Just for interest’s sake: a look at how the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of every book of the Bible (where such a reference is applicable) provides a surprisingly useful snapshot, a different way of looking at the “Bible in a nutshell.” I’ve already done this for the New Testament, so here we go, from Genesis to Malachi. Some of the results will seem a bit bizarre, but it’s quite remarkable the extent to which the overall thrust of each particular writing is encapsulated in this seemingly semi-random fashion. (All scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV]):
To the woman he said,
”I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.“
”Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.“
Then the priest shall turn these into smoke on the altar as a food offering by fire for a pleasing odor.
All the fat is the LORD’s.
So Moses enrolled them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded.
And to the Reu´ben‧ītes and the Gad´ītes I gave the territory from Gil´e‧ad as far as the Wadi Ar´non, with the middle of the wadi as a boundary, and up to the Jab´bok, the wadi being boundary of the Am´mon‧ītes;
…the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Za´re‧than, while those flowing toward the sea of the Ar´a‧bah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. then the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
Ē´hud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he fastened it on his right thigh under his clothes.
She came to her mother-in-law, who said, ”How did things go with you, my daughter?“ Then she told her all that the man had done for her,
1 Samuel 3:16
But Ē´lī called Samuel and said, ”Samuel, my son.“ He said, ”Here I am.“
2 Samuel 3:16
But her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to Ba‧hū´rim. Then Abner said to him, ”Go back home!“ So he went back.
1 Kings 3:16
Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
2 Kings 3:16
And then he said, ”Thus says the LORD, ‘I will make this wadi full of pools.’
1 Chronicles 3:16
The descendants of Je‧hoi´a‧kim: Jec‧on‧ī´ah his son, Zed‧e‧kī´ah his son;
2 Chronicles 3:16
He made encircling chains and put them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
Ezra [3rd chapter has only 13 verses]
After him Nē‧he‧mī´ah son of Az´buk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired from a point opposite the graves of David, as far as the artificial pool and the house of the warriors.
Esther [chapter 3 has 15 verses; as a bonus, here’s 4:1]
When Mor´de‧caī learned all that had been done, Mor´de‧caī tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went through the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry;
Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,
like an infant that never sees the light?
Psalms 3 has 8 verses
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Moreover I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well.
The Song of Solomon [chapter 3 has 11 verses]
The LORD said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet;
And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
At the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me:
Shad´rach, Me´´shach, and A‧bed´ne‧gō answered the king, “O Ne‧bū‧chad‧nez´zar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter.
Hosea [chapter 3 has 5 verses]
The LORD roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth shake.
But the LORD is a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Amos [chapter 3 has 15 verses]
Obadiah [has just one chapter]
Jonah [chapter 3 has just 10 verses]
Micah [chapter 3 has 12 verses]
You increased your merchants
more than the stars of the heavens.
The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
I hear, and I tremble within;
my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
and my steps tremble beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
to come upon the people who attack us.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
Haggai [has 2 chapters]
Zecharaiah [chapter 3 has 10 verses]
Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name.