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What is the longest chapter in the Bible?


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Question: "What is the longest chapter in the Bible?"

Answer:
The longest chapter in the Bible, both in the number of verses and words, is Psalm 119, with 176 verses and approximately 2,445 words (depending on the English translation). Why is Psalm 119 so long? It is an acrostic poem using the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter is given a section, so Psalm 119 is divided into 22 sections. Each section has 8 verses, and each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter. For example, in the first section, all eight verses begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter א (aleph). Starting each line of poetry in the second section of Psalm 119 is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ב (beth).

Because of its acrostic structure, Psalm 119 is one of the few chapters of the Bible where the verse divisions are inspired by God. Other verse divisions in the Old Testament were assigned by a Jewish rabbi named Nathan in AD 1448. But Psalm 119 and other acrostic psalms are clearly divided into verses in the original Hebrew, due to their unique poetic structure.

What is also interesting about Psalm 119 is its focus on the Word of God. Nearly every verse contains a reference to the importance and value of God’s Word. Various synonyms are used for the Word, including the law of the Lord, statutes, precepts, decrees, and commands. It is fitting that the longest chapter in the Bible focuses on the significance of the Bible.

The second longest chapter in the Bible is 1 Kings 8. The third longest chapter in the Bible is Deuteronomy 28. The fourth longest chapter in the Bible is Numbers 7. The fifth longest chapter in the Bible is Leviticus 13. The longest chapter in the New Testament is Matthew 26.

Recommended Resource: Willmington’s Guide to the Bible

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