Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

♫B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O was his name, oh!♫

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 25, 2010

There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh! B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O… B – I – N, G, O and Bingo was his name, oh!

Hi kiddies!

Today your Uncle Bob is gonna’ tell you all about his dog!

And what’s his name?

(children yell out name)

Yes! That’s right! Bingo!

And I’m gonna’ kill my dog!

Probably the only thing anyone can do in Alabama is laugh at both sides of the gammlin’ and ant-eye-gammlin’ sides to shame.

Hizzoner, the Guvnuh uv Aluhbaamuh, Bob Riley, has taken to his bully pulpit and maligned, pleaded and wheedled with the people and the Legislature to arrest, confiscate and otherwise shut down the “electronic bingo” games that have been proliferating in select areas of Alabama.

Meanwhile, in the other corner, weighing in at 450 pounds is Miiiil – tun Mu – gre – gor, the damnable denizen of Greentrack! (Forget about the Indians.)

Alabama Legislators, the often buffoons that they are – Re-bubba-lican, and Dumb-o-crats – have taken sides, and their pens, mightier than their swords, are drawn.

In the midst of all the fray, stand the unfortunate citizens of Al-uh-ba-muh.

“Let the people vote!,” cries one side.

The other side says, “Gambling is a social evil.”

“We’re losing jobs and tax money!,” they say, returning the volley.

“The bill sets up a monopoly, and barely taxes the operators!,” they reply with vigor.

So who’s right?

Anyone?

Who’s wrong?

Everyone?

Somewhere, truth can be found.

Let’s examine some claims from both sides.

Claim #1.) Gambling is a sin/social evil [and therefore should be illegal].

Truth: As recorded in the Biblical book of Numbers, chapter 33 verse 54,  the LORD God is attested to have spoken to Moses saying, “And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.” (KJV)

Of course it’s highly doubtful that the LORD actually used the articles of speech (the ‘ye-s,’ ‘thee-s,’ ‘thou-s,’ ‘thine-s,’ and ‘art-s’) that good old King James and his translators did, but their work in translating the Hebrew/Chaldee texts remains a standard to this day, and one for which there are numerous resources – which is why I chose that version.

According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary and Concordance, the English word “lot” is translated from the Hebrew/Chaldee word which is transliterated as “goral” means a lot, as used for casting. The exhaustive meaning of the word used in that verse stems from an unused root meaning to be rough, (as a stone might be), more properly, a pebble, or more accurately, stones used for that purpose. A figurative use of the word means “destiny,” or “portion.”

The English definition of the word “lot” as used in the sense is “one of a set of objects such as straws, stones, or pieces of paper that are randomly selected as part of a decision-making process,” and “the making of a decision by such random selection,” as in ‘we selected the members by lot, rather than election’.

Random, of course, is defined as being made, happening or being chosen without method or conscious decision. Synonymous terms include “chance,” “coincidental,” “unintentional,” “luck,” or “providence.”

Our modern word “lottery,” stems from a word circa 1560’s, perhaps the Dutch word “loterij” which itself stems from… lot. The Italian “lotteria” shares the same root as the Old English word “hlot.” The O.E. “hlot” means any object – ranging from dice to straw, but often a chip of wood with a name inscribed on it, which is used to determine someone’s portion,” or “what falls to a person by lot.” Stemming from the Old Norse “hlutr,” the Old High German, “hluz” and the O.E., it is of unknown origin, though it refers to an object placed with others in a receptacle, which was shaken, and the winner was the one that fell out first. Sometimes, they were drawn by hand. The sense of the word meaning “choice resulting from the lasting of lots,” is first attested c.1200. The sense of the word meaning a tract of land is attested from 1725.

Lottery, of course, is defined as a process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance.

So there you have it.  The original sense of the word is to describe a process conducted entirely by chance – in essence, a gamble. The sense of the word as used to describe a tract of land came into use over 500 years after the appearance, or origin of the word.

Now… what I’d like to point out is that the instructions of the LORD were to use an instrument of random opportunity, of chance… dice, if you will.

Today, it’d probably grate a few folks to imagine Almighty God saying something like, “throw the dice to figure out who gets what.

And then, there’s Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast in the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is from the LORD.” (KJV) “A thing may be put to the decision of chance, but it comes about through the Lord.” (BBE)

-AND-

Acts 1:23 “Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” (NIV)

Gasp! They threw DICE to choose a disciple!?! Oh… my… God.

Yup. That’s what Proverbs says.

Tomorrow, we’ll examine another facet of this convoluted issue.

Stay tuned!

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