Phenomena of Clapping of Hands in the Bible and the Present Time
Keywords:Expression, joy, clapping, worship
The clapping of hands has become a practice in many church gatherings in the contemporary time. The clapping of hands in the Scriptures poses the issue of its place in the worship service of the church. This study determined the occurrences of the clapping of hands particularly in the Old Testament to see if there is in any theological basis for the current practice of clapping in the church. There are nine occurrences on the gesture of clapping pertaining to people which can either be positive or negative. The clapping as an expression of joy at the ascension of a king seems to be the only positive when pertaining to man. The negative clapping of hands pertaining to man was when it was done as an expression of disgust, anger, and malicious glee. All of them were associated with God’s judgment against sin. However, the clapping is always positive when the gesture is pertaining to God. It was an expression of joy on account of God’s saving action. It was an expression of religious adoration and worship. Clapping of hands in the Temple was an expression to exalt God as King. It was used in recognition of Him as the Creator. Thus, rightly understood and practiced, it seems that clapping can be suggested to be a part of worship.
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