Jul

15

2013

Justin Taylor|12:03 pm CT

What Is the Longest Book in the Bible?

Most resources claim that the book of Psalms is the longest book in the Old Testament, and therefore the Bible.

The claim is probably wrong.

If the calculation is based on the number of verses or the number of “chapters” or the number of pages, it is correct. But since those aren’t part of the original, they properly shouldn’t be considered to be the right criteria.

And if we’re being technical, English word-count shouldn’t be sufficient, either.

Here is a more refined set of date, courtesy of David J. Reimer (senior lecturer, Hebrew and Old Testament University of Edinburgh, who penned the notes on Ezekiel for the ESV Study Bible).

“Graphic units” counts the number of Hebrew words in a particular books using BibleWorks (e.g., there are seven “graphic units” in Genesis 1:1). “Morphological units” was found according to the Groves-Wheeler Westminster Morphological database (separates prefixed elements, but not pronominal suffixes; e.g., there are eleven in Genesis 1:1). The “Bytes” figure calculated the length of the Hebrew book in ASCII format (i.e., so there would be no interference from extraneous word-processor code).

Here are the results of the top 10:

Order

Book

# Verses in Book

Graph-unit Hits

Morph-unit Hits

Bytes

 1. Jer

1,364

22,285

30,203

241,209

 2. Gen

1,533

20,722

28,848

226,894

 3. Psa

2,527

19,662

25,465

238,562

 4. Eze

1,273

19,053

26,572

214,416

 5. Isa

1,291

17,197

23,204

191,777

 6. Exo

1,213

16,890

23,934

184,372

 7. Num

1,289

16,583

23,363

182,945

 8. Deu

959

14,488

20,329

159,872

 9. 2Ch

822

13,520

20,000

154,125

10. 1Sa

811

13,506

19,211

147,392

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