Psalm 16:5–6, Lot…lines.The English word lot means “a portion that is assigned to someone” and may refer to the idea of randomly drawing lots as part of a decision making process. Likely, our English word lot as in a piece of land, or a land lot, derives from these concepts.
In ancient Israel, the tribal land allotments were determined by the casting of lots once the children of Israel came into the Promised Land (Josh 13:6; 14:2). Part of this ancient process of surveying land involved measuring parcels of land with a cord (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, pp. 245–246, by Fred H. Wight; also Ps 78:55; Amos 7:17). When lots were cast for land allotments, pebbles were placed in a bag with marks on each stone to represent each parcel of property. Pebbles were drawn, and each man received his lot. Each individual soon discovered whether his portion of land was desirable or not.
David used the analogy of lots as an illustration of Elohim’s goodness to him when he makes the praise declaration in verse 6 that “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” (ibid.). No doubt, David is referring to the spiritual inheritance of the righteous, for he proclaims that YHVH is his portion and his inheritance (v. 5).