Girdle

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(gird). Worn by men and women to hold the looser garments. Made of leather (2 Kings 1:88And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. (2 Kings 1:8); Matt. 3:44And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4)); of linen (Jer. 13:11Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. (Jeremiah 13:1); Ezek. 16:1010I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. (Ezekiel 16:10)); embroidered (Dan. 10:55Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: (Daniel 10:5); Rev. 1:1313And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. (Revelation 1:13)); used for carrying swords and daggers (Judg. 3:1616But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. (Judges 3:16); 2 Sam. 20:88When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out. (2 Samuel 20:8)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

An article of dress always worn in the East, both by the rich and the poor, and needed there because of their flowing robes. For the poor they were of the plainest material, but for the rich they were more or less costly, and were highly ornamented. They were thus suitable articles for presents (1 Sam. 18:44And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (1 Samuel 18:4); 2 Sam. 18:1111And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle. (2 Samuel 18:11)). John the Baptist wore a leathern girdle, or one of skin (Matt. 3:44And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4); Mark 1:66And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; (Mark 1:6); compare 2 Kings 1:88And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. (2 Kings 1:8)). In the Revelation the Lord has on a golden girdle, and the seven angels who come out of the temple have the same (Rev. 1:1313And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. (Revelation 1:13); Rev. 15:66And 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. (Revelation 15:6)). The priests wore girdles, and one for Aaron was a “linen” girdle (Lev. 16:44He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. (Leviticus 16:4)), and with the breastplate was the CURIOUS (that is, embroidered) GIRDLE of the ephod, made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen (Ex. 28:88And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. (Exodus 28:8)).
The girdle is typical of strength, and “girding up the loins” denotes active service. When the Gentiles are gathered by God to discipline Israel, the girdle of their loins shall not be loosed (Isa. 5:2727None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: (Isaiah 5:27)). Of the Lord when He comes to reign it is said, “Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isa. 11:55And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. (Isaiah 11:5)). In the present warfare the Christian is exhorted to have his loins “girt about” with truth (Eph. 6:1414Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14))—the “truth” being the very thing that Satan will most oppose, and about which the mass are liable to be indifferent.

“314. Girdle Running Footmen” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. The girdle is one of the most useful articles of Eastern costume, and frequently the most ornamental of them all. With the long loose dress of the Orientals it becomes a necessity, since it would be difficult to walk or run unless the dress were tightened. Hence Elijah “girded up his loins” as a preparation for running. See also 2 Kings 4:29; 9:129Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. (2 Kings 4:29)
1And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead: (2 Kings 9:1)
. Thus the Israelites prepared for their exodus (Ex. 12:1111And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover. (Exodus 12:11)). It is also thought to give strength to the body while engaged in severe bodily labor or exercise, and hence the word is sometimes used figuratively to denote strength. See Job 40:77Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. (Job 40:7); Psalm 65:6; 93:16Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: (Psalm 65:6)
1The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. (Psalm 93:1)
.
Girdles are of various sizes, and are made of different materials, from calico to cashmere. The rich use silk or linen, and sometimes decorate their girdles with gold, silver, and precious stones. The poor have them of coarser materials, leather being very commonly used. Elijah’s girdle was of leather (2 Kings 1:88And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. (2 Kings 1:8)), so also was that of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:44And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4)).
Graham thus describes the mode of putting on the girdle. “The girdle is put on thus: your slave having folded it the right breadth, holds it at one end, while you take the other and lay it upon your side, and roll yourself round and round, as tight as possible, till you. arrive at the slave, who remains immovable. If you have no slaves, a hook or the branch of a tree will answer the same purpose” (The Jordan and the Rhine, p. 163). When running, the ends of the outer garment are tucked into the girdle.
2. It is still customary to do honor to a king by running before his chariot; and the same honor is conferred upon persons of less distinction. When Mohammed All came to Jaffa, some years ago, with a large army, to quell the rebellion in Palestine, he had his quarters inside the city, while the camp was on the sand-hills to the south. The officers in their passage from camp to headquarters “were preceded by runners, who always kept just ahead of the horses, no matter how furiously they were ridden; and in order to run with the greater ease, they not only girded their loins very tightly, but also tucked up their loose garments under the girdle, lest they should be incommoded by them” (Thomson, The Land and the Book, vol. 2, p. 227).

“318. Military Girdles” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

The girdle is used as a convenient place for carrying different weapons. The sword, the dagger, and in modern times the pistol, are placed there. It was thus that Ehud carried his dagger (Judg. 3:1616But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. (Judges 3:16)). We are told in 1 Samuel 25:1313And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff. (1 Samuel 25:13), that David and his men girded on their swords. Similar allusions to this use of the girdle are made in Deuteronomy 1:4141Then ye answered and said unto me, We have sinned against the Lord, we will go up and fight, according to all that the Lord our God commanded us. And when ye had girded on every man his weapons of war, ye were ready to go up into the hill. (Deuteronomy 1:41); Psalm 45:33Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. (Psalm 45:3); Song of Solomon 3:8; Isaiah 8:99Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. (Isaiah 8:9). The military girdle was not, however, a mere sword-sash, but a strong belt, designed to sustain the body, and at the same time to cover such portion of the abdomen as might be unprotected by the cuirass. Some girdles, indeed, seem to have been a constituent part of the cuirass, intended to fasten it more firmly. The importance of the girdle as a piece of armor is seen in the fact that thorough preparation for the fight is called “girding on.” Paul says: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:1414Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (Ephesians 6:14)).
Military girdles were made of stronger materials than those designed for common purposes. Leather, iron, and bronze were used in their construction, and, where rich ornament was required, silver and gold.