At the time of the exodus and the numbering in the wilderness, the Merarites consisted of two families, the Mahlites and the Mushites, Mahli and Mushi being either the two sons or the son and grandson of Merari (1 Chronicles 6:19, 47). Their chief at that time was Zuriel. Their charge was the cords of the tabernacle and the court and all the tools connected with setting them up. In the division of the land by Joshua the Merarites had twelve cities assigned to them, out of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun (Joshua 21:7, 34-40; 1 Chronicles 6:63, 77-81). In the days of Hezekiah the Merarites were still flourishing (2 Chronicles 29:12, 15).
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).