The Army of the Lord was broken up into 12 divisions, each identified with its Patriarch of origin. Each of the 12 tribes were assigned marching positions as they traveled to Canaan to take possession of the Land God was giving them. They each had a particular camping location in relation to the Tabernacle. Three tribes on each side. When they marched they were led by, possibly, a horseman who was carrying the tribal banner or flag. 2:3 instructs them to “march under their banner.” When they camped, 1:25 says they do so “in designated areas with its own family banner.” We have no further scriptural explanation of these “banners.” We don’t know what color they were or if there was an emblem on them. However, Jewish tradition states that four of the tribal emblems came from Ezekiel 1:10, Judah’s was the lion, Ephraim’s was the Ox, Reuben was an image of a man, and Dan’s was an eagle.

The sight must have been impressive; 650,000 soldiers marching and camping under flying banners. No wonder the peoples of the lands shook in their boots when they heard of the coming Israelites. Balaam, who looks down upon this scene, exclaim how beautiful and majestic it appeared. Israel was one people, united in the Lord and to each other.

Yet each separate company was recognized by God, displayed its own unique banner, occupied its own special place, and marched at the Lord’s command.

This should describe the church of Jesus Christ today. We all worship one God, we have been united into one body of believers through our faith in Christ, yet we all fly our own unique banners from our local churches. We’ve all been given our marching orders and the command to take the Land.  “Onward Christian Soldiers! Marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus going on before.”