Cheek; Cheekbone

chek, chek'-bon:

(1) lechi; siagon, "the jaw," "jaw-bone," "side of the face." The Hebrew word denotes originally freshness and rounded softness of the cheek, a sign of beauty in youth and maiden (Song 1:10; 5:13). The oriental guards with jealous care his cheek from touch or defilement, therefore a stroke on the cheek was, and is to this day, regarded as an act of extreme rudeness of behavior, a deadly affront. Our Saviour, however, teaches us in Mt 5:39 and Lu 6:29 that even this insult is to be ignored and pardoned.

Jawbones of animals have been frequently used as tools and weapons among primitive people. We see this sufficiently proven from cave deposits in many parts of the world, and from recent ethnological researches, especially in Australia. In the light of this evidence it is interesting to note that Samson used a jawbone of an ass with success against his enemies the Philistines (Jg 15:15).

(2) malqoach (Ps 22:15), is a dual form indicative of the two jaws, to which a parched tongue seems to cleave.

(3) methalle`ah (Job 29:17), better "cheek teeth" (which see).

H. L. E. Luering

 
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