Assembly (in Heb. מוֹעֵד, moed', etc.; in Gr. ἐκκλησία), a term used in the New Testament to denote a convocation or congregation of persons legally called out or summoned. SEE CONGREGATION.
(1.) In the usual or secular sense (Ac 19:39). Asia Minor, in the time of the apostles, was divided into several districts, each of which had its own legal assembly. SEE ASIARCH. Some of these are referred to by Cicero, and others by Pliny, particularly the one at Ephesus. The regular periods of such assemblies, it appears, were three or four times a month; although they were convoked extraordinarily for the dispatch of any urgent business. SEE ASIA (MINOR).
(2.) In the Jewish sense, the word implies a religious meeting, as in a synagogue (Mt 18:17); and in the Christian sense, a congregation of believers (1Co 11:18); hence a church, the Christian Church, and is used of any particular church, as that at Jerusalem (Ac 8:1) and Antioch (Ac 11:26). SEE SYNAGOGUE; SEE CHURCH.
MASTERS OF ASSEMBLIES (בִּעֲלֵי אֲסֻפוֹת, baaley' asuphoth', lords of the gdtherings; Sept. οἱ παρὰ τῶν συναγμάτων, Vulg. per magistrorum consilum), is a phrase occurring in Ec 12:11, and supposed to refer to the master-spirits or associates of the meetings of the wise and curious (חֲכָמִים, of the parallel clause), held in Eastern countries, and where sages and philosophers uttered their weighty sayings. SEE MASTER. The preacher endeavored to clothe the infinitely wise and perfect doctrines which he taught in proper language. They were the words of truth, and were designed to prove quickening to the sluggish soul as goads are to the dull ox (Ac 2:37). They were received from the one great shepherd or teacher, and came with great power as the sayings of the most wise and eloquent of their learned assemblies; and they would take hold of the hearts and consciences of men, holding them to the obedience of the truth, as nails driven through a- sound board firmly bind and fasten it where we will (see Stuart, Comment. in loc.). Hengstenberg, however (Comment. in loc.), fancifully understands the participators in the sacred collection (or apothegms of Scripture) to be meant. SEE ECCLESIASTES.