Hebrew Verse Divisions

The Jews call the division of the Holy Scriptures into chapters, Perakim, which signifies fragments; and the division into verses they call Pesukim, a word of nearly the same signification as the former. These last are marked out in the Hebrew Bibles by two great points at the end of them, called hence Soph-Pasuk, that is, the end of the verse. But the division of the Scriptures into chapters and verses, as we now have them, is of a much later date. The Psalms, indeed, were always divided at present; for St. Paul, in his sermon at Antioch in Pisidia, quotes the second Psalm. But as to the rest of the Holy Scriptures, the division of them into such chapters as at present, is what the ancients knew nothing of. Some attribute it to Stephen Langton, who was archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of King John and his son, Henry the Third. But the true author of this invention, as is shown by Dean Prideaux at great length, was Hugo de Sancto Caro, who, being from a Dominican monk advanced to the dignity of a cardinal, and the first of that order that was so, is commonly called Hugo Cardinalis.

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