The Book of Numbers 0001 - Lesson 3

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 2:1-34

Chapter 2

The Encampment about the Tabernacle

  1. PITCHING INSTRUCTIONS (Numbers 2:1-2)
    1. By His Own Standard (Numbers 2:2)
    2. With the Ensign of Their Father’s House (Numbers 2:2; Genesis 49:1-28) Note:  This is just something to ponder.  At this point I could not prove to you with scripture that this is so.  According to a rabbinical tradition, Judah’s ensign bore the image of a lion, Reuben’s was in the likeness of a man or a man’s head, Ephraim’s was the figure of an ox, and Dan’s was the figure of an eagle.  This would match the four living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel and match a representation of the four gospels, but do not be dogmatic because we don’t know for sure.
      1. Reuben = strength
      2. Simeon = weapons
      3. Judah = lion
      4. Zebulun = the sea
      5. Issachar = a mule or donkey
      6. Dan = a serpent
      7. Gad = an army
      8. Asher = bread
      9. Naphtali = a hind
      10. Joseph = a bow
    3. Far Off about the Tabernacle (Numbers 2:2)
  2. ENCAMPED ON THE EAST (Numbers 2:3-9)
    1. Encampment Position (Numbers 2:3-8)
      1. Judah (Numbers 2:3-4)
        1. Captain = Nahshon the son of Amminadab
        2. Host = 74,600
      2. Issachar (Numbers 2:5-6)
        1. Captain = Nethaneel the son of Zuar
        2. Host = 54,400
      3. Zebulun (Numbers 2:7-8)
        1. Captain = Eliab the son of Helon
        2. Host = 57,400
    2. Head Tribe (Numbers 2:9)
      1. East = camp of Judah
      2. Total host = 186,400
    3. Marching Order (Numbers 2:9) – “These shall first set forth”
  3. ENCAMPED ON THE SOUTH (Numbers 2:10-16)
    1. Encampment Position (Numbers 2:10-15)
      1. Reuben (Numbers 2:10-11)
        1. Captain = Elizur the son of Shedeur
        2. Host = 46,500
      2. Simeon (Numbers 2:12-13)
        1. Captain = Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai
        2. Host = 59,300
      3. Gad (Numbers 2:14-15)
        1. Captain = Eliasaph the son of Reuel or Deuel (Numbers 1:14)
        2. Host = 45,650
    2. Head Tribe (Numbers 2:16)
      1. South = camp of Reuben
      2. Total host = 151,450
    3. Marching Order (Numbers 2:16) – “they shall set forth in the second rank”
  4. ENCAMPED IN THE MIDST (Numbers 2:17)
  5. ENCAMPED ON THE WEST (Numbers 2:18-24)
    1. Encampment Position (Numbers 2:18-23)
      1. Ephraim (Numbers 2:18-19)
        1. Captain = Elishama the son of Ammihud
        2. Host = 40,500
      2. Manasseh (Numbers 2:20-21)
        1. Captain = Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur
        2. Host = 32,200
      3. Benjamin (Numbers 2:22-23)
        1. Captain = Abidan the son of Gideoni
        2. Host = 35,400
    2. Head Tribe (Numbers 2:24)
      1. West = camp of Ephraim
      2. Total host = 108,100
    3. Marching Order (Numbers 2:24) – “they shall go forward in the third rank”
  6. ENCAMPED ON THE NORTH (Numbers 2:25-31)
    1. Encampment Position (Numbers 2:25-30)
      1. Dan (Numbers 2:25-26)
        1. Captain = Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai
        2. Host = 62,700
      2. Asher (Numbers 2:27-28)
        1. Captain = Pagiel the son of Ocran
        2. Host = 41,500
      3. Naphtali (Numbers 2:29-30)
        1. Captain = Ahira the son of Enan
        2. Host = 53,400
    2. Head Tribe (Numbers 2:31)
      1. North = camp of Dan
      2. Total host = 157,600
    3. Marching Order (Numbers 2:31) – “They shall go hindmost”
  7. POSSIBILITIES OF THE DESIGN OF ENCAMPMENT (See Appendices Sheets A1-A2)
  8. PRACTICAL LESSONS OF THE ENCAMPMENT
    1. God is Concerned with Details
      1. In this passage we find that God has a specific place and order by which the Israelites are to encamp.  God gives instructions for the location for each tribe to encamp, and which tribe they are to be next to, and who is to march in what order when the camp moves.
      2. In Numbers 20, God wasn’t satisfied that Moses went to the rock to get water, because instead of speaking to the rock, Moses smote it two times with a rod.
      3. In 2 Samuel 6, God wasn’t just pleased that the Israelites were bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.  They created a new way to bring it back and when it almost fell, a man named Uzzah touched it, trying to keep it from falling and God killed him because he wasn’t supposed to touch it.
      4. In Acts 16, God wasn’t just so happy that Paul wanted to preach the gospel that He let Paul go anywhere he wanted to go for the Bible says that they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
      5. In Acts 5, God wasn’t so overwhelmed by the fact that Ananias and Sapphira gave part of the money from their land that He let them get away with it for they were supposed to give it all.  They may have even given 90%, but that isn’t the issue.
      6. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, God isn’t satisfied with you not saying things that are displeasing to the Lord, but He even wants your thoughts to be brought into obedience to Christ.
    2. Your Rebellion Affects Others
      1. What if the tribe of Dan no longer liked the North and wanted to move to the South?  Then in order for Asher to stay next to Dan as the Bible says they also would have to move.
      2. What if Judah decided all of the sudden that they weren’t leading the march any more?  Whoever leads is not following the command of God any more.
    3. God Calls Some to a Special Work
      1. In this passage we find that God has a specific job for the Levites in ministering to the things of the tabernacle.  Even there the Levites are divided up into different responsibilities.  The tribe of Judah is called upon by God to lead the march as the camp moves from one location to another.
      2. The tribe of Reuben may have been upset because God chose Judah to lead the march.  It could be that some of the men in the tribe of Reuben were better soldiers than the men of Judah, but God chose Judah to lead the march.  It could be that some of the men of Judah didn’t want the responsibility of leading the march, but that is what God called them to do and that was their way of being obedient to the command of God.
      3. Christians get into some of the biggest messes when they are trying to do something that God hasn’t called them to do (1 Corinthians 7:20). God has a plan for each Christian and obedience to that plan is the most satisfying thing a Christian can do.
    4. God Desires the Fellowship of All of His People
      1. God didn’t create the garden of Eden because He needed somewhere to walk.
      2. God didn’t walk with Enoch because He was bored.
      3. God didn’t create the holy of holies and the mercy seat because He needed somewhere to sit.
      4. Christ wasn’t weeping over Jerusalem because they were in bondage to the Romans.
      5. Christ isn’t in the midst of the church in Revelation 1 for lack of something better to do.
      6. Rather God is always looking to be in the midst of His people and desires the fellowship of the same.
  9. CONCLUSION OF THE NUMBERING AND ORGANIZATION OF THE TRIBES (Numbers 2:32-34)
    1. Total Soldiers = 603,550
    2. Levites Excluded from the Count
    3. The Children of Israel Were Obedient.
      1. In their encampment
      2. In their march
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:18

Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.