“They crucified him.
They cast lots
What each should take.”
καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν, καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ τίς τί ἄρῃ.
The first verse is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:35. Luke, chapter 23:34, mentioned the dividing of Jesus’ garments by chance. John, chapter 19:23-25, has a longer detailed description about the division of the garments of Jesus. The first cinemascope movie in 1953 was called the “The Robe,” based on a 1942 novel with the same name that got its inspiration from this biblical passage. Mark said that they crucified Jesus (καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν). Then they divided his garments or clothes among themselves (καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ). That is how they decided what each person would take for themselves (τίς τί ἄρῃ), which was a common practice among the Roman soldiers.
Said to one another.
Let us cast lots!
We may know
On whose account
Has come upon us.’
They cast lots.
The lot fell on Jonah.”
These sailors said to each other that they wanted to cast lots, a common way of making decisions. They wanted to know who was the cause of this great storm. Jonah won the lottery, as the lot fell to him. In other words, they considered that Jonah was the cause of the storm.
“Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. The rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in the holy city Jerusalem. Nine tenths remained in the other towns. The people blessed all those who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. These are the leaders of the province who lived in Jerusalem. But in the towns of Judah every one lived on his property in their towns. This included the priests, the Levites, the temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon’s servants.”
Obviously not all the people could live in Jerusalem. The most important officials lived in Jerusalem. They cast lots so that 1 out of 10 people in Judah could live in Jerusalem. This would make Jerusalem the power town in Judah. However, 90% lived in the rest of Judah. Some people were happy that a number of people were willing to live in Jerusalem instead of their own land. The leaders of the provinces lived in Jerusalem along with the priests, the Levites, the Temple servants and the descendents of Solomon’s servants. Otherwise, everyone lived on their own property in Judah.