What turning the other cheek really means..

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Oct 14, 2017
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#1
Matthew 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some say this means Jesus was a pacifist or perhaps a glutton for punishment -- no... but what is His meaning, then?

Certain traditions play into what Jesus said and why He said it. First, people reserved the use of their left hand for unseemly things... so, if someone were to strike you, it would be with the right hand only. Second, if your attacker considered you to be their equal they would strike you with their palm... if they view you as lesser than themselves they would "backhand" you.

These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."

Or

"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.

Food for thought.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
5,703
980
113
#2
Matthew 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some say this means Jesus was a pacifist or perhaps a glutton for punishment -- no... but what is His meaning, then?

Certain traditions play into what Jesus said and why He said it. First, people reserved the use of their left hand for unseemly things... so, if someone were to strike you, it would be with the right hand only. Second, if your attacker considered you to be their equal they would strike you with their palm... if they view you as lesser than themselves they would "backhand" you.

These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."

Or

"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.

Food for thought.
What is your evidence for the part in bold?
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
7,411
541
113
#3
Matthew 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some say this means Jesus was a pacifist or perhaps a glutton for punishment -- no... but what is His meaning, then?

Certain traditions play into what Jesus said and why He said it. First, people reserved the use of their left hand for unseemly things... so, if someone were to strike you, it would be with the right hand only. Second, if your attacker considered you to be their equal they would strike you with their palm... if they view you as lesser than themselves they would "backhand" you.

These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."

Or

"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.

Food for thought.


That's a lot to say when you're busy being hit.
 

jameen

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2018
418
73
28
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Manila
#4
It is not literal.

it means that if you were aggravated, then you must not take revenge if it happens again.

Why?

Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
 

Zmouth

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2012
3,067
66
48
#5
These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."
Guess you haven't ever knocked the hell out somebody have you? He wouldn't have to say a thing.

63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
Luke 22:63-64
 

Joidevivre

Senior Member
Jul 15, 2014
3,838
265
83
#6
I always thought this was a personal message to only his disciples in preparation for their ministry. It certainly does not speak to abusive relations.
 
R

renewed_hope

Guest
#7
I take it as when someone wrongs you in one way or another, you let it go and don't hold a grudge.
 
Sep 4, 2012
14,424
680
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#9
What is your evidence for the part in bold?
Apparently, it was considered a greater insult to strike with the back of the hand. From John Gill's commentary

"He that strikes his neighbour (which Maimonides explains, he that strikes his neighbour with his hand shut, about the neck) he shall give him a "sela", or "shekel": R. Judah says, in the name of R. Jose the Galilean, one pound: if he smite him (i.e. as Maimonides says, if he smite him with his double fist upon the face; or, as Bartenora, with the palm of his hand, לחיי, "on the cheek", which is a greater reproach) he shall give him two hundred "zuzim"; and if he does it with the back of his hand, four hundred "zuzim".''
 
Sep 4, 2012
14,424
680
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#10
"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.
This is very interesting. IMO it reflects the character of Jesus. By turning the right cheek away he would be protecting himself from further abuse, which any self-loving, self-respecting person would do, and sending the message to his abuser, "If you strike me again you will have to respect me as your equal".
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,883
116
63
#11
Matthew 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some say this means Jesus was a pacifist or perhaps a glutton for punishment -- no... but what is His meaning, then?

Certain traditions play into what Jesus said and why He said it. First, people reserved the use of their left hand for unseemly things... so, if someone were to strike you, it would be with the right hand only. Second, if your attacker considered you to be their equal they would strike you with their palm... if they view you as lesser than themselves they would "backhand" you.

These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."

Or

"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.

Food for thought.
This is doctrine from the physical rule of Christ on earth during the Millennium. During this time, don't take matters into your own hands but turn the other cheek. The Lord Himself is ruling and reigning. Let King Jesus bring judgment. He is preparing the Jews for His kingdom.

Later, since the Kingdom was postponed due to Israel's rejection of their King, the Lord would amend this through Paul.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

The Lord knows that the days will be evil as He is not here ruling as King. Believers are to do everything possible to avoid conflict, but if it's not possible, one may use self defense.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
5,703
980
113
#12
This is doctrine from the physical rule of Christ on earth during the Millennium. During this time, don't take matters into your own hands but turn the other cheek. The Lord Himself is ruling and reigning. Let King Jesus bring judgment. He is preparing the Jews for His kingdom.

Later, since the Kingdom was postponed due to Israel's rejection of their King, the Lord would amend this through Paul.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

The Lord knows that the days will be evil as He is not here ruling as King. Believers are to do everything possible to avoid conflict, but if it's not possible, one may use self defense.
How do you get this idea (in bold) from the text?
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
2,191
194
63
#13
It is not literal.

it means that if you were aggravated, then you must not take revenge if it happens again.

Why?

Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Your answer and your avatar do not seem to match? :p
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,883
116
63
#14
How do you get this idea (in bold) from the text?
Rightly dividing Scripture. The sermon on the mount is to the Jews preparing them for the literal kingdom on earth where Christ is the King of Kings. The reference is the kingdom of heaven. There are no born again Christians present at the sermon on the mount, no NT writings.
 
Nov 12, 2015
9,083
791
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#15
I think it has to do with not seeking revenge. We aren't usually physically hit. Think of within your own family. When someone says something rude, selfish, uncaring or hurtful to your feelings. Your first reaction is to be angry and get back at them, which you might do in a "socially acceptable" way, (aka passively-aggressively). Instead of just forgiving them and loving them still.

I don't face everyday situations where someone is trying to beat the tar out of me. I don't believe the verse means to let people try to kill you without trying to run away or stop it in some manner.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
5,703
980
113
#16
Rightly dividing Scripture. The sermon on the mount is to the Jews preparing them for the literal kingdom on earth where Christ is the King of Kings. The reference is the kingdom of heaven. There are no born again Christians present at the sermon on the mount, no NT writings.
I agree that there were no "Christians" present (as we would use the term today). However, what I'm asking is your connection to the millennial kingdom. There is nothing in that passage to suggest that conclusion. Do you think Jesus was intending His hearers to follow His words in that day?
 

mcubed

Senior Member
Dec 20, 2013
1,449
199
63
#19
I give up my right to be "right". If you only knew how right I am, ALL THE TIME... in my own mid!!! AND SOMETIMES I REALLY AM... lol... It's one of the hardest things to ever do for me; only with G-d empowering me.
 

KJV1611

Senior Member
Nov 23, 2013
9,052
69
48
#20
Matthew 5:39
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Some say this means Jesus was a pacifist or perhaps a glutton for punishment -- no... but what is His meaning, then?

Certain traditions play into what Jesus said and why He said it. First, people reserved the use of their left hand for unseemly things... so, if someone were to strike you, it would be with the right hand only. Second, if your attacker considered you to be their equal they would strike you with their palm... if they view you as lesser than themselves they would "backhand" you.

These things being known... imagine Jesus being struck. Would His modern day vernacular be along the lines of, "please strike this cheek as well.."

Or

"You struck me as you did because you think I am lesser than you, but in truth, we are all children of God... equals. And, you reveal yourself to be a respecter of persons through your actions as well. Now, if we are to settle our differences as God would want us to... we must start from this moment on equal footing... and that means you need to know... my left cheek is the one you should have aimed for... because you are no better than I... and you are no better than anyone else.

Food for thought.
Food for the garbage can imho.