This chapter lists where everyone is supposed to camp and who leads the way and in what order.
YAHWEH spoke to Moses and Aaron. He tells them the following:
- that all the tribes should camp by their standard (flag) and tribal banners
- that they shall camp facing the tent on every side
- that those who camp on the east side shall be Judah, Issachar, Zebulun
- that the east side tribes shall set out first on the march
- that those who camp on the south side shall be Reuben, Simeon, Gad
- that the south side tribes shall set out second on the march
- that those who camp on the west side shall be Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin
- that the west side tribes shall set out third on the march
- that those who camp on the north side shall be Dan, Asher, Naphtali
- that the north side tribes shall set out last on the march
The Levites were not listed among the people of Israel, as YAHWEH commanded.
(Where are they when they march on? The center? When do they go? This is not explained.)
All of Israel obeyed Moses, who obeyed YAHWEH.
(Why does YAHWEH give such specific commands regarding who goes when and where? Is it to prevent mass chaos? Why could not have Moses decided this? Is this just wisdom granted? Or was Moses ill-equipped to make decisions like that?)