And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.…
Once, in a certain part of Germany, a box of treasure that was being sent by railway was found at the end of the journey to have been opened and emptied of the treasure, and filled with stones and rubbish. The question was who was the robber? Some sand was found sticking to the box, and a clever mineralogist having looked at the grains of sand through his microscope, said that there was only one station on the railway where there was that kind of sand. Then they knew that the box must have been taken out at that station; and so they found out who was the robber. The dust under his feet, where he had set down the box to open it, was a witness against him. Suppose when people take off their shoes or boots when they come home, every grain of dust could have a tiny tongue and tell where it came from! What different stories they would have to tell! "We," say one little pair of shoes, "are all covered with sand from the sea-shore, where we have been running about all day," "We," say a strong, clumsy pair of boots, "have been all day following the plough." "And we have brought sand from the floor of country cottages"; "and we, dust from the unswept floors of poor garrets"; "and we, mud from many a lane and court and alley." Well-used shoes these; that are busy day after day, carrying comfort to the poor, and the sick, and the sorrowful. And here are a pair of elegant high-heeled boots with hardly a speck on them, for they have done nothing but step from the carpet to the carriage, and from the carriage to the carpet: I am afraid they have no story worth telling. And here are the village postman's shoes, stained with mud of all colours, and thick with dust from twenty miles of road and footpath, park sward and farmyard, as he trudged his daily round. Here is a solitary shoe, for its poor old owner has but one leg, and a wooden stump for the other; and it is laden with the dust of the crossing he has been sweeping, for a few pence, all day long. Some people, I am afraid, would rub and wipe their shoes for a long time, as hard as they could, if they thought the dust under their feet would tell tales of where they have been. At every step you take, you bring something away with you and leave something behind.
(E. R. Conder, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.