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Merari Sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him thither (Gen 46:11; Exo 6:16). He became the head of one of the great divisions of the Levites (Exo 6:19). (See MERARITES.)

Merarites The descendants of Merari (Num 26:57). They with the Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle, which they had to carry from place to place (Num 3:20, Num 3:33; Num 4:29). In the distribution of the oxen and wagons offered by the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites (four wagons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites, because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars, sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply of oxen and wagons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards took part with the other Levitical families in the various functions of their office (Ch1 23:6, Ch1 23:21; Ch2 29:12, Ch2 29:13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them (Jos 21:7, Jos 21:34).

Merathaim Double rebellion, probably a symbolical name given to Babylon (Jer 50:21), denoting rebellion exceeding that of other nations.

Merchant The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning "to travel about," "to migrate," and hence "a traveler." In the East, in ancient times, merchants traveled about with their merchandise from place to place (Gen 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their trade mainly by bartering (Gen 37:28; Gen 39:1). After the Hebrews became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial pursuits, which gradually expanded (Gen 49:13; Deu 33:18; Jdg 5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief marts of the world (Kg1 9:26; Kg1 10:11, Kg1 10:26, Kg1 10:28; Kg1 22:48; Ch2 1:16; Ch2 9:10, Ch2 9:21). After Solomon's time their trade with foreign nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in many lands.

Mercurius The Hermes (i.e., "the speaker") of the Greeks (Act 14:12), a heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the "chief speaker."

Mercy Compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen 19:19; Exo 20:6; Exo 34:6, Exo 34:7; Psa 85:10; Psa 86:15, Psa 86:16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Mat 5:7; Mat 18:33).

Mercy-seat (Heb. kapporeth , a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion ; Vulg., propitiatorium ), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Exo 25:17; Exo 30:6; Exo 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb 9:5; Eph 2:6). The holy of holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (Ch1 28:11; Lev 16:2). It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning "anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense") mentioned in Heb 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev 16:11; compare Num 7:89 and Exo 25:22).

Mered Rebellion, one of the sons of Ezra, of the tribe of Judah (Ch1 4:17).

Meremoth Exaltations, heights, a priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh 12:3), to whom were sent the sacred vessels (Ezr 8:33) belonging to the temple. He took part in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 3:4).

Meribah Quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command, "because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Exo 17:1). It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady Feiran, near Mount Serbal. (2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of Zin, near to Kadesh (Num 27:14. The two places are mentioned together in Deu 33:8. Some think the one place is called by the two names (Psa 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num 20:10). This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert (Num. 20:1-24; Deu 32:51).