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The word "Merkava" originates from the Hebrew word "Rakhav" [that means "to ride"] and means "chariot" of God as described in the visions of the prophet Ezekiel. In Merkava mysticism, the ultimate goal of a mystic was to behold the throne of God which was borne by the Merkava. In order to acomplish this, the mystic had to undergo a perilous journey through seven spheres guarded by angels.

1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness [was] about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
1:5 Also out of the midst thereof [came] the likeness of four living creatures. And this [was] their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work [was] like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work [was] as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
1:19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
1:20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither [was their] spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in the wheels.
1:25 And there was a voice from the firmament that [was] over their heads, when they stood, [and] had let down their wings.
1:26 And above the firmament that [was] over their heads [was] the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne [was] the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
—Excerpts from the book of Ezekiel[1]

There is a similar reference to the prophet Ezekiel's visions in Xenogears. To defeat Deus, Fei and his party had to face four other adversaries (the "four living creatures", see Ezekiel 1:4): Marlute, Harlute, Sundel and Metatron. What's interesting to note, is that Metatron is an actual angel in Jewish literature.

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  1. Ezekiel (Eze 1:4,5,15,16,19,20,25,26)
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