The Israelites shall camp each with his standard, under the banners of their ancestral house; around the Tabernacle they shall camp, at a distance. Rashi teaches that Jacob arranged his sons around his coffin in a certain order and that same tribal order was used to carry the Tabernacle through the desert. Judaism is not blatantly hierarchical. Still, the direction in which the Tabernacle should move is something decided according to principles laid out by previous generations.