"The Universal Circle Dance"
by L. McGuire

Miriam’s Circle Dance!
Where do people get this from?

     There is much speculation that Miriam led the other women in a ‘circle dance’ a dance that would allow Miriam to reach a ‘higher soul’ or altered state of conscious’. This is just like Carl G. Jung's belief that females are more able to contact spirits and the rabbi’s view of how Miriam was able to reach this state by doing the ‘circle dance’. In other words, according to many, Miriam was the ring leader in an ecstatic ritual circle dance.

     Come with me, while I grab the microscope. We will begin to uncover where this notion came from. The first question we must ask is, “Who copied who?” Did the pagans/heathens happen to see the children of Yisra'el/Israel holding hands while performing the circle dance? Did evil say, “Hey... let’s really trick the world by adopting this dance. That way we can cause confusion and no one will know where it originated.”

     Actually, history shows us the opposite. Many of the people Elohim delivered, with His out-stretched arm, were stiff-necked. Countless number of times, Elohim gave them strong warnings not to do the following:

1. Learn not the ways of the pagans/heathen Debarim/Deuteronomy 18:9)(Yirmeyahu/Jerimiah 10:2)

2. Not to be conformed to the nations. (Yehoshua/Joshua 6:18)

3. Not to worship Elohim as the pagans worship their mighty ones. (Debarim/Deuteronomy 20:18)

4. Be separate, peculiar, set apart (Debarim/Deuteronomy 14:2, 26:19; Wayyiqra/Leviticus 20:24)

     Since they were slaves for 400 years, where did they have the time to not only learn the choreographed (Pre-planned) dance steps but also to teach others? History tells us two things.

     In 1905-1950 the Europeans brought Circle Dancing to Israel. When Israel became a nation, in 1948, the state of Israel adapted folk dancing from the Europeans and created competitions,today known as "Israeli Folk Dancing".

     Under the "Introduction", I mentioned how archaeologists found a rock in Luxor Egypt that is dated 3000 BC. On this rock was a drawing of girls holding hands in a circle.

     We can get a clear view of how the children of Yisra'el/Israel during their 400 years of slavery, were indeed the ones that learned dance from the Egyptians. “Encyclopedia of Bible Life” (emphasis by me): 

Ritualistic dances, such as have characterized many primitive religions, were part of the worship of Israel in the days of Moses and his sister Miriam. The famous celebration at the Red Sea crossing with dancing and playing of timbrels or tambourines, and singing of the famous song of Exodus 15, was of Egyptian Source.” (27)

     The following information will open our eyes even more as we learn Egyptians had different dances for different occasions:

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Edited tells us the following: (emphasis added by me)

The sculptures and paintings of the XV111th-XXth dynasties show many scenes of funeral dances; usually one women held a tambourine aloft and beat out a rhythm on it while others danced round. Exactly this dance may be seen now when parties of women go up to the cemetery a fortnight or a month after a funeral; an old Negress is often the drummer, and the party stop every few hundred yards along the road for a dance.”(28)


     Compare this dance to the dance that Miriam and the women did. Shemoth/Exodus 15:20, “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand. And all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.”

     Notice the great similarities? The word dance here is Strong’s number 4246 meaning a dance; -company, dances, dancing. The English word, dances (4246) says round-dance. Miriam and the other women either danced:(29)

1. as in a company, many danced
2. they danced around
3. they danced about
4. they danced in a circle
5. they danced encompassing the area.

     As we can see, there are many different ways they could have danced since ‘round’ means: “surrounding, around, about, encircling, encompassing, on all sides of, about, in a circle, in circles, on all sides, circle, disc, slice, ring, band.(30)

     Miriam took a timbrel in her hand, the women also took timbrels in their hand and followed after her with DANCES! Since they ALL had something in their hands, (a timbrel) there goes the mental illusion, that many have been trying to force on the innocent victim: that the picture of them all holding hands circle dancing, while Miriam led them! One can NOT hold hands in a circle format and play the Timbrel at the same time. They went after Miriam, all playing their timbrel while doing dances.  

     Whether this dance was something as innocent as they all danced round the land each with a timbrel in their hand or they all danced in a circle dance, the fact remains they learned dance from the Egyptians!

     Another dance I want us to look at can be found in the same heading, “Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics under ‘Egyptian Religion’ tells us the following under (emphasis added by me):

At the great gathering, held every seven weeks, they ‘keep the holy all-nighty festival…’ one band beating time to the answering chant of the other, dancing to its music…turning and returning in the dance.” (Philo de vita Contemplativa; see G.R.S. mead, Fragments of a faith forgotten, London, 1900, p.801.) This must have been much like an orgiastic modern zikr, only performed by men and women in opposite companies.”(31)

The New Compact Bible Dictionary explains even more to us about Dancing:

The Hebrew people developed their own type of dancing, associated in the main with worship. Basically, it was more like modern religious shouting by individuals, or processions of exuberant groups.(32)


Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary” tells us the following:

Processions- "a train of persons walking, or riding on horseback, or in vehicles, in a formal march, or moving with ceremonious solemnity.” (33)

     Now think back to the Egyptian funeral dance, how the group would stop walking every so many feet and do a dance. This type of ceremony can still be seen in many Southern States. A procession is NOT a circle.

     The bottom line is, I can not nor should anyone else give a title such as, Miriam's Circle Dance.” Because no one can say without a doubt that Miriam and the other women did this style of dance! If anything they did NOT get this style of worship from Elohim but from the Egyptians! They were so stiff-necked that a three day journey ended up taking them 40 years (a generation)!

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