Appendix 45 From The Companion Bible.
There are twenty different lists given of the Twelve Tribes. These vary according to the different objects with which they are given, and the different connection in which they stand, according to: mothers, encampment, numeration, blessing, geographical relation, etc. All are worthy of attention and study1. They May thus presented:—
* Joseph omitted, he being in Egypt.
† Levi omitted.
‡ This is the only order which occurs three times. Levi mentioned in chapter 2:17 after Gad. The order is that of importance.
|| Eastern Tribes omitted.
§ Simeon omitted. Benjamin before Joseph, because the order is geographical.
§§ Here the Tribes are in the four groups which are to furnish cities for the four classes of Priests.
¶ Judah and Simeon omitted.
** Zebulon and Dan omitted, unless Dan is read in 7:12.
†† Gad and Asher omitted.
‡‡ Dan omitted.
1) Two orders mentioned but not detailed. (1) The order "according to birth", on the two stones on the High Priest's shoulders (the place of strength). (2) The order on the twelve stones of the High Priest's breastplate (the place of love). this was according to their tribes, as chosen by Jehovah's love.