Numbers 2:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family."

New Living Translation
"When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.

English Standard Version
“The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.

New American Standard Bible
"The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.

King James Bible
Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Israelites are to camp under their respective banners beside the flags of their ancestral houses. They are to camp around the tent of meeting at a distance from it:

International Standard Version
"Every single Israeli is to encamp beneath his standard with the emblem of his ancestral house. The Israelis are to encamp in front of and surrounding the Tent of Meeting."

NET Bible
"Every one of the Israelites must camp under his standard with the emblems of his family; they must camp at some distance around the tent of meeting.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The Israelites will put up their tents with each family under the flag that symbolizes its household. They will put their tents around the tent of meeting, facing it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Each man of the sons of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, according to the ensigns of the houses of their fathers; round about the tabernacle of the testimony shall they pitch.

King James 2000 Bible
Every man of the children of Israel shall encamp by his own standard, with the banner of their father's house: over against the tabernacle of meeting shall they encamp.

American King James Version
Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

American Standard Version
The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the ensigns of their fathers houses: over against the tent of meeting shall they encamp round about.

Douay-Rheims Bible
All the children of Israel shall camp by their troops, ensigns, and standards, and the houses of their kindreds, round about the tabernacle of the covenant.

Darby Bible Translation
The children of Israel shall encamp every one by his standard, with the ensign of their father's house; round about the tent of meeting, afar off, opposite to it shall they encamp.

English Revised Version
The children of Israel shall pitch every man by his own standard, with the ensigns of their fathers' houses: over against the tent of meeting shall they pitch round about.

Webster's Bible Translation
Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

World English Bible
"The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' houses: at a distance from the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp around it."

Young's Literal Translation
'Each by his standard, with ensigns of the house of their fathers, do the sons of Israel encamp; over-against round about the tent of meeting they encamp.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-34 The order of the tribes in their tents. - The tribes were to encamp about the tabernacle, which was to be in the midst of them. It was a token of God's gracious presence. Yet they were to pitch their tents afar off, in reverence to the sanctuary. The children of Israel put themselves in their posts, without murmuring or disputing; and as it was their safety, so it was their beauty. It is our duty and interest to be contented with the place allotted to us, and to endeavour to occupy it in a proper manner, without envying or murmuring; without ambition or covetousness. Thus the gospel church ought to be compact, according to the Scripture model, every one knowing and keeping his place; and then all that wish well to the church rejoice, beholding their order, Col 2:5.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Shall pitch by his own standard. We are not told how they had pitched hitherto; the tribal and family order now enforced was the natural order, but in the absence of precise directions would sometimes be departed from. With the ensign. Rather, "ensigns" (othoth in the plural). Each tribe, it would seem (see verse 31), had its standard (degel), and each family in the tribe its ensign (oth). Far off. Rather, "over against," i.e., facing the tabernacle, with a certain space (perhaps 2000 cubits, Joshua 3:4) between.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard,.... Or banner, of which there were four, as appears from the following account, under each of which were placed three tribes; and so every man of each tribe was to pitch his tent in the tribe he belonged to, and by the standard under which his tribe was marshalled, and in the rank that he was placed:

with the ensigns of their father's house; which were either lesser standards or banners, somewhat different from the great standard or banner, which belonged to the camp consisting of three tribes, and which were peculiar to their several families and houses, and distinguished one from another, like flags in different regiments; or these were signs (f), as the word may be rendered, or marks in the standards or banners, which, distinguished one from another; so the Targum of Jonathan, the signs which were marked in their standards: but what they were is not easy to say; Aben Ezra observes, and Abendana from him, that their ancients were used to say, that there was in the standard of Reuben the form of a man, on account of the mandrakes, Genesis 30:14; and in the standard of Judah the form of a lion, because Jacob compared him to one, Genesis 49:9; and in the standard of Ephraim the form of an ox, from the sense of those words, the firstling of his bullock, Deuteronomy 33:17; and in the standard of Dan the form of an eagle, so that they might be like the cherubim the prophet Ezekiel saw, Ezekiel 1:10, which is not very likely, such images and representations not being very agreeable, yea, even detestable to the people of the Jews in later times, and can hardly be thought to be in use with their early ancestors: others, as Jarchi, fancy that those standards were distinguished by their colours, as our flags or ensigns are; which, if they stopped here, would not be much amiss, but they go on and say, that each was according to the colour of his stone fixed in the breastplate, so that there were three colours in every flag or standard; thus, for instance, in the standard of Judah, which is the first, were the colours of the three precious stones, on which were the names of Judah, Issachar, and Reuben, namely, the emerald, sapphire, and diamond; and so in the rest of the standards; but others say, the letters of the names of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, differently disposed of, were on those standards; but rather, one would think, the names of the three tribes under every standard were embroidered on them, which would sufficiently distinguish one from another, and direct where tribe was to pitch; but of those things there is no certainty:

far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch: a mile from it, according to Jarchi, or two thousand cubits, which is supposed to be a sabbath day's journey, Acts 1:12; and this distance is gathered from Joshua 3:4, and is not improbable.

(f) "in signis", Pagninus, Montanus; "sub signis", Tigurine version; "cum signis", Junius & Tremellius, Drusius; "apud signa", Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Every man … shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house—Standards were visible signs of a certain recognized form for directing the movements of large bodies of people. As the Israelites were commanded to encamp "each by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house," the direction has been considered as implying that they possessed three varieties: (1) the great tribal standards, which served as rallying points for the twelve large clans of the people; (2) the standards of the subdivided portions; and, (3) those of families or houses. The latter must have been absolutely necessary, as one ensign only for a tribe would not have been visible at the extremities of so large a body. We possess no authentic information as to their forms, material, colors, and devices. But it is probable that they might bear some resemblance to those of Egypt, only stripped of any idolatrous symbols. These were of an umbrella or a fanlike form, made of ostrich feathers, shawls, &c., lifted on the points of long poles, which were borne, either like the sacred central one, on a car, or on men's shoulders, while others might be like the beacon lights which are set on poles by Eastern pilgrims at night. Jewish writers say that the standards of the Hebrew tribes were symbols borrowed from the prophetic blessing of Jacob—Judah's being a lion, Benjamin's a wolf, &c. [Ge 49:3-24]; and that the ensigns or banners were distinguished by their colors—the colors of each tribe being the same as that of the precious stone representing that tribe in the breastplate of the high priest [Ex 28:17-21].

far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch—that is, "over against," at a reverential distance. The place of every tribe is successively and specifically described because each had a certain part assigned both in the order of march and the disposition of the encampment.

Numbers 2:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Order of the Camps
1Now the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2"The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance. 3"Now those who camp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah, by their armies, and the leader of the sons of Judah: Nahshon the son of Amminadab,…
Cross References
Numbers 1:52
The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard.

Numbers 2:1
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:

Numbers 24:2
When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him

Psalm 74:4
Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.
Treasury of Scripture

Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

Every man. The Israelites, it appears, encamped in four grand divisions, with the tabernacle in the centre; though at some distance from it. The form of the camp was quadrangular, containing, according to Scheuchzer, a little more than twelve square miles. Under each of the four divisions, three tribes were placed, under one general standard. Between these four great camps and the tabernacle, were pitched four smaller camps of the priests and Levites, who were in immediate attendance upon it; the camp of Moses, and of Aaron and his sons, being on the east side of the tabernacle, where the entrance was. Judah was placed on the east, and under him he had Issachar and Zebulum; on the south was Reuben, and under him Simeon and Gad; on the west was Ephraim, and under him Manasseh and Benjamin; and Dan was on the north, and under him Asher and Naphtali. Every tribe had its particular standard, probably with the name of the tribe embroidered with large letters. It seems highly improbable that the figures of animals should have been painted on them, as the Jewish writers assert; for even in after ages, when Vitellius wished to march through Judea, their great men besought him to march another way, as the law of the land did not permit images (such as were on the Roman standard) to be brought into it.

shall pitch

Numbers 2:3,10 And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the …

Numbers 1:52 And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by …

Numbers 10:14,18,22,25 In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children …

the ensign

Isaiah 11:10-12 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand …

Isaiah 18:3 All you inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see …

Zechariah 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of …

far off. Heb. over against

Joshua 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand …

Numbers 1:50,53 But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, …

Psalm 76:11 Vow, and pay to the LORD your God: let all that be round about him …

Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, you inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy …

Ezekiel 43:7 And he said to me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place …

1 Corinthians 14:33,40 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches …

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: …

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and …

Revelation 4:2-5 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set …

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