gird one’s loins; gird up one’s loins

to get ready for action
—We have spent enough time mourning our losses from the earthquake. Now it’s time to gird our loins and rebuild the city.

Gird means “to tie up, as with a belt,” and loins is used in the Bible for the part of the body around and including the reproductive organs. In Bible times, the Jewish people wore loose-fitting clothing, which they would tie up when working or traveling.

A woman prepared a room for the prophet Elisha to stay in whenever he came to her town, and God rewarded her with the birth of a son. But later, that son became ill and died. After hearing the news, Elisha told his servant to hurry to the boy’s house:

Tuck your robes into your belt [Gird up thy loins], take my staff, and go! Don’t stop to exchange greetings with anyone! Place my staff on the child’s face. (2 Kings 4:29)

Though Elisha’s staff had no effect, when Elisha arrived he was able to bring the boy back to life.

Thefruit of one’s loins” is “a person’s children or descendents.” During the time recorded in the New Testament, Peter spoke of David being a forefather of the Christ:

So then, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants [the fruit of his loins] on his throne. . . . (Acts 2:30)

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