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Bridgeway Bible Dictionary


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For the Israelites, dancing was a form of public rejoicing. Usually the women were the ones who danced, though men also danced on occasions (Exodus 15:20; Judges 21:21; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 31:13). People danced to celebrate great national occasions such as victories over enemies (1 Samuel 18:6-7), or private occasions such as the return of a long-separated member of the family (Luke 15:23-25). There were, however, indecent kinds of dancing, such as those associated with idolatry and certain forms of entertainment (Exodus 32:19; Mark 6:21-22).

Children liked to dance in some of the games they played (Job 21:11; Matthew 11:17), and people in general liked to dance at some of Israel’s more joyous religious festivals (Judges 21:19-21). Dancing was part of Israel’s public expression of praise to God after the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20-21) and during the bringing of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-15). In time, it became a regular part of Israel’s public worship (Psalms 149:3; Psalms 150:4). (See also MUSIC; SINGING.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Dancing'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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