Musée National Message Biblique

“The Dance of Miriam” by Marc Chagall (1931) portrays the joy of the Hebrews after their deliverance from Egypt. The hymn they sing to celebrate the event (Exodus 15:1–21) praises and exalts Yahweh as “a man of war,” but another meaning underlies the text. Yahweh’s defeat of Pharaoh represents more than the success of brute force; it expresses the victory of the moral principles of justice and compassion over the principles of royal authority and special privilege.