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Sandals covered only the soles, so that the feet needed washing when coming from a journey. In John 13:10 a distinct Greek word expresses bathing the whole person and washing the feet; "he that is washed (leloumenos) needeth not save to wash (nipsasthai) his feet, but is clean every whit." When one has been, as Peter, once for all wholly forgiven in regeneration, and so received the bathing of the whole man, i.e. justification through faith in Jesus, he needs no repetition of this as Peter requested; all he needs is cleansing from the soils that his feet contract in his daily life walk. Hence we daily pray, "give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as," etc. (1 John 1:9.) So the priests in entering the house of God (Exodus 30:19).

It was an act of humble deference to guests to wash the feet (Luke 7:38-44; 1 Timothy 5:10). Disciples, after Christ's example, were to wash one another's feet, "by love serving one another" (Galatians 5:13). The sandals were taken off in entering a house, hence the command to Moses (Exodus 3:5) and to Joshua (Joshua 5:15); compare Ecclesiastes 5:1. To put them on was to prepare for active duty (Ezekiel 24:17); whereas mourners went barefoot (2 Samuel 15:30). To "cover the feet" was the delicate expression for easing oneself, preparatory to which the loose garment was let fall to cover the person (1 Samuel 24:3; compare margin 2 Kings 18:27). Putting the feet on captives' necks, as Joshua did (Joshua 10:24), symbolizes complete mastery (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25;; Isaiah 60:14).

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'foot' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

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