I am looking at Amos 3:6 and I expected a permissive rather than causative verb but I found a perfect qal. Does this qal actually mean cause here?

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?


1 Answer 1


According to Waltke/O'Connor, "the Qal...is simple semantically in that notions of causation are absent." (p. 362). Qal is kinda like the Greek aorist of Hebrew (btw the LXX translates it with an aorist). There is no idea causation being communicated in the stem. This is not to say there is none being implied by the broader context. However, the parsing only gets you so far in this case. You will need to do three things. (1) Do a lexical study of רָעָה ("evil") to make sure you know the full semantic range and usage here, (2) Look for similar constructions, and (3) consider theological implications.

  • thank you i now understand that Qal's do not imply causation and can be permissive
    – user2134
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 2:37

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