In the desert, the Early Israelites were guided by a cloud. When the cloud moved, they moved. And, when the cloud came to rest, they set up their tents around the Tabernacle and settled– all in conformity with God’s prescribed instruction for the camp of Israel.
The twelve tribes were actually instructed to gather into 4 camps. Every tribe carried a standard and image, but Judah, Isaachar as well as Zebulin were to move about the standard of Judah. They jointly offered 186,400. Reuben, Simeon and Gad together offered around 151,450. Ephraim, Manasseh and also Benjamin jointly embodied 108,100. Dan, Asher as well as Naphtali, 157,600. Judah’s standard was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Reuben’s was a man. Ephraim’s was the ox. Dan, the eagle.
Each of the camp of Israel, consisting of 3 tribes each, was to camp on one of the 4 primary compass directions (N, S, E or W) relative to the camp of the Levites wrapping the tabernacle.
In order to completely appreciate all of the significances, one needs to try to think similar to a rabbi; one really need to keep an incredibly high regard for the exact specifics of the guidelines. They turned to epic steps in their effort to adhere to the letter of the law.
The Camp of Judah had to camp east of the Levites. Doing this presents a special problem. Notice that in the event that the width of their camp was bigger than that of the Levites, the surplus would certainly be southeast or northeast, not east. If they were to comply strictly to their instructions, their camp could only be as wide as that of the Levites, and they then would have to extend eastward to obtain whatever space they required.
The camps of Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan had the very same restriction on the south, west, and north, respectively. The span of each leg would hence be relative to the entire number of people in each camp.
Assuming that we piece together what we can assume from the Biblical record, we can envision what the camp of Israel appeared like from above: the tabernacle as well as the Levites in the middle, encircled by the 4 camps of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben, and Dan, extending in the 4 primary directions. We can likewise count the size of each group to total the corresponding span of each camp as they stretched out in each of the 4 directions.
Jesus informed Nicodemus that just like the serpent in the wilderness was raised up on a pole (and brought healing), so also would the Son of Man be raised up (John 4). Jesus was talking about Himself and, immediately after 3 and a half years of ministering to the people, Jesus took up His cross and carried the sins of humanity.
Let’s visually look at the Tabernacle “cross” raised up, since this was a prophetic whisper of the cross of Christ that would be raised up!