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Dance Vesuses from the Bible

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Dance versus from the Bible...

Book of Exodus:

We are told that Miriam the sister of Moses, and all the women of Israel celebrated the destruction of the Egyptians with timbrals and dances. This would be about 1,500 years before the birth of Christ. The Greeks amused themselves by dancing the "Armed dance" (Pyrrhic) before the walls of Troy during the memorable siege from 1184 to 1194, B.C. King David, of Israel, danced before all the people B.C. 1050; and 1000 B.C., Solomon wrote, "there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance." Lycurgus, the great Spartan law-giver, about 323 B.C., framed a law which made it imperative that the Spartan youth should be trained in a military dance from the seventh year of age. Christ also speaks of the elder brother of the Prodigal Sonhearing music and dancing.

Eccl. xiv-1. "There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and to dance" (maybe iv)
Exodus xv.-20 "the triumphal song of Moses after his successful passage of the Red Sea, Miriam the prophetess, and sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand and all the women went out after her with timbrels and dances"
(Père Ménestrier, the Israelites, after the passage of the Red Sea, performed a thanksgiving dance to the hymn of Moses) [see below]
Exodus xxxii.-19&20. "Again, as Moses drew near the camp, with the two tables of testimony in his hand, "he heard a great noise and saw the golden calf and dancing" (The only promiscuous dance in the bible was of the kind performed by the sinful children of Israel round the golden calf which was not Hebrew in origin, but idolatrous, possibly orgiastic). [see below]
Exodus xv. 20 Miriam, the sister of Moses , and all the women of Israel celebrated the destruction of the Egyptians with timbrals and dances. (This would be about 1,500 years before the birth of Christ. (Miriam, the sister of Aaron, Jephthah's daughter; and Judith went out with all the women of the land, who wore wreaths of olives, while she who delivered them from Holofernes takes the lead in the dance. The inferiors were invited to join by speech or action. Miriam's was a type of a dance still practised in modern Arabia. It has no rules, but varies according to the imagination of the leader, who improvises as her feeling suggests). "Song of Miriam"
Exodus 32:19 "And it came to pass as soon as he came nigh, he saw the calf and the dancing."
Genesis xxxi. 27 Laban asks why Jacob did not give him an opportunity of sending him away 'with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp'
Jeremiah xxxi. 4&13 "Thou shall again be adorned with thy tabrets and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry." "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together, for I will turn the mourning into joy"
Judges xxi-19-23 "And see, behold if the daughters of Shiloh come to dance in dances, then come ye of the vineyard (Bacchus) and catch ye every man a wife of the daughters of Shiloh" (In this the daughters of Shiloh danced on an annual feast when the children of Benjamin surprised them and carried away each man a wife to himself 'of Shiloh's daughters that danced).
Judges xxi-34 "that the daughter of Jephtha came out to meet her father with a triumphal dance" (Jephtha's daughter, who was so joyously dancing when she met her fate).
Luke xv-25 "And as he drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing"
Mark VI. King Herod , on his birth-day, made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee , the daughter of Herodias (Salome) came in and danced, and so pleased the King and those that sat with him, that the King promised, with an oath, to give her whatsoever she might ask, even unto the half of his kingdom; and at her request, presented her with the head of John the Baptist, in a charger.
Mark 6:22--27 "where the wicked daughter of licentious Herodias (Salome) danced and exposed herself, to the delight of old lustful Herod, who, inflamed with wine and passion, consented to the murder of John the Baptist".
Psalms xxx.2 "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing"
Psalms - 68 a triumphal ceremony in the temple is described: "They have seen Thy goings, O God, even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The singers went before, the minstrels followed after, among them were the damsels playing with timbrels (dancing)".
Psalm. 149: 3 The Psalter closes with calls to festal dancing: "Let them praise His name in the dance"
Psalm cxviii. 27 Luther also, translating, "compares the poplar boughs to the birches we set up at Whitsuntide as may-trees, round which the May or Whitsun dance is performed".
Psalm. cl. 4 "Praise Him with timbrel and dance"
Samuel xxx.-2 "Did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying Saul hath slain his thousands and David his ten thousands"
Samuel xviii-6-7 "The daughter of Saul would perhaps nourish in her heart an echo of her father's jealousy, as he observed the choruses of the women when they played and danced, going to meet the victorious warriors, and seeming to praise David at his expense".
Samuel xxx-16 "The Amalekites, when they were slaughtered at the hands of David's army, were dancing 'because of all the great spoil that they had taken"
Samual I v.18:6 "And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music".
Samuel II vi-5.14. "And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments, made of fir-wood, even on harps and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." "And David danced before the Lord with all his might (15:16)"
Samuel II vi. 14-21 (David, king of the Jews), "mixed with the ministers of the altar, and danced in presence of all the people, as he accompanied the ark before the lord".
St. Luke, vii ??
Rabbinic The Rabbinic books refer several times to the Creator dancing as a token of joy after He had made man.
n/a Dancing of David, when the Ark was brought into Zion
Other The Greeks amused themselves by dancing the " Armed dance " (aka: Pyrrhic dance , invented by goddess Rhea) before the walls of Troy during the memorable siege from 1184 to 1194, B.C.
 

Religeous Dance Notes:
1) "the dark ages" from the end of the fifth century to the end of the eleventh, the religious dances being abolished and the dances for pleasure prohibited, the fantastic dances were invented. It was the general belief that the sun danced on the day of Passover and the witches danced on the Sabbath . Finally the death dance was invented. At first it was in carnival season, when masqueraders representing Death took the privilege of dancing with those whom they met, to the great horror of the latter. Then followed the abominable idea of executing these dances in the cemeteries in honor of the dead. This horrible exercise of devotion was accompanied by the recitation of mournful sentences.

2) Scaliger, the Italian scholar famous for his researches into Greek and Italian literature, and who so astonished Charles V . by his powers of dancing, declared that the bishops were called "præsules" because they led the dance on feast days.

3) For many years dancing flourished in the Christian church, till it was finally discredited with the Agapé feast, and sundry other observances, at the close of the fourth century. After this it became so strongly disapproved of, that St. Augustine is said to have remarked Melius est fodere quam saltare . "It is better to dig than to dance," and some centuries later, the Albigenses and the Waldenses , two religious sects in the South of France , made a special point in their tenets to rage against it, and called it the "Devil's procession."

4) Another extraordinary form of religious ceremony was the devil-dance of the Veddahs , similar to the whirling dervishes , who were once a leading race in Ceylon . This dance, which was the equivalent of a spoken incantation, was performed as follows: A tripod, on which were offerings of eatables, was placed on the ground, and before a concourse of people, the priest or devil-dancer proceeded to dance round it, getting more and more violent in his movements, till he fell into a sort of paroxysm, in which state he was supposed to receive from the gods the information required.

5) In many ancient hieroglyphics and paintings, it was customary to have professional dancers at feasts. These were called "Almehs," (dancing Girls) and they are generally depicted waving small branches or beating tambourines while they danced, singing the refrain, "Make a good day, make a good day. Life only lasts for a moment. Make a good day." Which is the same idea, it will be noticed, as that of the feasters in the Bible, who said, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die."

6) Ancient Egyptians, that is, that of the higher classes themselves never seemed to have indulged in dancing, but always employed others to dance before them, so that social dancing, as we understand it now, was practically non-existent. And therefore, the dancing of Miriam, the sister of Moses, at the passage of the Red Sea , might have been one more instance of the complete subjugation that the Israelites had undergone whilst with the Egyptians, inasmuch as it showed an intimate acquaintance with the manners and customs of the lower classes.

7) King David , of Israel, danced before all the people B.C. 1050; and 1000 B.C., Solomon wrote, "there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance."

8) Lycurgus , the great Spartan law-giver, about 323 B.C., framed a law which made it imperative that the Spartan youth should be trained in a military dance (Pyrric Dance ) from the seventh year of age. records of a dance performed by noble Spartan maidens to the goddess Artemis Karyatis. There are records of a dance performed by noble Spartan maidens to the goddess "Artemis Karyatis."

9) Christ also speaks of the elder brother of the Prodigal Son hearing music and dancing.

February 17, 2013
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