(mih ray' ritess) Major division of priests descended from Merari, the third son of Levi. The Merarites and Gershonites were responsible for the set up, breakdown, and transport of the tabernacle (Numbers 10:17; compare
Numbers 7:8). The Merarites received an allotment of twelve cities from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun, including Ramoth-Gilead, a city of refuge (Joshua 21:7,Joshua 21:34-40;
1 Chronicles 6:63,1 Chronicles 6:77-81). Representatives of the Merarites participated in David's move of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:6), served as tabernacle musicians (1 Chronicles 15:17,1 Chronicles 15:19) and gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 26:10,1 Chronicles 26:19), shared in Hezekiah's (2 Chronicles 29:12) and Josiah's (2 Chronicles 34:12) reforms, and returned from Exile to assist in the new Temple (Ezra 8:19).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'MERARITES'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".