Bible by the Numbers

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The Biggest Number

´╗┐What are the biggest literal numbers in the Bible? An army of 200 million (200 times 1,000 times 1,000) beings, likely a mix of deceived humans and demonic spirits, will be allowed to kill one third of humanity (Revelation 9:14 - 18). The Eternal allows this, as part of his second "woe," to punish those who steadfastly refuse to repent (verses 20 - 21).

What are the next biggest numbers in the entirety of Scripture? Both Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 5:11 state that "ten thousand times ten thousand" (KJV), or 100 million spirit beings were revealed to be around the throne of God. Both verses also record that "thousands of thousands" of other righteous spirits existed, with Daniel stating they ministered unto God.

It is unclear, in God's word, if the number reference in Daniel and Revelation should be taken literally. It may have been recorded to underscore that what Daniel and John saw was so huge that it was beyond their comprehension.

Largest and Smallest

The book of Psalms holds the unique distinction of containing both the largest and smallest Bible chapters in terms of verses and words. Psalm 119, as the biggest chapter, has 176 verses and 2,438 words. Psalm 117, however, has only 2 verses and 33 words. Matthew 26 is the longest New Testament chapter with 75 verses and 1,625 words.

The shortest verses in the KJV Bible Old Testament, in terms of the number of words, are found in the book of 1Chronicles. Verses 1, 2, 3, 24, 25 and 26 of the first chapter contain only three words each.

The shortest verse in the entirety of the Bible is John 18:5. It is only two words long, comprising a total of three letters. When the Jewish authorities came to arrest Christ they stated they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord's reply was "I am." The word "he" at the end of his response was added by translators. It is not found in the original Greek text of the verse.

The longest single verse is Esther 8:9, which has 90 words. The longest in the New Testament is Revelation 20:4 with 69 words.

Longest, Shortest Words

The longest jaw-breaking words in Scripture are Mahershalalhashbaz and Jonathelemrechokim (eighteen letters). Mahershalalhashbaz is the name God gave to a prophetess' son (Isaiah 8:1 - 3). Jonathelemrechokim, used in the title of Psalm 56, references the melody that should be used when singing the Psalm. The next longest word is Chushanrishathaim, the name of a Mesopotamia king whom God allowed to harass his people (Judges 3:8).

The shortest words in the King James Bible include two letter city names such as Ai (Joshua 7:2), Ar (Numbers 21:15), No (Jeremiah 46:25) and Ur (Genesis 11:28). People's name that have only two letters are Og (a giant king, Numbers 21:33), Er (Genesis 38:3), Ir (1Chronicles 7:12), So (2Kings 17:4), Uz (Genesis 10:23) and lastly On (Numbers 16:1).

The tribes of Reuben and Gad named an altar "Ed," which means "witness" in Hebrew (Joshua 22:34). In the KJV Bible version of the 119th Psalm, King David used the word "PE" which means the seventeenth part (Psalm 119:129).

The shortest request made by Christ contains only two words for a total of seven letters. While dying on the cross he stated, "I thirst" (John 19:28). After receiving something liquid to wet his parched lips he makes one last statement and then dies.

Who Wrote the Most?

The Apostle Paul, by far, is the most prolific Biblical writer. He wrote fourteen books while Moses and the Apostle John penned five of them. The fourth most active contributor to God's word is the prophet Isaiah (he penned 1 and 2 Samuel, 1Kings, and half of 2Kings).

The books of the New Testament were written by only eight men. Determining how many contributed to the writing of the Old Testament, however, is a much harder task. At least twenty-seven individuals are known to have penned this section of God's word.

An additional unspecified number of Davidic priests recorded Psalms 73 to 88 and 90 to 106. It is also unclear who wrote the book of Proverbs chapters 25 through 31. At least three, maybe more, writers contributed to this section of Proverbs.

The Most Referenced

The most referenced writings in the New Testament are those by Isaiah (referred to 419 times) followed by the Psalms (414 times) then Genesis (260 times). Revelation contains content from at least thirty-two distinct Old Testament writings, while Luke contains thirty-one and the Gospel of John has twenty-six.

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