Amplified Bible

Numbers 2

Arrangement of the Camps

1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the [a]banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), but at a distance. Those who camp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the [b]standard of the camp of Judah, by their armies; and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall lead the sons of Judah, and his army as numbered totaled 74,600. Next to Judah [on the east side] the tribe of Issachar shall encamp; and Nethanel the son of Zuar shall lead the sons of Issachar, and his army as numbered totaled 54,400. Then [also on the east side] the tribe of Zebulun; and Eliab the son of Helon shall lead the sons of Zebulun, and his army as numbered totaled 57,400. The total of the numbered men [in the three tribes on the east side] in the camp of Judah was 186,400, by their armies. They shall move out first [on the march].

10 “On the south side shall be the [c]standard of the camp of Reuben, by their armies; and Elizur the son of Shedeur shall lead the sons of Reuben, 11 and his army as numbered totaled 46,500. 12 Those who camp next to Reuben [on the south side] shall be the tribe of Simeon; and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai shall lead the sons of Simeon, 13 and his army as numbered totaled 59,300. 14 Then [completing the south side] the tribe of Gad; and Eliasaph the son of Reuel (Deuel) shall lead the sons of Gad, 15 and his army as numbered totaled 45,650. 16 The total of the numbered men [in the three tribes on the south side] in the camp of Reuben was 151,450, by their armies. They shall move out second [on the march].

17 “Then the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) shall move out with the camp of the Levites in the middle of the [other] camps; just as they camp so shall they move out, every man in his place by their standards.

18 “On the west side shall be the [d]standard of the camp of Ephraim, by their armies; and Elishama the son of Ammihud shall lead the sons of Ephraim, 19 and his army as numbered totaled 40,500. 20 Beside Ephraim [on the west side] shall be the tribe of Manasseh; and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur shall lead the sons of Manasseh, 21 and his army as numbered totaled 32,200. 22 Then [completing the west side shall be] the tribe of Benjamin; and Abidan the son of Gideoni shall lead the sons of Benjamin, 23 and his army as numbered totaled 35,400. 24 The total of the numbered men [of the three tribes on the west side] in the camp of Ephraim was 108,100, by their armies. They shall move out in third place.

25 “On the north side shall be the [e]standard of the camp of Dan, by their armies; and Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai shall lead the sons of Dan, 26 and his army as numbered totaled 62,700. 27 Encamped next to Dan [on the north side] shall be the tribe of Asher; and Pagiel the son of Ochran shall lead the sons of Asher, 28 and his army as numbered totaled 41,500. 29 Then [completing the north side] comes the tribe of Naphtali; and Ahira the son of Enan shall lead the sons of Naphtali, 30 and his army as numbered totaled 53,400. 31 The total of the numbered men [of the three tribes on the north side] in the camp of Dan was 157,600. They shall move out last, [f]standard after standard.”

32 These are the men of the Israelites [twenty years old and upward] as numbered by their fathers’ households. The total of the numbered men of the camps by their armies, 603,550. 33 But the Levites were not numbered with the [other] Israelites, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 34 Thus the Israelites did [as ordered]; according to everything the Lord had commanded Moses, so they camped by their standards, and so they moved out, everyone with his family (clan), according to his fathers’ household.

  1. Numbers 2:2 Each of the twelve tribes had a colored banner. The tribes were organized into groups of three. The leading tribe in each triad had a standard representing their group.
  2. Numbers 2:3 The standard of the tribes of Judah contained the picture of a lion.
  3. Numbers 2:10 The standard of the tribes headed by Reuben contained the picture of a man.
  4. Numbers 2:18 The standard of the tribes headed by Ephraim contained the picture of an ox.
  5. Numbers 2:25 The standard of the tribes headed by Dan contained the picture of an eagle.
  6. Numbers 2:31 The symbol on the various tribal standards seems important in view of the cherubim of Ezek 1:10, and in view of the living creatures of Rev 4:7. God was present in each of these settings.