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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Numbers 2

Verse 1

the LORD [Hebrew. Jehovah.

spake. See note on Numbers 1:1 .

Verse 2

man. Hebrew. 'ish . See App-14 .

children = sons. See note on Numbers 1:2 .

pitch = encamp.

standard. Hebrew. degel.

ensign. Each standard is said to have had as its "sign" one of the twelve constellations (see note on Genesis 1:16 , and App-12 . Hebrew. 'oth) depicted on it. One standard, with its sign on it for each tribe. Hence called "ensign". See notes on the tribes below, from the Targum of Jonathan.

far off = over against. Same as Psalms 38:12 , yet so as to be in view. Compare 2 Kings 2:7 . Deuteronomy 32:52 .Genesis 21:16 .

tabernacle = tent. Hebrew. 'ohel. See App-40 .

Verse 3

east. The order proceeds according to the course of the sun: east, south, west, north. camp. Each camp composed of three tribes. Compare verses: Numbers 2:3 , Numbers 2:10 , Numbers 2:17 , Numbers 3:18 , Numbers 3:25 , Numbers 3:32 .

Judah. The sign, a lion (Genesis 49:9 . Ezekiel 1:10 . Revelation 4:7 ). The standard, the colors of the three stones of the second row, Exodus 28:1-8 , For the order, see App-45 .

Verse 5

Issachar , brother of Judah (same mother, Leah). Genesis 35:23 . Sign on standard = Cancer.

Verse 7

Then. This word, according to some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, should not be in italics. Compare verses: Numbers 2:14 , Numbers 2:22 , Numbers 2:29 ,

Zebulun , brother of Judah (same mother, Leah). Genesis 35:23 . Sign on standard = Virgo.

Verse 10

south. See note on "east", Numbers 2:3 .

Reuben. The centre of the south side, with standard in the colors of stones of first row of Exodus 28:17 ; and sign, a man (Genesis 30:14 ) = Aquarius in Zodiac.

Verse 12

Simeon, the brother of Reuben (same mother, Leah). Genesis 35:23 . Sign = Pisces.

Verse 14

Gad , brother of Reuben (same mother, Leah). Genesis 35:23 . Sign = Aries.

Reuel. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Targum of Onkelos, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Vulgate, have "Deuel", as in Ch. Numbers 1:14 ; Numbers 7:41 ; Numbers 10:20 ; the (Resh, R) being mistaken for (Daleth, D). Probably called, indifferently, by either name.

Verse 17

tabernacle of the congregation. See note on Numbers 2:2 . This was in centre. So is the tent of the chief of the tribe to this day. The manner of its being carried is shown in Ch. Numbers 10:17 , &c.

Levites. The order of the Levites' camping is shown in Numbers 3:0 , their marching in Numbers 10:0 . Their sign was Libra, or more anciently the "altar".

as = according as.

Verse 18

west. See note on Numbers 2:3 . Hebrew = sea, that being west.

Ephraim. The centre on the west side. The colors of the stones in fourth row of Exodus 28:20 . The sign, an ox (Deuteronomy 33:17 . Ezekiel 1:10 . Revelation 4:7 ). In the Zodiac, Ephraim and Manasseh are the two horns of Taurus, the bull. Ephraim, the younger, bears the standard, according to the blessing in Genesis 48:14-20 .

Verse 20

Manasseh , brother of Ephraim by same mother (Genesis 41:51 , Genesis 41:52 ). Sign, see Numbers 2:18 .

Verse 22

Benjamin , sons of Rachel, all on west side. Sign, Gemini.

Verse 25

Dan. The centre on the north side. Colors of standard same as those of the third row of stones in Exodus 28:19 . Sign, the eagle (substituted for the serpent of Genesis 49:17 ). Compare Ezekiel 1:10 . Revelation 4:7 .

Verse 27

Asher, the son of the other handmaid Zilpah, put with Dan and Naphtali, the sons of Bilhah. His sign was Sagittarius, the Archer.

Verse 29

Naphtali. His sign was Capricornus, the goat. Compare Genesis 49:21 .

Verse 32

the camps. See note on Numbers 2:3 , and App-45 . They may be thus set forth:

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 2". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.