands where a wandering tribe chose to take up its residence were divided by lot, as the promised land in the case before us. So Judah says to Simeon his brother, Judges 1:3 : "Come up with me into my lot." And as God was ever supposed to be the whole disposer in such matters, whatever fell out in the course of God's providence was called a lot. "This is the lot of them that rob us;" Isaiah 17:14. "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter;" Acts 8:21. A lot in the promised land was evidently typical of a place in eternal glory. "That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance (κληρον, a lot) among them that are sanctified;" Acts 26:18. "Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance, κληρου, of the lot) of the saints in light;" Colossians 1:12. "Which is the earnest of our inheritance, (κληρονομιας, of our allotted portion;") Ephesians 1:4. "What is the riches of the glory of his inheritance," (κληρονομιας, allotted portion); Ephesians 1:18. As therefore the promised land was divided by lot to the believing Israelites, God determining the lot as he saw good, none of the people having any claim on or right to it; so the kingdom of heaven is a lot given by the mere good will of God to them that believe and obey him; for as unbelief and disobedience threw 600,000 people out of the inheritance of the promised land; so none who disbelieve God's word, and rebel against his authority, shall ever enter into the kingdom of heaven - See Ainsworth. These things happened unto them for examples: see then, reader, that thou fall not after the same example of unbelief.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Census of Israel
Thirty-eight years had passed away since the first numbering at Sinai, and the people had come to the borders of the Promised Land; for they were in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. The time had come for another census. The wisdom which commanded the counting of Israel at the beginning of the wilderness journey, also determined to count them at the end of it. This would show that he did not value them less than in former years; it would afford proof that his word of judgment had been fulfilled …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe.
These were the Levites who were counted by their clans: through Gershon, the Gershonite clan; through Kohath, the Kohathite clan; through Merari, the Merarite clan.
You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
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