Excommunication

Exodus 12:15; Exodus 30:33,38; Leviticus 7:20-21,25,27; Numbers 9:13; Ezra 10:8; John 9:34; 1 Corinthians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 3:17; Matthew 18:18; 1 Corinthians 5:4-5; 1 Timothy 1:20
Though this word does not occur in the AV, the duty of excommunicating wicked persons from the fold of Israel, and from the church as the house of God, is plainly taught. Again and again we read in the Old Testament that for particular sins “that soul shall be cut off from Israel” or “cut off from his people” (Ex. 12:1515Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15); Ex. 30:33,3833Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people. (Exodus 30:33)
38Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people. (Exodus 30:38)
; Lev. 7:20-21,25,2720But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 21Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the Lord, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:20‑21)
25For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:25)
27Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (Leviticus 7:27)
; 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); Ezra 10:88And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away. (Ezra 10:8); etc.). How far this was acted upon we do not know. In the New Testament we find the authorities agreeing that if any one confessed that Jesus was the Christ he was to be cut off; and they excommunicated the man that had been born blind because he said that Jesus must be of God (John 9:3434They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. (John 9:34)).
In the church we have a case of “putting away” at Corinth. The assembly were admonished to put away from themselves the wicked person that was among them (1 Cor. 5:1313But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Corinthians 5:13)). The person was cast out. He was afterward repentant, and then the Corinthian saints were instructed to forgive him and to receive him again into communion (2 Cor. 2:6-116Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:6‑11)). The necessity of putting away an evil person is apparent; the presence of God, who is holy, demands it, and believers are called to holiness: “the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:1717If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:17)). As to discipline on earth there is a dispensational binding and loosing (compare Matt. 18:1818Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)), to which the saints are called where it is needful to put away evil from the assembly, but always with the hope that restoration may follow. See DISCIPLINE.
Connected with the case at Corinth there was also mentioned the delivering unto Satan of the guilty person for the destruction of the flesh, but this was the determination of Paul as being there in spirit with them (1 Cor. 5:4-54In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:4‑5)), which seems to stamp it as an apostolic act. Paul individually did the same with Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:2020Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:20)). The positive injunction to the church at Corinth was to put away from among themselves the wicked person. In 3 John we read of Diotrephes who took upon himself to cast some out of the church, which John would not forget when he visited them. As is seen at Corinth, “putting away” should be an act of the assembly, not of an individual.