|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Luke 10:31). "It was not by chance that the priest came down by that road at that time, but by a specific arrangement and in exact fulfilment of a plan; not the plan of the priest, nor the plan of the wounded traveller, but the plan of God. By coincidence (Gr. sungkuria) the priest came down, that is, by the conjunction of two things, in fact, which were previously constituted a pair in the providence of God. In the result they fell together according to the omniscient Designer's plan. This is the true theory of the divine government." Compare the meeting of Philip with the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26, 27). There is no "chance" in God's empire. "Chance" is only another word for our want of knowledge as to the way in which one event falls in with another (1 Samuel 6:9; Ecclesiastes 9:11).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of activity other than a force, law, or purpose; fortune; fate; -- in this sense often personified.
2. (n.) The operation or activity of such agent.
3. (n.) The supposed effect of such an agent; something that befalls, as the result of unknown or unconsidered forces; the issue of uncertain conditions; an event not calculated upon; an unexpected occurrence; a happening; accident; fortuity; casualty.
4. (n.) A possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity; -- with reference to a doubtful result; as, a chance to escape; a chance for life; the chances are all against him.
5. (n.) Probability.
6. (v. i.) To happen, come, or arrive, without design or expectation.
7. (v. t.) To take the chances of; to venture upon; -- usually with it as object.
8. (v. t.) To befall; to happen to.
9. (a.) Happening by chance; casual.
10. (adv.) By chance; perchance.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
chans: The idea of chance in the sense of something wholly fortuitous was utterly foreign to the Hebrew creed. Throughout the whole course of Israel's history, to the Hebrew mind, law, not chance, ruled the universe, and that law was not something blindly mechanical, but the expression of the personal Yahweh. Israel's belief upon this subject may be summed up in the couplet, "The lot is cast into the lap; But the whole disposing thereof is of Yahweh" (Proverbs 16:33). A number of Hebrew and Greek expressions have been translated "chance," or something nearly equivalent, but it is noteworthy that of the classical words for chance, suntuchia, and tuche, the former never occurs in the Bible and the latter only twice in the Septuagint.
The closest approach to the idea of chance is found in the statement of the Philistines that if their device for ascertaining the cause of their calamities turned out a certain way they would call them a chance, that is, bad luck (miqreh, 1 Samuel 6:9). But note that it was a heathen people who said this. We have the same Hebrew noun and the verb, from which the noun is taken, a number of times, but variously rendered into English: Uncleanness that "chanceth him by night" (Deuteronomy 23:10). "Her hap was to ligh t on the portion of the field" (Ruth 2:3). "Something hath befallen him" (1 Samuel 20:26). "One event happeneth to them all" (Ecclesiastes 2:14, 15); "that which befalleth the sons of men" ("sons of men are a chance," the English Revised Version, margin) (Ecclesiastes 3:19). "There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked" (Ecclesiastes 9:2, 3). Here the idea certainly is not something independent of the will of God, but something unexpected by man.
There is also qara', "If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way" (Deuteronomy 22:6). Both the above Hebrew words are combined in the statement "As I happened by chance upon Mount Gilboa" (2 Samuel 1:6). "And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David" ("met the servants," 2 Samuel 18:9, the King James Version). "And there happened to be there a base fellow" (2 Samuel 20:1).
We have also pegha`, "Time and chance happeneth to them all," meaning simply occurrence (Ecclesiastes 9:11). "Neither adversary, nor evil occurrence" (1 Kings 5:4).
In the New Testament we have sugkuria, "coincidence," a meeting apparently accidental, a coincidence. "By chance a certain priest was going down that way" (Luke 10:31). Also ei tuchoi. "It may chance of wheat, or of some other kind," i.e. we cannot tell which (1 Corinthians 15:37). "It may be" (1 Corinthians 14:10).
If we look at the Septuagint we find tuche used twice. "And Leah said, (En tuche) With fortune" ("a troop cometh," the King James Version; "fortunate," the Revised Version (British and American); "with fortune," the Revised Version, margin, Genesis 30:11). Note, it was no Israelite, but who said this. "That prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny" ("fate," Isaiah 65:11). In this passage tuche stands or the Hebrew meni, the god of destiny, and Fortune is for Gad, the old Semitic name for the god of fortune found in inscriptions, private names, etc. Note here, however, also, that the prophet was rebuking idolatrous ones for apostasy to heathen divinities.
We have also in the Apocrypha, "these things which have chanced," the Revised Version (British and American) "to be opened unto thee" (2 Esdras 10:49).
See also GAD; MENI.
George Henry Trever
Chance (78 Occurrences)
Matthew 13:29 But he says, No, for fear that by chance while you take up the evil plants, you may be rooting up the grain with them. (BBE)
Matthew 26:16 And from that time he was watching for a chance to give him into their hands. (BBE)
Matthew 27:35 And when they had put him on the cross, they made division of his clothing among them by the decision of chance. (BBE)
Mark 6:21 And the chance came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast to his lords, and the high captains, and the chief men of Galilee; (BBE)
Mark 11:13 And seeing a fig-tree in the distance with leaves, he went to see if by chance it had anything on it: and when he came to it, he saw nothing but leaves, for it was not the time for the fruit. (BBE)
Mark 15:24 And he was nailed to the cross; and they made a division of his clothing among them, putting to the decision of chance what everyone was to take. (BBE)
Luke 10:31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV)
Luke 11:54 And watching him, for a chance to get something from his words which might be used against him. (BBE)
Luke 22:2 And the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a chance to put him to death, but they went in fear of the people. (BBE)
Luke 22:6 And he made an agreement with them to give him up to them, if he got a chance, when the people were not present. (BBE)
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, let them have forgiveness, for they have no knowledge of what they are doing. And they made division of his clothing among them by the decision of chance. (BBE)
John 7:1 After this, Jesus went from place to place in Galilee. He did not go about in Judaea, because the Jews were looking for a chance to put him to death. (BBE)
Acts 1:26 And they put it to the decision of chance, and the decision was given for Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles. (BBE)
Acts 21:38 Are you by chance the Egyptian who, before this, got the people worked up against the government and took four thousand men of the Assassins out into the waste land? (BBE)
Acts 25:16 To whom I gave answer that it is not the Roman way to give a man up, till he has been face to face with those who are attacking him, and has had a chance to give an answer to the statements made against him. (BBE)
Acts 27:12 Because the haven was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised going to sea from there, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, and winter there, which is a port of Crete, looking northeast and southeast. (See RSV)
Acts 27:29 Then, fearing that by chance we might come on to the rocks, they let down four hooks from the back of the ship, and made prayers for the coming of day. (BBE)
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking its chance through that which was ordered by the law, was working in me every form of desire: because without the law sin is dead. (BBE)
Romans 7:11 For I was tricked and put to death by sin, which took its chance through the law. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 7:21 If you were a servant when you became a Christian, let it not be a grief to you; but if you have a chance to become free, make use of it. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: (KJV ASV)
1 Corinthians 16:12 But as for Apollos, the brother, I had a great desire for him to come to you with the brothers, but it was not his pleasure to come now; but he will come when he has a chance. (BBE)
2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not again requesting your approval, but we are giving you the chance of taking pride in us, so that you may be able to give an answer to those whose glory is in seeming, and not in the heart. (BBE)
2 Corinthians 11:12 But what I do, that I will go on doing, so that I may give no chance to those who are looking for one; so that, in the cause of their pride, they may be seen to be the same as we are. (BBE)
Galatians 5:13 Because you, brothers, were marked out to be free; only do not make use of your free condition to give the flesh its chance, but through love be servants one to another. (BBE)
Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have the chance, let us do good to all men, and specially to those who are of the family of the faith. (BBE)
1 Timothy 5:14 So it is my desire that the younger widows may be married and have children, controlling their families, and giving the Evil One no chance to say anything against them, (BBE)
2 Timothy 2:25 Gently guiding those who go against the teaching; if by chance God may give them a change of heart and true knowledge, (BBE)
Hebrews 2:1 For this reason there is the more need for us to give attention to the things which have come to our ears, for fear that by chance we might be slipping away. (BBE)
Hebrews 3:12 My brothers, take care that there is not by chance in any one of you an evil heart without belief, turning away from the living God: (BBE)
Hebrews 12:17 For you have knowledge that even long after, when he was desiring the blessing for his heritage, he was turned away, though he made his request frequently and with weeping; because the past might not be changed. (See RSV)
Hebrews 12:25 See that you give ear to his voice which comes to you. For if those whose ears were shut to the voice which came to them on earth did not go free from punishment, what chance have we of going free if we give no attention to him whose voice comes from heaven? (BBE)
1 Peter 4:18 And if it is hard for even the good man to get salvation, what chance has the man without religion or the sinner? (BBE)
Genesis 18:24 If by chance there are fifty upright men in the town, will you give the place to destruction and not have mercy on it because of the fifty upright men? (BBE)
Genesis 18:28 If by chance there are five less than fifty upright men, will you give up all the town to destruction because of these five? And he said, I will not give it to destruction if there are forty-five. (BBE)
Genesis 18:29 And again he said to him, By chance there may be forty there. And he said, I will not do it if there are forty. (BBE)
Genesis 18:32 And he said, O let not the Lord be angry and I will say only one word more: by chance there may be ten there. And he said, I will have mercy because of the ten. (BBE)
Genesis 24:5 And the servant said, If by chance the woman will not come with me into this land, am I to take your son back again to the land from which you came? (BBE)
Genesis 27:12 If by chance my father puts his hand on me, it will seem to him that I am tricking him, and he will put a curse on me in place of a blessing. (BBE)
Leviticus 6:3 Or has taken a false oath about the loss of something which he has come across by chance; if a man has done any of these evil things, (BBE)
Leviticus 6:4 Causing sin to come on him, then he will have to give back the thing he took by force or got by cruel acts, or the goods which were put in his care or the thing he came on by chance, (BBE)
Deuteronomy 22:6 If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV)
Deuteronomy 24:19 When you get in the grain from your field, if some of the grain has been dropped by chance in the field, do not go back and get it, but let it be for the man from a strange land, the child without a father, and the widow: so that the blessing of the Lord your God may be on all the work of your hands. (BBE)
Joshua 8:20 When the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. (See NIV)
Judges 9:33 And in the morning, when the sun is up, get up early and make a rush on the town; and when he and his people come out against you, do to them whatever you have a chance to do. (BBE)
Judges 15:15 And taking up the mouth-bone of an ass newly dead, which he saw by chance on the earth, he put to death a thousand men with it. (BBE)
Ruth 2:3 And she went, and came and took up the heads of grain in the field after the cutters; and by chance she went into that part of the field which was the property of Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. (BBE DBY YLT)
1 Samuel 6:9 Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
1 Samuel 10:7 And when these signs come to you, see that you take the chance which is offered you; for God is with you. (BBE)
1 Samuel 19:2 Jonathan told David, saying, "Saul my father seeks to kill you. Now therefore, please take care of yourself in the morning, and live in a secret place, and hide yourself. (See NIV)
1 Samuel 20:12 And Jonathan said to David, May the Lord, the God of Israel, be witness; when I have had a chance of talking to my father, about this time tomorrow, if his feelings to David are good, will I not send and give you the news? (BBE)
2 Samuel 1:6 The young man who told him said, "As I happened by chance on Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and behold, the chariots and the horsemen followed hard after him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)
1 Kings 11:40 And Solomon was looking for a chance to put Jeroboam to death; but he went in flight to Egypt, to Shishak, king of Egypt, and was in Egypt till the death of Solomon. (BBE)
1 Kings 18:27 And in the middle of the day, Elijah made sport of them, saying, Give louder cries, for he is a god; he may be deep in thought, or he may have gone away for some purpose, or he may be on a journey, or by chance he is sleeping and has to be made awake. (BBE)
1 Kings 20:39 And when the king went by, crying out to him he said, Your servant went out into the fight; and a man came out to me with another man and said, Keep this man: if by any chance he gets away, your life will be the price of his life, or you will have to give a talent of silver in payment. (BBE)
2 Kings 18:23 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. (BBE)
1 Chronicles 26:13 And the families were taken by the decision of the Lord for every door; the small family had the same chance as the great. (BBE)
Nehemiah 11:1 And the rulers of the people were living in Jerusalem: the rest of the people made selection, by the decision of chance, of one out of every ten to be living in Jerusalem, the holy town; the other nine to go to the other towns. (BBE)
Esther 2:21 In those days, while Mordecai was seated at the king's doorway, two of the king's servants, Bigthan and Teresh, keepers of the door, being angry, were looking for a chance to make an attack on King Ahasuerus. (BBE)
Esther 3:7 In the first month, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, from day to day and from month to month they went on looking for a sign given by Pur (that is chance) before Haman, till the sign came out for the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar. (BBE)
Esther 9:24 Because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the hater of all the Jews, had made designs for their destruction, attempting to get a decision by Pur (that is, chance) with a view to putting an end to them and cutting them off; (BBE)
Psalms 22:18 They make a division of my robes among them, by the decision of chance they take my clothing. (BBE)
Proverbs 1:14 Take your chance with us, and we will all have one money-bag: (BBE)
Proverbs 16:33 A thing may be put to the decision of chance, but it comes about through the Lord. (BBE)
Proverbs 18:18 The decision of chance puts an end to argument, parting the strong. (BBE)
Ecclesiastes 5:14 And I saw the destruction of his wealth by an evil chance; and when he became the father of a son he had nothing in his hand. (BBE)
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ecclesiastes 10:5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, like an error which comes by chance from a ruler: (BBE)
Song of Songs 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers; then was I in his eyes as one to whom good chance had come. (BBE)
Isaiah 36:8 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. (BBE)
Isaiah 58:3 They say, Why have we kept ourselves from food, and you do not see it? why have we kept ourselves from pleasure, and you take no note of it? If, in the days when you keep from food, you take the chance to do your business, and get in your debts; (BBE)
Isaiah 65:11 But as for you who have given up the Lord, who have no care for my holy mountain, who get ready a table for Chance, and make offerings of mixed wine to Fate; (BBE)
Lamentations 3:29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if by chance there may be hope. (BBE)
Joel 3:3 And they have put the fate of my people to the decision of chance: giving a boy for the price of a loose woman and a girl for a drink of wine. (BBE)
Obadiah 1:11 Because you were there watching when men from other lands took away his goods, and strange men came into his doors, and put the fate of Jerusalem to the decision of chance; you were like one of them. (BBE)
Jonah 1:6 And the ship's captain came to him and said to him, What are you doing sleeping? Up! say a prayer to your God, if by chance God will give a thought to us, so that we may not come to destruction. (BBE)
Jonah 1:7 And they said to one another, Come, let us put this to the decision of chance and see on whose account this evil has come on us. So they did so, and Jonah was seen to be the man. (BBE)
Nahum 3:10 But even she has been taken away, she has gone away as a prisoner: even her young children are smashed to bits at the top of all the streets: the fate of her honoured men is put to the decision of chance, and all her great men are put in chains. (BBE)