Numbers 2:1
And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
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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.had spoken - Render spake. The formal appointment is only now made, in reward for their zeal Exodus 32:26-29, though reference to their future office appears previously in Leviticus 25:32 ff, and they had already acted as assistants to the priests (compare Exodus 38:21). CHAPTER 2

Nu 2:1-34. The Order of the Tribes in Their Tents.Order for the marches and camping of the tribes, Numbers 2:1,2. 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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, and unto Aaron,.... Very probably after the number of the children of Israel was taken, of which in the preceding chapter, and when the congregation of Israel with the tabernacle were about to set forward on their journey; and therefore directions are here given for their orderly and regular proceeding in it, in what form and manner they should both encamp and march:

saying: as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Verse 1. - The Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron. Probably when they had finished the census, and brought the results into the tabernacle. Moses was not to muster the tribe of Levi along with the children of Israel, i.e., with the other tribes, or take their number, but to appoint the Levites for the service of the dwelling of the testimony (Exodus 38:21), i.e., of the tabernacle, that they might encamp around it, might take it down when the camp was broken up, and set it up when Israel encamped again, and that no stranger (zar, non-Levite, as in Leviticus 22:10) might come near it and be put to death (see Numbers 3:10). The rest of the tribes were to encamp every man in his place of encampment, and by his banner (see at Numbers 2:2), in their hosts (see Numbers 2), that wrath might not come upon the congregation, viz., through the approach of a stranger. קצף, the wrath of Jehovah, breaking in judgment upon the unholy who approached His sanctuary in opposition to His command (Numbers 8:19; Numbers 18:5, Numbers 18:22). On the expression "keep the charge" (shamar mishmereth), see at Genesis 26:5 and Leviticus 8:35.
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