Oct 25, 2012 David Lang

Isolating Verses with the CONTENTS Command

In yesterday's post, I showed how I searched for the Hebrew word meaning "cast image" and then wanted to separate the verses referring to cast images of animals from the ones referring to cast images of deities. I did this by "marking" all the animal verses and then adding those marked verses to a Reference List. At that point, I just selected all the verses I had collected and used the Copy As Reference command to get a list of those verse references.

In this post, I want to show you an easy way to get a list of all the other verses—the ones I had not marked in my previous post.

At the end of my last post, I had two tabs open: a search tab with my Hebrew word search, and a reference list tab containing only those verses from the first tab which I had gone through and marked. To get a list of the other verses I had not marked, I really just need to remove all the marked verses from the Search tab. The easiest way to do this is using the CONTENTS command.

The CONTENTS command lets you use the list of verses from another tab as an argument in a search. Since all the verses I previously marked have been added to the Reference List tab, I can exclude the Contents of that Reference List from my original search to isolate all the other verses. I'll do this simply by adding the NOT command, followed by the Contents command, to my original search for the Hebrew word meaning "cast image."


Note how because the Reference List contains Ex. 32:4 and 32:8, those verses no longer appear in the Search tab. I've specified that those verses cannot appear in my search result because they are among the contents of the Reference List tab.

At this point, all I need to do to get my list of verses which refer to cast images of deities is to select all the verses in my Search tab and choose Reference from the Copy As submenu of the Edit window.


I can then paste that list of verses into my writing project, which lists the two different uses of this Hebrew word:

The Bible refers to cast images of deities (Ex 34:17; Lev 19:4; Num 33:52; Deut 27:15; Judg 17:3–4; 18:14, 17–18; 1 Kings 14:9; Is 30:1, 22; 42:17; Nah 1:14; Hab 2:18; 2 Chr 28:2; 34:3–4) and of animals (Ex 32:4, 8; Deut 9:12, 16; 2 Kings 17:16; Neh 9:18; Psa 106:19; Hos 13:2).

Using the CONTENTS command saved me from having to go through my search result a second time to mark the verses referring to cast images of deities. By excluding the verses in the Reference List tab, I narrowed my search result to all the verses I had not previously marked.

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