Exodus 3:5

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

And he said, draw not nigh hither,.... Keep a proper distance:

put off thy shoes from off thy feet; dust and dirt cleaving to shoes, and these being ordered to be put off from the feet, the instrument of walking, show that those that draw nigh to God, and are worshippers of him, ought to be of pure and holy lives and conversations:

for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground; not that there was any inherent holiness in this spot of ground more than in any other, which ground is not capable of; but a relative holiness on account of the presence of God here at this time, and was not permanent, only while a pure and holy God was there: hence, in after times, the temple being the place of the divine residence, the priests there performed their services barefooted, nor might a common person enter into the temple with his shoes on {k}; and to this day the Jews go to their synagogues barefooted on the day of atonement {l}, to which Juvenal {m} seems to have respect; and from hence came the Nudipedalia among the Heathens, and that known symbol of Pythagoras {n}, "sacrifice and worship with naked feet": in this manner the priests of Diana sacrificed to her among the Cretians and other people {o}; and so the priests of Hercules did the same {p}; the Brahmans among the Indians never go into their temples without plucking off their shoes {q}; so the Ethiopian Christians, imitating Jews and Gentiles, never go into their places of public worship but with naked feet {r}, and the same superstition the Turks and Mahometans observe {s}.

{k} Misn. Beracot, c. 9. sect. 5.
{l} Buxtorf. Jud Synagog. c. 30. p. 571.
{m} "Observant ub. festa mero pede Sabbata reges." Satyr. 6.
{n} Jamblichus de Vita Pythagor. Symbol. 3.
{o} Solin. Polyhistor. c. 16. Strabo, l. 12. p. 370.
{p} Silius de Bello Punic, l. 3.
{q} Rogerius de Relig. Brachman. l. 2. c. 10. apud Braunium de vest. sacerdot. l. 1. c. 3. p. 66.
{r} Damianus a Goes apud Rivet. in loc.
{s} Pitts's Account of the Relig. and Manners of the Mahometans, c. 6. p. 38. 81. Georgieviz. de Turc. Moribus, c. 1. p. 11. Sionita de Urb. Oriental. & Relig. c. 7. p. 18. c. 10. p. 34.