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Exodus 15:20-21

Context

15:20 Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. 1  15:21 Miriam sang in response 2  to them, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.” 3 

1 sn See J. N. Easton, “Dancing in the Old Testament,” ExpTim 86 (1975): 136-40.

2 tn The verb עָנָה (’ana) normally means “to answer,” but it can be used more technically to describe antiphonal singing in Hebrew and in Ugaritic.

3 sn This song of the sea is, then, a great song of praise for Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel at the Sea, and his preparation to lead them to the promised land, much to the (anticipated) dread of the nations. The principle here, and elsewhere in Scripture, is that the people of God naturally respond to God in praise for his great acts of deliverance. Few will match the powerful acts that were exhibited in Egypt, but these nonetheless set the tone. The song is certainly typological of the song of the saints in heaven who praise God for delivering them from the bondage of this world by judging the world. The focus of the praise, though, still is on the person (attributes) and works of God.



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