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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Numbers 2

NUMBERS CHAPTER 2

Order for the marches and camping of the tribes, Numbers 2:1,Numbers 2:2.

Judah on the east side, with Issachar and Zebulun, who led the van, Numbers 2:3-9.

Reuben on the south side, with Simeon and Gad; then the tabernacle was to follow, the Levites camping round it, Numbers 2:10-17.

Ephraim on the west side, with Manasseh and Benjamin, Numbers 2:18-24.

Dan on the north quarter, with Asher and Naphtali, Numbers 2:25-31.

Verse 2

By his own standard, or ensign, by that to which he is allotted by the following order. It is manifest that there were four great standards or ensigns, which here follow, distinguished by their colours or figures, or otherwise; also that there were other particular ensigns belonging to each of their father’s houses or families, as is here said.

Far off; partly out of reverence to God and his worship, and the portion allotted to it, and partly for caution, lest their vicinity to it might tempt them to make too near approaches to it. It is supposed they were at two thousand cubits distance from it, which was the space between the people and the ark, Joshua 3:4, and it is not improbable, because the Levites encamped round about it between them and the tabernacle.

Verse 5

Issachar and Zebulun were Leah’s two youngest sons, and therefore would more contentedly submit to Judah.

Verse 9

This was the most numerous camp, because they marched first, as being placed on the east and going towards the east, and because they guarded the sanctuary.

Verse 10

Reuben being the first-born, was the leader of the second camp.

Verse 14

Called Deuel, Numbers 1:14, the Hebrew letters daleth and resh being very like, and oft changed, as appears by comparing Genesis 10:3, with 1 Chronicles 1:6; Genesis 36:26,Genesis 36:38, with 1 Chronicles 1:41,1 Chronicles 1:50.

Verse 17

In the midst of the camp, which is not to be understood strictly or exactly, but largely; for in their march they were divided, and part of that tribe marched next after Judah, Numbers 10:17, and the other part exactly in the midst of the camp.

Verse 18

Ephraim is here preferred before his brother, according to the prophecy, Genesis 48:19,Genesis 48:20.

Verse 31

The strongest camp next after Judah, and therefore he comes in the rear, as Judah marched in the front, that the tabernacle might be best guarded where there was most danger.

Verse 33

Because their warfare was of another kind.

Verse 34

By their standards, i.e. each of them under his principal standard.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 2". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/numbers-2.html. 1685.