What is the shortest chapter in the NIV?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Shortest Chapter in the NIV

The shortest chapter in the NIV translation of the Bible is Psalm 117. It contains 2 verses and 17 words in the Hebrew language. Also, it is the middle chapter of the Bible. It is the 595th chapter, with 594 chapters before it and 594 chapters after it. 

RankChapterVersesWords (NIV)
1Psalm 117229
2Psalm 134353
3Psalm 131365
4Psalm 133368
5Job 25681
6Esther 10393
7Psalm 125595
8Psalm 1275103
9Psalm 155106
10Psalm 236112

Although Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter, nevertheless it is glorious in its theme. The Psalmist says, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” 

The shortest chapter is an invitation to all nations to praise the Lord for His merciful kindness to His people. These characteristics of the Creator are as eternal as God Himself. In the midst of human trouble and insecurity, the faithful may rest safely in God’s love. No tribe or nation is excluded in the glorious call to praise the Lord. In the LXX, the “hallelujah” closing Psalm 116 begins Psalm 117. Likewise, the “hallelujah” closing Psalm 117 begins Psalm 118. 

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul quotes the words of the shortest chapter showing that, in Christ, God’s mercy has been extended to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. He says, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”(Romans 15:11). Christ’s revelation of God’s truthfulness by His fulfillment of the promises made to Israel is also the basis of Father’s mercy to the Gentiles.

The Son of God was “a minister of the circumcision” so that not only Jews but also Gentiles might be redeemed. Therefore, Jewish Christians should accept Gentile converts and treat them as brethren. In like manner, Gentile Christians should respect and love Jewish believers, seeing that God’s mercy has come to them upon the rejection of the Jews as a nation when they crucified the Son of God (Matthew 21:43; 23:37-39).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team 

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