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I know King James as well as other translators and even some commentators did not translate or recognize the passive tenses or aspects correctly. I've read about the Hophal, Niphal, and Pu'al stems and the Qal with Passive voice. As I understand the relationship of the verb becomes even weaker when the verb is imperfect and passive. I'm having trouble finding any verses which relate to God permitting (not causing) things in the passive tense or aspect. Gen 4:11 is the closest I've found. Is there any way to search the Bible for passive tenses or a list of such? Thank you

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migrated from Mar 18 '13 at 10:36

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I would recommend using either logos or bible works to answer such a question. This is exactly the kind of query they excel at. – Affable Geek Mar 18 '13 at 10:21
@caseyr547 but keep in mind software is no substitute for knowledge. I would highly encourage you to take a course in Hebrew as it seems you often confuse the grammatical categories (e.g. you clearly misunderstand the passive voice in this question). I mean no disrespect by this, as you are clearly truly trying to understand the text, which is commendable. But software will do you no good if you don't understand the morphology, grammar, syntax, etc. once it is given to you. – Dan Apr 12 '13 at 15:10
There are 4,137 occurrences of Hebrew verbs in the Hebrew Bible (found in 3,514 verses) with some aspect of the passive voice. (Please click here.) Recommend that you download and export these verses from Interlinear Scripture Analyzer and do the hard work of reviewing each verse - please click here for a quick primer. – Joseph Jun 21 '14 at 14:20
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The way you would search for passive verb forms would be to purchase a software like Logos, Accordance (For Mac), or Bibleworks. They allow you do to in depth searches for various grammatical forms.

Also, just a point of precision, Passive is a voice, not a tense.

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Gee, that's some great advice :) – Affable Geek Mar 18 '13 at 20:38
The Word also has a much less expensive Hebrew Morphology module. – user2134 Mar 18 '13 at 23:48
Software is a great tool for getting answers, but only after you know the right questions. The question misunderstands the passive voice. The only way you could make this question a grammatical-lexical problem is to populate a list of possibly related words and generate a list of suspect verses (warning: there will be a ton of chaff for a small handful of wheat). He's much better off searching commentaries and theologies to find someone who has already done the work for him. – parap Mar 19 '13 at 2:24

Hmmm... This question is terribly flawed, but it is a common mistake. I don't want to get into a Hebrew lecture here, but here's some basic info to get you started. "Biblical Hebrew has no tenses in the strict sense; it uses a variety of other means to express time relations" (Waltke-OConnor 347). Of course, you're talking more about voice.

Aspect (Aktionsart) refers to the category of morphological phenomena that describe the kind of situation a verb refers to. A well-known group of aspectual phenomena are the voices of the European languages. English recognizes two voices, active ('I ran') and passive ('I was beaten'). With an active verb the subject is an agent or actor, while with a passive verb the subject is a patient (one who undergoes or suffers the action). Other languages, for example, Classical Greek, recognize a third voice, called middle; the subject of a middle verb acts on itself or acts in a way concerning itself. (The reflexives of English and other European languages are analogous.) The voices may serve to sort out various grammatical features of Hebrew (Waltke-OConnor 348).

Unfortunately, this is a "grammatical" passive. It means the subject receives the action. If God were the subject of a passive verb, he would be receiving the action rather than doing it. You're looking for something to the effect: "God permits evil." The verb "permits" is active because the subject is doing the action. In this case, the action is simply doing nothing.

If you want to find a list of places where God permits evil in the OT, you need to turn to either a biblical or systematic theology. This is a theological research problem not a grammatical problem. Look under hamartiology or theology proper.

Your example of Gen 4:11 isn't a workable example. Sure, it says Cain killed his brother, but it doesn't say explicitly that God permitted it. You may want to take a look at the first chapter of Job. The cycles of obedience-sin-judgment-repentance in Judges could also be helpful as it sets a pattern of God bringing punishment through allowing the Israel to have its own way.

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I'm sorry I should have been more precise in my question and in explaining my example but I'm new. Gen 4:11 has a cain being cursed by God in a qal passive participle. Others have said qal is simple with no implied causation. Gen 12:3 is a better example God blesses directly in Piel and indirectly in Niphal but curses only in qal imperfect similarly in ex 15:26 qal imperfect is used to "put sickness" as best i can tell this is called jussive or permissive. Is. 45:7 is another qal but active thats generally regarded as permissive. Like I said I'm new and I'd really like your feedback. – user2134 Mar 19 '13 at 10:33

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