11 Now you are to eat it in this manner: [be prepared for a journey] with your [a]loins girded [that is, with the outer garment tucked into the band], your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it quickly—it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I [the Lord] will pass through the land of Egypt on this night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal; against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments [exhibiting their worthlessness]. I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on [the doorposts of] the houses where you live; when I see the blood I shall pass over you, and no affliction shall happen to you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:11A variation of a phrase often found in the Bible that is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. The girdle (band) also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things. Gird up your mind or gird up your heart are examples of variants of this phrase and call for mental or spiritual preparation for a coming challenge.
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