What is the meaning of the word "Keidmah"?
Rashi: It means 'on the east side' as Degel Machaneh Yehudah was the first to travel. 1
Rashi: Which is synonymous with 'in front' or 'first'; and the west is therefore called "Achor" ('at the back' or 'last'). Rosh
Why did specifically Yisachar and Zevulun join Yehudah to form Degel Machaneh Yehudah?
Ramban (on Pasuk 2): Together with the three tribes of Degel Machaneh Reuven - Reuven, Shimon and Gad, they comprised the sons of Le'ah - including Gad, 1 the firstborn of her maidservant Zilpah.
Why did the three tribes that comprised Degel Machaneh Yehudah (Yehudah, Yisachar and Zevulun) encamp specifically in the east?
Ramban (citing Midrash Rabah) 1 : Hashem said to Moshe: 'Yehudah, the designated sovereign, 2 shall encamp in the east, from where light comes to the world; next to him, is Yisachar, the master of Torah, 3 and then Zevulun, the master of wealth. 4 They will travel first!' 5
Hadar Zekenim: Yehudah is king. It honors the Mishkan that the king is in the east.
Which is called 'light' (See R. Chavel's footnotes).
See R. Chavel's footnotes.
Why does it say "veha'Chonim" only about Degel Yehudah?