A musical instrument of percussion, supposed to have been used by the Hebrews at an early period of their history.
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 (Ecclesiastes 3:4) comp. Psal 30:11; Matt 11:17 In the earlier period it is found combined with some song or refrain, (Exodus 15:20; 32:18,19; 1 Samuel 21:11) and with the tambourine (Authorized Version "timbrel"), more especially in those impulsive outbursts of popular feeling which cannot find sufficient vent in voice or in gesture singly. Dancing formed a part of the religious ceremonies of the Egyptians, and was also common in private entertainments, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. For the most part dancing was carried on by the women, the two sexes seldom and not customarily intermingling. The one who happened to be near of kin to the champion of the hour led the dance. In the earlier period of the Judges the dances of the virgins of Shiloh. (Judges 21:19-23) were certainly part of a religious festivity. Dancing also had its place among merely festive amusements, apart from any religious character. (Jeremiah 31:4,13; Mark 6:22)
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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