This describes the Hebrew people in its collective capacity under its peculiar aspect as a holy community, held together by religious rather than political bonds. Sometimes it is used in a broad sense as inclusive of foreign settlers, ( Exodus 12:19 ) but more properly as exclusively appropriate to the Hebrew element of the population. ( Numbers 15:15 ) The congregation was governed by the father or head of each family and tribe. The number of these representatives being inconveniently large for ordinary business, a further selection was made by Moses of 70, who formed a species of standing committee. ( Numbers 11:16 ) Occasionally indeed the whole body of people was assembled at the door of the tabernacle, hence usually called the tabernacle of the congregation. ( Numbers 10:3 ) The people were strictly bound by the acts of their representatives, even in cases where they disapproved of them. ( Joshua 9:18 )
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Congregation'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".