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
migrated from christianity.stackexchange.com Mar 18 at 10:36
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.
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.
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.