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Difficulty: Advanced

Merkabah is the ancient Hebrew word for the flaming, flying throne-chariot of God. It is made up of twelve angels: Four Charyot (angels with the body of a man, four wings, and four faces—a man, an ox, an eagle, and a lion) form the basic structure. Below the Charyot are four Ophanim, angels shaped as wheels. Above the Charyot are four Seraphim, angels appearing ascending and descending flashes of fire, which provide the energy to move the chariot. A Likeness of Man, said to be God Himself, drives the Merkabah.

The Merkabah is an allegory: the chariot and its accompanying angels are analogies for the various ways in which God presents Himself to the world. Merkabah also has significance as a brand of ancient Jewish mysticism, in which the practitioner would enter a trance-like state in order to catch a glimpse of God sitting on His throne.

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