chapter  XV
6 Pages

Of Dances and Songs

WHEN the belly is full, then comes mirth (saith the proverb): it will not be then unfit to speak of dancing after feasting. For it is also said of the people of Israel that, after they had well-filled their bellies, they arose for to play and dance about their Golden Calf [Exod. xxxii. 6, 19J. Dancing is a thing very ancient among all people. But it was first made and instituted in divine things, as we did now mark an example of it; qnd the Canaanites, who did worship the fire, did dance about it, and sacrificed their children unto it: which manner of dancing was not invented by the idolaters, but rather by the people of God. For we read in the Book of Judges [xxi. 19, 2 I] that there was a solemnity to God in Silo, where the maidens came to dance at the sound of the flute [2 Sam. vi.]. And David, bringing back the Ark of Covenant into Jerusalem, went before it in his shirt, dancing with all his strength.