Numbers 2

1 The LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses: at a distance from the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp around it.” 3 Those who encamp on the east side towards the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah, according to their divisions: and the prince of the children of Judah shall be Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 4 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were seventy-four thousand and six hundred. 5 Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Issachar: and the prince of the children of Issachar shall be Nethanel the son of Zuar. 6 His division, and those who were numbered of it, were fifty-four thousand and four hundred. 7 The tribe of Zebulun: and the prince of the children of Zebulun shall be Eliab the son of Helon. 8 His division, and those who were numbered of it, were fifty-seven thousand and four hundred. 9 All who were numbered of the camp of Judah were one hundred and eighty-six thousand and four hundred, according to their divisions. They shall set out first. 10 “On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their divisions. The prince of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur. 11 His division, and those who were numbered of it, were forty-six thousand and five hundred. 12 “Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon. The prince of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 13 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were fifty-nine thousand and three hundred. 14 “The tribe of Gad: and the prince of the children of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of Reuel. 15 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty-five thousand and six hundred and fifty. 16 “All who were numbered of the camp of Reuben were one hundred and fifty-one thousand and four hundred and fifty, according to their armies. They shall set out second. 17 “Then the Tent of Meeting shall set out, with the camp of the Levites in the middle of the camps. As they encamp, so shall they set out, every man in his place, by their standards. 18 “On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their divisions: and the prince of the children of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud. 19 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty thousand and five hundred. 20 “Next to him shall be the tribe of Manasseh: and the prince of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 21 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were thirty-two thousand and two hundred. 22 “The tribe of Benjamin: and the prince of the children of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni. 23 His army, and those who were numbered of them, were thirty-five thousand and four hundred. 24 “All who were numbered of the camp of Ephraim were one hundred and eight thousand and one hundred, according to their divisions. They shall set out third. 25 “On the north side shall be the standard of the camp of Dan according to their divisions: and the prince of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were sixty-two thousand and seven hundred. 27 “Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Asher: and the prince of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel the son of Ochran. 28 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty-one thousand and five hundred. 29 “The tribe of Naphtali: and the prince of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan. 30 His division, and those who were numbered of them, were fifty-three thousand and four hundred. 31 “All who were numbered of the camp of Dan were one hundred and fifty-seven thousand and six hundred. They shall set out last by their standards.” 32 These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers’ houses. All who were numbered of the camps according to their armies were six hundred and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. 33 But the Levites were not numbered amongst the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses. 34 Thus the children of Israel did. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so they encamped by their standards, and so they set out, everyone by their families, according to their fathers’ houses.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–34

The tribes were to encamp about the tabernacle, which was to be in the midst of them. It was a token of God’s gracious presence. Yet they were to pitch their tents afar off, in reverence to the sanctuary. The children of Israel put themselves in their posts, without murmuring or disputing; and as it was their safety, so it was their beauty. It is our duty and interest to be contented with the place allotted to us, and to endeavour to occupy it in a proper manner, without envying or murmuring; without ambition or covetousness. Thus the gospel church ought to be compact, according to the Scripture model, every one knowing and keeping his place; and then all that wish well to the church rejoice, beholding their order, Col 2:5.

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