What Does “Shod” Mean in the Bible?


The word “shod” appears several times in the Bible, primarily in the Old Testament. It refers to having shoes or sandals on one’s feet. But beyond just footwear, “shod” carries deeper symbolic meaning related to preparedness, equipping, and readiness for spiritual battle. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the biblical concept of being “shod”, examine key passages, and draw out practical applications for Christians today.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Shod” refers to having shoes or sandals on, but symbolically means being properly equipped and ready.
  • God instructed Israel to eat the Passover meal with sandals on, ready to move out of Egypt. This showed readiness.
  • Part of the armor of God is having the feet “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). This points to readiness to advance the gospel.
  • Feet “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” give stability and readiness to witness to Christ.
  • Being “shod” means we are equipped and prepared to walk worthy of our calling in Christ.
  • Practical applications include making sure we are ready to share the gospel, stand firm in spiritual battle, and walk in holiness.

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What Does "Shod" Mean in the Bible?

Old Testament Background

The first mention of “shod” is in Exodus 12:11 NKJV, regarding the Passover meal:

And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

The context was Israel’s final night in Egypt before the exodus. God instructed them to eat the meal dressed and ready to leave Egypt in haste. Their sandaled feet showed readiness for the journey ahead.

Being “shod” here symbolized preparedness and readiness to move out in obedience to God’s plan. Even though the full exodus was unseen, they had to trust and follow God’s instructions. This applied literally with their footwear, and spiritually in their readiness to leave Egypt behind.

This image of “shod feet” recurs in Israel’s wilderness journeys. God instructed Joshua to remove his sandals on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). But usually being “shod” enabled the priests and Levites to serve God’s tabernacle (Exodus 29:5), and facilitated Israel’s pilgrimages to Jerusalem (Psalm 84:6-7). Their feet were physically and spiritually prepared to serve and worship God.

Shod for the Gospel of Peace

The New Testament picks up this imagery in Ephesians 6:15 NKJV, regarding the armor of God:

And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

The context is spiritual battle against demonic forces. Believers must take up God’s armor, which includes having our feet “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”

But what does this mean? Part of the armor of God is the “breastplate of righteousness” (v14), covering our heart and protecting our integrity. The “shoes” or sandals cover and protect our feet. Together, the breastplate and footwear show how God’s righteousness and the gospel of peace work together.

The gospel brings peace with God (Romans 5:1). So being “shod” means having confidence that this peace comes through Christ alone. Our feet are equipped and ready to stand firm and walk forward in the stability this gospel peace brings.

With our feet “shod”, we have traction to stand against spiritual opposition, and to advance the gospel through challenging terrain. Being “shod” with gospel readiness gives us stability and confidence to move ahead in our walk with Christ.

Practical Applications

What does it look like practically for Christians to have our feet “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”? A few key applications emerge:

Be ready to share the gospel: Having gospel-ready feet means being prepared to share the message of salvation at any time. 1 Peter 3:15 instructs us to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” Our gospel shoes enable us to stand firm and walk freely as we witness to Christ.

Stand firm in spiritual battle: Ephesians 6 makes clear the armor of God is needed for spiritual warfare against demonic attacks. Having our feet firmly shod enables us to stand unshaken against opposition. Satan wants us immobilized, but gospel shoes give us traction to stand firm.

Walk in holiness: The gospel changes how we walk through life. Our shod feet should tread the path of righteousness in an unholy world. Ephesians exhorts us to “walk worthy” of our calling in Christ (4:1). Being shod helps us walk steadily in the good works God prepared for us (2:10).

Be ready to serve: Ministry involves going places to bless people as God leads. Isaiah 52:7 paints a picture of beautiful feet carrying the gospel of peace to God’s people. Having our feet shod readies us to go serve others in Jesus’ name.

Our feet carry us where God guides. So being “shod” means being equipped and ready to follow His leading in our lives and ministries. Our spiritual shoes give us stability for the journey ahead.


Being “shod” is a rich biblical metaphor with practical importance for Christians today. More than just physical footwear, having our feet “shod” means being properly equipped and readied spiritually to serve the Lord. Having our feet fitted with the gospel of peace gives us traction to stand firm, walk in holiness, and advance the gospel through the terrain God calls us to tread. May we walk worthy of our calling in Christ, with feet shod and ready!

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