Exodus 15:20, 21
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand…
In the history of Israel, we are called on to observe woman coming forward, not continuously, but every now and then, to show how real is her share in the lot of Israel She has had that share in suffering, being consumed with anxiety as to the fate of her offspring. (Ch. 1.) She has had it in ministration, - Jochebed, Miriam and Pharaoh's daughter, being combined in the work - un-conscious ministration towards the fitting of Moses for his great work. Whatever may be said of women speaking in the Church, we here behold them joining, in the most demonstrative way, in the public praises of Jehovah. The blessing by the lied Sea was one which went down to that common humanity which underlies the great distinction of sex. But it was also a very special blessing to women. Trials, such as had come to Jochebed when Moses was born, were to cease. Woman would have her own trials in the time to come - the pangs of childbirth, the cares of offspring, and all a mother's peculiar solicitudes; but it was a great deal to have the special curse of bondage in Egypt removed. Then there would be deep thankfulness for the escape of the first-born; a feeling, too, of self-congratulation that they had been obedient in slaying the lamb and sprinkling the blood, and had thus escaped the blow which had fallen heavily on so many homes in Egypt. All these considerations would lead up to and prepare for the final outburst of praise and triumph. And so, if women consider still, they will be both astonished and profoundly grateful because of all that God in Christ Jesus has done for them. They have gained not only according to their simple share in humanity, but according to their peculiar relation towards man. If it be true, that Eve fell first, dreadfully have all her daughters suffered since. As belonging to this fallen world, woman is now in a double subjection. In her creation she was to be subordinate to man, and if she had stood, and he had stood, then what glory and blessedness would have come to both! But when man became the slave of sin, she became doubly slave, as being now linked to one who had himself the servile spirit. What had been subordination in Eden became servitude outside of it. He who is himself the abject slave of passion and selfishness makes woman his slave, so that in addition to all that comes through her own sin as a human being there is the misery that comes through her having got into a wrong relation to man. Hence the peculiar hideousness of a bad woman, a Jezebel or a Herodias. Hence, too, through the work of redemption we get the peculiar beauty of the good woman. Whence should we have got those types of saintly women which beam from the pages of Scripture and Christian biography, save for that great work one stage of which is celebrated in this song? - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.