Cheek

CHEEK, CHEEKBONE, CHEEK-BONE (לְחִי, H4305, σιαγών, G4965, jaw, jawbone). The cheek comprises the lateral part of the mouth on each side of the face. Its limits are not precise. It is continuous above with the lower eyelid. It descends below as far as the base of the jaw. In front it terminates at the nose and at the commissure of the lips, i.e., the corner of the mouth. Behind, it extends as far as the ear. The expression “smite on the cheek” evidently connotes an act of reproach (Lam 3:30). Christ’s command to turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39) forcefully states what He meant the Christian’s attitude toward reproach should be. In line with this, Peter in 1 Peter 4:14 and Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10 give expression to the special joy and blessing which they experienced in thus enduring reproach for Christ’s sake. The human cheekbone is the malar bone which forms the prominence of the face below and lateral to the eye socket beneath the upper portion of the cheek.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

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 (So 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 (Jud 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).