Numbers 2 Commentary

Plans for camping and marching (2:1-34)

In setting up a camp, the Israelites arranged themselves in four groups of three, one group on each of the four sides of the tabernacle. Each of these four groups had a flag bearing the name of the senior tribe in the group. The group on the eastern side was under the flag of Judah, and when the people journeyed this group went first (2:1-9). The group on the southern side was under the flag of Reuben, and this group had second place in the procession (10-16).


Next in the march came Levi, carrying the tabernacle. The tabernacle and the tribe that looked after it were therefore central in the march just as they were central in the camp, emphasizing that God was always in the midst of his people (17). The group under Ephraim, which camped on the west side of the tabernacle, came behind the tabernacle in the procession (18-24), and the group under Dan, which camped on the north side of the tabernacle, came last (25-31). There were special arrangements for the Levites (32-34; see 3:14-39).

Privacy Policy