Skip to main content

Proverbs 18:18 & meaning...


lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart.

Proverbs 18:18


Proverbs 18 [15.] The heart of the discerning gets knowledge.

    The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

A man’s gift makes room for him,

    and brings him before great men.

He who pleads his cause first seems right;

    until another comes and questions him.

The lot settles disputes,

    and keeps strong ones apart.

A brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city;

    and disputes are like the bars of a fortress.


  • The Role of the Lot:

The verse introduces the concept of using a lot—a method of casting or drawing lots—to settle disputes. In biblical times, the casting of lots was a common practice used to seek divine guidance or make decisions. Here, it is employed as a means of resolving conflicts. The lot was likely viewed as an impartial and divinely guided mechanism to determine outcomes.

  • Resolution Through Chance:

"The lot settles disputes" suggests that the outcome is left to chance rather than human influence. This approach may have been seen as a way to avoid partiality or manipulation in settling disagreements. By leaving the resolution to chance, parties involved might be more inclined to accept the outcome as fair and impartial.

  • Keeping Strong Ones Apart:

The latter part of the verse, "and keeps strong ones apart," adds an additional layer to the understanding of the lot's role. It implies that the randomness introduced by casting lots can serve as a means of preventing strong, potentially conflicting individuals or parties from coming into direct confrontation.

  • Significance:

Impartial Resolution: Proverbs 18:18 underscores the value of impartiality in conflict resolution. By relying on the lot, the verse suggests a method that doesn't favor one party over another, promoting a sense of fairness and equity in settling disputes.

Divine Guidance: The use of the lot in biblical times often carried a sense of seeking divine guidance. In this context, the verse implies a recognition of a higher power guiding the outcome, aligning with the broader biblical theme of acknowledging God's role in decision-making.

Preventing Confrontation: The mention of keeping "strong ones apart" hints at the potential for conflict avoidance. The randomness introduced by casting lots may act as a deterrent to direct confrontations between strong-willed individuals, contributing to the maintenance of peace.

Practical Application:

Conflict Resolution Strategies: While the specific practice of casting lots may not be prevalent in modern conflict resolution, the principle of impartiality is applicable. The verse encourages individuals to seek fair and unbiased methods for resolving disputes, promoting harmony and reconciliation.

Acknowledging Divine Guidance: Proverbs 18:18 invites individuals to acknowledge a higher power in the resolution of conflicts. Whether through prayer, seeking wise counsel, or relying on ethical principles, recognizing the role of divine guidance can contribute to a sense of justice and fairness.

Cross References:

Proverbs 16:33: "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh." This parallel verse reinforces the idea that, even when the lot is used, the ultimate outcome is under divine influence.

Acts 1:26: "They drew lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was added to the eleven apostles." In the New Testament, the disciples use the casting of lots to select Matthias as a replacement for Judas, reflecting the continuity of this practice.

In Conclusion: Proverbs 18:18 offers a unique perspective on conflict resolution, introducing the concept of using lots to settle disputes. It underscores the importance of impartiality, divine guidance, and the potential for preventing direct confrontations, providing a timeless reflection on the dynamics of resolving conflicts.

Proverbs 18:18 invites personal reflection on how individuals approach conflict resolution. It prompts consideration of the methods employed, the pursuit of impartiality, and the acknowledgment of higher guidance in seeking resolution.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness