HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Proverbs 31:17

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Inner strength and a tenacious trust in God translates into outer strength and physical vitality and vigour.  The “loins” are regarded as the seat of strength (see 1 Kings 12:10; Nahum 2:1).  The term refers to the abdominal or hip region of the body (the mid-section), the region of strength and procreative power.

“To gird” means to encircle or bind with a flexible band or girdle (belt). In Bible times both men and women wore outer robes or tunics. If the tunic was ungirded it would interfere with a person’s ability to walk freely. The Bible often makes symbolic use of the girdle. Jesus said, “Let your loins be girded about” (Luke 12:35). In other words, “Be as men who have a long race to run; gather up the folds of your flowing robes, and fasten them with your girdle; that nothing may keep you back or impede your steps.”  In Bible language, “to be girded” means “to be ready for action.”  “For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle” (Psalm 18:39).  [See Fred Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, page 93].

The virtuous woman has a reservoir of inner strength which is able to energize her and enable her to accomplish physical tasks which require a great amount of physical strength.  She is not weakened by sloth or laziness but she is a wonderful example of diligence and industry.  George Lawson describes her in this way:

As rust gathers on metals that are seldom used, so sluggishness of disposition contracts a rust on the powers of the body and mind; and idle persons by degrees realize those excuses for their conduct which were at first mere shams. The virtuous woman is of a very different temper. She declines not any part of her duty through aversion to toil, and by exerting her strength with a cheerful mind she improves it. Her labours give her health and vigour, and alacrity for new labours; so that she can with great ease and tranquillity go through those duties which appear impossibilities to other women [Commentary on Proverbs, p. 564].

Author: Godfrey Gregg