Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward
with the camp of the Levites
Which reached four miles, according to the Targum of Jonathan, as did Judah's. Levi's stone, as the Jews say F9, was the carbuncle, and his flag was coloured, a third part white, and a third part black, and a third part red, and on it were formed Urim and Thummim:
in the midst of the camp;
or "camps" F11; between the camps of Judah and Reuben, before mentioned, and those of Ephraim and Dan, which are after spoken of: the order in which they moved was this, as Aben Ezra observes; the Gershonites and Merarites marched between the standard of Judah and the standard of Reuben; and the Kohathites marched, and with them Aaron and his sons, between the standard of Reuben and the standard of Ephraim:
as they encamp, so shall they set forward;
this is to be understood, according to Aben Ezra, not of the camp of Levi, since the standard of Judah was to the east, and the Gershonites, which were to the west of the sanctuary, and the Merarites in the north, set forward together; but of the camps of Israel, which set forward, not as they were encamped about the tabernacle, for those that were encamped on the side of it, in marching went before and behind, but as they were encamped with respect to themselves; first marched the standard of Judah, then that of Reuben, which went before, and then those of Ephraim and Dan, which followed; and besides, as each camp was pitched, so it moved; as the camp of Judah, his host marched between those of Issachar and Zebulun, and the same order the rest observed:
every man in his place by their standards,
as every individual person in the several tribes were ranked under their respective banners, so they marched.
F9 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 178. 2.
F11 (hnxmh Kwtb) "in medio castrorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version; so Ainsworth; "in medio reliquorum castrorum", Junius & Tremellius.