Numbers 2:25
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.
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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.Reuel - Doubtless an error of transcription for Deuel Numbers 1:14. 10-31. On the south side the standard of the camp of Reuben—The description given of the position of Reuben and his attendant tribes on the south, of Ephraim and his associates on the west, of Dan and his confederates on the north, with that of Judah on the east, suggests the idea of a square or quadrangle, which, allowing one square cubit to each soldier while remaining close in the ranks, has been computed to extend over an area of somewhat more than twelve square miles. But into our calculations of the occupied space must be taken not only the fighting men, whose numbers are here given, but also the families, tents, and baggage. The tabernacle or sacred tent of their Divine King, with the camp of the Levites around it (see on [53]Nu 3:38), formed the center, as does the chief's in the encampment of all nomad people. In marching, this order was adhered to, with some necessary variations. Judah led the way, followed, it is most probable, by Issachar and Zebulun [Nu 10:14-16]. Reuben, Simeon, and Gad formed the second great division [Nu 10:18-20]. They were followed by the central company, composed of the Levites, bearing the tabernacle [Nu 10:21]. Then the third and posterior squadron consisted of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin [Nu 10:22-24], while the hindmost place was assigned to Dan, Asher, and Naphtali [Nu 10:25-27]. Thus Judah's, which was the most numerous, formed the van: and Dan's, which was the next in force, brought up the rear; while Reuben's and Ephraim's, with the tribes associated with them respectively, being the smallest and weakest, were placed in the center. (See on [54]Nu 10:13). No text from Poole on this verse.

The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies,.... To the left of the tabernacle as encamped, and so was the left wing of the grand army; it consisted of the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali, in which were several divisions and companies, whose camp also the Targum of Jonathan says reached four miles. According to the Jewish writers (m), Dan's stone was the "ligure", and his flag was coloured like to a sapphire, and there was figured upon it a serpent, on account of what is said Genesis 49:17; Asher's stone was the "tarshish" or beryl, and his flag was coloured like to a precious stone, with which women adorn themselves, and on it was figured an olive tree, on account of what is said Genesis 49:20. Naphtali's stone was the amethyst, and his flag was coloured like to clear wine, whose redness is not strong, and on it was figured an hind, on account of what is said of him Genesis 49:21,

and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; who made mention of in Numbers 1:10.

(m) Bemidbar Rabba, ut supra. (sect. 2. fol. 178. 2.)

The standard of the camp of {g} 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.

(g) Dan and Naphtali the sons of Bilhah Rachel's maid with Asher the son of Zilpah make the fourth standard.

Verse 25. - The standard of... Dan. In the light of its subsequent history, it is remarkable that this tribe should at this time have been so prominent and so honoured. Dan is, so to speak; the Judas among the twelve. In history he ends by melting away into the heathen among whom he intruded himself. In the sacred writings he ends by being omitted altogether; he has no part in the new Jerusalem - perhaps on account of the idolatry connected with his name (see Judges 18; Revelation 7). Numbers 2:25Lastly, towards the north was the standard of Gad, with Asher and Naphtali, the descendants of the maids Bilhah and Zilpah, 157,600 men, who were to be the last to break up, and formed the rear on the march.
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