Testimony

What was the custom in Israel with reference to putting off the shoes? Among the ancient Israelites, the shoe was made use of in several significant ways. To put off the shoes imported reverence, and was done in the presence of God, or on entering a dwelling of a superior. To unloose one's shoe and give it to another was the way of confirming a contract. Thus we read in the book of Ruth, that Boaz having proposed to the nearest kinsman of Ruth to exercise his legal right by redeeming the land of Naomi which was offered for sale, and marrying her daughter-in-law, the kinsman, being able to do so, resigns his right to Boaz. — ( Ruth 4:7-8 - Exodus 3:5 - Deuteronomy 25:5-10 - Joshuah 5:15 )


Biblical References

Ruth 4:7-8

7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe


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Exodus 3:5

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.


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Deuteronomy 25:5-10

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


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Joshuah 5:15

And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.


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