Encampment

primarily denoted the resting-place of an army or company of travellers at night, (Genesis 32:21; Exodus 16:13) and was hence applied to the army or caravan when on its march. (Genesis 32:7,8; Exodus 14:19; Joshua 10:5; 11:4) The description of the camp of the Israelites, on their march from Egypt, Numb 2,3, supplies the greatest amount of information on the subject. The tabernacle, corresponding to the chieftains tent of an ordinary encampment, was placed in the centre, and around and facing it, (Numbers 2:1) arranged in four grand divisions, corresponding to the four points of the compass, lay the host of Israel, according to their standards. (Numbers 1:52; 2:2) In the centre, round the tabernacle, and with no standard but the cloudy or fiery pillar which rested over it, were the tents of the priests and Levites. The former, with Moses and Aaron at their head, were encamped on the eastern side. The order of encampment was preserved on the march. (Numbers 2:17)