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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Numbers 2



Verses 1-34

Numbers 2:1-34. The Position of the Tribes in the Camp and on the March.—The encampment, when stationary, was arranged as a quadrilateral, containing within it the Tabernacle, surrounded by the consecrated tribe of Levi, and having each of its four sides constituted by the camps of three tribes. On the E. (or front) were Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun (descended from Leah, Genesis 29:35; Genesis 30:18-20); on the S. were Reuben. Simeon (also descended from Leah, Genesis 29:32 f.), and Gad (descended from Zilpah, Genesis 30:10 f.); on the W. were Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin (descendants of Rachel, Genesis 30:24; Genesis 35:16-18; Genesis 41:51 f.); on the N. were Dan, Asher, and Naphtali (descended from either Zilpah or Bilhah, Genesis 30:5 f., Genesis 30:12 f., Genesis 30:7 f.). The four groups of tribes were reckoned as the camps of Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan respectively. When the encampment was in motion, Judah's camp went first, followed by Reuben's; then came the Levites with the Tabernacle; behind it followed Ephraim's camp; whilst Dan's camp closed the rear. A somewhat different arrangement is described in ch. 10.

Numbers 2:2. standard: better, "company" or "division" (LXX, τάγμα), a meaning more appropriate in Numbers 2:3 and suitable in Numbers 2:17 f., Numbers 2:25; Numbers 2:31; Numbers 2:34.—ensigns: the use of a pennon or other device attached to a spear is said to be still a custom of the Arabs, to mark the site of a camp.


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 2:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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