I am looking to see if certain words in the tanach are used in proximity to other words. Other than looking a word up in my Even-Shoshan and reading through each instance and seeing if the other word is in the same pasuk, is there a way? When using Westlaw in the past, I know that there was a function that allowed searching "within" a distance so you could find all instances of "word 1" within x of "word 2". Is there such a resource for the tanach online?

If you have access to said technology, I am looking for instances of the word/root לחם within 3 words of any word with the root שבר. I know the words are in the same pasuk in 2 situations in Yechezkel (5:16 and 14:13) but I am looking for others.

  • Not online and only a partial solution, but Soncino has several software packages including various combinations of texts (Tanakh, talmud, Rashi, midrash, zohar, etc), and the one I have has a "X within N of Y" search. But it doesn't do all variations of a root, just specific words. Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 0:51
  • Do you mean לחמ like bread or battle? and שבר like food or break?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 0:55
  • 1
    Vayikra 26:26 ?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 0:57
  • @DoubleAA The vayikra quote is great -- same construction as the yechezkel. I am actually trying to see if I can find some origin for a phrase "break bread" which might have at one point meant "sustenance or hope through bread".
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 1:04
  • 1
    The advanced options in the search of responsa.co.il lets you do a search like that. However, the website seems to be down right now.
    – b a
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 2:52

2 Answers 2


I have Davka's Judaic Classics Torah Treasures it showed 5 results: Vayikra 26,26; Yechezkel 4,16; Yechezkel 5,16; Yechezkel 14,13; and Tehilim 105,16.

  • thank you very much -- it looks like all 5 are sh-v-r and mateh-lechem which fits my request but doesn't clear up my etymological question. I just wonder why the responsa site didn't pick up 3 of these...
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 3:44
  • @Dan The best I found was Rashi on the Possuk in Vayikra who translates Mate as support, is that close to 'sustenance'? Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 3:50
  • mateh as support works as a complement to lechem but I was hoping to find a case where sh-v-r is the "sustenance" and is close to lechem.
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 13:48

Yes, there is a way to do such a search online. http://www.responsa.co.il Searches are Free, but full access requires a subscription.

To do this search, click "Advanced Search," change the "Proximity" to "3," and enter "לחם שבר," with each word surrounded by * to search for all variations of those words.

Results for your example:

1.  ויקרא פרק כו
2.  ירמיהו פרק ד
3.  ירמיהו פרק נ
4.  יחזקאל פרק ד
5.  יחזקאל פרק ה
6.  יחזקאל פרק יד
7.  תהלים פרק קה

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