Contemplative Reading of John 11:35: A serene and reflective person sits under an ancient olive tree, holding an open Bible to John 11:35, "Jesus wept." The scene is tranquil, symbolizing the profound emotional and spiritual depth conveyed in these two simple words.

What is the Shortest Verse in the Bible?

Have you ever wondered about the shortest verse in the Bible? It’s a tiny sentence from John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” This short phrase with just two words and nine letters shows a big moment.

Jesus felt sad, like anyone does when they lose someone. In English, this is the tiniest verse but wait! In Greek, which is what some of the Bible was first written in, there’s an even shorter one.

“Rejoice always” from 1 Thessalonians 5:16 has only 14 characters. There are also other small verses that say a lot with just a few words. These little lines have big meanings and can teach us about joy and talking to God all the time.

We’ll look at both super short and super long verses in this article. For example, Esther 8:9 takes up more space than any other verse. And Psalm 119 stands tall as the longest chapter! Each of these pieces, whether very short or very long, adds something special to the Bible’s story.

Come along on this journey through pages of ancient text where size doesn’t limit significance! Let’s discover together how much impact just two simple words can make.

What is the shortest verse in the Bible?

In the realm of biblical brevity, John 11:35 stands out with its succinct profundity; “Jesus wept” captures a universe of emotion in just two words. This verse telegraphs a profound moment where divine meets human, encapsulating grief in an economy of language that is both startling and deeply moving.

John 11:35, “Jesus wept”

John 11:35 packs a powerful message in just two words: “Jesus wept.” This tiny verse from the New Testament shows us that Jesus had feelings like ours. He cried when his friend Lazarus died.

Even though he knew he could bring Lazarus back to life, Jesus still felt sad for his friend’s family and their pain. It’s like looking at a photo that says much without many details – just seeing someone you look up to with tears in their eyes can speak volumes.

These simple words are a big deal because they show Jesus’ caring heart. They tell us it’s okay to cry and feel sad sometimes, even when we believe things will get better. It reminds us that being human means having all sorts of feelings, and even Jesus was not different in this way.

His tears were real, showing that love and pain often walk hand-in-hand, especially when facing the loss of someone special.

Ancient Scroll of 1 Thessalonians 5:16: An ancient scroll with Greek writing unfurled on a table, showing 1 Thessalonians 5:16, "Rejoice always." The scroll is surrounded by various biblical symbols, creating an atmosphere of reverence and contemplation for this short but impactful verse.

Other Contenders for the Shortest Verse

While John 11:35 holds the title for brevity, a couple of spiritual nuggets in 1 Thessalonians give it a run for its money – dive in to see how these succinct scriptures pack a punch!

1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always.”

“Rejoice always” is really short, but it packs a big punch. It’s like a tiny key that opens a huge door to happiness. These two words from 1 Thessalonians 5:16 might be small, but they are mighty important in the Bible.

They remind us to keep our hearts happy all the time, not just when things go our way.

Imagine this: Every day you find something joyful, like spotting a rainbow or getting an extra scoop of ice cream by surprise. Now picture doing that every single day – that’s what “rejoice always” is about! It’s part of some really smart advice in the Bible about praying without stopping and being thankful no matter what happens.

Sounds tough, right? But think how great life would feel if we could pull it off!

Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Just like finding joy is important, staying in touch with God matters too. “Pray without ceasing” tells us to keep the conversation with God going all day. It’s not about saying prayers every second but having a heart that’s ready to talk and listen to God anytime.

Think of it like talking to your best friend on speed dial – you’re never too busy for a quick chat. This verse shows how we can rely on God’s help any moment of our lives. It nudges us gently, encouraging constant prayer as key for believers who seek His guidance and strength throughout their day.

Significance of the Shortest Verse

The phrase “Jesus wept” may be short, but it carries a huge weight. These two words show us that Jesus felt deep feelings just like us. He cried when his friend died, and he understands sadness.

This verse touches hearts because it’s about real emotions.

It stands out in the New Testament as a time where the love of Jesus shines brightly. Seeing him weep helps people know that he cares deeply about them. It shows that feeling sad is okay and part of life.

Now let’s look at other parts of the Bible—the long verses and the short ones—and see how each one has its own message for us to discover.

Esther 8:9 in an Old Bible: An old, beautifully illustrated Bible open to Esther 8:9, the longest verse, on a wooden desk. The room is filled with antique furnishings and warm lighting, emphasizing the length and significance of this extensive verse.

Exploring the Extremes: The Shortest and Longest Verses in the Bible

Looking at the shortest verse helps us appreciate the Bible’s depth, and now let’s check out both ends of the spectrum.

John 11:35 “Jesus wept,” is super short but says a lot about Jesus’ feelings.

– It has two words in English but different counts in Greek manuscripts.

Turning to the other extreme:

Esther 8:9 holds the record for being really long with 90 words in English!

– This verse talks about King Ahasuerus giving an order that affects many people.

Besides verses, whole chapters can be long or short too:

Psalm 119 is not just any chapter; it’s like a marathon with 176 verses!

– This chapter uses Hebrew poetry to talk about how great God’s laws are.

On the flip side:

Psalm 117 is tiny with just two verses, yet it packs a punch telling everyone to praise God.


It’s pretty neat to think about the Bible having a shortest verse. Imagine, just two words, “Jesus wept,” packing such a big punch! In English, these few letters show much about Jesus’s feelings.

And hey, even though there are tinier verses in other languages, this one sure sticks with us. Talking about size in the Bible sure opens up some cool chats!

To discover the lengthiest passage within Holy Scripture, click here for an in-depth look at the longest verse in the Bible.


1. What is the shortest verse in the Bible?

The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept,” which you can find in John 11:35.

2. Why did Jesus cry, making “Jesus wept” a famous verse?

Jesus cried because his friend Lazarus died, showing us that he cared deeply for people.

3. Does the Old Testament also have very short verses?

Yes, even though “Jesus wept” is from the New Testament, there are also short verses in the Old Testament of the Bible.

4. Are all English translations of the Bible’s shortest verse same?

Mostly they are, but some English Bibles might word it a little differently due to translation variations.

5. Can knowing this short verse tell me more about who Jesus was?

Yes! When Jesus cried it shows he loved and felt sadness just like us; this helps Christians understand him better as their Savior.

6. Did Jesus say other important things besides “Jesus wept”?

Absolutely! Jesus spoke many crucial things including teachings on love, heaven, how to treat others and promised eternal life with God.

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