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Reference: Encamp


An encampment was the resting-place for a longer or shorter period of an army or company of travellers (Ex 13:20; 14:19; Jos 10:5; 11:5).

The manner in which the Israelites encamped during their march through the wilderness is described in Nu 2 and Nu 3. The order of the encampment (see Camp) was preserved in the march (Nu 2:17), the signal for which was the blast of two silver trumpets. Detailed regulations affecting the camp for sanitary purposes are given (Le 4:11-12; 6:11; 8:17; 10:4-5; 13:46; 14:3; Nu 12:14-15; 31:19; De 23:10,12).

Criminals were executed without the camp (Le 4:12; comp. Joh 19:17,20), and there also the young bullock for a sin-offering was burnt (Le 24:14; comp. Heb 13:12).

In the subsequent history of Israel frequent mention is made of their encampments in the time of war (Jg 7:18; 1Sa 13:2-3,16,23; 17:3; 29:1; 30:9,24). The temple was sometimes called "the camp of the Lord" (2Ch 31:2, R.V.; comp. Ps 78:28). The multitudes who flocked to David are styled "a great host (i.e., "camp;" Heb mahaneh), like the host of God" (1Ch 12:22).

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