Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak under your belt, take my staff in your hand and go! If you meet any man, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him. Then lay my staff on the face of the child.” Bible see other translations

“Tuck your cloak under your belt.” This refers to the custom of a man tying up his long clothing so he could move more quickly. In the biblical culture of the Old Testament, both men and women wore long outer robes, with the man’s robe being slightly shorter than the woman’s robe. When men wanted to move quickly, they would take the bottom part of their robe and pull it up around their waist and secure it with a belt so that the bottom of the robe was a little shorter or longer than around the knees. This was called “girding up the loins.” 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,” basically meaning, “prepare for action.” The custom of girding the loins, or belting your cloak around your waist, can be seen in 2 Kings 4:29; 9:1; Job. 38:3; 40:7; Jeremiah 1:17; Isaiah 5:27; and 1 Peter 1:13 KJV).

“do not greet him.” It was the common custom in the biblical world that greeting people and saying goodbye took a very long time, which is why when Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to heal a child, he told him not to greet anyone or return a greeting (2 Kings 4:29). It is also why, when Jesus sent his disciples out to evangelize, he told them not to greet anyone on the road (Luke 10:4). The ungodly religious leaders loved the elaborate greetings in the marketplaces (Matt. 23:7; Mark 12:38; Luke 11:43; 20:46).

Commentary for: 2 Kings 4:29