Feet Washing • Foot Washing • Foot-Washing • Washing of Feet • Washing of the Feet
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
FOOTWASHING. The washing of the feet of guests before a meal seems to have been a sign of welcome in the ANE, as reflected in the Yahwist’s account of Abraham and the heavenly visitors in Gen 18:4. But in Exod 30:19 the washing of the feet is required of those who are to come before the presence of God
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Foot Washing
Foot Washing In the Orient the wearing of open sandals on dusty roads made it necessary to wash the feet frequently; therefore a host would customarily provide water for his guests upon their arrival, so that they might wash their feet (cf. Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Jgs. 19:21). Sometimes a servant
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Foot Washing
FOOT WASHING. Foot washing was a common custom in Eastern lands. The effect of dusty or muddy roads upon feet shod with open sandals made it customary for water and a basin to be available at the entry of homes. A slave or the visitor himself performed the washing (Gen 18:4), although the host might
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
FootwashingIn the ancient Near East, where roads were dusty and sandals were the common footwear, making provision for guests or travelers to wash their feet was an act of common hospitality (Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; Luke 7:36–50; cf. John 12:1–8). The washing of feet also became part of the purification
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Foot Washing
Foot Washing. A form of hospitality in the ancient Near East performed upon a guest’s entering a house (Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32). Because only sandals were worn (cf. Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8), feet were easily soiled. Priests were thus required to wash their feet as preparation for entering the sanctuary
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
FOOT-WASHING - an expression of hospitality extended to guests in Bible times. People traveling dusty roads in Palestine needed to wash their feet for comfort and cleanliness. Foot-washing was generally performed by the lowliest servant in the household (Luke 7:44). Guests were often offered water and
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
WASHING OF FEETThe OT references (Gen 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Judges 19:21; 1 Samuel 25:41; 2 Samuel 11:8; Cant 5:3; Psalm 58:10) show that the washing of the feet was the first act on entering the tent or house after a journey. The Orientals wore only sandals, and this washing was
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Washing of Feet
Washing of Feet.—The magnificent office of Holy Thursday concludes, in some churches, with the washing of feet. This ceremony is founded on the action of our Saviour, washing the feet of His Apostles (John 13:13). The early Christians practiced it, not only to renew the memory of what the Saviour had
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Washing the Hands and Feet
Washʹing the Hands and Feet. As knives and forks were dispensed with in eating, it was absolutely necessary that the hand, which was thrust into the common dish, should be scrupulously clean; and, as sandals were ineffectual against the dust and heat of an Eastern climate, washing the feet on entering
Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship
Foot Washing
foot washing. A ritual found regularly among certain Anabaptist and Brethren groups, though occasional observance can be found among other groups. Since Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet took place around the time of the *Last Supper (Jn 13:1–11), foot washing today may take place in conjunction
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
FOOTWASHING An act necessary for comfort and cleanliness for any who have traveled dusty Palestinian roads wearing sandals. Customarily, a host provided guests with water for washing their own feet (Judg. 19:21; Luke 7:44, where the complaint was that Simon had not provided water). Footwashing was regarded
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D–G
footwashing. Though never a major Hebrew rite, the washing of hands and feet of the priests did have a place in the Mosaic ritual (Exod. 30:17–21). It may indeed be that all ablutions of the Bible are ritual rather than sanitary, though they rise out of assumed sanitary practices (A. de Vaux, Ancient
Key passages
Ge 18:4

Let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest under the tree.

Ex 30:19–21

And Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and their feet with it. When they come to the tent of assembly, they will wash with water so that they do not die, or when they approach the altar to serve by turning to smoke an offering made by fire to Yahweh. And they will wash their hands and …

Jn 13:3–14

because he knew that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he had come forth from God and was going away to God, he got up from the dinner and took off his outer clothing, and taking a towel, tied it around himself. Then he poured water into the washbasin and began …

1 Ti 5:9–10

Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old, the wife of one husband, being well-attested by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality, if she has washed the feet of the saints, if she has helped those who are oppressed, if she has devoted …