Numbers Chapter 2

The children of Israel were, at this point, being prepared for the journey in the wilderness. They had been given the commandments and statutes of God, they had made covenants and had the blessing of the tabernacle being raised in their midst. They had a prophet and leader to guide all of the hose of Israel, as well as men of the priesthood and patriarchs to lead each of their tribes. The organization of the people continues in this chapter as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 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.
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.
4 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.
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.
6 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.
7 Then the tribe of Zebulun: and Eliab the son of Helon shall be captain of the children of Zebulun.
8 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.
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.

Each tent or family was to have a banner or something like a flag of their tribe. They were to dwell as a family, where there own banner was raised. I believe that they were to live with their tents facing towards the ‘tent of meetings’ or towards the tabernacle. The locations for each tribe was given by the Lord. The armies of Judah were to be located on the east side of the tabernacle, with Nahshon at the head of their army. Those numbered in the army with Nahshon were 74,600. Next to the tribe of Judah, was the tribe of Issachar, with Nethaneel at their head. His host was of 54,400. Next was the tribe of Zebulun, with Eliab at the head of his 57,400. This was to be the camp of Judah, on the east side of the tabernacle, which totaled 186,400 men. They would lead the Israelites as they journeyed.

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.
11 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.
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.
13 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.
14 Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of Reuel.
15 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty.
16 All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben 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.

The next group, who would move second, were those to the south of the tabernacle. This was the camp of Reuben, which included the tribe of Reuben with Elizur at the head of 46,500. Also in this camp was the tribe Simeon with Shelumiel as the captain of their 59,300 and the tribe of Gad with Eliasaph in the lead of their 45,650. In total, 151,450 men would move in the camp of Reuben.

17 Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.

The next group to move, was the camp of the Levites. They would move the tabernacle of the congregation, and were not numbered with the armies of the Israelites.

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.
19 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty thousand and five hundred.
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.
21 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.
22 Then the tribe of Benjamin: and the captain of the sons of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni.
23 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.
24 All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim were an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank.

The third rank of soldiers in the army of Israel, were the camp of Ephraim. They were to camp on the west side of the tabernacle. The tribe of Ephraim would be lead by Elishama and numbered 40,500. Along with their tribe was the tribe of Manasseh, led by Gamaliel and numbered 32,200. Finally, the camp would include the tribe of Benjamin, with Abidan leading their 35,400 soldiers. The camp of Ephraim included a total of 108,100.

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.
26 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.
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.
28 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.
29 Then the tribe of Naphtali: and the captain of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan.
30 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
31 All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan were an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards.

To the north of the tabernacle, was the camp of Dan. In this camp, was the tribe of Dan led by Ahiezer and with 62,700 soldiers in the army. Also, there was the tribe of Asher, with Pagiel as the captain of their 41,500 men. Finally, this camp included the tribe of Naphtali, with Ahira as captain and 53,400 in the army of men. The total number of soldiers in the camp of Dan, was 157,600. This camp would bring up the rear of the host of Israel.

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 throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses.
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.

In total, the host of the armies of Israel, was 603,550. The Levites were not numbered, just as the Lord commanded (see the previous post on Numbers Chapter 1). This is how the host of Israel moved about the wilderness on their way to the promised land.

I think one of the things to note from this chapter, is that God is a being of order. Here he had a prophet leader, with priesthood leaders as well as an army broken down into four camps, each of three tribes with their own patriarchal leaders and captains. This reminds me of when the early saints of this dispensation were also called to make their own exodus to a promised land. When the pioneers were instructed to leave to head to the Salt Lake Valley, the Lord commanded the prophet to organize them into groups. In Doctrine and Covenants 136 we read:

2 Let all the people of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and those who journey with them, be organized into companies, with a covenant and promise to keep all the commandments and statutes of the Lord our God.
3 Let the companies be organized with captains of hundreds, captains of fifties, and captains of tens, with a president and his two counselors at their head, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.

I believe that there is safety in order and organization under the direction of the priesthood. This is why we are organized into family units, who are then organized into wards, branches, stakes, and areas throughout the world.

I wonder if there is significance to the placement of certain tribes, and our general location in the world today. I find it interesting that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were on the west side of the camp. Today, many saints have been adopted into the tribes of Israel, through baptism and making sacred covenants. I am a part of the tribe of Ephraim, as are a great majority of saints in this part of the world, meaning North America. I have heard that those in the area of South America tend to be part of the tribe of Manasseh. The tribe of Judah, however, was located on the East side of the camp of Israel, just as many of the descendants of the Jews are still located in the Eastern parts of the world. This is something that I will probably remain curious about until the coming of the Lord and the literal gathering of Israel and restoration of the tribes.

Also, something I noticed, was that the marching forth of Israel was to start with the camp on the East, where the sun would rise. I think there is also an order to this. Those who rose according to the sun, would wake up earlier on the east side of the camp of Israel. Something interesting, but not of any huge significance probably, it just seems to make sense to me.

It also seems to make perfect sense that the Levites would move in the center of the ranks, with protection all around, for the tabernacle and other very sacred things. There is righteousness in protecting those things that are sacred to us. Satan will come at us from every direction, and we need to be sure that those things will not be destroyed, but remain strong and firm both physically and spiritually. There is strength in numbers and strength in doing all we can to fortify ourselves.

The most common theme I have heard learned from the organization of the encampment of Israel, is that the temple should be the center of our lives, just as the tabernacle was the center of their camp. Our homes and families should be facing the temple in order to make it the priority in our lives. When we do this, our hearts and minds will be reminded often of the covenants we have made, and the spirit will be able to dwell with us always. All of this order and organization provided strength, safety and great blessings to the Israelites. If we can apply these things to our lives today, we will also receive great strength, safety and blessings of the Lord.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Numbers Chapter 2”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

Testimony

I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!

Testimony

NEW!!! Digital Downloads (mp3) available directly from the site.

Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

Learn More:

I'm a Mormon

The Book of Mormon

You can order a free copy of the Book of Mormon here:

Book of Mormon Request

Archives

Follow me on Facebook:

My Wonderful Husband and Artist


%d bloggers like this: