David danced before the LORD with all his might. – 2 Samuel 6:14a
In college, two of the activities I was involved with were Karate and Swing Dancing. Karate, as a discipline, seeks to magnify and focus power within the human body so that a person’s might is the greatest it can be. Swing dancing is a way to embody joy and spontaneity. While there is some interesting intersections between these two activities, there is plenty that is dissimilar. Karate is a martial art focused on combat and might while swing dancing is a blend of folk and fine art that is most likely found in affable social situations.
Here, in Second Samuel, King David is dancing with all of his might. It is an odd way to describe dancing. When I think of dancing, I do not think of one exerting all of their might into it, rather I think of control and grace. One might be tired out by dancing, but if one is putting all of their energy into one dance, they will likely be tired out before the end of the dance. What if, in this scene of David dancing, he is not the origin of this might?
In the entirety of the Samuel and Kings, the word for “might” is only used in two places: here and near the beginning of First Samuel. Near the beginning of First Samuel, Hannah is sings a prayer and a prophecy in which she declares, “The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give **strength** to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed,” (1 Samuel 2:10b). Here, the word translated as “might” in Second Samuel is translated as “strength.” These are the only two instances of this word (עֹז) used in 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. It appears that the authors wish the audience to see David as the fulfillment of Hannah’s prophecy. The might through which David exerts comes from God and not from himself.
Christian theology considers Jesus to be the restoration of the Davidic throne. But rather than the strength being poured out upon Jesus, this might comes from within himself. And that power was used most obvious when Jesus was crucified. It was a dance that took the very life of God, but it is the dance that gives to us life.
God continue to be with you,
Yours in Christ, Pastor Paul+