The Ancient Sash or Girdle
Jeremiah 13:11 'For as the sash clings to the
waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house
of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling
to Me,' says the LORD, 'that they may become My
people, for renown, for praise, and for glory;
but they would not hear.'
As the "sash" clings to the waist of a man...
Girding up the Loins
The "sash" or girdle (Heb.
Ezohr, pronounced ayzor) was perhaps the most beautiful
figurative mode of expression used for clothing among the
prophets of the Bible. The girdle was wound several times
around the waist to bind the clothing together. In Isaiah
11:5 the prophet said about the Messiah that "Righteousness
shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of
His waist." This essentially means that as the girdle has a
controlling and binding influence over all of the bodily
attire so these qualities have a controlling and binding
influence over all of His purposes and actions.
Peter spoke about the
adhesive quality of the girdle when he said "gird up the
loins of your mind" (1 Pet. 1:13).
Clothing in 1st century
Israel was very simple. Jesus and His disciples were among
those in Israel who wore the simplest of clothing. According
to Alfred Edersheim (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, I,
625) the common male Israelite during the time of Christ
wore 6 articles of clothing.
It was customary to wear a
tunic and a shirt beneath the tunic. The tunic (Heb. ketonet)
was usually "woven without seam" throughout and was tight
around the neck with short sleeves. The shirt was a linen
shirt (heb. chaluq) that was worn beneath the tunic. They
wore a linen girdle, wound several times around the waist.
There was also an outermost coat made usually of white
woolen cloth with the four prescribed "tassels" at the
corners which numerically calculated the Name of God. The
description of the headdress is uncertain but we do know
that no Jewish teacher of that day would appear in public
with the head uncovered. They also wore leather sandals.
Luke 6:29 "To him who strikes
you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who
takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
Orthodox Jews today wear
similar clothing but distinct in every culture yet in the
whole world they all still wear the Tallith and the 'arba`
Bibliography on Ancient Customs
The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised
by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008
Return to Ancient Customs
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