Latchet (שׂרוֹך, serok', so called from lacing and binding together; Gr. ἱμάς, a thong, as it is rendered in Ac 22:25), the cord or strap which fastens an Oriental shoe upon the foot (Isa 5:27; Mr 1:7; Lu 3:16; Joh 1:27); proverbial for anything of little value (Ge 14:23). SEE SANDAL. "Gesenius (Thesaur. s.v. חוּט) compares the Lat. hilum =filum, and quotes two Arabic proverbs from the Hamasa and the Kamuls, in which a corresponding word is similarly employed. In the poetical figure in Isa 5:27, the 'latchet' occupies the same position with regard to the shoes as the girdle to the long flowing Oriental dress, and was as essential to the comfort and expedition of the traveler. Another semi-proverbial expression in Lu 3:16 points to the same easily- removed article of clothing" (Smith). "In Mt 3:11 the same sentiment is expressed rather differently, 'Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear;' in both cases the allusion is to slaves, who were employed to loosen and carry their master's shoes, the habits of Orientals requiring this article of dress to be taken off before entering an apartment (Thomson, The Land and the Book, part 1, chap. 9). This saying of the Baptist, as reported by Matthew, is repeated by Paul in his address to the Jews at Antioch, in Pisidia (Ac 13:25). Chrysostom, on Joh 1:27, remarks, Τὸ γὰρ ὑπόδημα λῦσαι τῆς ἐσχάτης διακονίας ἐστι"(Kitto). SEE SHOE.

Definition of latchet

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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