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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary


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Sandal. Sandal 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 Genesis 14:23; Isaiah 5:27; Mark 1:7. 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. Genesis 14:23. Sirach 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. Luke 7:38; John 13:5-6. It was a mark of reverence, to cast off the shoes in approaching a place or person of eminent sanctity. Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15. It was also an indication of violent emotion, or of mourning, if a person appeared barefoot in public. 2 Samuel 15:30. To carry or to unloose a person's sandal was a menial office, betokening great inferiority on the part of the person performing it. Matthew 3:11.

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Sandal'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. 1901.

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