Among the thousands of verses in the Bible, each with its own depth and significance, there is one particular, succinct statement that has stood the test of time. When one asks, “What is the shortest verse in the Bible?” they uncover not only shortness but also a meaningful moment captured in two words. Come along on a trip as we reveal the beauty and meaning hidden in these short syllables.

What is the shortest verse in the Bible?

There are two of the shortest verses in the Bible. They are:

  • “Jesus wept” (John 11:35): With only two words and nine letters, this verse packs a powerful punch of emotion.
  • “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16): This simple yet profound call to joy clocks in at a lean twelve letters.

“Jesus wept”

The shortest verse in the Bible is found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, Verse 35, and it consists of just two words. This line, though brief, is a potent illustration of the depth and humanity of Jesus Christ’s emotions.

Poetic Beauty in Conciseness

The brevity of the verse “Jesus wept” goes beyond mere simplicity; it possesses a timeless elegance that resonates with readers across the ages. This brevity, far from limiting its impact, serves as a canvas upon which the profound emotions of the moment are painted with utmost clarity. The poetic beauty lies not just in its conciseness but in its ability to evoke deep sentiments in a mere two words.


Transcending Simplicity

The simplicity of “Jesus wept” does not diminish its significance; rather, it elevates it. The brevity allows for an immediate connection—a direct line to the heart of the narrative. Readers, whether seasoned theologians or casual observers, find themselves captivated by the economy of words and the vast emotional landscape they encapsulate.

Resonance Across Centuries

What makes this brevity even more remarkable is its ability to resonate across centuries. The emotions conveyed in those two words—grief, compassion, and the shared human experience—are universal and timeless. The verse becomes a bridge that transcends the temporal, inviting individuals from different eras to partake in the emotional depth it offers.


Inviting Contemplation

“Jesus wept” is not a statement to be merely read; it is an invitation to contemplation. The brevity encourages readers to linger on the words to explore the emotional nuances they carry. Theologians may look into the profound theological implications, while individuals on a personal journey of faith might find solace in the simplicity of the expression.

Literary Impact

Beyond the Pages of the Bible

The influence of “Jesus wept” extends far beyond the sacred pages of the Bible. Its impact ripples through the annals of art and culture, inspiring creative minds to explore and express the raw, unfiltered humanity of Christ’s tears.


The modern era

Artists, from the luminaries of the Renaissance to contemporary sculptors, have found in these two words a wellspring of inspiration. The verse becomes a muse, prompting the creation of masterpieces that capture the depth of emotion conveyed in that singular moment. The tears of Jesus, depicted in various forms, serve as a testament to the enduring power of concise and poignant expression.

Capturing Raw Humanity

The artistic expressions born from “Jesus wept” do more than depict a biblical event; they capture the raw humanity of Christ. Whether in brushstrokes on a canvas or the contours of a sculpture, artists strive to convey the visceral and relatable aspects of this profound moment. In doing so, they bring a timeless quality to the verse, making it accessible and impactful for generations to come.

In essence, the brevity of “Jesus Wept” not only imparts a poetic beauty that transcends simplicity but also serves as a catalyst for artistic endeavors that continue to resonate through the corridors of history. This verse, with its economy of words, remains an enduring source of inspiration, inviting contemplation and artistic exploration across the expanse of human expression.

“Rejoice Always”

The second shortest verse in the Bible is found in the First Thessalonians, Chapter 5, Verse 16 (1 Thessalonians 5:16). The verse simply states, “Rejoice always.” This concise yet powerful expression encapsulates a profound message of enduring joy and serves as a guiding principle for believers.

The Context of 1 Thessalonians 5:16

In the broader context of the Bible, particularly within the Book of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul imparts guidance and encouragement to the early Christian community. The verse “Rejoice always” is part of a series of rapid-fire exhortations emphasizing the Christian virtues and attitudes that believers should cultivate.

The Power of Enduring Joy

Similar to the brevity of “Jesus wept,” “Rejoice always” carries a succinct yet profound message. It encapsulates the idea that joy is not fleeting or circumstantial but should be a continuous state of being for believers. The command to rejoice is not contingent on external circumstances but is a constant and deliberate choice.

Applicability Across Time

Much like its shorter counterpart, “Rejoice Always” transcends the historical context in which it was written. The timeless nature of this verse makes it applicable to believers throughout the ages, encouraging them to maintain a spirit of joy despite the challenges they may face.

Guidance for Daily Living

“Rejoice always” serves as a concise guide for believers navigating the complexities of life. It is a reminder to find joy in adversity, to approach each day with a heart filled with gratitude, and to cultivate a disposition of rejoicing that goes beyond momentary happiness.


As we come to the end of our investigation of the Bible’s smallest verse, we see that its brevity does not lessen its significance—rather, it acts as a vehicle for eternal truths. The most succinct statement ever, “Jesus wept” and “rejoice always,” always bridges the gap between the divine and human realms and discloses a profoundly human event.

When we consider the significance of these two terms, we see the timeless value of succinct language in evoking strong feelings, stimulating creative pursuits, and promoting introspection among people of all ages. The shortest verse’s powerful message resonates through time, creating an enduring impression on those who read it because of its simplicity.

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