Reading Stats for the Old Testament

[12/6/15 UPDATE: I went back and corrected a bunch of these numbers. Several of them were off from the Bibleworks database (even then, though, the BW database is counting 11 dashes as words, so I’m not sure what’s up with that). Anyway, these are more accurate than the ones I posted last January. I also added a table that reorders the books so they align with Tanak order.]

Well, it’s that time of year again: that time when a lot of us commit to reading the entire Bible. So in the the spirit of Luke 14:28, I offer the below table of milestones that will hopefully give us a sense of how long it will take to get through the Old Testament.

All of the data is drawn from the NASB. I’ve included the chapter count, verse count, word count as well as a reading/listening estimate (assuming the reader has a slow pace of 150 words per minute, although I should note that Dale McConachie reads the NASB at around 170 wpm).

Hope this helps! Happy Reading!

Protestant Old Testament

  Book Chapters Verses Words Hrs
1 Genesis 50 1,533 37,357 4.2
2 Exodus 40 1,213 31,848 3.5
3 Leviticus 27 859 24,227 2.7
4 Numbers 36 1,288 31,452 3.5
5 Deuteronomy 34 959 27,637 3.1
SUB-TOTAL 187 5,852 152,521 16.9
6 Joshua 24 658 18,503 2.1
7 Judges 21 618 18,320 2.0
8 Ruth 4 85 2,478 0.3
SUB-TOTAL 49 1,361 39,301 4.4
9 1 Samuel 31 810 24,361 2.7
10 2 Samuel 24 695 20,087 2.2
11 1 Kings 22 816 23,638 2.6
12 2 Kings 25 719 22,740 2.5
SUB-TOTAL 102 3,040 90,826 10.1
13 1 Chronicles 29 942 19,524 2.2
14 2 Chronicles 36 822 24,701 2.7
15 Ezra 10 280 6,799 0.8
16 Nehemiah 13 406 9,871 1.1
17 Esther 10 167 5,457 0.6
SUB-TOTAL 98 2,617 66,352 7.4
18 Job 42 1,070 17,302 1.9
19 Psalms 150 2,461 43,179 4.8
20 Proverbs 31 915 14,847 1.6
21 Ecclesiastes 12 222 5,458 0.6
22 Song of Solomon 8 117 2,714 0.3
SUB-TOTAL 243 4,785 83,500 9.3
23 Isaiah 66 1,292 36,111 4.0
24 Jeremiah 52 1,364 42,130 4.7
25 Lamentations 5 154 3,362 0.4
26 Ezekiel 48 1,273 37,666 4.2
27 Daniel 12 357 11,735 1.3
SUB-TOTAL 183 4,440 13,1004 14.6
28 Hosea 14 197 5,075 0.6
29 Joel 3 73 1,941 0.2
30 Amos 9 146 4,110 0.5
31 Obadiah 1 21 627 0.1
32 Jonah 4 48 1,280 0.1
33 Micah 7 105 3,020 0.3
34 Nahum 3 47 1,185 0.1
35 Habakkuk 3 56 1,410 0.2
36 Zephaniah 3 53 1,569 0.2
37 Haggai 2 38 1,077 0.1
38 Zachariah 14 211 6,260 0.7
39 Malachi 4 55 1,802 0.2
SUB-TOTAL 67 1,050 29,356 3.3
TOTAL 929 23,145 592,860 65.9

Tanak (The Hebrew Bible)

  Book Chapters Verses Words Hrs
1 Genesis 50 1,533 37,357 4.2
2 Exodus 40 1,213 31,848 3.5
3 Leviticus 27 859 24,227 2.7
4 Numbers 36 1,288 31,452 3.5
5 Deuteronomy 34 959 27,637 3.1
TORAH SUB-TOTAL 187 5,852 152,521 16.9
6 Joshua 24 658 18,503 2.1
7 Judges 21 618 18,320 2.0
8 1 Samuel 31 810 24,361 2.7
9 2 Samuel 24 695 20,087 2.2
10 1 Kings 22 816 23,638 2.6
11 2 Kings 25 719 22,740 2.5
12 Isaiah 66 1,292 36,111 4.0
13 Jeremiah 52 1,364 42,130 4.7
14 Ezekiel 48 1,273 37,666 4.2
PROPHETS SUB-TOTAL 313 8,245 243,556 27.1
15 Hosea 14 197 5,075 0.6
16 Joel 3 73 1,941 0.2
17 Amos 9 146 4,110 0.5
18 Obadiah 1 21 627 0.1
19 Jonah 4 48 1,280 0.1
20 Micah 7 105 3,020 0.3
21 Nahum 3 47 1,185 0.1
22 Habakkuk 3 56 1,410 0.2
23 Zephaniah 3 53 1,569 0.2
24 Haggai 2 38 1,077 0.1
25 Zachariah 14 211 6,260 0.7
26 Malachi 4 55 1,802 0.2
THE TWELVE SUB-TOTAL 67 1,050 29,356 3.3
  NEVI’IM SUB-TOTAL 380 9,295 272,912 30.3
27 Psalms 150 2,461 43,179 4.8
28 Proverbs 31 915 14,847 1.6
29 Job 42 1,070 17,302 1.9
30 Song of Solomon 8 117 2,714 0.3
31 Ruth 4 85 2,478 0.3
32 Lamentations 5 154 3,362 0.4
33 Ecclesiastes 12 222 5,458 0.6
34 Esther 10 167 5,457 0.6
35 Daniel 12 357 11,735 1.3
36 Ezra 10 280 6,799 0.8
37 Nehemiah 13 406 9,871 1.1
38 1 Chronicles 29 942 19,524 2.2
39 2 Chronicles 36 822 24,701 2.7
KETHUVIM SUB-TOTAL 362 7,998 167,427 18.6
  TOTAL 929 23,145 592,860 65.9

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