Ellen G. White Writings

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From Eternity Past, Page 262

Chapter 33—The Terrible Murmurings of God's People

This chapter is based on Numbers 10 to 12.

The government of Israel was characterized by thorough organization, wonderful for its completeness and simplicity. God was the center of government, the sovereign of Israel. Moses stood as leader to administer the law in His name. A council of seventy was afterward chosen to assist Moses in the general affairs of the nation. Next came the priests, who consulted the Lord in the sanctuary. Chiefs, or princes, ruled over the tribes. Under these were “captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens.” Deuteronomy 1:15.

The Hebrew camp was separated into three great divisions. In the center was the tabernacle, the abiding place of the invisible King. Around it were stationed the priests and Levites. Beyond these were encamped all the other tribes.

The position of each tribe was specified. Each was to march and to encamp beside its own standard, as the Lord had commanded. Numbers 2:2, 17. The mixed multitude that had accompanied Israel from Egypt were to abide upon the outskirts of the camp, and their offspring were to be excluded from the community until the third generation. Deuteronomy 23:7, 8.

Strict order and thorough sanitary regulations were enforced, measures indispensable to the preservation of health among so vast a multitude. It was necessary also that perfect order and purity be maintained. God declared: “The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of

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