January 20, 2016 Matt Pennock

Gird your loins, חָלַץ

“Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” Job 40:7

The verse is more literally, “Tie on your belt (חֲלָצַיִ) like a warrior (גִּבֹּר)…”

“Then God told Job to get ready for His questions. (Brace yourself like a man; cf. 40:7, is lit., “gird up your loins like a man,” geḇer, “strong man,” that is, tuck your outer robe-like garment into your sash-belt as a man does before taking on a strenuous task such as running or fighting in a battle, Ex. 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46.) Job was to be alert so he could answer God intelligently. This is a striking reversal of Job’s words to God, “Let the Almighty answer me” (31:35). Job the plaintiff had now become the defendant!”
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

גִּבּוֹר, גִּבֹּר adj. [root גָּבַר].—(1) strong, mighty, impetuous, used of a hunter, Gen. 10:9; commonly of an impetuous soldier, a hero, 2 Sa. 17:10; Ps. 33:16; 45:4; מֶלֶךְ גִּבּוֹר “a mighty king” (Alexander the Great), Dan. 11:3. אֵל גִּבּוֹר a mighty hero. [The mighty God: Christ is spoken of.] Isa. 9:5; 10:21; comp. Eze. 32:11. Gen. 6:4, הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם “these are the heroes, those who were famous of old;” Pro. 30:30, “the lion is a hero among beasts;” also used of a soldier generally, Jer. 51:30; Ps. 120:4; 127:4; גִּבּוֹר חַיִל “a mighty warrior,” Jud. 6:12; 11:1; 1 Sa. 9:1; pl. גִּבֹּוִרֵי חַיִל 2 Ki. 15:20; and גִּבּוֹרֵי חֲיָלִים 1 Ch. 7:5; 11:40. Used of God, Ps. 24:8, יְהֹוָה עִזּוּז וְגִבּוֹר יְהֹוָה גִּבּוֹר מִלְחָמָה “Jehovah (is) strong and mighty, Jehovah (is) mighty in battle.” Deu. 10:17; Jer. 32:18; Neh. 9:32. In mockery, Isa. 5:22, הוֹי גִּבּוֹרִים לִשְׁתּוֹת יָיִ֑ן אַנְשֵׁי־חַיִל לִמְסֹךְ שֵׁכָר “woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, who are mighty in mingling strong drink.”
Gesenius, W., & Tregelles, S. P. (2003). Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures (153). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

668 חָלַץ (ḥālaṣ) II, equip for war, put on a warrior’s belt, gird or arm oneself, make ready for battle, invigorate, make strong.

Derivatives

668a חֲלִיצָה (ḥălîṣâ) belt.
668b חֲלָצַיִם (ḥălāṣayim) loins.
With these meanings the root is used mostly in the Qal, occasionally in the Niphal and only once in the Hiphil.
The widest usage of this root is the meaning “to arm” or “equip for war.” In Num 32:21 etc. and in Josh 4:13; 6, 7, 9, 13, where the Israelites are preparing themselves to invade the promised land as armed soldiers, the passive participle of this verb is employed. The participle describes the soldiers of David (I Chr 12:23–24), of Jehoshaphat (II Chr 17:18; 20:21), of Pekah (II Chr 28:14) and of the king of Moab (Isa 15:4).
חֲלִיצָה (ḥălîṣâ). Belt. A soldier’s (hero’s) belt with which he girded himself. Cf. Akkadian haliṣu belt, leatherstrap (CAD, vol. 6, p. 43). Although other Hebrew words also apply (ḥăgôr, ʾēzôr) this one fits well with the figure in Eph 6:14, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (NIV). Since this was the symbol of the soldier’s prowess in battle, its removal was proof that he was defeated. The belt wrestling which was practiced in the OT world (cf. ANEP 218, 219) is reflected in the two passages where this noun is used. In II Sam 2:21 where probably a belt wrestling joust is in progress Abner tries in vain to get Asahel to take on a young man and “take his belt.” In Jud 14:19 Samson takes on thirty Philistines and strips them of their belts.

חֲלָצַיִם (ḥălāṣayim). Loins, as the seat of vigor and place from which one’s seed comes (Gen 35:11; I Kgs 8:19). Several usages stress the girding of the loins (Job 38:3; 40:7; Isa 5:27; 11:5; 32:11).

Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (292). Chicago: Moody Press.

Can you, as a man, see yourself in that same position with God facing you and firmly saying “man up”?

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