My answer to 'Can someone explain to me in terms of Judaism, the meaning and origin of the "Star of David" or "Merka…'
Answer by Jason Corning:
The phrase 'Star of David' does't really exist in Hebrew because the Jewish term for the exact same hexagram symbol is traditionally known as Magen David (or literally Shield of David). Interestingly enough, a respected online Dictionary publisher and company stated as part of their definition entry for 'Star of David' that the first known use of the term 'Star of David' occurred in 1935. In all probability, the phrase itself is probably a confused merging of two related concepts (namely King David and the 'Star' prophecy of Numbers 24:17) One should pay heed to the traditional understanding of David's royal emblem as a hexagram composed of two 'perfect' equilateral triangles placed together (one on top of the other) yet pointed in opposite directions.
As the legends relate, this hexagram Coat of Arms was painted upon the shields of the Israelite warriors under his command. Apparently, King David's reputation for being a fierce and unrelenting opponent upon the battlefield helped to instil fear in the hearts of those Canaanite soldiers who had already heard things about David and would then recognize his Royal Insignia on the Israelite soldiers' battle shields. Because of this background, the Jews have never really accepted the term Star of David', preferring instead to go with a more suitable and relevant designation such as the Magen David (Shield of David).
The term 'Merkaba' is nothing more than the Hebrew word for ''chariot'. The first and foremost understanding of the mystical Merkaba involves a careful study of the Heavenly vision that the Prophet Ezekiel (1:1-21) experienced while in a religious trance. Take special note of the 'wheel' verses found near the end of this chapter in verses 15 through 21-
Book of Ezekiel (Vision of the Chariot)
3 the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was on him there.
4 As I looked, a stormy wind came out of the north: a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something like gleaming amber.
5 In the middle of it was something like four living creatures. This was their appearance: they were of human form.
6 Each had four faces, and each of them had four wings.
7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like burnished bronze.
8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus:
9 their wings touched one another; each of them moved straight ahead, without turning as they moved.
10 As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle;
11 such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies.
12 Each moved straight ahead; wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.
13 In the middle of the living creatures there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and lightning issued from the fire.
14 The living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning.
15 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.
16 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl; and the four had the same form, their construction being something like a wheel within a wheel.
17 When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved.
18 Their rims were tall and awesome, for the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.
20 Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
21 When they moved, the others moved; when they stopped, the others stopped; and when they rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
– Ezekiel 1:3-21