Numbers 1-3…The census, the tribal arrangements, and the Levites.
The census and arrangements were done to show God’s faithfulness in increasing the seed of Jacob. It was also so they might be better trained for the wars and conquest of Canaan, and to ascertain their families for the division of the land.
The tribes were to encamp about the tabernacle, which was to be in the midst of them. It was a token of God’s gracious presence. Yet they were to pitch their tents far off, in reverence to the sanctuary. The children of Israel put themselves in their posts, without murmuring or quarreling. It is our duty and interest to be content with where the Lord places us, and to endeavor to live in a joyful manner, without envying or covetousness.