Verse 19. "&c. And the names of the men-are these" - It is worthy of remark that Moses does not follow any order hitherto used of placing the tribes, neither that in chap. 1., nor that in chap. 7., nor that in chap. 26., nor any other; but places them here exactly in that order in which they possessed the land. 1. Judah; 2. Simeon; 3. Benjamin; 4. Dan; 5. Manasseh; 6. Ephraim; 7. Zebulun; 8. Issachar; 9. Asher; 10. Naphtali. Judah is first, having the first lot; and he dwelt in the south part of the land, Josh. xv. 1, &c.; and next to him Simeon, because his inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah, Josh. xix. 1. Benjamin was third; he had his inheritance by Judah, between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph, Josh. xviii. 11. Dan was the fourth; his lot fell westward of that of Benjamin, in the country of the Philistines, as may be seen in Josh. xix. 40, 41, &c. Fifth, Manasseh; and sixth, by him, his brother Ephraim, whose inheritances were behind that of Benjamin, Josh. xvi. 7.
Next to these dwelt, seventh, Zebulun; and eighth, Issachar; concerning whose lots see Josh. xix. 10-17. Ninth, Asher; and tenth, Naphtali; see Josh. xix. 24, 32, &c. And as in encamping about the tabernacle they were arranged according to their fraternal relationship, (see chap. 2.,) so they were in the division and inheriting of the promised land. Judah and Simeon, both sons of Leah, dwelt abreast of each other. Benjamin, son of Rachel, and Dan, son of Rachel's maid, dwelt next abreast. Manasseh and Ephraim, both sons of Joseph, son of Rachel, had the next place abreast.
Zebulun and Issachar, who dwelt next together, were both sons of Leah; and the last pair were Asher, of Leah's maid, and Naphtali, of Rachel's maid. Thus God, in nominating princes that should divide the land, signified beforehand the manner of their possession, and that they should be so situated as to dwell together as brethren in unity, for the mutual help and comfort of each other. See Ainsworth. In this arrangement there is much skill, judgment, and kindness every where displayed.