The Order for Advancement
As shown through the 12 tribes of Israel: Rest 3-The West
This is our third rest stop. On this rest stop we will be looking at the significance of the west. First, we mustn’t overlook one fact that I personally have never recognized before. The western side of the camp is only occupied by the tribes born forth from Rachel; Joseph and Benjamin. I do not yet know what significance this is but, throughout my studies, I have found that God Almighty does not do things by accident. Everything God does has an eternal purpose and meaning. Let us dive into this study and see what the Spirit of the Lord shows us.
This is a map of the tribal territories in ancient Israel courtesy of http://www.ebibleteacher.com/imagehtml/otmaps.html.
It shows how the territories were divided among the tribes. The western land is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. If we know anything about agriculture, we know that most land close to water is very important. It is important because there are ports there for any trading. We also know it is important for crops and fields if harnessed correctly.
What does the Bible say about the west? We already know it was bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The Lord spoke of this directly.
Numbers 34:6 – As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your western border.
In the natural, we know the sun sets in the west. As far as the tribes encampment, the western tribes were camped behind the Tabernacle. All I can see is that the west is like an end, nowhere else to go. The people of the Old Testament continued to travel until they reached the sea. In other words, they traveled from the east to the west until they couldn’t go anymore; the Great Sea (the Mediterranean Sea).
I apologize for my lack of knowledge in this study. I am receiving no spiritual insight into this subject matter. The only thing I am receiving is how the west symbolizes an end or a definitive border. We know it was a west wind that drove the locusts out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 10:19). We also know a wall was built on the western side of the Temple which remains to this day known to us as the Wailing Wall. We know when the sun sets, night comes which brings darkness.
As far as spiritually, I am unable to ascertain what God Almighty has to say about this. I do believe there is a significance but one I am unable to comprehend at this time. It may not be for me to understand this at this time. Though it is quite a curious thing that the tribes that camped to the west were those born directly from Rachel’s womb; Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim) and Benjamin. These two were also the last two born to Jacob (Israel). They are the youngest; Joseph first then Benjamin. Again, denoting an end yet also a beginning. May the Lord open our understanding even more on this subject as it relates to His design regarding His order for advancement of His Kingdom.
Alicia R. Shipe