Dancing • Leap
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Dance. Form of artistic expression incorporated into Israel’s worship, used especially during times of celebration.See Music and Musical Instruments.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Dance; Dancer
Dance; Dancer [Heb. ḥûl—‘whirl, turn’] (Jgs. 21:21, 23; Ps. 87:7); AV also “players on instruments” (Ps. 87:7); [māḥôl] (Ps. 30:11 [MT 12]; 149:3; 150:4; Jer. 31:4, 13; Lam. 5:15); [meḥōlâ] (Ex. 15:20; 32:19; Jgs. 11:34; 21:21; 1 S. 18:6; 21:11 [MT 12]; 29:5; Cant. 6:13 [MT 7:1]); AV also
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
DANCE Form of artistic expression incorporated into Israel’s worship, used especially during times of celebration. See Music.
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
dancing, rhythmic bodily movement, often to music. As a sign of rejoicing, dance had a place in the secular and religious life of ancient Israel. Dance could be accompanied by song and instrumental music. Women sometimes greeted the return of victorious soldiers with music and dance (1 Sam. 18:6). Dancing
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
DANCE. The English word, in one form or another, occurs 25 or 30 times, mostly in the OT, and translates several Heb. and two Gr. words. One Heb. word means “to whirl, writhe”; another, “to spring, skip about”; and still another, “to revolve, whirl about.” Of the two Gr. words, the more common suggests
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
DANCE. The OT makes occasional reference to dancing as a source of amusement only (e.g. Ex. 32:19; Ec. 3:4), but usually behind the activity is some form of religious significance. Groups of women engaged in it on occasions of national celebration, such as after the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 15:20)
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
DanceDance in the Bible is associated with various occasions. Birthdays (Matt. 14:6; Mark 6:21–22), weddings (presuming that Jer. 31:22 refers to dancing as part of a marriage ceremony and that Matt. 11:17; Luke 7:32 refer to Jesus as bridegroom), and family reunions (Luke 15:25) are all marked by dancing.
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Dance †The Israelites, like other peoples of the ancient Near East, were accustomed to express their emotions in dance—usually round dances performed by the women (Heb. meḥōlâ “round dance”; KoB, p. 512; e.g., Exod. 15:20; Heb. māḥôl; Jer. 31:13). The only specific example of male dancing
Catholic Bible Dictionary
DANCING In the Old Testament, dancing was an expression of joy and worship. It was often accompanied by song and musical instruments (Judg 21:21; 1 Sam 18:6; Eccl 3:4; Jer 31:12–13). Ritual dancing accompanied the Lord’s victory at the Red Sea (Exod 15:20) and the celebrations in honor of the ark of
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Dance. The dance is spoken of in Holy Scripture universally as symbolical of some rejoicing, and is often coupled for the sake of contrast with mourning, as in Eccles. 3:4; comp. Ps. 30:11; Matt. 11:17. In the earlier period it is found combined with some song or refrain, Ex. 15:20; 32:18, 19; 1 Sam.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Dancefound in Judg. 21:21, 23; Ps. 30:11; 149:3; 150:4; Jer. 31:4, 13, etc., as the translation of hul, which points to the whirling motion of Oriental sacred dances. It is the rendering of a word (rakad’) which means to skip or leap for joy, in Eccl. 3:4; Job 21:11; Isa. 13:21, etc.In the New Testament
Key passages
2 Sa 6:5

Now David and all the house of Israel were dancing before Yahweh, with all kinds of musical instruments made from ash trees, and with zithers, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.

2 Sa 6:14–22

Now David was dancing with all his might before Yahweh, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of Yahweh with shouts of joyful acclaim and with the sound of the trumpet. It happened that when the ark of Yahweh came into the city …

1 Ch 15:29

And when the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the city of David, then Michal the daughter of Saul looked down from the window and saw the king, David, leaping and dancing. And she despised him in her heart.

Ps 30:11

You have turned my wailing into my dancing. You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

Jdt 15:12–13

Then every woman of Israel ran together in order to see her; and they blessed her, and some from among them performed a dance for her. Then she took wands in her hands, and she gave them to the women with her. And they crowned themselves with olive branches, she and those with her, and she went …