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It is in keeping with this symbolism denoting reverence that no mention is made of shoes in the descriptions of priestly dress. The service of the Tabernacle and Temple was performed barefoot. Moslems observe a similar custom in modern times, either removing or covering the shoes when about to enter a mosque. To have a shoe removed on refusal to undertake a levirate marriage was to be shown contempt (Deut 25:9ff.), but in the arrangement between Boaz and Elimelech’s nearer relative, the former by giving his sandal confirmed the bargain (Ruth 4:7ff.).


E. A. Speiser, “Of Shoes and Shekels,” BASOR, LXXVII (1940), 15ff.; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1961), 22, 37, 59, 86, 169.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


See Dress, sec. 6; SHOE; SHOE-LATCHET.

See also

  • Dress