CONGREGATION- Assembled people of God. “Congregation” translates the Hebrew words ‘edah and qahal primarily. These terms may apply to any individual or class collectively such as “the wicked” or “or hypocrites.” While ‘edah is once used to refer to a herd of bulls (Ps 68:30) and once to a swarm of bees (Judg 14:8), both words primarily describe the Israelite people as a holy people bound together by religious devotion to Yahweh rather than by political bonds. There is no apparent distinction in meaning between the two. Every circumcised Israelite was a member for the congregation, as were the women, though the congregation is offten called “the sons of Israel” (Exod 16:1-9 NASB). The congregation was subdivided into the tribe and then the most basic unit, the family. The congregation of Israel functioned in military, legal, and punishment matters.
The jailer at Philippi was sleeping soundly while Paul and Silas sang praises to God at midnight. But God caused an earthquake that left him wide awake and terrified. All the locked prison doors swung open and all the prisoners were freed of their constraints. Since his own blood would be shed if they escaped, he probably saw his life flash before his eyes. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER: FINDING SALVATION)→