Numbers Rabah: BaMidbar 2;7 (6 May, 2014, 6 Iyar, 5774)
Midrash Numbers Rabah: BaMidbar 2;7: ensign
Midrash Numbers Rabah: BaMidbar 2;7: ensign: Each Tribe had its own sign and color on its standard. The color was the same as that of the Tribe's precious stone [on the Ephod on the heart of Aaron]. Reuben had the Odem stone [in Hebrew "Odem" means red] and his flag was red. Dudaim [mandrakes] were depicted on it.
Shimeon had the Pitda stone, his flag was colored green and depicted the city of Schechem.
Levi had the bareket stone and his flag was one third white, one third black, one third red. The Urim and Tummin were depicted on it.
Judah had the Nophech stone, the color of his flag was like the sky. It depicted a lion.
Issachar had the sapir stone, it depicted the sun and moon, as it says "AND OF THE CHILDREN OF ISSACHAR, WHICH WERE MEN THAT HAD UNDERSTANDING OF THE TIMES" [1-Chronicles 12:32].
Zebulon had the Yeholam [diamond] stone. His flag was whitish and a ship was depicted on it as it says, "Zebulon shall dwell on the beaches of the sea" (Genesis 49;13).
Dan had the Leshem stone, The color of his flag was like a sapphire and it depicted a snake as it says Dan shall be a snake by the wayside (Genesis 49:17).
Gad had the Shevo stone. The color of his flag was not white and not black but mixed black and white. It depicted an encampment, as it says GAD SHALL BE A TROOP: BUT HE SHALL OVERCOME AT THE LAST.
Naphtali had the Achlama stone. The color of his flag was like clear wine, reddish but not strongly so. A hind was depicted on it, as it says NAPHTALI IS A HIND LET LOOSE: HE GIVETH GOODLY WORDS [GENESIS 49:21].
Asher had the Tarshish stone. The color of his flag was like that of the precious stone women use to decorate themselves. An olive tree was depicted on it:
OUT OF ASHER HIS BREAD SHALL BE FAT, AND HE SHALL YIELD ROYAL DAINTIES [GENESIS 49:20].
Joseph had the Shoham stone. The color of his flag was the deepest black. On the flag of Joseph for the two princes of Ephraim and Manasseh was depicted a representation of Egypt since their origins were in Egypt.
On the flag of Ephraim was depicted a bull: "HIS GLORY IS LIKE THE FIRSTLING OF HIS BULLOCK" [DEUTERONOMY 33:17]. This was exemplified by Joshua who was from the Tribe of Ephraim.
On the flag of Menasseh was depicted a Raem [Unicorn] as it says:
AND HIS HORNS ARE LIKE THE HORNS OF UNICORNS [DEUTERONOMY 33:17]. This was exemplified by Gideon who was from Menasseh.
[The complete verse says:
[DEUTERONOMY 33:17] HIS GLORY IS LIKE THE FIRSTLING OF HIS BULLOCK, AND HIS HORNS ARE LIKE THE HORNS OF UNICORNS: WITH THEM HE SHALL PUSH THE PEOPLE TOGETHER TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: AND THEY ARE THE TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM, AND THEY ARE THE THOUSANDS OF MANASSEH.
Benjamin had the Yaspa stone. The color of his flag was like all the 12 colors. A wolf was depicted on it: [GENESIS 49:27] BENJAMIN SHALL RAVIN AS A WOLF: IN THE MORNING HE SHALL DEVOUR THE PREY, AND AT NIGHT HE SHALL DIVIDE THE SPOIL.
For Scriptural References See Also: The Unicorn and Joseph