The Major and the Minor Prophets
The Major Prophets and Minor Prophets are terms used in reference to the Old Testament portion of the Bible that distinguish the longer books of prophecy from the shorter ones. In the English versions of the bible, The Major Prophets come first and they include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel, followed by the 12 books that comprise the Minor Prophets.
To describe the difference of size between these two Prophetic books in Old Testament Scripture, the five books of the Major Prophets has 183 chapters, while the 12 books of the Minor Prophets carries 67 chapters. The longest book of the Major Prophets, Isaiah, has 66 chapters, while the shortest book in the Minor Prophets, Obadiah, has just one chapter.
Historically, the Hebrew Bible (the Jewish version of the Old Testament) arranged these books differently. The book of Lamentations, for example, was included as part of Jeremiah, because it was written by the same author. The 12 Minor Prophets were included as one large book called “The Twelve” or Trei Asar in Hebrew. In the Hebrew order, both the Major and Minor Prophets were considered part of the collection known as the Latter Prophets (Later Prophets) or the Nevi’im.
The 5 books of the Major Prophets in the Old Testament, follows the 5 Wisdom Books, and is followed by the 12 books of the Minor Prophets.