Where you enter to a city and they will not receive you, you dispense to the square and say: "We will also SHAKE-FREE for you the sand on our feet that followed us from your city." (Luke 10:10, ARTB Draft)
A note from A. Frances Werner:
This passage occurs in Matthew (10:14), Mark (6:11) and twice in Luke (9:5, 10:10). Over the years, when I've heard this passage, I've figured that it must have been a Middle-Eastern tradition of some sort, associated with the bottom of the foot being unclean. My understanding of the message has been something like: "You rejected our message. This is serious. We don't want any part of you, not even a grain of sand from your town." It frankly struck me as not particularly Christian in character, and a little bit like children taunting with "I'm taking my marbles and going home".
So why would these be specific INSTRUCTIONS from Yeshua (Jesus) as he sent his disciples to various towns? I figured I must have been missing something, because my understanding didn't quite add up to the character of the God I know and serve.
The Aramaic gives us an intriguing bit of information. The word SHAKE-FREE is part of a word series that does not occur in Hebrew (PSA, approximately 6475 in Strong's series). It is also spelled exactly like the word which is translated as the English word REDEEMER in the ARTB New Testament.
A lightning bolt hit me: Is this part of a REDEMPTION process, like Boaz did for Ruth? Boaz specifically went to the city gate in Ruth 4:1 to be in front of 10 witnesses. The kinsman first in line for redeeming Naomi and Ruth declined the redemption and TOOK OFF his sandal, and I am guessing SHOOK-FREE the sand. Boaz was now free to be first in line for redemption.
There is no record that Boaz took off his sandal, so the comparison to the New Testament appears to be a little goofed from the redemption process in Ruth. But the fact that this passage in Luke points out that it was done in the city square, in front of witnesses, confirms to me that the message WAS about redemption in some way.
But consider this: Is this the OPPOSITE form of redemption? The kinsman of Ruth delined an opportunity to redeem someone else and took off his sandal. Did Yeshua, our redeemer, send out his disciples to specifically offer the people in the city THEIR redemption? Was this so concrete an offer and a process that their rejection was completed with witnesses and a removal of a sandal and SHAKING-FREE the sand by the disciples? Selah.