The order of the tribes of Israel on the Ephod is in order of birth, and that of the Breastplate of Judgment is not; it ends up in the marching order. In other words Judah is now first after judgment on Aaron's heart.
(Exodus 28:8-10) To start with the 12 tribes worn on the Ephods were placed in order of birth.
(Exodus 28:29) On the Breastplate of Judgment they are changed in order which are 10 full tribes and two half tribes; Joseph died and the tribe of Levi were priests and led the march by 2000 cubits and were not numbered with tribes of Israel.
Below are some facts to help in any study you might want to do on this subject.
Joseph had died and that left the half tribe of Mannasseh, Joseph's eldest, and the half tribe of Ephraim (Gen. 46:40)
Also the tribe of Levi was not numbered with the tribes of Israel. (Joshua 3:3-4) When the Levites carried the "Ark of the Covenant," they led the march by 2000 cubits or around 3000 ft.
(Numbers Chap. 2) When Israel camped the tribes of:
Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun were on the east
Rueben, Simeon, and Gad were on the south
Ephrain, Mannasseh, and Benjamin were on the west
Dan, Asher, and Naptali were on the north
Levi was camped in the middle
(Numbers 10:14-27) The camping order above was also their marching order.
A question was asked - From this you deduce/infer the possibility that it reflects a change in reward after the judgment fires of G-d have burnt away our dross on our arrival into His Presence. Could we say that after being judged by God we come out with different rewards?
Response - I can't say that Joseph's death was judgment, but the marching order was. When you put your leaders bearing their standards, there is honor in that. In the following verses we see a hint at that.
Exodus 28:29: "And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually."
Exodus 28:30: "And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually."
Judgment doesn't always have to do with annihilation or chastisement; it can be as simple as obtaining God's best. God judges the churches in much the same manner in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. He finds fault with some and commends others. On the Breastplate of Judgment we see the ones judged to obtain that more prominent place.
I believe our reward in heaven will be according to our present walk with the Lord also.
In Jesus' name -
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