141. Does the Bible condemn gambling?


(There aren't any Bible verses that condemn gambling, but here are the ones that are often quoted by Christians who oppose it.)

Don't try to get rich. (Like gamblers tend to do.)

Labour not to be rich. Proverbs 23:4

If you want to get rich, you have an evil eye. (Gamblers want to get rich, so they must have an evil eye.)

He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. Proverbs 28:22
If you get rich quickly (like a lucky gambler), your end won't be blessed.
An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed. Proverbs 20:21
Poor people deal with a slack hand. (Just like gamblers.)
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. Proverbs 10:4
If your wealth is gotten by vanity (like in gambling), it will be diminished.
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished. Proverbs 13:11
You should be content with what you have. (Unlike gamblers who are always trying to get more.)
Be content with what you have. Hebrews 13:5
The love of money is the root of all evil. (And gamblers love money.)
the love of money is the root of all evi. 1 Timothy 6:10
If you get money, you'll want more. (Just like a gambler.)
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase. Ecclesiastes 5:10
If you don't work, you shouldn't eat. (Casinos shouldn't have restaurants.)
We commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Since the Roman soldiers were bad guys and they gambled for the robe of Jesus, gambling must be bad.
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments ... and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. John 19:23-24


The God of the Bible loves lotteries and games of chance. Here are just a few examples:

God divided up the promised land with a lottery.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying ... the land shall be divided by lot. Numbers 26:52-56

Ye shall divide the land by lot. Numbers 33:54

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

By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. Joshua 14:2

Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. Joshua 18:6

These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD. Joshua 19:51

And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. Joshua 21:8

God told Moses to select a scapegoat by lottery.
And the Lord said unto Moses ... Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. Leviticus 16:2-8
God chose the first king of Israel by lottery.
Ye have said ... set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes ... When Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken. When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken. 1 Samuel 10:19-21
God told Saul to cast lots to determine who had eaten something. (It turned out to be his son Jonathan who had a little taste of honey.)
Saul said unto the Lord God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped. And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. 1 Samuel 14:41-42
Zechariah won the lottery in 1 Chronicles.
And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate. And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. 1 Chronicles 26:13-14
In Nehemiah they cast lots for the wood offering.
And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God. Nehemiah 10:34
And the apostles chose Judas's replacement by lottery.
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen.... And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:23-26

Christian Responses
Parents Education Association: The Bible and Gambling
SAB author answered
About religion
Grace to you
Food for hungry Christians
Gambling: Catholic Encyclopedia

Homer : Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong. Even though they say it's okay in the bible.
Lisa : Really? Where?
Homer : Uh ... Somewhere in the back.