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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann
Numbers 2

 

 

Verses 1-34

The Order of the Tribes in the Camp and on the March.

v. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

v. 2. Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, flag, or banner, with the ensign of their father's house. There were four of such large banners, one each for the four leading tribes, Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan, each of which had two other tribes on its side of the Tabernacle. Far off about the Tabernacle of the Congregation shall they pitch, that is, at some distance, and yet near enough to make their relation to the Sanctuary prominent.

v. 3. And on the east side, toward the rising of the sun, shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies; and Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, shall be captain of the children of Judah.

v. 4. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, the army of Judah alone, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.

v. 5. And those that do pitch next unto him shall be the tribe of Issachar; and Nethaneel, the son of Zuar, shall be captain of the children of Issachar.

v. 6. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.

v. 7. Then the tribe of Zebulun; and Eliab, the son of Helon, shall be captain of the children of Zebulun.

v. 8. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.

v. 9. All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth, as the vanguard and the first division of the mighty army of the Lord, the position of Judah as the champion of his brethren thus being brought out, Gen_49:8-9.

v. 10. On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their armies; and the captain of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur, the son of Shedeur.

v. 11. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.

v. 12. And those which pitch by him shall be the tribe of Simeon; and the captain of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai.

v. 13. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.

v. 14. Then the tribe of Gad; and the captain of the sons of Gad shall be Eliasaph, the son of Beuel.

v. 15. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty.

v. 16. All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben, in the entire division under the leadership of Elizur, were an hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand and four hundred and fifty, throughout their armies. And they shall set forth in the second rank.

v. 17. Then the Tabernacle of the Congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp, in the center of the entire encampment; as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards, that is, every man of the entire congregation on the side of the camp where he pitched his tent, in the neighborhood of the banner under which he marched.

v. 18. On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies; and the captain of the sons of Ephraim shall be Elishama, the son of Ammihud.

v. 19. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty thousand and five hundred.

v. 20. And by him shall be the tribe of Manasseh; and the captain of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur.

v. 21. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.

v. 22. Then the tribe of Benjamin; and the captain of the sons of Benjamin shall be Abidan, the son of Gideoni.

v. 23. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.

v. 24. All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim, the entire division under the leadership of Elishama, were an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank, immediately behind the Levites.

v. 25. The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies; and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai.

v. 26. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.

v. 27. And those that encamp by him shall be the tribe of Asher; and the captain of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel, the son of Ocran.

v. 28. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.

v. 29. Then the tribe of Naphtali; and the captain of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira, the son of Enan.

v. 30. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.

v. 31. All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan, under the leadership of Ahiezer, were an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards, bring up the rear and shield the people from attacks from behind.

v. 32. These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel by the house of their fathers; all those that were numbered of the camps, the sections of the large camp, throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty, Num_1:46.

v. 33. But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses.

v. 34. And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses; so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers. To get a complete picture of the encampment of the Israelites, one must imagine a small rectangle representing the Tabernacle. On the right, that is, on the east, of this was the place of Moses, Aaron, and the priests, and beyond them that of the armies under the leadership of Judah; below, on the south, were the 8,000 Kohathites, and beyond them the divisions under the leadership of Reuben; to the left, on the west, were the 7,500 Gershonites, and beyond them the divisions under the leadership of Ephraim; and above, on the north, were the 6,200 Merarites, and beyond them the divisions under the leadership of Dan. As this entire great host moved forward under the guidance of the Angel of the Lord in the cloud, so the army of believers in the New Testament moves forward under the leadership of Christ.

 


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Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Numbers 2:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/numbers-2.html. 1921-23.

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Monday, January 27th, 2020
the Third Week after Epiphany
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