The Shortest Chapter In the Bible and What You Need to Know

By lan Warner


The Bible is undoubtedly filled with words of wisdom, encouragement, and life lessons. The Scriptures guide us in our day-to-day lives, helping us live by the will of the Lord. You may be looking for a quicker read and wondering what the shortest chapter in the Bible is. 

The Bible also tells us stories about our ancestors and how they formed a relationship with God. Through these stories, we can learn about their lives and be inspired. The Scripture teaches us to love one another and do our best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Understanding The Chapters of the Bible

The Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The former has 929 chapters, while the latter has 260 chapters. All in all, there are 1189 chapters in the Bible.

Interestingly, the original form of the Bible did not have any chapters or verses. These were added later for convenience. Most of the books of the Bible were written for specific readers. The ones that were written to certain individuals are marked with an asterisk. The order of the books we see in the Bible today mainly depends on their subject, which includes gospel accounts, history, letters, prophecy, and wisdom literature, among others.

According to Bible scholars, the books of the Bible are not arranged chronologically. So, for instance, even though the Book of Mark may be the first gospel account to be written, it is not the first book of the New Testament. Instead, the Book of Matthew comes first because it makes more Old Testament references than the Book of Mark.

Measuring the Books of the Bible

In general, there are two ways in which the books of the Bible can be measured. One is by measuring the number of chapters, and the other is by the number of words.

The book with the most number of chapters is Psalms. So, it is regarded as the longest book in terms of chapters. Conversely, the books with the least number of chapters are Obadiah, Second and Third John, Jude, and Philemon. In terms of the number of words, the longest book is Jeremiah, while the shortest book is Third John.

The Longest and the Shortest Chapter in the Bible

The longest chapter and the longest Psalm is Psalm 119. It has 176 verses, which may take about fifteen minutes to read. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117.

Psalm 117 is both the shortest Bible chapter and the shortest Psalm. It has two verses and seventeen words in Hebrew. It is the middle chapter of the Bible, having 594 chapters before and another 594 chapters after it.

Psalm 117 is about praising the Lord. It reminds us of its importance. It tells us: “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”

This chapter is about inviting all nations to give praise to God because He is kind and merciful. In the midst of our insecurity and troubles, we can always rely on God to help us. Psalm 117 reminds us of God’s great love for us. As long as we are faithful, we have nothing to fear.

In the New Testament, we see the apostle Paul quoting words from the shortest chapter in the Bible in his letter to the Romans. Romans 15:8-13 says, “For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.” Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the people extol him.” And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him, the Gentiles will hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Let us put emphasis on Romans 15:11, “And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.” This proves that the mercy of God is not only for Christians. It extends to the Jews and the Gentiles.

The Shortest Chapter in the Bible – The Message of Psalm 117

Psalm 117 starts with a command to praise God. This command, however, is not just for the Jews. It is also for the Gentiles. We read about the Gentiles being invited to praise God. This is known as a Global invitation. It means that God is telling us that salvation is not only for the people of Israel.

This is viewed by Christians as a fulfillment of the promise of God to show mercy to the Gentiles. God has promised that every nation would be blessed through Jesus. The command to the Gentiles also references God’s intent for everyone. This can be seen in Revelation 21, which tells us about a new heaven and a new Earth.

One day, there will be a new heaven and a new Earth. There will also be a new city of Jerusalem, which will descend from the third heaven where God is. At this moment, God’s plan of salvation will be fulfilled. God makes it clear that His offer of eternal life is also for the Jews and the Gentiles. Romans 1:16 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Psalm 117 does not say a lot. However, it says enough for us to understand the message that Jesus came to bring salvation to everyone, including the Jews and the Gentiles. This truth is evident in many parts of the Bible. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to save us from our sins. The Book of Psalms is especially dedicated to teaching this truth.

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