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Shoe-latchet



Ru 4:7 f states as a "custom in former times in Israel," that when any bargain was closed "a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor." This was of course simply a special form of earnest-money, used in all transactions. In De 25:9 f the custom appears in a different light. If a man refused to perform his duty to his deceased brother’s wife, the elders of the city were to remove his shoe and disgrace him publicly, "And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed." The removal of the shoe is apparently connected with the rite in Ru 4:7 as a renunciation of the man’s privilege. But the general custom seems to have become obsolete, for the removal of the shoe is now a reproach. The meaning of Ps 60:8 parallel 108:9, "Upon (margin "unto") Edom will I cast my shoe," is uncertain. `al, may mean either "upon" or "unto." If the former, some (otherwise unsubstantiated) custom of asserting ownership of land may be meant. If the latter, the meaning is "Edom I will treat as a slave," to whom the shoes are cast on entering a house.