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ATS Bible Dictionary

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The Orientals commonly dress in loose robes, flowing down around the feet; so that when they wish to run, or fight, or apply themselves to any business, they are obliged to bind their garments close around them with a sash or girdle. Hence, "to have the loins girded," is to be prepared for action or service, 2 Kings 4:29 Acts 12:8; to be waiting for the call or coming of one’s master or Lord, Luke 12:35. A tightened girdle was also thought to increase the power of endurance, and the simile is used in exhortations to Christian courage and fortitude, Job 38:3 Jeremiah 1:17 Ephesians 6:14 1 Peter 1:13. To have the girdle loosed, is to be unnerved and unprepared for action, Isaiah 5:27. Girdles of leather were worn by the common people; and also by prophets, 2 Kings 1:8 Matthew 3:4. They were likewise made of cotton or linen, Jeremiah 13:1; also of silk, sometimes embroidered. They were often wide and long; and were folded lengthwise, and passed several times around the body. The girdle, moreover, answered the purpose of a purse or pouch, to carry money and other things; see Matthew 10:9 Mark 6:8, where the word purse in the English is put for girdle according to the original Greek. The Arabs and other Orientals wear girdles in the same manner at the present day; they also carry a knife or dagger stuck in them; as was also the custom of the Hebrews, 1 Samuel 25:13 2 Samuel 20:8. Clerks carried their inkhorns, carpenters their rules, etc., in the same way, Ezekiel 9:2. See cuts in GARMENTS.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'GIRD, GIRDLE'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1859.


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