Manners & Customs: Girdles
Girdles in the Ancient World
Girdle in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) Heb. hagor, a girdle of any kind worn by soldiers (1
18:4; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings 2:5; 2 Kings 3:21) or
(2.) Heb. 'ezor, something "bound," worn by prophets
1:8; Jer. 13:1), soldiers (Isa. 5:27; 2 Sam. 20:8;
Kings (Job 12:18).
(3.) Heb. mezah, a "band," a girdle worn by men
109:19; Isa. 22:21).
(4.) Heb. 'abnet, the girdle of sacerdotal and state
(Ex. 28:4, 39, 40; 29:9; 39:29).
(5.) Heb. hesheb, the "curious girdle" (Ex. 28:8;
"cunningly woven band") was attached to the ephod,
and was made
of the same material.
The common girdle was made of leather (2 Kings 1:8;
3:4); a finer sort of linen (Jer. 13:1; Ezek. 16:10;
Girdles of sackcloth were worn in token of sorrow
22:12). They were variously fastened to the wearer
Jer. 13:1; Ezek. 16:10).
The girdle was a symbol of strength and power (Job
30:11; Isa. 22:21; 45:5). "Righteousness and
the girdle of the Messiah (Isa. 11:5).
Girdles were used as purses or pockets (Matt. 10:9.
"purses;" R.V., marg., "girdles." Also Mark 6:8).
Girdle in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Worn by men and women. The meezach was worn by men alone
(Job 12:21, margin). The common girdle was of leather, as
the Bedouins now wear a red leather girdle with a long
crooked knife and a pistol stuck in. The finer girdle was of
linen (Jeremiah 13:1), often embroidered with gold (Daniel
10:5; Revelation 1:13). Girded up, so as to confine the
otherwise flowing robes, when active exertion was needed;
from whence "gird up the hands" means "be in readiness for
action" (Luke 12:35; 1 Peter 1:13; Ephesians 6:14). Fastened
by a clasp, or tied in a knot, so that the ends hung in
front. A costly present (1 Samuel 18:4). One end being
folded back made a purse (Matthew 10:9).
The abneeyt was the priest's girdle of linen
embroidered with wool; the high priest's girdle on the day
of atonement was of white linen only. The "needlework" on it
was figuring on one side only, "cunning work" on two sides
(Exodus 28:39; the Mishna); or the "needlework" had the
figures on both sides the same girdle, the "cunning work"
different (Jarchi). Exodus 26:31, "needlework" was of the
embroiderer, "cunning work" of the skilled weaver. The
"curious girdle" was made, as the ephod, of "gold, blue,
purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen" (Exodus 28:8), it
was the band for fastening the ephod, which is upon it, and
of the same work, of one piece with it.
Girdle in Naves Topical Bible
Worn by the high priest
Ex 28:4,39; 39:29; Le 8:7; 16:4
Ex 28:40; 29:9; Le 8:13
-Made of linen
-Made of leather
2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4
-Used to bear arms
1Sa 18:4; 2Sa 20:8; 2Ki 3:21
Isa 11:5; 22:21; Eph 6:14
Jer 13:1-11; Ac 21:11; Re 15:6
Girdle in Smiths Bible Dictionary
an essential article of dress in the East, and worn by both
men and women. The common girdle was made of leather, 2Ki 1:8;
Mt 3:4 like that worn by the Bedouins of the present day. A
finer girdle was made of linen, Jer 13:1; Eze 16:10
embroidered with silk, and sometimes with gold and silver
thread, Da 10:5; Re 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. Jud 3:16; 2Sa 20:8; Ps 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. Mt 10:9; Mr 6:8
Girdle in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
gur'-d'-l. See ARMOR; DRESS.
If the tunic was ungirded it would interfere with a person's ability to walk freely, and so a girdle was always worn when leaving home for any kind of a journey (See II Kings 4:29; Acts 12:8). There were and are today two kinds of girdles.
One, a common variety, is of leather, usually six inches broad and furnished with clasps. This was the kind of girdle worn by Elijah (II Kings 1:8), and by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4). The other, a more valuable variety, is of linen (See Jeremiah 13:1), or sometimes of silk or embroidered material. It is generally a handbreadth wide. The girdle served as a pouch in which to keep money (II Samuel 18:11) and other things that might be needed (Mark 6:8). The girdle was used to fasten a man's sword to his body (I Samuel 25:13). Thus the girdle was a very useful part of a man's clothing.
The Scriptures often make symbolic use of the girdle. When JESUS said to His disciples: "Let your loins be girded about" (Luke 12:35), it was as if He had said: "Be as men who have a long race to run; gather up the folds of your flowing robes, and fasten them with your girdle; that nothing may keep you back or impede your steps."8
In Bible language, "be girded" means: "to be ready for action" (cf. Psalm 18:39). The prophet Isaiah spoke of righteousness as the girdle of Messiah's loins when He rules the world (Isaiah 11:5). And Paul calls truth to be the Christian's girdle in his warfare with Satan (Ephesians 6:14).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Girdles Scripture - 2 Kings 1:8
And they answered him, [He was] an hairy man, and girt with a
girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It [is] Elijah
Girdles Scripture - Exodus 28:40
And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt
make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them,
for glory and for beauty.
Girdles Scripture - Exodus 29:9
And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and
put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be
theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate
Aaron and his sons.
Girdles Scripture - Ezekiel 23:15
Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire
upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the
manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their
Girdles Scripture - Jeremiah 13:1
Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle,
and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
Girdles Scripture - Job 12:18
He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a
Girdles Scripture - Leviticus 8:13
And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and
girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the
LORD commanded Moses.
Girdles Scripture - Proverbs 31:24
She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth
girdles unto the merchant.
Girdles Scripture - Psalms 109:19
Let it be unto him as the garment [which] covereth him, and
for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
Girdles Scripture - Revelation 15:6
And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven
plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their
breasts girded with golden girdles.
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