How much of Tanach is in the Talmud?

How much of Tanach is referenced in the Talmud? Our friends at 929 asked us that question, and we really had no idea. If you had to estimate, what number would you guess? Even for scholars that we quizzed, guesses ranged from less than 1% to more than 50%. There are 23,206 verses in Tanach and 2,711 pages in the Babylonian Talmud — what do you think? Turns out, the question is pretty easy for us to answer, given the data that we have on Sefaria. We wrote a quick script, and found that there are 6448 unique verses referenced in the Talmud — which is almost 28% of the total number of verses in Tanach. It's not even close to consistent, though — some books like  Nehemiah and Chronicles I & II have less than 10% of their verses referenced, while Leviticus has nearly 75% of its verses referenced.

Here's the full breakdown of the data — each book with the number of verses referenced out of the total number in the book:

Genesis: 513/1533 (33.46%) Exodus: 511/1210 (42.23%) Leviticus: 644/859 (74.97%) Numbers: 461/1288 (35.79%) Deuteronomy: 564/956 (59.0%) Joshua: 99/658 (15.05%) Judges: 98/618 (15.86%) I Samuel: 151/811 (18.62%) II Samuel: 141/695 (20.29%) I Kings: 191/817 (23.38%) II Kings: 119/719 (16.55%) Isaiah: 422/1291 (32.69%) Joel: 14/73 (19.18%) Jeremiah: 207/1364 (15.18%) Ezekiel: 196/1273 (15.4%) Hosea: 73/197 (37.06%) Amos: 44/146 (30.14%) Obadiah: 6/21 (28.57%) Jonah: 10/48 (20.83%) Micah: 28/105 (26.67%) Nahum: 8/47 (17.02%) Habakkuk: 19/56 (33.93%) Zephaniah: 17/53 (32.08%) Haggai: 9/38 (23.68%) Zechariah: 63/211 (29.86%) Malachi: 29/55 (52.73%) Psalms: 635/2527 (25.13%) Proverbs: 313/915 (34.21%) Job: 220/1070 (20.56%) Song of Songs: 57/117 (48.72%) Ruth: 26/85 (30.59%) Lamentations: 52/154 (33.77%) Ecclesiastes: 94/222 (42.34%) Esther: 95/167 (56.89%) Daniel: 77/357 (21.57%) Ezra: 46/280 (16.43%) Nehemiah: 39/405 (9.63%) I Chronicles: 78/943 (8.27%) II Chronicles: 79/822 (9.61%)

All of Tanach: 6448/23206 (27.79%)

If you want to get a better sense of the texture of the references, you can always dig into our Talmud-Tanach Explorer.

LibraryLev Israel