Loin (usually in the dual, חֲלָצִיַם, chalatsa'yim, as the seat of strength, spoken of as the place of the girdle, Job 38:3; Job 40:7; Isa 5:27 ["reins," 11:5]; 32:1; or as a part of the body generally, Job 31:20; Jer 30:6 [so the Chald. plur. חִרצַין, Da 5:6]; by euphemism for the generative power, Ge 35:11; 1Ki 8:19; 2Ch 6:9; also מָתנִיַם, mothna'yin, as the seat of strength, Gr. ὀσφύς, which are the other terms properly so rendered, and refer to that part of the body simply; but כּסָלַים, kesalim', Ps 38:7, means the flanks, as elsewhere rendered, prop. the internal muscles of the loins, near the kidneys, to which the fat adheres; while ירֵכִיַם, put in (Ge 46:26; Ex 1:5; comp. Jg 8:30, by euphemism for the seat of generation, properly signifies the thigh, as elsewhere rendered, being plainly distinguished from the true loin in Ex 28:42), the part of the back and side between the hip and the ribs, which, as being, as it were, the pivot of the body, is most sensibly affected by pain or terror (De 33:11; Job 40:16; Ps 38:7; Ps 69:23; Isa 21:3; Jer 30:6; Eze 21:6; Eze 29:7; Da 5:6; Na 2:10). This part of the body was especially girt with sackcloth, in token of mourning (Ge 37:34; 1Ki 20:31-32; Ps 66:11; Isa 20:2; Isa 32:11; Jer 48:37; Am 8:10). The term is most frequently used with allusion to the girdle which encompassed this part of the body, i.q. the waist; especially in the phrase to "gird up the loins," i.e., prepare for vigorous effort, either literally (1Ki 18:46; 2Ki 4:29; 2Ki 9:1; Pr 31:17), or oftener as a metaphor borrowed from the loose and flowing dress of Orientals, which requires to be gathered closely at the waist, or even to have the skirts tucked up into the belt before engaging in any exertion or enterprise (Job 38:3; Job 40:7; Jer 1:17; Lu 12:35; 1Pe 1:13). SEE GIRDLE.

Definition of loin

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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