Affirmative

Affirmative (Gr. διαβεβαίομαι, διϊσχυρίζομαι, etc.). Among the Jews the formula of assent or affirmation was כֵּן דַּבִּרתָּ, σὺ εῖπας, thou hast said, or thou hast rightly said. It is stated by Aryda and others that this is the prevailing mode in which a person expresses his assent, at this day, in Lebanon, especially when he does not wish to assert any thing in express terms. This explains the answer of our Savior to the high-priest Caiaphas (Mt 26:64), when he was asked whether he was the Christ, the son of God (see also Mt 26:25, and. comp. Joh 18:37). Instances occur in the Talmud: thus, "A certain man was asked, 'Is Rabbi dead?' He answered, 'Ye have said:' on which they rent their clothes" — taking it for granted from this answer that it was so (Jerusalem Talmud, Kilaim, 32, 2). — All readers even of translations are familiar with a frequent elegancy of the Scriptures, or rather of the Hebrew language, in using an affirmative and negative together. by which the sense is rendered more emphatic: sometimes the negative first, as Ps 119:17, "I shall not die, but live," etc., sometimes the affirmative first, as Isa 38:1, "Thou shalt die, and not live." In Joh 1:20, there is a remarkable instance of emphasis produced by a negative being placed between two affirmatives, "And he confessed, and denied not, but confessed, I am not the Christ." SEE OATH.

Definition of affirmative

 
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