na'al. A sole attached to the foot by thongs, Greek hupodema (Mr 6:9; Ac 12:8). Often ornamentally inlaid with gold, silver, jewels, and silk (Song 7:1). The materials were leather, felt, cloth, or wood, occasionally shod with iron. A shoe was delivered in token of transferring property: "over Edom will I cast My shoe." i.e. I will take possession of it, treading on its pride as it had trodden Israel as an invader (Ps 60:8,12; 2Sa 8:14; Jos 10:24). The custom, which existed among the Indians and the ancient Germans, arose from the taking possession of property by treading the soil (Ge 13:17), hence handing the shoe symbolized renunciation and transfer of ownership (De 25:9; Ru 4:7-8). When a Bedouin husband divorces a runaway wife, he says, "She was my slipper, I have cast her off." (Burckhardt). In Mt 3:11; Ac 13:25, the image is, one about to wash his feet getting the slave to untie his shoe or else sandal. Hengstenberg so explains Ps 60:8, "Moab is My washing tub; to Edom will I cast My shoe," namely, to "bear" as My slave.
The latchet was the strap across the instep, securing it on the foot, of small value (Ge 14:23; Am 2:6; 8:6). "Buy the needy for a pair of shoes," i.e. by oppression compel them to sell themselves to us as bondmen, in order that our great women may have elaborately ornamented sandals. Sandals were laid aside indoors, and only put on in a journey or military expedition (Jos 9:5,13; Isa 5:27; Eph 6:15). "Your feet shod with the preparation (Ps 10:17) of the gospel of peace," i.e. preparedness for the good warfare, produced by the gospel, which brings peace within though there is conflict outside with Satan and the world (Lu 1:79; Ro 10:15; Isa 26:3; Php 4:7). The shoes and sandals were taken off during meals (Lu 7:38; Joh 13:5-6); but the Jews wore sandals on their feet at the Passover, as ready for the journey (Ex 12:11).
They put off sandals in reverence at a sacred place (Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15). So the priests in the temple officiated barefoot; so the Mahometans of Palestine before entering a mosque or the Kaaba at Mecca, and the Mesopotamian Yezidis before entering the tomb of a patron saint, and the Samaritans before treading Mount Gerizim. A sign of mourning (2Sa 15:30; Eze 24:17); humiliation (Isa 20:2,4; Eze 16:10), "I shod thee with badgers' skins" or seal skins, and skins of other marine animals of the Red Sea; the material of the Hebrew shoes and of the tabernacle covering. (See BADGER.) Mt 10:10, "provide not shoes," but Mr 6:9, "be shod with sandals"; Lu 10:4 harmonizes them, "carry not shoes," i.e., do not, as most travelers, carry an extra pair in case the pair in use became worn out.
was the article ordinarily used by the Hebrews for protecting the feet. It consisted simply of a sole attached to the foot by thongs. We have express notice of the thong (Authorized Version "shoe latchet") in several passages, notably
Sandals were worn by all classes of society in Palestine, even by the very poor; and both the sandal and the thong or shoe-latchet were so cheap and common that they passed into a proverb for the most insignificant thing.
Ecclus. 46;13, They were dispensed with in-doors, and were only put on by persons about to undertake some business away from their homes. During mealtimes the feet were uncovered.
Lu 7:38; Joh 13:5-6
It was a mark of reverence to cast off the shoes in approaching a place or person of eminent sanctity.
It was also an indication of violent emotion, or of mourning, if a person appeared barefoot in public.
To carry or to unloose a person's sandal was a menial office, betokening great inferiority on the part of the person performing it.