Occurs in the A.V. only, for the same Greek word σανδάλιον, Mr 6:9; Ac 12:8; but it more properly represents the Heb. נִעִל, ndal; Sept. and New Test. ὑπόδημα; rendered "shoe" in the English Bible. There is, however, little reason to think that the Jews really wore shoes, and the expressions which Carpzov (Apparat. p. 781, 782) quotes to prove that they did (viz. "put the blood of war in his shoes," 1Ki 2:5; "make men go over in shoes," Isa 11:15), are equally adapted to the sandal — the first signifying that the blood was sprinkled on the thong of the sandal, the second that men should cross the river on foot instead of in boats. The shoes found in Egypt probably belonged to Greeks (Wilkinson, 2, 333). The sandal appears to have been the article ordinarily used by the Hebrews for protecting the feet. It was usually a sole of hide, leather, or wood, bound to the foot by thongs; but it may sometimes denote such shoes and buskins as eventually came into use. The above Hebrew term naal implies a simple sandal, its proper sense being that of confining or shutting in the foot with thongs; we have also express notice of the thong (שׂרוֹך; ἱμάς; A.V. "shoe latchet") in several passages (Ge 14:23; Isa 5:27; Mr 1:7). The Greek term ὑπόδημα properly applies to the sandal exclusively, as it means what is bound under the foot; but no stress can be laid on the use of the term by the Alexandrine writers, as it was applied to any covering of the foot, even to the Roman calceus, or shoe, covering the whole foot. Josephus (War, 6, 1-8) so uses it of the caliga, the thick nailed shoe of the Roman soldiers. This word occurs in the New Test. (Mt 3:11; Mt 10:10; Mr 1:7; Lu 3:16; Lu 10:4; Joh 1:27; Ac 7:33; Ac 13:25), and is also frequently used by the Sept. as a translation of the Hebrew term; but it appears in most places to denote a sandal. Similar observations apply to σανδάλιον, which is used in a general, and not in its strictly classical sense, and was adopted in a Hebraized term by the Talmudists. We have no description of the sandal in the Bible itself, but the deficiency, can be supplied from collateral sources. Thus we learn from the Talmudists that the materials employed in the construction of the sole were either leather, felt, cloth, or wood (Mishna, Jebam. 12, 1, 2), and that it was occasionally shod with iron (Sabb. 6, 2). In Egypt various fibrous substances, such as palm leaves and papyrus stalks, were used in addition to leather (Herod. 2, 37; Wilkinson, 2, 332, 333), while in Assyria wood or leather was employed (Layard, Nin. 2, 323, 324). In Egypt the sandals were usually turned up at the toe like our skates, though other forms, rounded and pointed, are also exhibited. In Assyria the heel and the side of the foot were encased, and sometimes the sandal consisted of little else than this. This does not appear to have been the case in Palestine, for a heel strap was essential to a proper sandal (Jebam. 12, 1). Ladies' sandals were made of the skin of an animal named tachash (Eze 16:10), whether a hyena or a seal (A.V. "badger") is doubtful; the skins of a fish (a species of Halicore) are used for this purpose in the peninsula of Sinai (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 1, 116). Ladies of rank especially appear to have paid great attention to the beauty of their sandals (Song 7:1); though if the bride in that book was an Egyptian princess, as most think, the exclamation, "How beautiful are thy feet with sandals, O prince's daughter!" may imply admiration of a luxury properly Egyptian, as the ladies of that country were noted for their sumptuous sandals (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. 3, 364). But this taste was probably general; for at the present day the dress slippers of ladies of rank are among the richest articles of their attire, being elaborately embroidered with flowers and other figures wrought in silk, silver, and gold. SEE DRESS. The thongs, those at least in Hebrew times, were handsomely embroidered (Judith 10:4; 16:9), as were those of the Greek ladies (Smith, Dict. of Antiq. s.v. "Sandalium"). Sandals were worn by all classes of society in Palestine, even by the very poor (Am 8:6), and both the sandal and the thong or shoe latchet were so cheap and common that they passed into a proverb for the most insignificant thing (Ge 14:23; Ecclesiastes 46:19). They were not, however, worn at all periods; they were dispensed with indoors, and were only put on by persons about to undertake some business away from their homes, such as a military expedition (Isa 5; Isa 27; Eph 6:15), or a journey (Ex 12:11; Jos 9:5,13; Ac 12:8); on such occasions persons carried an extra pair, a practice which our Lord objected to as far as the apostles were concerned (Mt 10:10; comp. Mr 6:9, and the expression in Lu 10:4, "do not carry," which harmonizes the passages). An extra pair might in certain cases be needed, as the soles were liable to be soon worn out (Jos 9:5), or the thongs to be broken (Isa 5:27). During meal times the feet were undoubtedly uncovered, as implied in Lu 7:38; Joh 13:5-6, and in the exceptions specially made in reference to the paschal feast (Ex 12:11); the same custom must have prevailed wherever reclining at meals was practiced (comp. Plato, Sympos. p. 213). It was a mark of reverence to cast off the shoes in approaching a place or person of eminent sanctity: hence the command to Moses at the bush (Ex 3:5) and to Joshua in the presence of the angel (Jos 5:15). In deference to these injunctions the priests are said to have conducted their ministrations in the Temple barefoot (Theodoret, ad Ex. 3, quaest. 7), and the Talmudists even forbade any person to pass through the Temple with shoes on (Mishna, Berach. 9, § 5). This reverential act was not peculiar to the Jews; in ancient times we have instances of it in the worship of Cybele at Rome (Prudent. Peris. 154), in the worship of Isis as represented in a picture at Herculaneum (Ant. d'Ercol. 2, 320), and in the practice of the Egyptian priests, according to Sil. Ital. (3, 28). In modern times we may compare the similar practice of the Mohammedans of Palestine before entering a mosque (Robinson, Bibl.
Res. 2, 36), and particularly before entering the Kaaba at Mecca (Burckhardt, Arabia, 1, 270); of the Yezidis of Mesopotamia before entering the tomb of their patron saint (Layard, Nin. 1, 282); and of the Samaritans as they tread the summit of Mount Gerizim (Robinson, 2, 278). The practice of the modern Egyptians, who take off their shoes before stepping on the carpeted lewan, appears to be dictated by a feeling of reverence rather than cleanliness, that spot being devoted to prayer (Lane, 1, 35). It was also an indication of violent emotion, or of mourning, if a person appeared barefoot in public (2Sa 15:30; Isa 20:2; Eze 24:17,23). This, again, was held in common with other nations, as instanced at the funeral of Augustus (Sueton. Aug. 100), and on the occasion of the solemn processions which derived their name of Nudipedalia from this feature (Tertull. Apol. 40). To carry or to unloose a person's sandal was a menial office, betokening great inferiority on the part of the person performing it; it was hence selected by John the Baptist to express his relation to the Messiah (Mt 3:11; Mr 1:7; Joh 1:27; Ac 13:25). The expression in Ps 9:8; Ps 107:9, "over Edom will I cast out my shoe," evidently signifies the subjection of that country; but the exact point of the comparison is obscure, for it may refer either to the custom of handing the sandal to a slave, or to that of claiming possession of a property by planting the foot on it, or of acquiring it by the symbolical action of casting the shoe; or, again, Edom may be regarded in the still more subordinate position of a shelf on which the sandals were rested while their owner bathed his feet. The use of the shoe in the transfer of property is noticed in Ru 4:7-8, and a similar significance was attached to the act in connection with the repudiation of a Levirate marriage (De 25:9). Shoemaking, or rather strap making (i.e. making the straps for the sandals), was a recognized trade among the Jews (Mishna, Pesach. 4, § 6). SEE SHOE.