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Bury my father and turn the other cheek
Regarding being slapped on the "right cheek" 0nymyd Kkp (Matt. 5:39):

Explanations have been offered regarding the actual meaning of "turning the other cheek." The explanations suggest that the cultural context of this selection relates to being backhanded as a master would a slave, or a superior would a subordinate. One would only slap a social equal on their left cheek with their right hand.

For the one who was being backhanded, turning the left cheek would cause the "slapper" to slap full on with right hand, in the manner that one would slap an equal. The suggested meaning for this comment is that one should not allow oneself to be denigrated, but to stand one's ground and at least present oneself in a way of saying "treat me as an equal."

I can see the potential relevance, but there's also a problem. This interpretation doesn't fit the full context in which the instruction is given, most notably the "give whatever is asked of you" theme suggested by the imagery taken as a whole. And also the fact that Yeshua is giving this discourse as a fuller explanation of the judicial/courtroom principle of court-rendered decisions, i.e. an eye for an eye, meaning to grant equitable compensation for damage caused.

It looks as if Yeshua is addressing judicial matters, not necessarily a physical, personal assault, if the phrase is an idiom suggesting non-literal interpretation. He may be providing instruction about the applicability of court remedy to situations encountered in society, and how to function in society without having to end up in court to settle matters of dispute.

Are there any cultural cues that can help explain the meaning?



Messages In This Thread
Bury my father and turn the other cheek - by drmlanc - 10-09-2003, 10:05 PM
Turn the other cheek - by Taufgesinnter - 10-11-2003, 10:55 AM
. - by drmlanc - 10-12-2003, 05:00 AM
. - by drmlanc - 02-10-2004, 01:14 AM
Turn a blind eye - by judge - 02-10-2004, 10:32 PM
Re: Bury my father and turn the other cheek - by kingskeep - 12-13-2007, 09:10 PM

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