Archive for Zechariah

Gabriel: Good News is Coming

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , on May 12, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:19 “I am Gabriel,” replied the angel. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Clearly, Zechariah is not sure what to make of all of this. Gabriel attempts to make it crystal clear. My word is good.

First is his name. Gabriel means “man of God” or “strong man of God”. The message to Zechariah is simple. He is listening to a “strong man of God”.

Second, Gabriel tells the priest his domain is the literal presence of God. The Greek word used is παρίστημι/paristémi. It means: to place beside, to present, stand by, appear. The idea is Gabriel is close to God. He is in the inner circle if you will.

…and I have been sent to speak to you… Third, God Himself sent Gabriel to personally talk to Zechariah.

…and to bring you this good news. This is the Greek word that is synonymous with “the gospel” message, εὐαγγελίζω/euaggelizó. Gabriel is personally bringing “good news” from God to you.

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

Zechariah is no different than any of us. He did not believe God’s message. And Zechariah was a priest serving God in the Temple at the time of these events. None of us are completely obedient. We all have times when we question or neglect what God has to say.

Because of his lack of faith, Zechariah would be silenced and diagnosed with Expressive Aphasia.  This is a type of aphasia characterized by partial loss of the ability to produce language (spoken, manual, or written), although comprehension generally remains intact. In Zechariah’s case, his loss was not partial. https://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/

Luke 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

It would appear Elizabeth was not pregnant at this time based on Zechariah’s comments in Luke 1:18. There would be no whispering of sweet nothings in Elizabeth’s ear. John the Baptist was conceived by an old man with expressive aphasia and a sterile, old, geriatric woman. What seems impossible to humanity is God’s reality.

Notice, the length of time of Zechariah’s aphasia is open ended. Gabriel does not give a definitive time. He was mute for at least 9 months. Zechariah will not talk until Gabriel’s personal prophecy is fulfilled.

Zechariah ultimately regained his ability to speak. This is observed later in Luke 1. And when he recovers, he has a lot to say.

Luke 1:64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

See Zechariah’s song and prophecy in Luke 1:67-79.

Salvation is coming…

Forerunners to Christ, John the Baptist and Elijah

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:17 and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

The angel Gabriel continues his prophecy of Zechariah’s son, John the Baptist.

Look carefully, he (John the Baptist) will come before the Messiah. John the Baptist is not Elijah. John comes in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Later, Jesus Himself would confirm that John the Baptist functions as if Elijah.

Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.” –Jesus.

John’s purpose is to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

As Gabriel stated previously, the ministry of John the Baptist will associated with joy, gladness, and the grace of God. People will turn back to the Lord. This is the Hebraic concept of Teshuvah.

John the Baptist is associated with the first coming of Christ. Elijah is associated with the second coming.

In both the first and second comings of Jesus, the two forerunners to Christ will change the hearts of children and fathers.

Compare Gabriel’s comments to Malachi 4:5-6. These are the last words of the Old Testament. From Gabriel back to Malachi, it had been approximately 425 years since God had communicated with the Jewish people.

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

Elijah’s purpose… so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

When Elijah comes a second time, he will precede the second coming of Christ. His ministry will be associated with the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Although he is not specifically named, Elijah is likely one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The skill set and characteristics of the witnesses are consistent with the prophet Elijah on his first mission.

See 1 Kings 17-21 and 2 Kings 1-2 for Elijah’s initial career and efforts.

Revelation 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

Elijah will be dressed in sackcloth. These garments are made of a coarse, dark cloth from a goat. In Elijah’s day, sackcloth was worn in times of mourning, distress, mortification, or penitence.

Elijah promises fire, drought, water to blood, and all kinds of plagues.

Elijah will be an instrument of judgment.

Return to the Lord

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Teshuvah/Repent with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God…

And he will turnἐπιστρέφω/epistrephó in the Greek. As defined by Strong’s Concordance, the term means to return. Thayer’s Lexicon interprets the idea as to cause to return, to bring back, to turn oneself about, or come back. The idea is in a literal, physical sense. Stop going in the path one is taking. Turn and go in a different direction.

This term is used 36 times in the New Testament. Below are a few examples how ἐπιστρέφω/epistrephó is utilized.

Luke 2:39 When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.

Matthew 12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

2 Peter 2:22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

People were going the wrong way and had left the God of Israel. The angel Gabriel is telling Zechariah the priest his son to be, John the Baptist, will be the reason fellow country men will return to God.

Return to the Lord. To the Jew, this is the concept of Teshuvah. In our western world, the term we are familiar with is “repent”.

Teshuvah is a time to turn toward God. People are called to turn away from their sin, repent, and change course. Let go of the ways of the world. It is a time of inward reflection and sincere self-assessment. The goal is a change in lifestyle away from sin to obedience in God’s word. Return to God and His ways. This is not a warm and fuzzy spiritual word that causes your stomach to flutter or hair to stand on your neck. There should be some conviction. Be honest. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We can all do better. Prepare and turn to God with a joyful heart.

Teshuvah is a 40 day period in the late summer of the year. This is the season to prepare for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.

Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. Elul 1 marks the beginning of Teshuvah. The 40 day period of Teshuvah ends on Tishri 10 in the Hebrew calendar, Yom Kippur.

Gabriel: Prophecy of John the Baptist

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth

Gabriel is revealing the promise of Zechariah’s son to him, John the Baptist. Zechariah is told his son will result in joy and gladness. In the Greek language, the root word for joy is a form of the word for grace or χαρά/chara. In other words, Zechariah will experience joy because of God’s grace. As a father, Zechariah would also experience “gladness” or ἀγαλλίασις/agalliasis. The translation of “gladness” does not fully define the term. Other translations could include wild joy, ecstatic delight, exultation, or exhilaration as noted by Strong’s Concordance.

and many will rejoice at his birth… The birth of John the Baptist will result in others to “rejoice”. This is the verb form of grace or χαίρω/chairó.

John the Baptist will be a source of God’s grace.

Luke 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

for he will be great before the Lord.

God’s view of John the Baptist is “great” or μέγας/megas. John will be large, great, in the widest sense. -Strong’s Concordance.

And he must not drink wine or strong drink

Many take this charge to be a Nazarite vow. This concept has its origins in Numbers 6:1-21. John the Baptist is to set himself apart and dedicate himself to God for his entire life. John is one of three people in the Bible who were to devote their lives with a Nazarite vow to God. The other two were Samson and Samuel.

In general, there are three primary considerations when taking a Nazarite vow. One, a person is not to drink wine or any beverage product that comes from a grape. A person is not to eat grapes or raisins either. Two, no razor shall touch his head. In other words, no hair cuts or facial shaving allowed. Three, one is not to come in contact with a dead body.

~

and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit…

Keep in mind, this is before the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost. That event was yet future.

There were not many people who were blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit prior to John the Baptist. Aspects of the Spirit allowed Moses, Joshua, Saul, and Solomon to carry out various duties with God given insights.

King David particularly valued the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

~

…even from his mother’s womb.

This promise is confirmed later in the book of Luke.

Luke 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Zechariah, Meet Gabriel

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , on March 22, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

So Zechariah the priest is minding his own business by himself in the Temple…

And there appeared… ὁράω/horaó in the Greek. Defined, the term means to see or intently stare. Imagine being by yourself and a being shows up out of thin air. One might lock in on what is being seen.

Luke 1:12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

Let’s look at the description of Zechariah when he realized the angel later to be identified as Gabriel.

We have the benefit of knowing Zechariah is meeting Gabriel. Zechariah will find this out later in the conversation.

Luke 1:19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Zechariah was troubled or ταράσσω/tarassó. It could also mean to be stirred up or agitated.

Zechariah was overwhelmed or seized with fear or φόβος/phobos. The word can be defined as panic flight, fear, the causing of fear, terror. In English, we get the word “phobia” from the Greek.

Zechariah and the virgin Mary have the same initial response to Gabriel. The same Greek terms are used. Both were stirred up and scared.

Gabriel, for his part, has the same response to both Zechariah and Mary. He tells both of them to not be afraid and he calls them by name.

Luke 1:13a But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah…

Luke 1:30a And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary

Likely to Zechariah’s surprise, the being knows his name and his wife’s name Elizabeth. Then Gabriel shares some information with Zechariah. You are going to be a father and you are going to name the child John.

Luke 1:13b …and you shall call his name John.

Zechariah the Priest & Prayer

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:5a In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah…

Luke 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty…

This is the introduction of Zechariah the priest, father of John the Baptist.

But first, let’s look at the name Zechariah. His name means “Yah has remembered”. It would appear, Zechariah is the first person to talk to the angel (Gabriel) in the New Testament. We know that he has prayed for a child.

Luke 1:13a But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard…

A man whose name means “Yah remembers” has prayed to Yahweh. Yah has heard, remembered, and grants “Yah remembers” his wish. Then “Yah remembers” does not believe Yah remembered him and discounts the promise of a child.

Luke 1:18 “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”

~

Luke 1:11 Just then, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, standing at the right side of the altar of the incense.

The angel was located at the right side. Symbolically, the right of God is known as a position of presence, power, and authority. Christ has ascended into Heaven and is located at the right hand of the Father.

golden_altar_of_incense

The directions for the construction and purpose of the altar of incense are located in Exodus 30. The priests are instructed to burn incense continually. This is a request for all generations. The burning of incense is perpetual.

Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.

The incense is fragrant and pleasing to smell. God only wants incense from this altar.

Exodus 30:9 You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.

In Revelation, in the throne room of Heaven, the incense is equated with prayers.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne…

Despite being a priest and serving God in the Temple, Zechariah did not believe God’s message. He was still granted his prayer request. But with his unbelief, there was a consequence. Silence!

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time. -Gabriel

Do not underestimate the power of our prayers. Gabriel was located at a position of authority near the symbol for prayers.

Prayer should be part of our lives. God wants us to communicate with Him. He desires to hear from us. Our prayers are a sweet aroma to Him. He does listen and He always remembers.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

Gabriel: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , on February 23, 2020 by paulthepoke

Luke 1:36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.

Gabriel knows that Elizabeth and Mary are related family. Imagine being Mary, this being knows a lot about her circumstances.

Mary Elizabeth

So what relation is Mary to Elizabeth? The Greek word for “relative” is συγγενής/suggenes. The term is defined or translated as a relation; a relative or kinsman by multiple concordances. The King James Version is the only translation that utilizes the term “cousin” which may not be accurate. All other translations and even the King James Version typically uses the term “relative” or “kinsman” in the 12 times the term συγγενής/suggenes is used in the New Testament. We don’t know specifically the exact relation of Elizabeth and Mary. But we do know they are related. The two women have a history and they know each other.

Luke 1:39-40 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is described as being in “old age” and “barren.”

She is γῆρας/géras or old. This is the only time the term is used in the New Testament. In English, we get the word geriatric from the Greek.

Elizabeth is also “barren” or στεῖρος/steiros. The translators are kind. The word sterile could also apply. In other words, Elizabeth is a sterile, old, geriatric woman.

Zechariah is no spring chicken himself. Zechariah knows he is old too.

Luke 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

As a reminder, this is not the first time God oversees a geriatric woman getting pregnant and giving birth.

Genesis 17:15-19 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.

~

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Ultimately, Mary responds to the grace afforded to her by Gabriel. She believes God’s messenger. And she chooses to tell Gabriel…

Behold or ἰδού/idou. Mary has turned the tables on Gabriel. Now, she is telling Gabriel to pay attention to her! Gabriel, you listen to me!

Mary proclaims to be a “servant” or a δούλη/doule. This is a female slave or bond maid. She is submitting her will to God and His plan. She is choosing to be a slave to God.

Mary is asking for Gabriel’s message to become her reality; let it be to me according to your word.

Gabriel believes Mary. And the angel departed from her.

Trend Update: UN Emergency Meeting Over Temple Mount Violence, July 2017

Posted in Gaza Strip/Philistia, Prophecy, Temple, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2017 by paulthepoke

Zechariah 12:3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.

The United Nations (UN) has called an emergency meeting for Monday, July 24, 2017. The issue is the violence in Jerusalem surrounding the Temple Mount.

Sweden, France, and Egypt have called for the meeting. The news was given to the world by a tweet. Sweden ambassador to the Security Council Carl Skau made the following statement on Twitter.

Sweden, France & Egypt request #UNSC to urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in #Jerusalem can be supported.

https://twitter.com/CarlSkau/status/888820255996469249

The Mideast Quartet (United States, European Union, Russia, and United Nations) made the following public statement, “(We) Strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence, and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

The Quartet also expressed to “demonstrate maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work towards de-escalating the situation.”

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the UN will have their open monthly meeting on the Middle East.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Security-Council-to-hold-special-meeting-on-Jerusalem-following-violence-500452

 

The Muslim population is against the idea of passing through metal detectors to gain access to the Temple Mount. The Muslim population is against the idea of any security measures. This is per a tweet from Khaled Abu Toameh who is a journalist and TV producer.

Across a hashtag #لا_أنصاف_حلول. Jerusalemites profess reject all solutions that promotes occupation through informed rather than portals.

https://twitter.com/qudsn/status/888854207855566849

This same attitude is conveyed in an article in the Times of Israel. The title of the article…Arab MK: ‘Whole Arab world will rise up’ if Israel doesn’t remove metal detectors

http://www.timesofisrael.com/arab-mk-arab-world-will-rise-up-if-israel-doesnt-remove-temple-mt-metal-detectors/

 

July 23, 2017: The Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan came under attack. A stabbing of an Israeli security officer was attempted. The terrorist was killed and two others were injured.

July 21, 2017: A Jewish family was attacked during supper on Friday night north of Jerusalem in Halamish. A terrorist entered the home and stabbed three people to death.

Violence between Palestinians and Israelis has occurred south of Jerusalem in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Clashes continue to occur in East Jerusalem or what we know as the Mount of Olives. A reminder of what the future holds on the Mount of Olives…

Zechariah 14:4 On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.

 

A shout out and thanks to https://twitter.com/rapturewatchers. He does an excellent job of keeping up with current events related to prophecy.

To quote Haley Anne, the Executive Assistant at Godinanutshell.com, “How many centimeters dilation are we today?”

 

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Trend Update: Pestilence/Famine, August 2014

Posted in Pestilence, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2014 by paulthepoke

Revelation 6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

This is the fourth seal. This is the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. There is a growing fear of the Ebola Virus that is spreading through western Africa. Outbreaks of various diseases are reported on the U.S. and Mexican border with the issue of immigrants. SARS, AIDS, Bird flu, Swine flu…

People are asking the question, “Is this what Revelation is talking about?” The answer is…No. The seals of Revelation have not been broken and initiated by the Lamb as of August 2014.

For starters, the antichrist has not been revealed. He is the first of the four horsemen. As of August 2014, there is no international man on the scene who is a peace broker (Revelation 6:2), far from it.

Second, the scale of death will be ridiculous. Currently, the death toll is approaching 1,000 with the Ebola Virus. The verse above states a fourth, one quarter, 25% of the population will be affected. Estimates are currently around 7.2 billion people on the planet. The math says 1.8 billion (1,800,000,000) people will perish at the events related to the fourth horseman.

Granted, there are four sources of death in the verse above: 1) sword or war, 2) famine, 3) pestilence, and 4) animals. Food is going to be scarce. People are in famine. The lack of food is consistent with the “Day of the Lord” conditions in Joel 1. The cost of food will sky rocket. It will cost one day’s wage to eat (Revelation 6:6). Animals are in famine and will turn to people as a source of nutrition. Animals will no longer be in fear of humans. This reverses the trend and proclamation of God to Noah after the flood in Genesis 9:2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.

See also Zechariah 1 and Zechariah 6 if interested in these colored horses.

I don’t think the question, “Is this the Tribulation?”, will need to be asked. Remember, this event is near the beginning of the Tribulation. This is the fourth seal of seven. Then there are seven trumpets. Then there are seven bowls…

Isaiah 8:1-4 Isaiah’s Family and Prophetic Implications

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2013 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 8:1 Then the LORD said to me, “Take for yourself a large tablet and write on it in ordinary letters: Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey (Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz).

Isaiah 8:2 “And I will take to Myself faithful witnesses for testimony, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.” 

God has witnesses to what he is saying. He chose Isaiah, Uriah, Zechariah. Look at the character of the men He chose to be witnesses. He selected a priest and two prophets (Isaiah included). All three are men of God.

Look at the names of the people and their meaning. According to Strong’s Concordance, Uriah means “Jehovah is my light (flame)”. Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers”. Jeberechiah means “Jehovah blesses”. We cannot forget Isaiah, his name means “Jehovah has saved”. Here is the message in the witnesses to God’s word. He saves, remembers, blesses, and illuminates.

God wants this written down and he wants human witnesses to His word.

Isaiah 8:3 So I approached the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. Then the LORD said to me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz;

Yes, there is sex in the Bible. Isaiah had sexual relations with his wife and she became pregnant. God did tell Isaiah to give the child a specific name. He was married to an unnamed prophetess. Isaiah and his wife had two sons, Shear-jashub (meaning the remnant shall return, Isaiah 7:3) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz (meaning speed the spoil, hasten the prey). Jewish tradition notes that Isaiah may have been a relative to Jewish nobility, a nephew to King Amaziah. His cousin would have been King Uzziah in Chapter 6.

Isaiah 8:4 for before the boy knows how to cry out ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

According to Ryrie Study Notes, the child was approximately two years old when Tiglath-Pileser III tore through Damascus and Samaria in 732 BC.

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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