The custom of washing hands before meals or of feet after a journey or on entering a stranger’s house was not only a polite ceremony but a religious observance
(Matt. 15:2; Mark 7:3; Luke 11:38). After the salutation the first act of hospitality was to proffer a basin of water to the guest for washing the feet (Gen. 18:4; Ex. 30:19,21; Judg. 19:21; 1 Sam. 25:41; Luke 7:37-38,44; John 13:5-14).