It is very common in the idiomatic Hebrew theology to depict passive works using passive verbs. Faith and repentance are things solely depended upon man's heart, otherwise God wouldn't have given the whole law and plead the believers to repent (Ezekiel 18 and 33). Understanding the idioms and figures of speech are the key to hermeneutics. The reason for development of strange theologies among the Gentiles from Africa to Europe (Augustine, Calvin, Luther) are naturally due to their lack of basic grasp on the figurative nature of the literature.
[NASB Ezek 33:10-16]
10"Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus you have spoken, saying, "Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?"' 11"Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?' 12"And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, 'The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.' 13"When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he [so] trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. 14"But when I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, 15[if a] wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16"None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.
From Bullinger's book, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: chapter on idiom.
- Active verbs were used by the Hebrews to express, not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to
Genesis 31:7.-Jacob says to Laban: "God did not give him to do me
evil": i.e., as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text
of our English Bible, 1611.] , God suffered him not, etc.
Exodus 4:21.-"I will harden his heart (i.e., I will permit or suffer
his heart to be hardened), that he shall not let the people go." So in
all the passages which speak of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. As
is clear from the common use of the same Idiom in the following
Exodus 5:22.-"Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this
people?" i.e., suffered them to be so evil entreated.
Psalms 16:10.-"Thou wilt not give thine Holy One (i.e., suffer Him) to
see corruption." So the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current
Text of our English Bible, 1611.]
Jeremiah 4:10.-"Lord God, surely thou hast greatly deceived this
people": i.e., thou hast suffered this People to be greatly deceived,
by the false prophets, saying: Ye shall have peace, etc.
Ezekiel 14:9.-"If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing,
I the Lord have deceived that prophet": i.e., I have permitted him to
Matthew 6:13.-"Lead us not (i.e., suffer us not to be led) into
Matthew 11:25.-"I thank thee, O Father … because thou hast hid (i.e.,
not revealed) these things," etc.
Matthew 13:11.-"It is given to know unto you," etc. (i.e., ye are
permitted to know … but they are not permitted to know them.
Acts 13:29.-"When they (i.e., the rulers, verse 27) had fulfilled all
that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid
him in a sepulchre": i.e., they permitted Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus to do so.
Romans 9:18.-"Whom he will he hardeneth": i.e., he suffereth to be
hardened. Not that this in any way weakens the absolute sovereignty of
Romans 11:7.-"The rest were hardened": i.e., were suffered to become
blind (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of
our English Bible, 1611.] marg. [Note: arg. Margin.] ).
Romans 11:8.-"God hath given them the spirit of slumber": i.e., hath
suffered them to fall asleep.
2 Thessalonians 2:11.-"For this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie": i.e., God will leave them
and suffer them to be deceived by the great Lie which will come on all