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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n. pl.) See Foot.

2. (n.) Fact; performance.

3. (n.) Plural of Foot.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia



The Old Testament references (Genesis 18:4; Genesis 19:2: 24:32; 43:24 Judges 19:21 1 Samuel 25:41 2 Samuel 11:8 Songs 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 refreshing as well as cleanly. In the case of ordinary people, the host furnished the water, and the guests washed their own feet, but in the richer houses, the washing was done by a slave. It was looked upon as the lowliest of all services (1 Samuel 25:41). Jesus pointedly contrasts Simon's neglect of even giving Him water for His feet with the woman's washing His feet with tears and wiping them with her hair (Luke 7:44). On the last evening of His life, Jesus washed the disciples' feet (John 13:1-16). Their pride, heightened by the anticipations of place in the Messianic kingdom whose crisis they immediately expected, prevented their doing this service for each other. Possibly the same pride had expressed itself on this same evening in a controversy about places at table. Jesus, conscious of His divine dignity and against Peter's protest, performed for them this lowliest service. His act of humility actually cleansed their hearts of selfish ambition, killed their pride, and taught them the lesson of love. See also The Expository Times, XI, 536 f.

Was it meant to be a perpetual ordinance? John 13:15, with its "as" and the present tense of the verb "do," gives it a priori probability. It has been so understood by the Mennonites and the Dunkards. Bernard of Clairvaux advocated making it a sacrament. The Pope, the Czar, and the Patriarch of Constantinople wash the feet of 12 poor men on Maundy Thursday; so did the English kings till James II, and it is still practiced in the royal palaces of Madrid, Munich and Vienna. But the objections to such an interpretation are overwhelming: (1) It is never referred to in the Synoptic Gospels, the Acts or the Epistle; 1 Timothy 5:10 refers only to lowly service to the saints. (2) It was first in the 4th century (compare Ambrose and Augustine) that it became the custom to wash the feet of the baptized on Maundy Thursday. (3) Ritualizing such an act of love absolutely destroys its meaning. (4) No large body of Christians has ever received it as a sacrament or an ordinance.

F. L. Anderson

According to the Belief and Practice of the Church of the Brethren

1. Practice:

Feet-washing is always practiced in connection with the Agape and the Lord's Supper. This entire service is usually called "Love Feast." These Love Feasts are always held in the evening (in conformity to the time of Jesus' Last Supper). Preparatory services on self-examination are held either at a previous service or at the opening of the Love Feast. Each church or congregation is supposed to hold one or two Love Feasts annually. No specified time of the year is set for these services. Before the supper is eaten all the communicants wash one another's feet; the brethren by themselves, and likewise the sisters by themselves.

(1) The Mode.

In earlier years the "Double Mode" was practiced, where one person would wash the feet of several persons and another would follow after and wipe them. At present the "Single Mode" is almost universal, wherein each communicant washes and wipes the feet of another. Hence, each one washes and wipes the feet of other, and in turn has this same service performed to himself.

(2) The Salutation.

Feet-washing is also accompanied with the "Holy Kiss." As soon as one has finished washing and wiping the feet of another, he takes him by the hand and greets him with the "holy kiss," usually with an appropriate benediction as: "God bless you," or "May the Lord bless us."

2. Scriptural Basis for Feet-Washing:

There are three texts in the New Testament referring to feet-washing (Luke 7:36-50 John 13:1-17 1 Timothy 5:10).

(1) Jesus Washing the Disciples' Feet (John 13:1-17).

"At supper time" (deipnou genomenou) Jesus arose, laid aside His garments (himatia = "outer garments"), girded Himself with a towel, poured water into a basin, and began to wash and wipe the feet of the disciples.

(2) Peter's Objection.

"Simon Peter.... saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (su mou nipteis tous podas)? Jesus answered.... What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet." Whereupon Jesus said: "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

(3) Jesus Explains.

Peter now goes to the other extreme and desires complete washing. Jesus answers "He that is bathed (leloumenos, from louo, "to bathe entire body") needeth not save to wash (niptein-"to wash a part of the body") his feet." Jesus was not instituting a new symbol to take the place of baptism, to cleanse the entire person, but clearly distinguishes between the bathing (louo) of the entire body and the partial cleansing needed after the bath (baptism or immersion).

(4) The Command.

"If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14, kai humeis opheilete allelon niptein tous podas), "I have given you an example (sign, symbol, hupodeigma), that ye also should do as I have done to you" (John 13:15). "If ye know these things, happy (or "blessed" the Revised Version (British and American), makarioi) are ye if ye do them" (ean poiete auta). No language is clearer, and no command of Jesus is stronger than this. Furthermore, no symbol is accompanied with a greater promise. Note also, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

3. The Meaning of the Symbol:

(1) Negatively.

(a) It cannot be explained as necessity or custom, i.e. that the dust must be washed from the feet of the disciples before proceeding with the supper. It was so cold that Peter had to warm himself, and this is sufficient evidence that they wore shoes instead of sandals at this time. Furthermore, Peter did not understand the action of Jesus, hence, it could not have been customary. Most of all, Jesus was not scrupulous about keeping the customs or practices of the Jews; compare Jesus' breaking of the Jewish Sabbath (Mark 2:23-26); the Jewish fasts (Mark 2:18-22); the Jewish cleansings (Mark 7:1-20). (b) It was not customary for the host to wash the feet of the guests. Peter objected, and Jesus told him distinctly that he could not understand at the time (arti), but would afterward (meta tauta). The symbol had a deeper meaning.

(2) Positively.

(a) Feet-washing symbolizes humility and service. The apostles had been quarreling as to who would be greatest in the kingdom which they thought Jesus was about to set up (Luke 22:24-30). Most authorities agree that this quarrel took place before the supper. Peter's question. "Dost thou wash my feet?" shows clearly that his objection lay principally in this, that Jesus, the Lord and Master, should perform such humble service. But Jesus was trying all the time to teach His disciples that true greatness in His kingdom is humility and service. "I am in the midst of you as he that serveth" (Luke 22:27; compare Matthew 5:5; Matthew 23:11, 12). Humility and service are fundamental virtues in the Christian life. To wash the feet of another symbolizes these virtues in the same way that the Eucharist symbolizes other Christian virtues. (b) Cleansing: Jesus clearly distinguished between the first cleansing which cleanses the whole person, and the washing of a part of the body. Baptism is the new birth, which means complete cleansing. But after baptism we still commit sins, and need the partial cleansing as symbolized by feetwashing. Compare Bernard of Clairvaux: "Feet-washing is cleansing of those daily offenses which seem inevitable for those who walk in the dust of the world" (sed pedes (abluti sunt) qui aunt animae affectiones, dum in hac pulvere gradimur, ex toto mundi ease non possunt).

4. Practised by the Church of the Brethren:

Feet-washing is practiced by the Church of the Brethren for the following reasons:

(1) Jesus washed His disciples' feet and said, "I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you" (John 13:15).

(2) Jesus said, "Ye also ought ("are bound," opheilete) to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14).

(3) "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me" (John 13:8),

(4) "If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17).

(5) Feet-washing symbolizes humility and service, which are fundamental virtues.

(6) Feet-washing symbolizes cleansing from the sins committed after baptism.


For the Church of the Brethren: C. F. Yoder, God's Means of Grace; R. H. Miller, The Doctrine of the Brethren Defended; tracts issued by the Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, III. For history of feet-washing, see ERE, V; New Sch-Herz Eric of Religious Knowledge, IV, 4; Smith and Cheetham, Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, articles "Baptism," "Maundy Thursday."

Daniel Webster Kurtz

4158. poderes -- reaching to the feet
... reaching to the feet. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: poderes Phonetic
Spelling: (pod-ay'-race) Short Definition: a long robe Definition: reaching to ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4158.htm - 6k

3712. orguia -- a fathom (the length of the outstretched arms)
... arms). Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: orguia Phonetic Spelling:
(org-wee-ah') Short Definition: a fathom, about five or six feet Definition: a ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3712.htm - 6k

5265. hupodeo -- to bind under
... to bind under. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: hupodeo Phonetic Spelling:
(hoop-od-eh'-o) Short Definition: I put on my feet Definition: (lit: I bind under ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5265.htm - 6k

5286. hupopodion -- a footstool
... 5286 (literally, "under the feet") -- properly, a footstool; (figuratively) "5286 ()
is a footstool used by a conquering king, to " (Souter) -- ie those under ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5286.htm - 7k

3976. pede -- a fetter, shackle
... shackle. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: pede Phonetic Spelling:
(ped'-ay) Short Definition: a shackle Definition: a shackle, fetter for the feet ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3976.htm - 6k

4228. pous -- a foot
... the foot. Word Origin a prim. word Definition a foot NASB Word Usage feet
(83), foot (9), under* (1). foot, footstool. A primary ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4228.htm - 6k

218. aleipho -- anoint.
... ["Anointing" (218 ) usually applied olive oil on the , to a guest. Oil was also
applied to the feet to soothe and show (courtesy, respect). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/218.htm - 7k

405. andrapodistes -- a slave dealer
... kidnapper, slave trader. From a derivative of a compound of aner and pous; an enslaver
(as bringing men to his feet) -- menstealer. see GREEK aner. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/405.htm - 6k

2948. kullos -- crippled
... maimed. From the same as kulioo; rocking about, ie Crippled (maimed, in feet or
hands) -- maimed. see GREEK kulioo. (kullon) -- 2 Occurrences. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2948.htm - 6k

5266. hupodema -- a sole bound under (the foot), a sandal
... shoe. From hupodeo; something bound under the feet, ie A shoe or sandal -- shoe.
see GREEK hupodeo. (upodema) -- 2 Occurrences. (upodemata) -- 4 Occurrences. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5266.htm - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
4772. margeloth -- place of the feet, feet
... 4771, 4772. margeloth. 4773 . place of the feet, feet. Transliteration: margeloth
Phonetic Spelling: (mar-ghel-aw') Short Definition: feet. ...
/hebrew/4772.htm - 6k

658a. ophes -- the two extremities (ie the soles of the feet or ...
... 658, 658a. ophes. 658b . the two extremities (ie the soles of the feet or
the ankles). Transliteration: ophes Short Definition: ankles. ...
/hebrew/658a.htm - 5k

5465. sad -- stocks (for securing feet of prisoners)
... 5464, 5465. sad. 5466 . stocks (for securing feet of prisoners). Transliteration:
sad Phonetic Spelling: (sad) Short Definition: stocks. ...
/hebrew/5465.htm - 6k

658. Ephec Dammiym -- the two extremities (ie the soles of the ...
... the two extremities (ie the soles of the feet or the ankles). Transliteration: Ephec
Dammiym Phonetic Spelling: (eh'-fes dam-meem') Short Definition: dammim. ...
/hebrew/658.htm - 5k

7272. regel -- foot
... 7271, 7272. regel. 7273 . foot. Transliteration: regel Phonetic Spelling:
(reh'-gel) Short Definition: feet. Word Origin of uncertain ...
/hebrew/7272.htm - 6k

7166. qarsol -- ankle
... ankle. Transliteration: qarsol Phonetic Spelling: (kar-sole') Short Definition:
feet. Word Origin from qaras Definition ankle NASB Word Usage feet (2). foot. ...
/hebrew/7166.htm - 6k

7271. regal -- foot
... 7270, 7271. regal. 7272 . foot. Transliteration: regal Phonetic Spelling:
(reg-al') Short Definition: feet. Word Origin (Aramaic ...
/hebrew/7271.htm - 6k

7429. ramas -- to trample
... oppressor, stamp upon, trample under feet, tread down, upon. A primitive
root; to tread upon (as a potter, in walking or abusively ...
/hebrew/7429.htm - 6k

2187. zanaq -- to leap
... leap. A primitive root; properly, to draw together the feet (as an animal about
to dart upon its prey), ie To spring forward -- leap. 2186b, 2187. ...
/hebrew/2187.htm - 5k

6589. pasaq -- to part, open wide
... open wide. A primitive root; to dispart (the feet or lips), ie Become licentious --
open (wide). 6588, 6589. pasaq. 6590 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/6589.htm - 5k


At The Master's Feet
At The Master's Feet. <. At The Master's Feet Sadhu Sundar Singh. Parker,
Rev. Arthur (Translator) Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/singh/at the masters feet/

Anointing the Feet of Jesus.
... ANOINTING THE FEET OF JESUS. ... But there He reclined, His left elbow resting on a
cushion, and His feet projecting beyond the edge of the couch. ...
/.../anonymous/mother stories from the new testament/anointing the feet of jesus.htm

Meditation vii. The Washing of the Feet.
... MEDITATION VII. The Washing of the Feet. They arose from table, and whilst
they were arranging their clothes, as they usually did ...
/.../the dolorous passion of our lord jesus christ/meditation vii the washing of.htm

When at Thy Feet, Oppressed,
... ASPIRATIONS When at Thy feet, oppressed,. 6,6,6,6,8,8 tr., John Brownlie. I. When
at Thy feet, oppressed,. The burdened sinner falls,. And, woeful and distressed ...
/.../brownlie/hymns from the east/when at thy feet oppressed.htm

Jesus Washeth his Disciples' Feet
... ILLUSTRATIONS: JESUS WASHETH HIS DISCIPLES' FEET. ... Then cometh he to Simon Peter:
and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? ...
/.../the life of jesus christ for the young/jesus washeth his disciples feet.htm

O Wounded Hands and Feet!
... CHRISTMAS O wounded hands and feet! tr., John Brownlie 6,6,8,6,6,6. I.
O wounded hands and feet! O heart, with spear thrust torn! ...
/.../brownlie/hymns from the morningland/o wounded hands and feet.htm

March 29. "He Will Keep the Feet of his Saints" (I. Sam. Ii. 9).
... MARCH 29. "He will keep the feet of His saints" (I. Sam. ii. 9). "He will
keep the feet of His saints" (I. Sam. ii.9). Perils as ...
/.../simpson/days of heaven upon earth /march 29 he will keep.htm

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus. PM
... 255 Sitting at the Feet of Jesus. ... Cho."This is my abiding place, Clothed with his
abounding grace, Looking upward to his face, Sitting at the feet of Jesus. ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/lorenz/the otterbein hymnal/255 sitting at the feet.htm

Swooning and Reviving Christ's Feet.
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And ...
/.../spurgeon/till he come/swooning and reviving christs feet.htm

O Wounded Hands and Feet!
... PASSIONTIDE VII O Wounded hands and feet! 6,6,8,6,6,6. O Wounded hands and feet!
O heart, with spear-thrust torn! O brow, with blood-drops falling down,. ...
/.../brownlie/hymns of the russian church/vii o wounded hands and.htm

Feet (2931 Occurrences)
... 1. (n. pl.) See Foot. 2. (n.) Fact; performance. 3. (n.) Plural of Foot. Int.
Standard Bible Encyclopedia. FEET, WASHING OF. ... WASHING OF FEET. ...
/f/feet.htm - 17k

Moses'feet (1 Occurrence)
Moses'feet. Moses, Moses'feet. Moses's . Multi-Version Concordance
Moses'feet (1 Occurrence). Exodus 4:25 Then Zipporah ...
/m/moses'feet.htm - 6k

Soles (14 Occurrences)
... Mark 6:11 Whoever will not receive you nor hear you, as you depart from there, shake
off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony against them. ...
/s/soles.htm - 11k

Shoes (32 Occurrences)
... (KJV ASV BBE WBS). Mark 6:9 They were to go with common shoes on their feet, and
not to take two coats. (BBE). ... Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. ...
/s/shoes.htm - 16k

Crippled (15 Occurrences)
... Matthew 15:30 Soon great crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were crippled
in feet or hands, blind or dumb, and many besides, and they hastened to ...
/c/crippled.htm - 11k

Slipping (20 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 32:35 Punishment is mine and reward, at the time of the slipping of
their feet: for the day of their downfall is near, sudden will be their fate. ...
/s/slipping.htm - 12k

Sandals (30 Occurrences)
... Luke 15:22 But the father said to his bondmen, Bring out the best robe and clothe
him in it, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; (DBY YLT NAS ...
/s/sandals.htm - 16k

Barefoot (7 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary. (a. & adv.) With the feet bare; without shoes or stockings.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. BAREFOOT. bar'-foot. ...
/b/barefoot.htm - 13k

Stamped (27 Occurrences)
... (WEB). 2 Samuel 22:43 Then they were crushed as small as the dust of the earth,
stamped down under my feet like the waste of the streets. (BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV). ...
/s/stamped.htm - 16k

Anointed (132 Occurrences)
... Luke 7:38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her
tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and ...
/a/anointed.htm - 41k

Bible Concordance
Feet (2931 Occurrences)

Feet is found 2931 times in 12 translations.

You can narrow your search using the Advanced Bible Search.



Feet Washing

Feet: Bells Worn On

Feet: Sitting At

Feet: Washing of, As an Example, by Jesus

The Feet of Criminals: Bound With Fetters

The Feet of Criminals: Placed in Stocks

The Feet of Enemies often Maimed and Cut off

The Feet of Saints: At Liberty

The Feet of Saints: Established by God

The Feet of Saints: Guided by Christ

The Feet of Saints: Kept by God

The Feet of Strangers and Travellers Washed

The Feet of the Jews: Bare in Affliction

The Feet of the Jews: Neglected in Affliction

The Feet of the Jews: Washed Frequently

The Feet of the Wicked: Ensnared

The Feet of the Wicked: Swift to Mischief

The Feet of the Wicked: Swift to Shed Blood

The Feet of Women often Adorned With Tingling Ornaments

The Feet were Liable to Disease

The Feet were Liable to Injury from Stones

The Feet were Liable to Swelling from Walking

The Feet: (Dipped in Blood) of Victory

The Feet: (Set in a Large Place) Liberty

The Feet: (Set on a Rock) Stability

The Feet: (Sliding) Yielding to Temptation

The Feet: (Treading Under) Complete Destruction

The Feet: (Washed or Dipped in Oil) Abundance

The Feet: Condemnation Expressed by Shaking the Dust From

The Feet: Early Use of Shoes

The Feet: Necessary Members of the Body

The Feet: Neglect of Washing, Disrespectful to Guest

The Feet: Often Swift

The Feet: Origin of Uncovering in Consecrated Places

The Feet: Parts of, Mentioned in Scripture: Heel

The Feet: Parts of, Mentioned in Scripture: Sole

The Feet: Parts of, Mentioned in Scripture: Toes

The Feet: Path of, to be Pondered

The Feet: Respect Exhibited by Falling At

The Feet: Reverence Expressed by Kissing

The Feet: Sleep Expressed by Covering

The Feet: Stamped on the Ground in Extreme Joy or Grief

The Feet: Subjection Expressed by Licking the Dust of

The Feet: Subjugation of Enemies Expressed by Placing on Their Necks

The Feet: To be Directed by God's Word

The Feet: To be Guided by Wisdom and Discretion

The Feet: To be Refrained from Evil

The Feet: To be Turned to God's Testimonies

The Feet: Washing for Others, a Menial office

Related Terms

Moses'feet (1 Occurrence)

Soles (14 Occurrences)

Shoes (32 Occurrences)

Crippled (15 Occurrences)

Slipping (20 Occurrences)

Sandals (30 Occurrences)

Barefoot (7 Occurrences)

Stamped (27 Occurrences)

Anointed (132 Occurrences)

Kissing (10 Occurrences)

Burnished (6 Occurrences)

Ararat (4 Occurrences)

Siloam (4 Occurrences)

Perfume (202 Occurrences)

Stool (6 Occurrences)

Stamping (11 Occurrences)

Arabah (32 Occurrences)

Sole (13 Occurrences)

Pharaoh (245 Occurrences)

Paths (65 Occurrences)


Perch (2 Occurrences)

Cord (47 Occurrences)

Slipped (13 Occurrences)

Shake (68 Occurrences)

Stocks (10 Occurrences)

Shackles (14 Occurrences)

Bason (3 Occurrences)

Sisera (18 Occurrences)

Step (41 Occurrences)

Homage (51 Occurrences)

Beside (326 Occurrences)

Arabia (9 Occurrences)

Steps (113 Occurrences)

Swift (35 Occurrences)

Kiss (39 Occurrences)

Standing (334 Occurrences)

Quite (55 Occurrences)

Kissed (26 Occurrences)

Kick (8 Occurrences)

Palanquin (1 Occurrence)

Partly (7 Occurrences)

Calf's (2 Occurrences)

Crawling (20 Occurrences)

Sunk (20 Occurrences)

Swarming (19 Occurrences)

Signet (21 Occurrences)

Sparkled (3 Occurrences)

Sparkling (7 Occurrences)

Shushan (19 Occurrences)

Seraphim (2 Occurrences)

Secure (78 Occurrences)

Belt (32 Occurrences)

Shoe (13 Occurrences)

Anointing (39 Occurrences)

Creeping (43 Occurrences)

Slip (22 Occurrences)

Clothed (153 Occurrences)

Subjection (40 Occurrences)

Bruise (19 Occurrences)

Sir (90 Occurrences)

Snare (69 Occurrences)

Basin (37 Occurrences)

Swell (9 Occurrences)

Stumbling (51 Occurrences)

Barak (14 Occurrences)

Colour (22 Occurrences)

Beneath (73 Occurrences)

Cured (62 Occurrences)

Strength (517 Occurrences)

Path (91 Occurrences)

Crushing (93 Occurrences)

Beard (23 Occurrences)

Split (36 Occurrences)

Consumeth (37 Occurrences)

Quick (49 Occurrences)

Birds (125 Occurrences)

Clay (50 Occurrences)

Commanders (93 Occurrences)

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