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Monthly Bible Question | October

Who sealed a property transaction by taking off his sandal?

Unnamed in the Bible, the male relative who had the duty of being Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer removed his sandal to legalise a property transaction. Ruth 4 provides an account of the exchange between Boaz and this man, with an explanation that “for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other.

This was the method of legalising transactions in Israel”. Some commentators suggest that the action of removing the sandal was a visible and physical act representing the divesting of a possession, practised in an age when literacy and written records were probably not common.

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