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BELT. “Belt” is solely an article of dress, where it has the meaning of a strip of leather or material used to confine or support the clothes, or support a weapon or tool. Though the word was in common use at the time, it is not used in KJV, where girdle (q.v.) is virtually the only rendering for five Heb. words and one Gr. word. It was introduced in the ERV and ASV in Job 12:21, and appears five times in RSV (Job 12:21; Ps 109:19; Ezek 23:15; Matt 10:9; Mark 6:8), and twelve times in the NEB. There is no evidence that the change is based on a more careful linguistic rendering.

The reason why “girdle” is prob. a better tr. than “belt” in most cases is that it denotes a strip of cloth or leather intended to confine the clothes rather than support them. On the other hand, “belt” is clearly superior in 2 Samuel 18:11 (NEB), where the support for Joab’s sword is meant. Interestingly enough, the NEB finds a different and more attractive rendering in Job 12:21.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See Armor; Dress.

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