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According to the Torah, Merari (Hebrew: מְרָרִי, Mərārî) was one of the sons of Levi,[1] and the patriarchal founder of the Merarites, one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times. The Hebrew word Merari means sad/bitter.[2] The Merarites were charged with the transportation and care of the structural components of the tabernacle.[3]

Textual scholars attribute the genealogy to the Book of Generations, a document originating from a similar religiopolitical group and date to the priestly source.[4] According to some biblical scholars, the Torah's genealogy for Levi's descendants is actually an aetiological myth reflecting the fact that there were four different groups among the levites - the Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites, and Aaronids;[5][6] according to biblical scholars, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u meaning priest, rather than having been the name of a tribe.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Numbers 3:21
  2. ^ Meaning, origin and etymology of the name Merari, Abarim Publications
  3. ^ Numbers 4:29-33
  4. ^ Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote The Bible?
  5. ^ Peake's Commentary on the Bible
  6. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  7. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.