An encampment was the resting-place for a longer or shorter period of an army or company of travellers (Exodus 13:20; 14:19; Joshua 10:5; 11:5).
The manner in which the Israelites encamped during their march through the wilderness is described in Numbers 2 and 3. The order of the encampment (see CAMP) was preserved in the march (Numbers 2:17), the signal for which was the blast of two silver trumpets. Detailed regulations affecting the camp for sanitary purposes are given (Leviticus 4:11,12; 6:11; 8:17; 10:4,5; 13:46; 14:3; Numbers 12:14,15; 31:19; Deuteronomy 23:10,12).
Criminals were executed without the camp (Leviticus 4:12; Compare John 19:17,20), and there also the young bullock for a sin-offering was burnt (Leviticus 24:14; Compare Hebrews 13:12).
In the subsequent history of Israel frequent mention is made of their encampments in the time of war (Judges 7:18; 1 Samuel 13:2,3,16,23; 17:3; 29:1; 30:9,24). The temple was sometimes called "the camp of the Lord" (2 Chronicles 31:2, RSV; Compare Psalms 78:28). The multitudes who flocked to David are styled "a great host (i.e., "camp;" Heb. mahaneh), like the host of God" (1 Chronicles 12:22).