Congregation

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The term is constantly applied in the Old Testament to the community of Israel, and also to the actual assembling together of the people according to the unity of the congregation. Every descendant of the twelve tribes formed a part of that community. Those of other nations were received into the congregation on becoming PROSELYTES. The Ammonite and the Moabite were forbidden ever to come into the congregation of Jehovah, and there were a few other restrictions (Deut. 23:1-41He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. 2A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord. 3An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever: 4Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. (Deuteronomy 23:1‑4)). For various offenses an Israelite was cut off from the congregation (Exod. 12:1919Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. (Exodus 12:19); Num. 9:1313But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. (Numbers 9:13)). See EXCOMMUNICATION.