Friday, August 28, 2009

The Girdles of Job: Power Cords

[A modern belt of power]

I recently came across one legend that did not make it into the EJMMM, the legend of the "girdles of Job," three belts or cords of divine craftsmanship.

Mentioned in the Greek language Testament of Job, these girdles were given to Job by God (Job 38:3), curing him of all his ailments and granting him knowledge of future events (why Job needed three is not explained). At his death, Job gave the sashs to his three daughters by Dinah [1], his second wife: Yemima, Ketziah and Keren-Happuch. The belts are described as "three-stringed girdles about the appearance of which no man can speak; For they were not earthly work, but celestial sparks of light flashed through them like the rays of the sun" [2]

Job assured them the garments would act as amulets, protecting them from external dangers and transforming their hearts. When the daughters secured the golden girdles across their chests (over their hearts?), the women knew the language of angels and sang praises in celestial tongues. So girded, they were also relieved of all worldly fears (Testament of Job, Chapters 46-53).

Zal g'mor - To learn more consult the Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism: http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Jewish-Myth-Magic-Mysticism/dp/0738709050

1. According to the Sages, Job's first wife, Uzit, died and he married Jacob's daughter, herself a bit of a schlemazel
2. The Testament of Job, M. R. James, trans., Cambridge University Press, 1897.


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