Search Features of SEEK Bible Software

This document details the search features of the SEEK Bible software. An overview of the main features of the program can be found in the introductory page.


Searching for single words.

Searching for entire words.

Searching for phrases.

Searching for multiple words.

Selecting the search range.

Using wild-card characters.


Searching for single words

The following are examples of commands requesting a single word search.

> g τετελειωμαι

> h אביאל

> t tempestuous

The figure below shows the result of the first two commands.

To search for a Greek word, type g, whitespace, and then the Greek word. To search for a Hebrew word, type h, whitespace, and then the Hebrew word. To search the translation module, type t, whitespace, and then the word.

Following a search command, the program will display an outline of the search results. By typing a search result number, the corresponding result will be displayed. By pressing the enter key or the arrow down key, the next result will be displayed.

Searching for entire words

A search for the word λυση will match not only this word, but also any other word that contains it as a substring, such as λυσητε, απολυσης, and κωλυσης. In order to match only entire worrds, the search command should be

> g “ λυση “

Note the double quotes and the whitespace. A whitespace at the beginning of the word indicates that the string must not have any prefix. A whitespace following the word indicates that the string should have no suffix. For example, the command

> h “שמים ”

will match שמים, but not השמים.

Searching for phrases

The program will search for a phrase if the text is placed between double quotes. Here are two examples:

> g “πιστος εστι ο λογος”

> h “שמי השמים”

Note that a search phrase does not have to fit within a Bible verse. For example,

> g "μη εξουθενειτε παντα δοκιμαζετε"

will show that the phrase is contained in 1Thes 5:20-21.

Searching for multiple words

The program can search for text in which two or more words or phrases appear near each other. For example,

> g πιστος λογος

will match text in which the words πιστος and λογος appear near each other, such as πιστος ο λογος in 1Ti 1:15 and πιστος δε ο θεος οτι ο λογος in 2Co 1:18. Moreover,

> h ויהי כי" ארץ”

will match text in which the word the phrase ויהי כי and the word ארץ appear near each other, such as בארץ הזאת ויהי כי in Jos 17:12-13, and ויהי כי חטאו בני ישראל ליהוה אלוהיהם המעלה אתם מארץ מצרים in 2Ki 17:7. Two observations can be made at this point:

It is possible to define precisely how close should be the words or phrases to each other. For example,

> win 20

requests that all search results fit within a window of 20 characters. If this limit is imposed,

> g πιστος λογος

will no longer match the phrase πιστος δε ο θεος οτι ο λογος in 2Co 1:18, since it has 28 characters, exceeding the 20 character limit. The command

> win

will restore the default search window size.

Note that the search window size has no effect when searching for single words or single phrases.

Selecting the search range

It is possible to restrict a search to specific portions of text using the range command. Here are some examples.

The command

> r Pr

will restrict the search to the book of Proverbs. The command

> r Mt-Jn

will restrict the search to the four Gospels. The command

> r Mt 1:5-10, Mk 1-5:7

will restrict the search to the verses 5, 6, …, 10 of Mt 1, the chapters 1, 2, …, 4 of Mark, and the verses 1, 2, …, 7 of Mk 5.

Note that the command

> r

will restore the default settings requiring that the entire text be searched.

A range command will affect all modules that contain verses in the specified range.

Using wild-card characters

The following wild-card characters are supported.

?The character ? stands for any character different from whitespace. For example, πιστ?ς matches both πιστις and πιστος. Moreover, אהבה? matches both שאהבה and באהבה.
*The character * stands for any sequence of characters different from whitespace and different from the character that follows immediately * in the search text. For example, ε*γειν will match ευλογειν. However, ε*γειν will not match εξεγαγειν, since γ follows immediately * in ε*γειν, and thus * cannot stand for a sequence of characters containing the letter γ. Note that * matches also an empty sequence. For example, שב*ת will match both שבתות and שבת.

Wild-characters may be combined. For example, in ε???*ρχ*ς the sequence ???* matches text that has at least three characters. Thus, ε???*ρχ*ς will match εισερχομενος but not ερχομενος. Note that ???* and *??? are not equivalent. In fact, *??? is equivalent to ???. This is because in *??? the asterisk is to match text that does not contain the arbitrary character represented by ?. Thus, in this case the asterisk will match the empty string.


The commands used for a search can be written into a file. In this way, the search can be repeated at any time by entering the name of the file. When a file name is entered, the program looks up the file om the default search paths, and then executes it line by line. Another way to execute a script is by invoking the program with the script name as a command line parameter. In this case the program will execute the script and then exit. A script file should be written in plain text format using editors such as gedit in Linux and notepad in Windows. One way to include Greek or Hebrew text into a script is by means of the Greek or Hebrew setting of the keyboard. In this case, files written with notepad should be saved with the UTF-8 encoding. For a script example, see the file example.txt. Use gedit or notepad to read or modify this script file.

SEEK Bible Software Home