103-1002-Numbers Chapter 2

Chapter 2

In this chapter we see how God wanted the tribes of Israel to be placed when in camp. Each member of a tribe must camp under the flag of his tribe and by his own family tribe. God’s tent was to be placed in the midst or in the middle of the nation of Israel. But the tribes must not camp too close to the Tent of Meeting. The Tribes were divided into groups of three each.

Judah’s tribe must camp to the east of God’s tent. The two tribes that walk with Judah are the tribe of Issachar and Zebulun. These two tribes are to camp on each side of Judah’s.

Tribe Leader Number
Judah Nahshon son of Amminadab 74,600
Issachar Nethanel son of Zuar 54,400
Zebulun Eliab son of Helon 57,400

The Number of all three tribes of Judah’s group were 186,400 men. Whenever the camp was to move Judah’s group would lead.

Reuben’s group must camp to the south of God’s tent. The tribes that walk with Reuben were Simeon and Gad.

Tribe Leader Number
Reuben Elizur son of Shedeur 46,500
Simeon Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai 59,300
Gad Eliasaph son of Deuel 45,650

The Total number of men in Reuben’s group was 151 450 men. Reuben’s group was the second in the line of march whenever the Israelite nation moved.

The tribe of Levi was to follow the first two groups of Judah and Reuben. They were to carry the Tent of Meeting and care for all of its belongings. They were to dismantle it when the Israelite nation moved and restore it when the Israelite nation camped.

Ephraim’s camp must camp to the west of the Tent of Meeting as well as the tribes that walked with them. These tribes were Manasseh’s tribe and Benjamins.

Tribe Leader Number
Ephraim son of Joseph Elishama son of Ammihud 40,500
Manasseh son of Joseph Gamaliel son of Pedahzur 32,200
Naphtali Ahira son of Enan 35,400

Ephraim’s group totaled 108,100 men and their order of march was behind Reuben’s group.

Dan’s group made up the last and they were the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. They were to make their camp to the north of the Tent of Meeting.

Tribe Leader Number
Dan Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai 62,700
Asher Pagiel son of Ocran 41,500
Benjamin Abidan son of Gideoni 53,400

Dan’s group totaled 157,600 men and their order of march was last.

Verses 32-34

The tribes of Israel formed a square when placed and God’s Tent was placed in the middle. This was also the practice of the Army of Egypt in the 13th century BC. They would place their armies in a square with the king’s tent in the middle. But in the Israelite’s camp God’s tent was in the middle and He was the King of Israel.

The tribe of Levi camped in the space between the other camps and the Tent of Meeting. They were responsible for it and did not allow the other tribes to come too close to it.

Each tribe camped beneath its own flag. There was an Israelite tradition that each flag bore the colors of one of the precious stones in the High Priest clothes. (Exodus 28:15-34) We find nothing in the bible to support this belief.

The tribes were aligned in the order of their importance. The most important position was to the east. It was the same as the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. So it was to this position that the largest and most important group was positioned which was Judah’s

Academic Administrator for Durant Bible College Pastor's Assistant First Baptist Church of Durant Clerk First Baptist Church of Durant