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Merari (Hebrew מְרָרִ֖י, bitter, gall) (b. ca. 2289 AM or 1715 BC) was the third son of Levi and the progenitor of the third-ranking family of the Levites.

Life and family

He was born in Canaan and entered Egypt in 2298 AM (1706 BC).

Position of descendants

In the wilderness

When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, the Merarites had a specific responsibility regarding the transport of the Tabernacle. When the Israelites were in camp, they encamped on the northern side of the Tabernacle. When the Israelites marched, they marched behind the Gershonites, and carried the boards, pillars, sockets, and other structural elements of the Holy Place, and the pillars for the courtyard fence. (Numbers 3:33-37 , Numbers 4:29-33 )[1][2]

In the land

When the Israelites took possession of the land, the Merarites were alloted twelve cities in Reubenite, Gadite, and Zebulunite territories. (Joshua 21:7 )


  1. Brand C, Draper C, England A, et al., eds. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003, p. 1105
  2. "Kohath, Gershon, and Merari.", n.d. Accessed November 24, 2008.

See also