20 Bible Verses About Dance

20 Bible Verses About Dance (With Commentary)

The Bible talks about dance many times. It shows dancing as a way to show joy, praise God, and celebrate special moments. People danced when they were happy and during worship. For example, King David danced before the Lord with all his might in a linen ephod.

Dancing happens during big wins and religious events too. Miriam the prophetess led women in dance when Israelites crossed the Red Sea. This was a way to thank God for their victory and freedom from Egypt.

Not all dances in the Bible were good though. The golden calf story tells us of a time people danced for an idol, which made God unhappy.

But mostly, dancing is seen positively in Scripture. When bringing back the Ark of Covenant, David’s dance showed his love for God.

So, reading about dance in the Bible can teach us how important it is to express our happiness and faith through movement.

Joy and Celebration

An oil painting style image of people dancing joyfully, expressing gratitude and happiness.

Dancing in the Bible is a way to show joy and thank God. It changes sadness into happiness. People dance to say thank you to God for His great gifts.

Psalm 30:11 and Ecclesiastes 3:4 tell us dancing is for happy times. It’s a time to be thankful. Dancing brings people together with God. It makes everyone feel better and builds stronger communities through worship.

So, dancing isn’t just fun. It’s a special way to connect with God and others, showing our thanks and celebrating life’s joys together.

Psalm 30:11

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."

Psalm 30:11 shows us God can change our sadness into joy. This verse compares feeling sad to dancing with happiness. It tells us being near God brings true joy and reasons to celebrate life again.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

"a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,"

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there’s a right time to dance. This means we celebrate with dancing at times, and sometimes we wait. The Bible connects mourning and dancing. It shows life has sad and happy moments.

This idea also tells us good times follow tough ones. We can enjoy music and dancing after sorrowful periods. This change from sadness to joy happens because of hope in Christ.

Jeremiah 31:13

"Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."

Jeremiah 31:13 shares a powerful message. It tells us that dancing can turn sadness into happiness. This verse highlights how both young and old find joy in dancing during hard times.

The Bible often links dancing with celebration. In many parts, it shows us that dance is a way to express happiness and get through sorrow. Dancing gives people comfort and lifts their spirits when they face tough challenges.

Job 21:11

"They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about."

Job 21:11 talks about kids dancing freely. This shows they are happy and not worried about anything. The verse also suggests families have enough wealth to let their kids play and dance as they wish.

In biblical times, seeing children joyful was a sign of family success and God’s blessing.

Psalm 126:2

"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them."

Psalm 126:2 is a verse about joy. It talks about young women dancing and everyone, young and old, feeling happy. This verse shows us that God can change sadness into dancing and laughter.

The psalm shares the wonderful things the Lord has done. It tells us how God’s help can bring people together through happiness and dance. Psalm 126:2 celebrates how God’s comfort turns tears into joy.

Worship and Praise

An oil painting style image of David dancing in front of the Ark of the Covenant, expressing worship and praise.

Dancing is a strong way to thank God. The Bible tells stories of people dancing for Him. One verse, Psalm 149:3, talks about using dance to praise God. It’s like a full-body “thank you.” David danced in front of the Ark of the Covenant as seen in 2 Samuel 6:14, showing his respect for God.

Adding tambourines and lyres makes the celebration better with music. This worship comes from deep inside, aiming to honor God’s name. Dance becomes a prayer that helps us connect with God more deeply.

Every move and rhythm is our way of showing love to Him, coming together in happiness and belief.

Psalm 149:3

"Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp."

Psalm 149:3 says to praise God by dancing. We should also use timbrel and harp to make music for Him. This shows we are happy with our Creator and King through songs, instruments, and dance.

In the Old Testament, people danced to worship God. They showed joy and respect this way. Celebrations included loud music, playing strings and pipes, and dancing from the heart.

Psalm 150:4

"Praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe."

Psalm 150:4 says to honor God by dancing and playing instruments like tambourines and strings. This verse is part of Psalm 150, which calls everyone to praise the Lord with music and dance.

It mentions using timbrels and stringed instruments for celebrating God.

People often talk about “praise dancing” by mentioning David’s joyful dances for God. The New Testament focuses more on singing spiritual songs, but this verse also points out that dance can be a way to praise God.

Duke Ellington wrote “Praise God and Dance”, inspired by Psalm 150:4, showing how music deeply connects us with praising God.

2 Samuel 6:14

"Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might."

David showed his joy by dancing in front of the Lord with all his heart. He wore a simple linen ephod. His dance included jumps and spins, showing deep respect and happiness.

The reason was special – bringing the ark of God to Jerusalem. This moment was both joyful and holy for David, as it meant being close to God’s presence again.

Exodus 15:20

"Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing."

Exodus 15:20 tells a key story. Miriam, Aaron’s sister, led a dance for the first time in the Bible. They celebrated their escape from Egypt with tambourines and dances of joy to thank God.

The dancing showed happiness and praise for God. Through their moves, they gave thanks in a lively way. This tells us that praising God can be full of energy and dance.

1 Chronicles 15:29

"As the ark of the covenant of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart."

David showed his love for God by dancing powerfully in front of the Lord. He did this as they brought the ark back to Jerusalem. His dance was full of energy and joy, a way to honor God.

Michal watched David from her window but felt he was being disrespectful. This story shows us that true worship can be seen differently by people. For David, dancing before the ark was about glory and celebration, while Michal couldn’t understand it in the same way.

Expressions of Victory

An oil painting style image of Miriam leading a dance with tambourines next to the sea, celebrating the escape from Egypt.

In the Bible, people danced to mark victoriesJudges 11:34 shows dancing as a joyful response after winning battles. This dance was meaningful, showing happiness and success.

After battles, victory dances were common. For example, Exodus 15:20-21 talks about Miriam leading a dance with tambourines next to the sea. They celebrated escaping from Egypt with this dance.

It was more than just fun; it was an act of worship and thanks to God for leading them through tough times. These dances shared joy and showed thanks to God for His support during difficult situations.

Judges 11:34

"When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter."

Jephthah won a battle and came home. His daughter greeted him with tambourines and dancing. They used dance to show feelings, especially joy for victory. This was a big celebration for them after an important win.

1 Samuel 18:6

"When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres."

After David beat Goliath, women from Israel’s towns met King Saul. They danced and sang joyfully, praising Saul and David. This event showed dance was important for celebrating big wins in Israel.

Music and dance worked together here. They also caused a change in how Saul felt about David because the songs praised David a lot. The Bible sees dance as a way to express happiness after winning or during special times.

2 Samuel 6:16

"As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart."

King David danced for God with all his might. He didn’t worry about how he looked. His wife, Michal, saw him from a window and disapproved. She thought a king shouldn’t act like that.

This story tells us worship can be joyful and free.

David’s dance happened in front of the ark, showing his deep love and joy for God. Despite Michal’s judgment, David chose to show his praise freely. This shows true worship comes from the heart and ignores others’ opinions.

Psalm 118:27

"The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us."

Psalm 118:27 shows a way to praise God. People held branches and danced to the altar. They offered sacrifices there. This act was their way of saying thank you and showing love for God.

The verse links dancing with joy and giving thanks. Dance helps people feel closer to God during special times. It’s a sign of respect and love for Him in worship moments.

Exodus 15:20-21

"Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’"

Miriam led the women in a dance with tambourines. They celebrated their victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea. Their dance showed praise and worship to God for helping them cross safely.

Rituals and Celebrations

An oil painting style image of people dancing from happiness as depicted in Esther 8:17.

In the Bible, people danced during big celebrations and special times. For instance, Luke 15:25 talks about a party with dance music when a son came back home. Esther 8:17 shows folks dancing from happiness because they were safe.

Dancing was also important for showing thanks or celebrating victories long ago. Like when David danced in front of God’s ark after winning battles (1 Samuel 30:16). This was to thank God and show respect during key moments.

Luke 15:25

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing."

Luke 15:25 talks about a big party with music and dancing. This story comes from the parable of the prodigal son. It shows joy when a lost family member returns after being away. The dancing is more than just fun; it symbolizes happiness for choosing to come back.

The verse shows a scene of joy and coming together again. When the lost son comes home, his family celebrates loudly with music and dance. This represents the joy in making right choices and returning where one belongs.

Esther 8:17

"In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them."

In Esther 8:17, joy spread across the land. Many people from other nations chose to become Jews. They celebrated everywhere because of the king’s orders. This was a sign of God’s love and blessing on them.

The fear of the Jews led others to join them, showing respect for their faith.

The myrtle leaf stands for love and marriage. It added meaning to this verse about inclusion and joy among different people. It was a positive sign for the Jews wanting acceptance and recognition from those around them.

This verse shows unity, blessings, and shared celebrations beyond cultural limits.

1 Samuel 30:16

"He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah."

David and his people had a big win. They celebrated with food, drinks, and dancing. This happened after David’s victory. It was like a huge party.

The story in 1 Samuel 30:16 shows this celebration in the Bible. When they won, they had a festive time with lots of joy. Back then, big moments were often celebrated with dances and joyfulness.

Jeremiah 31:4

"I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful."

Jeremiah 31:4 shows Israel’s joy through dancing. They use tambourines and dance to celebrate. Dancing is a sign of happiness and worship in the Old Testament.

Dancing brings people closer to God. It’s an important way for Israelis to show love for God with their moves. This act is holy during big celebrations.

In Jewish tradition, worship includes dancing when they feel great joy.

Jeremiah 31:12

"They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more."

God turns mourning into dancing, as stated in Jeremiah 31:12. This means people of all ages will celebrate with dance. Dance is a way to worship and show joy for what God has done.

It marks a fresh beginning full of cheer after times of sorrow.

Dance also acts as joyful noise, praising the Lord. It’s part of celebrating victories and happiness that come from God. This connects well with other parts of the Bible, highlighting how dance is important in expressing joy and gratitude towards God.

Symbolic and Prophetic Acts

An oil painting image that shows people dancing to express their feelings without needing words.

In the Bible, dance is important. Prophets danced to show God’s messages. This dancing brought joy and was a way to celebrate being close to God. People used dance to express their feelings without needing words.

Dance helped predict future events or truths about God’s kingdom too. By dancing, prophets could share what might happen next or how God felt about things. Their movements taught lessons and shared prophecies with those who saw them.

Ezekiel 6:9

"Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols."

Ezekiel 6:9 talks about people carried off to other countries. They will think of God and regret their mistakes. Their hearts once strayed from Him, but they will recall how sad He felt about their actions.

David Guzik sees this as both judgment and hope.

This verse also shows us expressing love for God can be through dance or music. It tells us worship isn’t only about being happy; it’s also returning to God after losing our way. Here, dance is not just moving—it’s a sincere comeback to the one who loves us despite our errors.

Lamentations 5:15

"Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning."

Lamentations 5:15 shows sadness when joy and dancing stop. This verse talks about a time when people felt so sad that their happy dances turned into mourning. Dancing was a big part of expressing joy in the Old Testament, but it also showed sorrow.

Dancing means more than just moving. It’s a deep way to show our feelings, whether we’re happy or sad. This Bible verse teaches us how dance can express different emotions clearly and powerfully.

Matthew 11:17

"We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn."

Matthew 11:17 mentions people dancing and playing the flute, as well as singing sad songs to mourn. This verse shows us that dance can be part of both joyous and solemn moments. Some see this as a message from leaders like John the Baptist.

They think refusing to join in dance is like ignoring important teachings.

This idea makes us think about the role of dance in religion. Dance isn’t just moving to music—it has deeper meaning. For some, Matthew 11:17 points out how vital joy and celebration are in our spiritual lives, no matter if we’re happy or sad.

It also brings up questions about including dance in worship and doing it respectfully and properly.

Mark 6:22

"When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’"

At a party for King Herod, the daughter of Herodias danced. This dance made the king very happy. So happy, in fact, that he told her she could have anything she wanted. This story is from Mark 6:22.

It shows that dancing can sometimes cause people to feel and act in ways they shouldn’t.

The Bible teaches us to be careful with what we do so we don’t lead others into doing wrong things. The way Herodias’s daughter danced is an example of this. Dancing isn’t always bad, but here it led to trouble.

Luke 7:32

"They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’"

Luke 7:32 talks about children playing music and waiting for others to dance. They play the flute, but no one dances. This verse shows us that hearing the good news should make us happy.

We should celebrate like kids do when they hear music.

Joy is how we should react to learning about Jesus. When kids play music, they expect their friends to dance with joy. In the same way, hearing the gospel should inspire us to show our happiness and celebrate our faith by dancing.

This idea teaches us to be open to celebrating our faith in Jesus actively, just like children expecting friends to join in a dance when they hear music.

What Does the Bible Say About Dance?

The Bible often mentions dance as a way to praise God. Verses in Psalms show people dancing with joy for the Lord. Dancing, mixed with music, becomes a heartfelt form of worship.

But, the Bible also gives us caution about how we dance. Some stories tell of dances that led to bad choices. Like Herodias’ daughter’s dance that went wrong. So, while not labeled a sin by itself, it’s crucial to pick ways of dancing that respect God and spread happiness without leading us off track.


Dancing shows up a lot in the Bible. People danced to celebrate, worship, and show joy. The Bible talks about dancing as a special way to connect with God. You can dance to express happiness or thanks to Him.

The Bible shows us that dancing is more than just moving your feet. It’s a powerful way to share our feelings of joy and thankfulness towards God. When you dance, you’re doing something that has been part of praising God for a long time.

So when you feel moved by faith or happiness, remember it’s okay to dance as a way of expressing those deep feelings. Dancing is not just fun; it’s also a meaningful act of celebrating life’s beautiful moments with God.


1. What does the Bible say about dancing?

The Bible mentions dance as a form of joy and worship, like in the house of David and during celebrations.

2. Can we find specific verses about dance in the Bible?

Yes, there are verses that talk about dancing, especially related to joyous occasions and worship, such as in Psalms where the psalmist celebrates with music and dance.

3. Is dancing always seen positively in the Bible?

Mostly, yes; however, it also warns against idolatry and losing focus on God, like when Moses came down from Mount Sinai or stories involving Solomon.

4. Were any biblical figures known for their dancing?

Indeed! King David danced before the Ark with all his might showing his devotion to God.

5. How should Christians approach dancing according to the Bible?

Christians are encouraged to express joy through dance decently and in order, ensuring it honors God.

6. Are there any examples of group dances in biblical times?

Certainly! The crossing of the Red Sea led by Moses prompted Miriam and others to celebrate with dances praising God for their deliverance.

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