Brothers Against Brothers – 2 Chronicles 13

Now that Abijah was king of Judah, there came to be a war between him and Jeroboam, the king of Israel. The text give some hint that Jeroboam may have instigated the was, seeking to re-unite the divided kingdom (under his ruler-ship of course. Abijah had troops with him of 400,000 in number, while Jeroboam had 800,000 “mighty warriors.” Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim and addressed the Israelites.

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and ...

Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and Judah (orange), ancient levant borders and ancient cities such as Urmomium and Jerash. The map shows the region in the 9th century BCE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He reminded them of God’s promise to David, which meant that Jeroboam must not be their king. He also pointed to the golden calves, and the fact that the priest, Levites, and sons of Aaron had been driven out, and that they had unlawfully made priests of people who were not eligible. Their kingdom, their king, and even their service to God was all a lie, and they knew in their hearts it was so.

But while he spoke, Jeroboam sent troops to ambush Abijah and his men from the rear. Verses 16-20 state clearly that God defeated Jeroboam and his troops, and gave them into the hands of Abijah and his men, who took cities from Jeroboam’s kingdom. Verse 17 says that a half million Israelite were killed in this battle. A true blood bath, and Jeroboam never recovered his power against Abijah.  And according to verse 21, Abijah grew mighty.

Abijah’s speech in this chapter was impressive and seemed to foreshadow a great time of Godly leadership for the kingdom of Judah. But alas, we will see that such did not prove to be the case after this victory.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.

 

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Solomon Recruits Help – 2 Chronicles 2

English: Tyre, Lebanon - a view of the Christi...

English: Tyre, Lebanon – a view of the Christian quarter from the fishing harbour pier) Slovenščina: Tir, Libanon – pogled na krščansko četrt s pomola v ribiškem pristanišču (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon prepares for building not only the temple, but also his own palace. The chronicler mentions that fact here, but nothing else is mentioned of its construction, which we find documented in 1 Kings 7:1-12. The king of Tyre was said to have had great love for David (1 Kings 5:1), and had sent cedars, carpenters, and masons to help build his house (2 Samuel 5:11). So Solomon sent the king a letter, asking for similar help, promising great amounts of wheat, barley, wine, and oil in return.

Hiram responded with his own letter, praising Solomon for what he was about to do, and sent a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design.” He would also provide the timber cutters for the cedars he would send by sea to Joppa.

Solomon then took a census of all of the resident aliens of Israel, and there were 153,600. Most of these would be descendants of the Canaanites that were never driven out of the land. He conscripted them to work on the project. Verse 18 details the division of their labor – Seventy thousand of them he assigned to bear burdens, 80,000 to quarry in the hill country, and 3,600 as overseers to make the people work.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Prayer – Supplication

Prayer is the language

Prayer is the language (Photo credit: Lel4nd)

Earlier this year, we began a series intended to help us develop our prayer life, with an emphasis on the ACTS method of prayer in this article. As we have emphasized, there is no requirement for any set formula for prayer, but the method referred to by the acronym can be useful. The elements of prayer represented by the ACTS method are adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Today we will focus briefly on supplication.

Supplication is defined as “to ask for humbly or earnestly, to beseech or to make a humble entreaty to.” Philippians 4:6 says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Another word for supplication that is often used is “petition.” Of course, one thing we do with supplication in prayer is to take our confession to the next logical step in asking God for his mercy and forgiveness. But these humble petitions are not only to be made by us for ourselves. Rather, most important is the use of supplication on behalf of others. Ephesians 6:18 says we are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit,awith all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” It is one of the ways that we are commanded to encourage one another as in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25. Making supplication for others is one hallmark of a truly caring and dedicated child of God. For how can we love others as ourselves without praying for what they need most?

We’ll leave you with this simple prayer adapted from Psalm 50, in which David is grieving because of his great sin against the Lord:

Have mercy on my, O God,
according to thy great mercy;
according to the abundance of thy compassions,
blot out all my transgressions….
A sacrifice to you, O God, is a broken spirit,
a broken and contrite heart—
these, O Lord, you shall not turn away from.
I pray also, O Lord, for your tender mercy
for those among me who are grieving
for those who are in need of comfort
and for those who have turned away
from your loving arms.
Grant them, I pray, the blessing of repentance
and the strength which flows
from your boundless grace and love.
In Jesus name, Amen.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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Solomon Anointed King – 1 Chronicles 29

The chapter opens with David addressing the assembly of all of the officials of Israel that had gathered together in Jerusalem in chapter 28. He tells them that Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the task at hand (building the temple) is formidable. It is only in 1 Chronicles 29:1 and 29:19 that the word “palace” is used to describe the temple. According to Albert Barnes, “the original word here used is the Hebrew form of a Persian word, and generally designates the residence of the Persian monarch,” as in Esther 1:5. But David makes it clear in verse 1 that it is not a house for a man, but for the Lord.

It is then that David gives one of the last examples of his leadership as a godly king. He tells the assembly of the precious metals that have been provided and also of the large amount of treasure from his own personal wealth that he has donated to the cause of building the Lord’s house. He then asks those assembled who among them will give of their own possessions for the Lord. The result is a huge unifying onslaught of reverent generosity that gives the people great joy.

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. A...

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. According to 1 Kings 1:39, Solomon was anointed by Zadok. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David then offers a prayer to God in verses 10-19. It is a humble prayer of thanksgiving and worship for the Almighty – to whom all of these things they have given actually belong. This was followed by thousands of burnt offerings and drink offerings, and all sacrifices were accompanied by a great feast and celebration.

Solomon was then anointed king in his second coronation, and Zadok was anointed as priest. Verses 26-30 mark the death of David, who the scripture says reigned 40 years over Israel – seven at Hebron and 33 at Jerusalem. Verse 28 says “he died at a good age, full of days, riches, and honor.”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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David’s Charge to Solomon – 1 Chronicles 28

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, ...

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, as in 1 Kings 6, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 28 is David’s official notice to all of the assembled officials of Israel at Jerusalem of Solomon’s charge to build the temple, as he explains to them the reasons for God’s choice of Solomon to build it. He then gives the charge to Solomon in their presence, saying:

“Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”

This is quoted from God’s charge to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 and also from Deuteronomy 1:21, and it is meant to encourage the young heir in the face of the most important task of his life. But he was not left to his own devices, for David gave him the plans for the entire thing in verses 11-19 in intricate detail – as the Lord had given it to him.

Just as was the case with the Tabernacle that Moses had to rally to construct in splendid detail, God provided the “blueprints” for the house that David’s son was to build with the help of all the Levites and craftsmen at his beck and call.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Organization of David’s Kingdom – 1 Chronicles 27

As we can see David’s time coming to an end, his preparations for Solomon’s reign continues now beyond the Levites and into the military. The army mentioned here is not David’s more official force, but is best described as a very large citizen militia, consisting of 12 divisions of 24,000 men.

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Dat...

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Date: 3rd c. AD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The leaders of the tribes that are listed in verses 16-22 may be from the ranks of elders. We are not told. Nor are we given a reason for the omission of the tribes of Gad and Asher. Interestingly, “Aaron” is listed as a tribe in verse 17. The Lord’s wrath over the census that Joab ended up not finishing (2 Samuel 24:1-17) is only briefly mentioned in verse 24.

Verses 25-31 list 12 administrators over David’s treasuries, corporate workers of the field, and vast amounts of property. David and his kingdom were at a high point of wealth. Among the counselors and friends listed in verses 32-34 are Hushai and Ahithophel. No mention is made of Hushai’s role in David’s victory over Absalom (2 Samuel 15:32-37, 2 Samuel 16:15-17:16), nor of Ahithophel’s betrayal in that same ordeal.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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David Organizes the Sanctuary – (1 Chronicles 24-25)

In these two chapters, David is organizing the priests and the musicians. It might not sound like such a big deal to us, but it was a monumental task. There were many thousands of Levites at this time, and casting lots as he had them to do was the best way to determine the order in which they would serve. The lines came from the sons of Aaron, which would only include Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu had died without any children (Leviticus 10:1-3). It was from the line of Abijah (24:10) that Zechariah, John the baptist’s father, came (Luke 1:5).

 

English: Nadab and Abihu consumed by fire from...

English: Nadab and Abihu consumed by fire from the Lord; illustration from “Figures de la Bible”, illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648-1733), and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Since the Book of Chronicles is written for the benefit of the returning exiles, it was again important to document the lines carefully in these two chapters. In chapter 25, David and the Levite leaders organized the musicians for the temple under the lines of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. Asaph is credited (at least in the superscripts) with having written Psalm 50 and Psalms 73-83. Heman is probably the same Heman the Ezrahite that is credited in the superscript of Psalm 88. Jeduthun is mentioned in Psalms 39, 62, and 77.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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A New Age – (1 Chronicles 23)

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levit...

Jewish high priest wearing a hoshen, and Levites in ancient Judah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

In this chapter, David is reaching the end of his life, and he makes Solomon the king. He then brought all of the leaders of Israel together, including the Levites. Levites more than thirty years old were counted, and the total was 38,000. He designated an astounding 24,000 of these to “have charge of the work in the house of the Lord.” He assigned other duties for the rest, including 4,000 of them to offer praise to God with instruments. Verse 6 says that he “organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.”

 

David made the observation that with the temple being built, there would no longer be any need for the Levites to carry and assemble the tabernacle or any of the things needed for its service. “The Lord, the God if Israel” David said, had given rest to His people. As 1 Kings 4:25 tells us it did, Israel and Judah under Solomon was about to enter an long era of unprecedented peace, the likes of which would never occur again. David proclaimed that the Levites were to attend to, and assist, the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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A Big Undertaking – 1 Chronicles 22

David had been forbidden to build a “house” for the Lord (verse 8, 1 Kings 5:3) because he had “shed much blood and waged great wars.”  The point of this was not that God held David to have done wrong in waging these wars. After all, much of it was accomplished with God’s help. It makes the most sense, though, that the perception of David was that of a warrior; and by those outside the kingdom, perhaps (incorrectly) a ruthless warrior at that. A temple built by David for the Lord would remind outsiders of any other temple for a false god.

 

Michelangelo david solomon

Michelangelo david solomon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Much of the rest of this chapter in not found in the Books of Samuel. While Solomon was still too young (and before David became too old), David desired to get things prepared, so that Solomon could be ready to build it whenever he came of age. He gathered the foreigners that lived in Israel for labor. He then brought in innumerable cedar timbers, had iron made into nails and gates, and provided great quantities of bronze.

 

Then he called for Solomon, and gave him his charge concerning the temple. David emphasized to Solomon how important it was to keep to the law of Moses. Then David said “Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.” This reminds of the words Moses spoke to Joshua as he “passed the torch” to him in Deuteronomy 31:6. With God’s help, David had subdued all of the nation’s enemies and secured the land. Now Solomon could rule in peace and build the temple.

 

David told him that he provided 100, 000 talents of gold, and a million talents of silver, along with all of the bronze and iron. The measure of a talent has historically been somewhat inconsistent. But here, it is generally thought to be about 75 lbs per talent. Peace, prosperity, and preparation were David’s gifts to his son for this monumental task. But he would not be alone. David commanded all of the leaders to help his son. And of course, there was God.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

 

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Digging Up the Past – The House of David

We’ve written recently of some glaring examples of the secular world being so desperate to prove the Bible wrong that non-believing scholars often stick their feet in their mouths about the Bible’s historical accuracy. This post about the Hittites, and this one about the “camel fallacy” demonstrate this quite well. The March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review proclaimed that “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible.” This is fascinating reading, and it is especially satisfying that before the evidences were found, several of these real people were claimed by skeptics to have been merely mythological.

One such person was King David himself. Now don’t get us wrong. The evidence for a Davidic empire is not so overwhelming that all skeptics concede the point (it is the opinion of this blogger that some of those could not ever be given enough evidence to do so). But if this evidence was related to a historical king that was not written about in the bible, we would wager that there would be no doubters. The issue is presupposition – pure and simple.

The Tel Dan Stele resides in the Israel Museum

The Tel Dan Stele resides in the Israel Museum

Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran began digging at Tel Dan in Israel in 1966. From 1993 – 1994, after nearly 30 years of excavations, his expedition uncovered a basalt (an igneous rock) stone with an inscription in Aramaic.  It has been dated to about the mid-800’s B.C. The inscription described military victories by an Aramaean king (almost certainly Hazael of Damascus). In the inscription, the king bragged about killing the king of Israel (Joram) and the king of Judah (Ahaziah) in one of his campaigns. Later, once the occupying forces were finally defeated at Dan, they broke the stone up and used the pieces in construction of their city gate; and this is how the expedition found it in the dig.

In 2 Kings 9, it was actually Jehu that assassinated these two kings. But the text does detail Hazael’s extensive fighting against both kings (2 Kings 9:14-16). It is not surprising that Hazael would erect this inscribed stone in Dan, which he occupied, taking credit for these assassinations in order to show his “bright feathers” for all men there to see. Though Jehu did the assassinations, Hazael was nonetheless responsible for the demise of their reigns in every other respect. More than one biblical passage make that clear, including 2 Chronicles 22:1-9, and 2 Kins 8:7-15, and 28. And in 1 Kings 19:15-17, God told Elisha:

“Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.”

Mesha Stele: stele of Mesha, king of Moab, rec...

Mesha Stele: stele of Mesha, king of Moab, recording his victories against the Kingdom of Israel. Basalt, ca. 800 BC. From Dhiban, now in Jordan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A huge significance of the find in this dig is that the inscription refers to the kingdom of Judah as the “House of David.” It is the earliest known reference to it outside the Bible. A few naysayers, of course, say that all it proves is that there was a tribe of Israel and that they had a leader named David at one time. But they come off like whiny children who just cannot stand not getting their way. It is highly unlikely that this Aramaean king would be so proud as to erect this monument to boast about defeating relatives of a small tribal sheep-herder.

But there is more. The Moabite Stone or “Mesha Stele,” first discovered in 1868 contains the words “House of David” in the Moabite language, meaning that he was the beginning ruler of the dynasty. It is a ninth century B.C. inscription that the Moabite king Mesha had erected as bragging rights for his victory over the king of Israel and his accompanying armies. Though his boasting differs greatly from what the Bible tells us in 2 Kings 3, it is nonetheless important for several reasons beyond the confirmation it gives us from the “house of David” reference.

The Stele (now housed in the Louvre in France) also confirms by name two other kings written about by scripture (Mesha himself, and King Omri of Israel), the tribute extracted from the Moabites by Israel, and the tribe of Gad. It is also the oldest secular evidence we have of the Tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh) as the name that God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. But it also was the best confirmation at the time of the existence of Moab itself – yet another factual place that skeptics had long doubted.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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