the first worship leader: an elderly woman named Miriam

The Bible recorded some beautiful songs (poetry) written and sung by women. The eldest sister of Moses, Miriam, at least five years older than Moses, at the age of 85, was described by prophet Micah as one of the three leaders God sent to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. Like Deborah, Miriam is identified as a prophetess, and she showed her leading the Israelites in worship (songs and dance). In Exodus we can read her beautiful original song. Thus Miriam, at 85 or older, was also the first woman praise and worship song leader. Although later in temple rituals, men were appointed as priests and took over this leadership function from women, the Bible continued to record women singing, dancing and praising God.

Micah 6:4  (NKJV)

For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
I redeemed you from the house of bondage;
And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

Exodus 15:19-21 (NKJV)

19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

The Song of Miriam

20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:

“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

this particular window is found in the former Lady Chapel of the church of Corpus Christi in Brixton, alongside other Old Testament women. The stained glass was designed by the neo-Gothic revivalist John Francis Bentley and dates to the late 1890s.

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