Need help with a search...

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Jordan Litchfield | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 25 2022 5:56 AM

I am studying the way in which the psalter interacts / makes use of the nonhuman environment around us - animate or inanimate, the earth, the celestial bodies, etc. I am trying to do a search using the various senses in the Bible Sense Lexicon and would like to simplify my current string.

For example: <Sense element> OR <Sense stone> OR <Sense soil> OR <Sense ice> OR <Sense liquid> OR <Sense animal> OR <Sense vegetation> OR <Sense celestial body>

Despite this long string, in the very first Psalm I am clearly missing elements. For example, here is Psalm 1:3 (NIV): "That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers."

My current search string has only picked up 'tree', and has missed 'water', 'fruit', and 'leaf'. Now, I could go through that verse and identify the sense (e.g., 'water' = body of water), but my string is already long and tedious and I was curious if someone had a suggestion for a more overarching / comprehensive search, either through BSL or something else. Otherwise I can just do the work.

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 7:04 AM

Hi Jordan,

Have you looked the bible browser in tools?

It should give you a good idea of all the things mentioned in Psalms. You can select them one at a time. It may help you develop your search. You can use sense rather than things if you want as well. 

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Andrew Batishko | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 8:30 AM

I recommend using the Bible Sense Lexicon tool to look up the tree and find an appropriate ancestor sense that captures the broader senses of what you are looking for. You might also need to remove some senses that are part of the ancestor that you don't want. Here's an example that might work better to get you started:

(<Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land>) NOT INTERSECTS (<Sense person>)

I figured you did want everything in the "living thing" tree, but probably didn't want "person". If you have others you want to exclude, then you should be able to add them to the list inside the parenthesis after the NOT INTERSECTS part.

Andrew Batishko | Faithlife software developer

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 3:16 PM

Andrew Batishko:
(<Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land>) NOT INTERSECTS (<Sense person>)

<Sense physical entity> is a Bible Sense Lexicon ancestor for all these senses: <Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land> so search terms can be simplified:

<Sense physical entity> NOT INTERSECTS <Sense person>

that finds tree, streams, water, fruit, and leaf in Psalms 1:3

Keep Smiling Smile

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Andrew Batishko | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 3:56 PM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

<Sense physical entity> is a Bible Sense Lexicon ancestor for all these senses: <Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land> so search terms can be simplified:

<Sense physical entity> NOT INTERSECTS <Sense person>

Only if you are happy with including a whole bunch of other things that I suspected the original poster was not interested in.

Andrew Batishko | Faithlife software developer

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Jordan Litchfield | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 9:16 PM

Andrew Batishko:
Only if you are happy with including a whole bunch of other things that I suspected the original poster was not interested in.

Yes, this search also captures 'rod of iron' in Psalm 2 and 'shield' in Ps 3.

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Jordan Litchfield | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 25 2022 9:56 PM

Andrew Batishko:

(<Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land>) NOT INTERSECTS (<Sense person>)

I figured you did want everything in the "living thing" tree, but probably didn't want "person". If you have others you want to exclude, then you should be able to add them to the list inside the parenthesis after the NOT INTERSECTS part.

Thanks, Andrew, this was helpful. I've had to add just a few senses, and I still have one problem (see below), but this has given me a good start. Here is my current string:

(<Sense natural object>, <Sense living thing>, <Sense matter (physical)>, <Sense atmospheric phenomenon>, <Sense celestial body>, <Sense geological formation>, <Sense land>, <Sense geographical area>,<Sense place (topographic point)>) NOT INTERSECTS (<Sense person>, <Sense bodily substance>, <Sense body part>)

One problem is that this still does not pick up something like 'heavens' in Psalms 8:1, 3; 19:1, 6; pretty important texts when studying the Psalms and creation! The sense behind 'heavens' here is: heaven, ancestor: supernatural region. Interestingly, when I search for <Sense heaven ⇔ regions above> (a descendant of heaven), I get only one result in the whole Bible - John 8:23 where Jesus says he comes from 'above'.

I don't know if the above problem is the result of there being no supernatural / natural divide in the ANE mindset, therefore making it virtually impossible to distinguish in a search between 'heaven' where God reigns and rules, and 'heaven' where the sun, moon, and stars reside.

In any case, I'll probably just add in heaven for now and work with the string as it is.

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Andrew Batishko | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 26 2022 9:03 AM

Jordan Litchfield:

One problem is that this still does not pick up something like 'heavens' in Psalms 8:1, 3; 19:1, 6; pretty important texts when studying the Psalms and creation! The sense behind 'heavens' here is: heaven, ancestor: supernatural region. Interestingly, when I search for <Sense heaven ⇔ regions above> (a descendant of heaven), I get only one result in the whole Bible - John 8:23 where Jesus says he comes from 'above'.

I don't know if the above problem is the result of there being no supernatural / natural divide in the ANE mindset, therefore making it virtually impossible to distinguish in a search between 'heaven' where God reigns and rules, and 'heaven' where the sun, moon, and stars reside.

I think the problem for you here is that the people who have done the tagging work have interpreted "heavens" in the Psalms as being a reference to spiritual heaven, not the physical sky.

Examples of the sense for physical sky translated as "heaven(s)" can be found with this search: <Sense sky> INTERSECTS (heaven, heavens)

Andrew Batishko | Faithlife software developer

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