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Numbers 2:3-9

Context
The Tribes on the East

2:3 “Now those who will be camping 1  on the east, toward the sunrise, 2  are the divisions 3  of the camp of Judah under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is 4  Nahshon son of Amminadab. 2:4 Those numbered in his division 5  are 74,600. 2:5 Those who will be camping next to them 6  are the tribe of Issachar. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. 2:6 Those numbered in his division are 54,400. 2:7 Next will be 7  the tribe of Zebulun. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. 2:8 Those numbered in his division are 57,400. 2:9 All those numbered of the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, are 186,400. They will travel 8  at the front.

1 tn The sentence begins with a vav (ו) on a word that is not a finite verb, indicating a new section begins here. The verbal form is a participle with the article used substantivally, with the meaning “and/now those camping.” Many English versions employ a finite verb; cf. KJV “on the east side…shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch.”

2 tc The two synonyms might seem to be tautological, but this is fairly common and therefore acceptable in Hebrew prose (cf. Exod 26:18; 38:13; etc.).

3 tn The sentence actually has “[those camping…are] the standard of the camp of Judah according to their divisions.”

4 tn Or “will be.”

5 tc The expression “and his divisions and those numbered of them” is somewhat tautological. The words are synonyms used for statistical purposes, and so neither should be simply deleted.

6 tn Heb “by him” [i.e., Judah].

7 tn This part has been supplied; the text simply has “the tribe of Zebulun.”

8 tn The verb is נָסָע (nasa’): “to journey, travel, set out,” and here, “to move camp.” Judah will go first, or, literally, at the head of the nation, when they begin to travel.



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