an essential article of dress in the East, and worn by both men and women. The common girdle was made of leather, (2 Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4) like that worn by the Bedouins of the present day. A finer girdle was made of linen, (Jeremiah 13:1; Ezekiel 16:10) embroidered with silk, and sometimes with gold and silver thread, (Daniel 10:5; Revelation 1:13; 15:6) and frequently studded with gold and precious stones or pearls. The military girdle was worn about the waist; the sword or dagger was suspended from it. (Judges 3:16; 2 Samuel 20:8; Psalms 45:3) Hence girding up the loins denotes preparation for battle or for active exertion. Girdles were used as pockets, as they still are among the Arabs, and as purses, one end of the girdle being folded back for the purpose. (Matthew 10:9; Mark 6:8)
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Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Girdle,'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".