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God was preparing the people of Israel to enter and take the land God promised, God arranged the tribes in an order to best protect Israel and also to begin to align them with his plan.  There is little prophetical or historical data about why God put the tribes in the order that He did.  There are a few things, however, that do stand out.  

First, The tribe of Judah led  the tribes.  While Judah was not the 1st born among Jacob’s sons, Jacob said as he blessed him, ” Judah,[b] your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.” Clearly, 500 years earlier Jacob knew Judah was to be the tribe to lead. He told his son that very thing. Now as Israel prepared to receive the promise, God Made Judah the lead.

Next, God Put the Levitical tribes and all the things of God in the center of the people. Strategically, it was brilliant.  No enemy could sneak in and raid the Levitical tribes and the treasures they kept, but, also, they were the heart of the people.  Everyone looked to God for answers, for provision and for direction.  That was Moses and Aaron and God. From the beginning, they would always see God as the center of attention and his priests the heart of the people.  They were, After all a nation of priests and as such, priests should hold a place of honor.

Finally, God set the nation up for a strategic and organized movement into the promised land. He balanced the tribes giving each side a leader.  God knew each would be significant in their role, but also balanced as a group.  He did not say one tribe was better than another, but all had a place and a role.  It is the same with us.  We are all placed according to God’s plan. Where we are placed and how we are used is his choice.  We simply need to keep him at the center of our lives and be prepared to serve , however He leads. That alignment will carry the day!

God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. 

The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them.

The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon.His division numbers 57,400.

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first.

10 On the south will be the divisions of the camp of Reuben under their standard. 

12 The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. 

14 The tribe of Gad will be next. 

16 All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben, according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second.

17 Then the tent of meeting and the camp of the Levites will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in their own place under their standard.

18 On the west will be the divisions of the camp of Ephraim under their standard. 

20 The tribe of Manasseh will be next to them. 

22 The tribe of Benjamin will be next. 

24 All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim, according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third.

25 On the north will be the divisions of the camp of Dan under their standard. 

27 The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. 

29 The tribe of Naphtali will be next. 

31 All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last, under their standards.

32 These are the Israelites, counted according to their families. All the men in the camps, by their divisions, number 603,550. 33 The Levites, however, were not counted along with the other Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them