Search the Septuagint in E-Sword





Introduction: Search the Septuagint in E-Sword

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This Instructable will not have a wide audience, but will be very useful to those who have a need for it.

e-Sword Bible software is free at: It is a fine Bible study program with many features. See my earlier Instructable titled "Setting Up and Using e-Sword."

Step 1: Search Greek or Hebrew Terms

e-Sword allows searching all occurrences of a Greek (New Testament) or Hebrew (Old Testament) term. See portions of my earlier Instructable "Learn New Testament Greek" for the Search procedure.

In the graphic I have searched a New Testament Greek module for the word translated "world" in John 3:16. Its Strong's Number is G2889. 152 occurrences of it were found in the New Testament.

Step 2: Hebrew

It is always helpful to see how the Old Testament uses a word of interest from the New Testament. Hebrew has a word for "world." Most of us would simply find a word in the Old Testament for "world" through an English version, determine the Strong's Number for it and search it. The KJV+ module would work just fine for that. The graphic shows the HOT+ (Hebrew Old Testament with Strong's Numbers) module at Genesis 1:1. The word for "earth" (a synonym for "world") is number H776.

Step 3: The Septuagint

Many of us have never heard of the Septuagint, frequently abbreviated LXX ("70" for the seventy translators who worked on it). It is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament from a century or two before Christ. It was done because many Jews scattered around the world no longer spoke Hebrew as their first language. The Septuagint (Septuaginta in Latin) was often the Bible for Jews and Christians in the First Century. New Testament quotations of the Old Testament are most often from the Septuagint or something very close to it. Further, the vocabulary of the New Testament, particularly in Greek, is heavily indebted to the usage of those words in the Septuagint.

One Greek word in the Septuagint may translate several different but similar words from the Hebrew text. The result is that studying a New Testament (Greek) word by means of tools tied to the Hebrew text can give incomplete results or can be like comparing apples to oranges. A way of finding all Septuagint passages that use a particular Greek word and studying those is a very desirable way to proceed.

Step 4: Hatch - Redpath

The graphic shows a page from the Hatch - Redpath concordance to the Septuagint. This is a relatively expensive tool that allows the user to find all occurrences of a particular Greek word in the Septuagint. This is a good tool, but now there is an easier way anyone can use. No knowledge of Greek is required.

Step 5: Add a Module to E-Sword

Someone has produced an e-Sword Septuagint module keyed to Strong's Numbers. It is available free of charge at: Download and unzip it. Drop the unzipped file into the e-Sword folder in Program Files within your C Drive on your Windows computer.

Step 6: To Use

I was interested in the word "restoration" in Acts 3:21. It occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. From the graphic you can see that it is Strong's Number G605. "G" is for Greek. Again, the English module KJV+ would have worked for this step, too.

Step 7: Open the LXX+ Tab

Click on the LXX+ tab to open the Septuagint with Strong's Numbers. Just to bring up some text in the window, arbitrarily select any Old Testament passage. Genesis 1:1 works just fine. Note the gray tab for LXX+ is the active Bible version tab.

Step 8: Searching the LXX+

Pull down the Search box. (See the binocular at the upper left corner of the "LXX+ Bible Search" window.) Enter the numerical digits of the Strong's Number you wish to search without the "G." Click on Search and then on Accept. Thirty occurrences were found.

I really wanted to search G605, but an earlier search of it yielded no results. The noun form of the word does not occur in the Septuagint. If you go back to the graphic in Step 6, you see that G605 is related to G600. I searched for G600, which is the verb form of the same word ("Restore" rather than "restoration.")

Step 9: Examining the Search Results

Unless you can read the Septuagint in Greek, you will want to examine the search results in an English version. I have selected the English Standard Version (ESV). Note the gray tab. After you click on Accept in the Search box, the results will appear in the little window between the two small binoculars with arrows. Clicking on one of the small binoculars will move the result displayed forward or backward one passage. You can also pull down the window and click on a reference to a passage. The display window will jump to that passage.

In Genesis 40:13 Joseph is interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker. He had to tell the baker that he would be hanged, but he told the cupbearer that after three days he would be restored to his former position in the Pharaoh's service.

You can now search the entire Septuagint to see the Old Testament use of the exact word used in a particular New Testament passage.

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Thanks for the quick response & a way of searching the LXX. The method you detailed allows one to search for instances of a word when you already know a place in the LXX where it occurs. In my case, I didn't even have that! I was searching for "baptizo" but there seems to be no way to just search for G907 in the LXX. If one has a book or e-source that gives at least one reference, then your method works, so I'm glad you shared it with me. I did find a such a reference, and then followed your advice.

3 replies

Try this. But, it does require that you have a Strong's Number for the word whose usages you want to study in the LXX. Let us assume you wish to search for G911 (bapto). As I mentioned in another comment, it does appear in the LXX, even though 'baptizo' (G907) does not.

Open the Search dialog box. Select LXX+WH+ as the module you wish to search. (Install it, if you have not yet.) In the upper left window enter G911 and press Enter on your computer keyboard. e-Sword will find all occurrences of G911 in both Testaments and populate a list in the window. As in my previous comment, move the search results to the Search list and select the version in which you prefer to view the results, as with any other search.

There are plenty of tools for determining the Strong's Number of any Greek word occurring in the New Testament. Finding a Stong's Number for a word occurring in the LXX, but not in the NT would be more of a challenge.

Phill, two quick things. 1) According to my LXX+ (admittedly not the LXX+WH+ that you mention), "baptizo" does actually occur, in 2 Ki. 5:14, and in Is. 21:4. 2) As I said before, the LXX+ I use is not searchable. Apparently the LXX+WH+ you mention is searchable? Going to, the closest name I see to LXX+WH+ is LXX+WH+-97. Is that the module you're referring to? I'm willing to install it & compare it to what I have now. (For Westcott-Hort, I currently use IWH+P.) Blessings, Jeff

I do have "A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint" by Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspie (German Bible Society, 1992). According to its list of words in the LXX, 'baptidzo' (or 'baptizo') does not occur in the LXX, but 'baptidzomai' and 'baptw' ('bapto') do.

Years ago I bought a little concise one volume concordance of the LXX produced by Bagster. But, it gives a simple list of passages without quoting even a brief phrase from any of the passages. It is better than nothing, but not much.

Without a resource like one of the two mentioned above, a user would need to search an English version for occurrences of a word and then check the LXX text to see what Greek word is used. That is tedious and hit or miss.

Phil: Thanks for the reply. I've been a student of the Koine since college. If you have a moment, I have a "resources" question for you: do you know of a site, or a facility within e-Sword, that would enable me to find, for example, all occurrences of a Greek verb in the imperative mood, or a Greek noun in the dative, etc? Being able to perform morphologically-related searches would be very useful. I haven't had much success finding such a "free" resource. Thanks.

3 replies

Howdy. This is my first time on here. I googled 'download the Septuagint for eSword,' and this seemed to be a likely resource. I've been using Interlinear Scripture Analyzer, which has a description (below) of what texts it contains:

WLC ● Westminster Leningrad Codex ● Westminster
WLC_v ● Westminster Leningrad Codex + vowel signs v1.1 ● Westminster
WLC_t ● Westminster Leningrad Codex transliterated v1.0 ● Scripture4all Foundation
WLC_tm ● Westminster Leningrad Codex transliterated + prefix/suffix markers v1.0 ● Scripture4all Foundation
Strong ● Strong numbers for WLC v1.0.1 ● Copyright © 2009 Scripture4all Foundation
CHES ● Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear -idiomatic- v2.0.2 ● Copyright © 2009 Scripture4all Foundation

3 translations loaded - AV ● CLV ● YLT - for more info see Help - Database info

The software can be had for FREE, downloadable @

The interface is a little abstruse, though it will be able to satisfy your need for the search criteria you've alluded to.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for the link. I looked at the Hebrew on-line text. Hebrew is really written from right to left, contrary to English, etc. my Hebrew needs lots of work, but it would take me a while to get used to Hebrew written backwards from what I know it should be.

I do not know of a free electronic resource. I have a bound copy of Moulton & Geden' s concordance for the NT. it is about the closest thing I know.

I try to read at least a chapter from my Greek NT everyday.

Thank you, this is just what I needed for a current study. A small note: in the e-Sword version I have (10.1.0), it is necessary to add the "G" prefix to the search in the LXX+ version, as well as the "H" prefix (such as when searching for a Hebrew word in the NASB+, for example). Again, thanks for a very helpful Instructable.

1 reply

Thank you for responding. When I posted this I wondered if anyone would ever need to do this. But, I thought it would be a good way for me to refresh what I did the next time I needed it.

e-Sword has gone through some revisions and some of the procedures that apply to one version no longer apply to the newer versions. I also have a little one volume printed concordance for the Septuagint. It merely lists passages that use a particular word. Still, e-Sword is faster than thumbing through a paper Bible.

A friend in seminary purchased the big Hatch-Redpath LXX concordance. I always envied him a little for it. But, the little concordance I have appears to be complete, even though it does not give part of the passage with the reference. The only problems I really have with it come when the chapter numbering in the LXX is off one number from English Bibles.

I hope all goes well with your project. Being able to search the LXX with e-Sword in any fashion is a big help.

After conversations with friends who have installed e-Sword version 9, I am fairly certain the module described in this Instructable will not work with version 9. Maybe you could keep an older version of e-Sword on another computer for your Septuagint searches.

Aside from the instructable this is a wonderful, free program!

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Yes, it is. Someone mentioned version 9.x just became available, but it requires new modules to use all of the features. Thanks for viewing this..

Phil, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I'm totally illiterate when it comes to Hebrew. But the Septuagint gives a good view of what scribes/translators thought of the Hebrew/Aramaic texts in the couple of centuries before Christ. Even though I'm thankful we have scholars who work from the Hebrew texts, the LXX is a good tool for those of us who only have a grasp of Koine. I was talking about this in Bible class the other day. (A lot of people are "stuck" on only one translation of the scriptures, and don't believe anything "second-hand" is acceptable.) It's interesting to see the LXX quoted in the NT by inspired men, and by JESUS HIMSELF!!! Also, the Ethiopian eunuch seems to be reading LXX. Anyway, my point was that if the Lord can use different translations of the word, why should anyone today be so arrogant as to believe they have the ONLY correct translation? BTW- That's not really a problem with the two churches I work with. But my wife works at a Christian book store, and there's always some well meaning customer coming in and expounding upon the virtues of one translation while running down ALL other translations. She hears dumb quotes like "If the King James was good enough for Paul, it's good enough for me!"

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Barry, Thanks. I am glad you can use this. We are doing an adult Bible class on principles of biblical interpretation (hermeneutics). I was explaining about Paul quoting the LXX, etc. and thought, "We have all of these resources for people who cannot read Hebrew. Yet, so much New Testament vocabulary is so closely related to the LXX. Why is there no LXX keyed to Strong's Numbers, etc.?" A few days ago I went looking for one and found it. The process I described is not perfect and I found there are some glitches, but it is better than anything I had before. Back in the 1970's I had to dance around folks who insisted on the KJV. I kept telling them God always gave His Word in the language people spoke at the time. First it was Hebrew, then a bit of Aramaic, then Greek. The implication was why should people today not hear God in the language they talk everyday? People who have had to study a 2nd language understand how translation works and seem to have fewer problems with a newer accurate version of the Bible.

I agree. I took French in high-school, but the Bible translation never really crossed my mind. But then as a missionary in New Guinea, as I often dealt with 3 or four languages at a time, I realized God likely intended for people to hear the Word in their own language. Example: I understand french, but it's not my "heart language". To discuss important matters of faith and feelings, I really need it to be in English (or even Melanesian Pidgin as it came to be truly second nature- I still occassionally dream in it!). There was a reason everyone in Acts 2 heard "in their own tongue". Even though they likely understood Greek, Aramaic, and Latin- that migh not have touched their hearts. To hear the story in their own language would make the Gospel MUCH more personal. Consequently, as very few of us are raised speaking the English of 1611, even though we may understand the KJV, we need a translation which will go deeper into our hearts.