You put your right regel in, you put your right regel out. You put your right regel in and you shake it all about. You do the Hokey Pokey and you sovev yourself around. That's what it's all about!
The magnificent Anchor Bible Dictionary, despite its 6 volumes and 7000+ pages, has no entry on “Dancing.” It takes forever to find other topics of great interest in ABD, such as “undergarments” for men and women. Unless of course, you have the electronic edition.
These are matters of no small import. Dancing was and is a component of the life of God’s chosen. Predestinatarians take note: if this is not a part of your life, a tell-tale sign of election is missing, and you are probably damned to hell.
Precise information on matters of dress is also essential to the believer’s salvation. And let us not forget about comfort. It seems as if traditional Scots, in the male department, are the only ones to have remained faithful from the waist down to the inerrant Word of God. For more info, check out your trusty ABD under “Dress and Ornamentation.”
David and all Israel danced before the Lord. David whirled and leaped with all his might (2 Sam 6:5, 14, 16). The linen ephod he was wearing was cool, but I think the slave girls might have been watching the kilt, to judge from Michal’s remarks (2 Sam 6:14, 20). As if David cared. “I may be low in your esteem,” David retorted to Michal, “but among the slavegirls that you speak of I will be honored” (2 Sam 6:21). In more ways than one, I imagine.
David, says scripture, was a man after God’s own heart. He loved to dance before the Lord. Singing and dancing are a most appropriate way to praise God for rescue in a time of need (Ps 30). Dancing was a regular part of worship in ancient Israel (Ps 149:3; 150:4).
The prophet Jeremiah describes God’s will for his people as one big intergenerational dance fest:
אָז תִּשְׂמַח בְּתוּלָה בְּמָחוֹל
וּבַחֻרִים וּזְקֵנִים יַחְדָּו
Their spirit will be
like a watered garden;
will they pine away;
then shall the maiden exult in dance,
the young and old together.
The exultant dance of young women is mentioned first. After all, a sight of greater joy is hard to imagine. But the real test of whether God’s will is in full realization is if both young and old and of both sexes are dancing, their spirits high. If that is the case, if life takes on the appearance of an Irish wedding, then you know the kingdom of God has come.
In the good ol’ days, when biblical scholars had a wider range of interests and were not such kill-joys, and bible dictionaries were shorter, an entry on “Dancing” might be found. G. Henton Davies defines biblical dancing in IDB: “The harmonious and rhythmic movement of the body in sheer exuberance of spirit and bodily health . . . in conscious devoted joy before God.”
Bring back biblical
dancing! We might see an uptick in the exuberance of spirit and bodily health
of the faithful.