Common knowledge is that the Chapter and Verse numbers we currently use is from non-Jewish sources. There are comments that I have seen whereby the non-Jewish chapter numbering does not match with (for example) our Torah portions, or our aliyah divisions.

I was wondering: Are there any known instances whereby the verse numbering does not match? For example, we have a sof-pasuk in the middle of a non-Jewish verse, or there are two (or more) verse numbers, but no sof-pasuk in there?


1 Answer 1


One place where non-Jewish editions break a verse differently is in Sh'mot 20 (ours, theirs). We read the following as one verse; they break after מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים:

אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים: לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי.

Some chumashim break this into two verses too, but this appears to be an error, possibly arising from Menachem Lonzano's work. It appears that all the manuscript evidence which we now have disputes this division. For example, this manuscript shows it clearly as one verse (see this image). Further, the mesorah at the end of Sh'mot counts 1209 verses, but if you count with this division, you get 1210. I am indebted to @DoubleAA for the information in this paragraph.

There are lots of off-by-one differences between our and their counts. Most of the differences listed in this article are of this type. For example, in Tehillim Christian editions tend not to count the incipit as a numbered verse, causing everything else to shift. For just one example of this, 41 has 14 verses in Jewish editions but 13 in non-Jewish ones.

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    @MonicaCellio: Koren tanach has it as 2 pesukim in the taamei tachton, but with the taamei elyon (seen in the back) there isn't a sof pasuk until a few (tachton-style) pesukim later, after ולשמרי מצותי.
    – Rish
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 19:17
  • FTR I don't know if the non-Jewish counting system has similar variants in its history, or not. I don't particularly care much either, and that perhaps indicates that this q is off topic as comparative religion. Perhaps.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 21:51
  • @MonicaCellio That link is to a work by R M Lonzano where he was one of the first to decide that the verse should be split. AFAIK all the manuscript evidence which we now have disputes this. The clearest manuscript on the matter is probably jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/mss/heb5702/index_eng.html which has i.sstatic.net/Z4maq.jpg which not only clearly indicates an Etnachta in the Taam Tachton, by placing it to the right of the Sof Pasuk of the Taam Elyon, but also lists as a note in the column every start of a verse (in Taam Tachton) and omits any new verse marking at עבדים.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 6:20
  • Also the Mesorah at the end of the book of Shemot says there are 1209 verses, but if you count this as two you'll count 1210. Must be you count it as one, like you said. Ping @msh210 who might find this interesting.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 6:23

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