Merari in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

("sorrowful"), because of the anguish attending his birth (Genesis 46:8; Genesis 46:11). (See LEVITES.) Third of Levi's sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Born before Jacob's going down to Egypt; of the 70 who accompanied him. The Mahlites and Mushites were the two families of Merarites at the Exodus and in the wilderness (1 Chronicles 6:19; 1 Chronicles 6:47; Numbers 3:20; Numbers 3:33-37; Numbers 4:29-33; Numbers 4:42-45; Numbers 7:8; Numbers 10:17-21). They followed after Judah's standard, and before Reuben's in the march, to set up the tabernacle against the Kohathites' arrival. Their charge was the tabernacle boards, pillars, etc., four wagons and eight oxen being assigned them. Joshua assigned them 12, cities out of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun (Joshua 21:7; Joshua 21:34-40). They shared with the Gershonites and Kohathites the offices of singers, doorkeepers, etc., under David (1 Chronicles 15:1-6; 1 Chronicles 23:5-6; 1 Chronicles 23:21- 23; 1 Chronicles 26:10; 1 Chronicles 26:19); in Nehemiah's time also (Nehemiah 11:15-16). Lord A. Hervey (Smith's Dictionary) supposes Jeduthun the patronymic title of the house, Ethan the head in David's time, and that Jeduthnn was brother of an ancestor of Ethan before Hashabiah (1 Chronicles 6:45; 1 Chronicles 25:3; 1 Chronicles 25:19) and son of Hilkiah or Amaziah. Thus, the "sons of Ethan" are distinct from "sons of Jeduthun," and the difficulty is explained how in David's time there could be sons of "sons of Jeduthun" above 30 years of age for they filled offices (1 Chronicles 26:10; 1 Chronicles 16:38), at the same time that Jeduthun is said to be" chief of the singers."

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