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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






16 August 2005

The Case of the Hidden Girdle


Q: Where and who did God tell to hide a girdle in the hole of the rock?

A: First of all, we need to know what a girdle is. Older translations, such as the Authorized (King James) Version use it to translate several different words, which are often rendered now as apron, sash, or loincloth. Thus, a girdle could be either underwear or outerwear, depending upon the word being translated.

In the instance you mention, we are dealing with a loincloth, which would be underwear that would provide for modesty and decency. God told Jeremiah to do this (Jeremiah 13:1-11) to show how, just as the linen girdle becomes soiled and marred by such treatment, so God’s people were soiled and marred because they had removed themselves from God and were rolling around in idol worship and other sins. Now God was going to set about doing some even more serious marring and would rub Judah’s pride in the dirt.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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