Wednesday 24 November 2010

Congregate, to gather, to meet

Congregate, to gather, to meet

You can find the Dutch version of this article
U kan de Nederlandse versie van dit artikel vinden onder:
Verzamelen, bijeenkomen, samenkomen, vergaderen
Under the tags ”Verzamelen”, “vergaderen”: to gather; come together; congregate;forgather(“vergadering”) gather; group; “bijeenkomen” & “vergaderen” meet you shall be able to find articles with as subject the coming together of people +

Ontario Christadelphian Fraternal Meeting with picnic

Congregate(people) forgather(meeting) gather(people) group(people) meet(meeting); get together, come together

To meet, to come together; come to talk and to take decisions together; To meet something to discuss to assemble; collect themselves; group themselves; unite themselves; meet each other; bringing people together;  bringing people with you; to bring with; to take along; keeping a meeting; to reunion; meeting confers, congress.

From Middle English gaderen, from Old English gaderian (“to gather, assemble”), from Proto-Germanic *gadurōjanan (“to bring together, unite, gather”), frequentative of Proto-Germanic *gadōjanan (“to hold together”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰhedʰ- (“to unite, assemble, keep”). Cognate with Dutch gaderen, garen (“to gather”), Middle High German gadern (“to gather”), Old Frisian gadia (“to unite”), German begatten (“to mate”). Compare also Old English gæd (“society, fellowship, union”).

To come together by mutual approach; esp., to come in contact, or into proximity, by approach from opposite directions; to join; to come face to face; to come in close relationship; as, we met in the street; two lines meet so as to form an angle.

To come together
To assemble together; to congregate; To collect into one place or body; to bring or call together; to convene;To come together by mutual concessions; hence, to agree; to harmonize; to unite; To meet or come together, as a number of individuals.
To bring into one place, or into a united body; to gather together.
An assembling together; esp., the assembling of huntsmen for the hunt; also, the persons who so assemble, and the place of meeting.
Assemble, Assembling; Meet, Meeting; Unite; club; group; flock; A meeting or get-together; a party or social function; an assembly for a common purpose (as worship)
gathering; the social act of assembling; gathering of people for discussion, etc.
a concourse of spectators or participants for some purpose of common interest;
a congregation; a group of persons together in one place


Mid-14c., "a gathering, assembly," from O.Fr. congregacion (12c., Mod.Fr. congrégation), from L. congregationem (nom. congregatio), noun of action from congregare (see congregate). Used by Tyndale to translate Gk. ekklesia in New Testament and by some Old Testament translators in place of synagogue. (Vulgate uses a variety of words in these cases, including congregatio but also ecclesia, vulgus, synagoga, populus.) Protestant reformers in 16c. used it in place of church; hence the word's main modern sense of "local society of believers" (1520s).[1]


Late 12c., from O.Fr. sinagoge (11c.), from L.L. synagoga "congregation of Jews," from Gk. synagoge "place of assembly, synagogue," lit. "meeting, assembly," from synagein "to gather, assemble," from syn- "together" + agein "bring, lead" (see act). Used by Greek translators of the Old Testament as a loan-translation of late Heb. keneseth "assembly" (cf. beth keneseth "synagogue," lit. "house of assembly.")

Convention; summit; rendezvous; symposium



1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) a group of persons gathered for worship, prayer, etc., esp in a church or chapel
2. The act of congregating or collecting together
3. A group of people, objects, etc., collected together; assemblage
4. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) the group of persons habitually attending a given church, chapel, etc.
5. (Christianity / Roman Catholic Church) RC Church
a. a society of persons who follow a common rule of life but who are bound only by simple vows
b. an administrative subdivision of the papal curia
c. an administrative committee of bishops for arranging the business of a general council[2]

Congregation an assembly of persons or things; a group of religious persons under a common rule; the Christian Church collectively; those attending a religious service. See also community, confession.[3]

Examples: congregation of holy apostles, 1526; of gaseous atoms, 1883; of birds; of cardinals; of elves, 1809; of fish, 1865; of goods; of hypocrites, 1611; of holy maidens; of monasteries [e.g., Congregation of Cluny]; of oyster and scallop shells, 1717; of people, 1486; of plovers, 1430; of princes, 1539; of fine qualities, 1878; of saints, 1535; of soldiers, 1598; of vapour, 1602; of water, 1526; of winds; of worshippers.[4] (Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Hebrew ‘ e·dhah’ from ja·adh = to intend, to agree (2 Samuel 20:5; Jeremia 47:7; Levites 8:4, 5; Judges 21:10; Exodus 12:3; Numbers 32:4; 1 king 8:5; Numbers 27:17).

Hebrew word mo·edh inferred from the same radical as e·dhah and meaning „intended time or „agreed place (1 Samuel 13:8; 20:35; Exodus 27:21; Levites 23:2, 4, 37, 44; Isaiah 33:20)

Jewish term miq·ra´', which „mean “samenkomst” = “coming together”, from the basic word qa·ra´' (clamour, clamor, calling) + „holy gathering” (Isaiah 4:5; Exodus 12:16; Levites 23:2, 3)

Hebrew qa·hal', that is relative to a verb which means „convene; to meet, to call together (Exodus 35:1; Levites 8:4). Sometimes qa hal' (municipality) used together with e·dhah (meeting) (Levites 4:13; Numbers 20:8, 10).

Forms of both terms can be found in the expression „ meeting of municipality of Israel [Hebr.: qehal' adhath-Jis·yard·´el]. (Exodus 12:6) It frequently is used for an organised group of people and can be found in the expressions „municipality of Israel (Levites 16:17; Jozua 8:35; 1 Kings 8:14), „municipality of the true God (Nehemiah 13:1), „municipality of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 23:2, 3; Micha 2:5), and „Jehovah’s municipality (Numbers 20:4; 1 Chronicles 28:8). Qa·hal' indicates several types of gatherings together of people, like for religious aims (Deuteronomy 9:10; 18:16; 1 Kings 8:65; Psalms 22:25; 107:32), for treating administrative matters (1 Kings 12:3) and for warfare (1 Samuel 17:47; Ezra 16:40 [meeting]). In the Greek ek·kle'si·a, which has been inferred of two Greek radicals, namely ek that „from mean, and ka'le·o, which means „call”. In the Septuagint the Greek word ek kle'si·a (ecclesia) becomes usually used as a translation of the Hebrew word·qa hal', like in Psalm 22:22 (21: 23, LXX).

To meet, meets
: Ek·kle·si'a·son; Lat.: Con'gre·ga.

‘Atsa·rah’, have been reflected with „solemn meeting”. This term is used concerning the “Loofhuttenfeest” = the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth and the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Pascha or Pesa(c)h. (Levites 23:36; Deuteronomy 16:8).

public meeting (Gr.: su·na·go'ge) synagogue, sinagoge, synagoga congregation or group of Jews, place of meeting,  meeting, meets, collects, assembles, bringing together , leading together; house of meeting. (See above)

Confidential meetings of a several nature are indicated by the Hebrew word sodh that means „confidential discussion; confidential ambulatory (Psalm 83:3; Job 29:4). It is reflected in Psalm 89:7 with „intimate group„: God is to be held in awe among the intimate group of holy ones; He is grand and fear-inspiring over all who are round about him.”The Greek ek·kle'si·a (from ek, “from” and kle'sis, „a calling”) in the Greek Septuagint it is usually used as a translation of the Hebrew qa·hal' (municipality) and sometimes of e·dhah (meeting), although the last word is also reflected with the Greek expression su·na·go'ge (that means “bringing together “from sun, „together”, and a'go, „to bring”) (see above). In Christian Greek writings ek·kle'si·a becomes usually reflected with „municipality. The Greek word su·na·go'ge “synagogue” is used in Acts of the Apostles 7: 13:43 concerning the meeting in the synagogue and in James 2:2 („meeting).In Wcts 7:38 it is used for the municipality Israel. Another Greek expression, pa·ne'gu·ris (from pan, „all”, and a'go·ra, which indicates each type of meeting), is reflected in Hebrews 12:23 with „general meeting.[5]

Meeting can happen at open places or in public buildings, synagogues, speech or prayer places or other. Jesus brought a lot of people on their legs to collect them around him. Christ met frequently with his disciples to give them mental instruction, and after his dead his followers came together, as on the Whitsunday in 33 C.T., when the Holy Spirit was poured out to those who were gathered together. (Acts 2:1 - 4).
In imitation of the example which Jesus had given them the apostles and the first Christians brought together also people to meet together, to study the Word of God and to bring a memory time with breaking bread.

Already before Jesus, attention was being given by the people of God to come together or to meet to study the Holy Scriptures together, and to spend time on the praise for Jehovah. Paul advised the believers not to neglect the regular meetings of God’s people: „ Let us hold fast the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that promised. And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23- 25) These meetings could take place in the ekklesia or ecclesia. (Acts 7:38; 8:1; 13:1; 19:23, 24, 29, 32, 41; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 1:1), but they could also take place simply in the house of fellow believer. (Romans 16:5; Philemon 2).

In agreement with that there is also spoken of separate Christian municipalities or „municipalities of God (Acts of the Apostles 15:41; 1 Corinthians 11:16). In older Dutch translations sometimes the word „church” is used in places which are related to the Christian municipality, like in 1 Corinthians 16:19 (KB; Leu). Since many people by the word ‘church’ think rather of a building where religious services are kept then to a municipality which practices its religion, the translation „church” can be misleading. For this reason we prefer as brothers of Christ rather to use the word ‘ecclesia’. The association of the “church” with the Roman Catholic Churches with cross constructions and church tower must be laid aside and the church must be considered as the Body of Christ made up by the collection of believers. The meeting believers form together the church. They must feed and prove the church community.

Jehovah has imposed to His people to come together and to hold meetings: “And I shall certainly bring upon YOU a sword wreaking vengeance for the covenant; and YOU will indeed gather yourselves into YOUR cities, and I shall certainly send pestilence into the midst of YOU, and YOU must be given into the hand of an enemy. “(Leviticus 26:25) (When you come together, BBE; huddled in your cities, CJB) “Only watch out for yourself and take good care of your soul, that you may not forget the things that your eyes have seen and that they may not depart from your heart all the days of your life; and you must make them known to your sons and to your grandsons, 10 the day that you stood before Jehovah your God in Ho´reb, when Jehovah said to me, ‘Congregate the people together to me that I may let them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they are alive on the soil and that they may teach their sons.’ (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)

“Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones and your alien resident who is within your gates, in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah YOUR God and take care to carry out all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 31:12) ““Therefore say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “I will also collect YOU from the peoples and gather YOU from the lands among which YOU have been scattered, and I will give YOU the soil of Israel. And they will certainly come there and remove all its disgusting things and all its detestable things out of it. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I shall put inside them; and I shall certainly remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, in order that they may walk in my own statutes and keep my own judicial decisions and actually carry them out; and they may really become my people and I myself may become their God.”’ (Ezekiel 11:17-20) “For all the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever. “In that day,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “I will gather her that was limping; and her that was dispersed I will collect together, even her whom I have treated badly. And I shall certainly make her that was limping a remnant, and her that was removed far off a mighty nation; and Jehovah will actually rule as king over them in Mount Zion, from now on and into time indefinite.  (Micha 4:5-7) And, indeed, because the wine is dealing treacherously, an able-bodied man is self-assuming; and he will not reach his goal, he who has made his soul spacious just like She´ol, and who is like death and cannot be satisfied. And he keeps gathering to himself all the nations and collecting together to himself all the peoples. (Habakuk 2:5) “ “‘Therefore keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘till the day of my rising up to [the] booty, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, for me to collect together kingdoms, in order to pour out upon them my denunciation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal all the earth will be devoured. For then I shall give to peoples the change to a pure language, in order for them all to call upon the name of Jehovah, in order to serve him shoulder to shoulder.’ “(Zephaniah 3:8-9) “The ones grief-stricken in absence from [your] festal season I shall certainly gather together; absent from you they happened to be, because of bearing reproach on her account. “(Zephaniah 3:18) “For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20) “ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her,—how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But YOU people did not want it. Look! YOUR house is abandoned to YOU. For I say to YOU, YOU will by no means see me from henceforth until YOU say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name!’” (Matthew 23:37-39) “In that very hour certain Pharisees came up, saying to him: “Get out and be on your way from here, because Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them: “Go and tell that fox, ‘Look! I am casting out demons and accomplishing healing today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be finished.’ Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the following day, because it is not admissible for a prophet to be destroyed outside of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her—how often I wanted to gather your children together in the manner that a hen gathers her brood of chicks under her wings, but YOU people did not want [it]! Look! YOUR house is abandoned to YOU. I tell YOU, YOU will by no means see me until YOU say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah’s name.’” (Luke 13:31-35) And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to sharing [with one another], to taking of meals and to prayers. (Acts 2:42) “Just as he chose us in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love.  For he foreordained us to the adoption through Jesus Christ as sons to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness which he kindly conferred upon us by means of [his] loved one. By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of [our] trespasses, according to the riches of his undeserved kindness. This he caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and good sense, in that he made known to us the sacred secret of his will. It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. [Yes,] in him, in union with whom we were also assigned as heirs, in that we were foreordained according to the purpose of him who operates all things according to the way his will counsels, that we should serve for the praise of his glory, we who have been first to hope in the Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4-12) “19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness for the way of entry into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 which he inaugurated for us as a new and living way through the curtain, that is, his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with true hearts in the full assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies bathed with clean water. 23 Let us hold fast the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for he is faithful that promised. 24 And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near. “(Hebrews 10:19-25) (NWT)

Jesus gave a superb example in showing appreciation for spiritual meetings. At a youthful age of twelve years he gave proof of his love for God’s house in Jerusalem. His parents had got rid of him, but found him finally whereas he spoke in the temple with teachers concerning the Word of God. As a response to the concern of his parents Jesus asked respectfully: „Did you not know that I must be in the [house] of my Father?” (Luke 2:49) Humbly the young Jesus returned with his parents to Nazareth. There he continued to show his love for meetings concerning worship by being regularly present in the synagogue. The Bible reports thus that he, when he started his service, „he came to Naz´a·reth, where he had been reared; and, according to his custom on the Sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and he stood up to read.”  After Jesus had read and explained Isaiah 61:1, 2 and had surprised the listeners with the pleasing words which originated from his mouth. (Luke 4:16, 22).

Jesus not only gave the example of preaching and of a healthy manner to associate with others. He urged his followers not to renounce to meet. We have to, in the extension of the work of Jesus Christ and his disciples, to follow them and have to bring others to gather together, looking to it that as many as possible come to God’s municipality (Matthew 24:14, 45; Luke 12:42 - 44; Revelation of John 7:9 - 14). Such as it was important in the municipality Israel to keep meetings for the worship of Jehovah and for a consideration of His law (Deuteronomy 31:12; Nehemiah 8:1 - 8) we must consider to accomplish in this way meetings for the worship of Jehovah and studying the book as an essential characteristic of the Christian municipality of God. If we really want to be considered as a component of the body of Christ we must take care that we form together with others a municipality in Christ, `a meeting in Christ’ or an ecclesia.

The Christian meetings thus must be for us a source of encouragement. It must form occasions where we feel that we our united with each other in Christ. It must, as well be moments where we sense how refreshing it is for being together with loving brethren and sisters that have the same interest for God but also feel interested in each other and also want to persist to the end! We cannot permit it to take this loving provision of Jehovah for us rashly. Let us by means of our hard-working personal study and our regular visits to meetings “become adults in intellectual capacities”. (1 Corinthians 14:20).

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews admonished to the recipients of his letter thus to not forsake mutual meetings (10:24, 25) and that everyone by that meeting can take a particular task for himself in which he or she himself can do the best for the community. „ But let each one prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. For each one will carry his own load. “(Galatians 6:4, 5). Jehovah accepts our strength efforts and sacrifices to what we have, not to what we do not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12; compare Luke 21:1 - 4).

If we come together as Brothers in Christ the emphasis must be to serve God. The attention must go out firstly and especially to the Word of God. At the meetings we can apply to examine and to discuss together God’s Word and to encourage each other. We must further take care that the service or the God worship in the meeting goes according to the wishes of God and that the worldly pleasure does not come to the fore.

From regular companionship with our fellow believers we also beside encouragement can receive perseverance and a lot of burdens will seem lighter and we shall feel less tired. (Hebrews 12:1; Galatians 6:9.)

Regular meetings with fellow believers are a form of exteriorizing of the belief is and belongs to the obligation which a dedicated Christian has towards God. We will create joy in the stimulus and exhortation of our brothers and sisters and by being exhorted and to be strengthened by love and excellent work for the important works that exist in the public disclosure of our hope if that is now an earthly or celestial hope. (John 13:35). Jehovah God has interest for our meetings. The main aim of such meetings is to send „under the meeting mob praise to God “(Psalm 26:12)[6]. That we visit municipality meetings or ecclesiae, are a proof of our love for Him. To meditate concerning the privilege and the advantages of visiting Christian meetings will help to support these meetings loyally and wholeheartedly. When all who have a share to the program of a meeting, consciously take care that they reflect the fruit of God’s Spirit, such as joy, forbearance and belief, all people present definitely will feel built-up. (Galatians 5:22, 23). Let us therefore for this reason take care to meet regularly and to delight Jehovah’s heart with our gathering together in the name of Jesus Christ who will stretch us abundantly to advantage if we incorporate the divine education which leads to eternal life. (Proverbs 27:11; Isaiah 48:17, 18; Mark 13:35 - 37).

[2] Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
[3] Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved
[4] Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
[5] 22 But YOU have approached a Mount Zion and a city of [the] living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, 23 in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens, and God the Judge of all, and the spiritual lives of righteous ones who have been made perfect, 24 and Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, which speaks in a better way than Abel’s [blood].
[6] My own foot will certainly stand on a level place; Among the congregated throngs I shall bless Jehovah.

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