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Thursday, June 21 2012

A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac

Studies in this series of A Biography Of Abraham:
1. The Genealogy Of Abram 2. From Ur To Canaan 3. The Battles Of Sodom 4. Hagar And Ishmael
5. Isaac 6. Sarah 7. Mamre in Hebron 8. Abrahamic Religions


"My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year"

Abraham occasionally knew adversity in the land of Canaan. One day, the LORD appeared to him and proclaimed, "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."

Damascus

"15:1 After these things the word of the LORD [see What Does Word of God Mean To You? and Appearances Of The LORD God] came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." (Genesis 15:1 KJV)

Abraham had lived most of his long life childless. The closest that he had for a son was Lot, his nephew; Lot's father Haran died before Abraham and Lot moved to the land of Canaan, so childless uncle Abraham looked out for Lot as a father would have done. When Lot separated from Abraham's company, the family closeness also seemed to diminish. While Abraham thereafter still risked his own life to save Lot's life, twice (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Battles Of Sodom), Abraham nevertheless had resigned himself to having "the steward of my house," a Syrian man named Eliezer, as his heir.

"15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [see also Damascus In History And Prophecy] 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir." (Genesis 15:2-3 KJV)

The LORD then revealed to Abraham that he was yet to have a family of his own - a very large family: "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be."

"15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees [see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan], to give thee this land to inherit it." (Genesis 15:4-7 KJV)

Abraham was also given to know of the future Israelite Exodus, before any Israelites existed. The first Israelites were the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" (see Where Jacob Became Israel) and the first Jews were the children of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (see Who Were The First Jews?). Abraham knew those of "thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs."

Egypt

"15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs [see Why Did They Go To Goshen? and Why Were The Israelites Made Slaves In Egypt?], and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." (Genesis 15:13-16 KJV)

While Egypt would not be the possession of the line that came out of Egypt, other lines of Abraham would possess the land from "the river of Egypt" (where, as we just read, the Israelites would not possess it) and "unto the great river, the river Euphrates" (the land where Abraham was told to leave - and where, as we are about to read, Isaac and his line were not to possess; see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates).

"15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 15:19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 15:20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 15:21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites [see A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan]." (Genesis 15:18-21 KJV)

Abraham and Sarah had a long and faithful marriage. They had no children because Sarah was unable (we know that Abraham could have children because he did, later, with other wives and concubines - as we will read) during her natural reproductive years, and was then also elderly. Nevertheless, "God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." Abraham's Messianic line would develop from Sarah, while the LORD promised to greatly bless Abraham's other "seed" e.g. "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation" (see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael).

"17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be [see Abram and Sarai]. 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation [see Ishmael's Kingdom]. 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. 17:22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham." (Genesis 17:15-22 KJV)

Some time later, on their way to deal with Sodom (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Battles Of Sodom), the LORD and two angels reiterated the promise to Sarah, specifically naming the as-yet unborn Isaac.

Abraham and The Three Angels

"18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him [see Do Spirits Have Bones?]: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

18:3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant.

And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd [see The Herds Of Abraham, Isaac And Jacob], and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife?

And he said, Behold, in the tent.

18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.

And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (Genesis 18:1-14 KJV)

Precisely as promised, "the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."

Sarah

"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him [see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael and Circumcision].

21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

21:7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21:1-7 KJV)

Although many Satanically-arrogant, self-righteous people today regard the other descendants of Abraham as irrelevant or worthy only to be subjected to racist barbarism (see The Hagar Excuse and 'Raghead' Racism), Abraham never played favorites among his children. Abraham established the "chosen people" line of Isaac for the purpose of the Messiah of all people that would come from it. Abraham himself was a "gentile" (see What Did The Messiah Say About Gentiles?). As the prophecy states, the Israelite "seed" of Abraham would possess the land of Israel, while the other lines of "seed" of Abraham would possess the lands from Egypt to Iraq - with Israel in the midst. Abraham didn't drive his other children away - he drove them to their own homelands.

"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son [see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael].

21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed." (Genesis 21:8-13 KJV)

"Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure"

The near-sacrifice of Isaac is one of the most famous events of Bible history.

Abraham and Isaac

"22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah [see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem]; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 22:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son.

And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together." (Genesis 22:1-8 KJV)

The faith and obedience of Abraham is well understood. But many people nevertheless wonder, how could he have brought himself to do it? What was he thinking? The answer is also found in the Scriptures. Abraham's faith, in the knowledge that the LORD gave him, that Isaac's line would survive brought him to the conclusion that the LORD would resurrect Isaac i.e. "that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." When all was done, Abraham wasn't expecting to be walking away from a dead son, but walking down the mountain with a resurrected son.

"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [see Lessons Of Perseverance And Faith].

11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth [see The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished]. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country [see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God]. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Hebrews

While Abraham expected a resurrection, he didn't know that a resurrection wouldn't be necessary - the test was his willingness, not in his actually doing it.

The Sacrifice Of Isaac

"22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son [see also The Blood Of Bulls And Goats].

22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." (Genesis 22:9-14 KJV)

From that incident (which also portrayed God sacrificing His Son - which was not stopped), the Messianic promises of the purpose of Isaac's line were explained further, reiterating "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham? and Why Did The Magi Come?).

"22:15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven [see also Are We In Heaven Now?] the second time, 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

22:19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba." (Genesis 22:15-19 KJV)

"Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death"

Sarah, who was already elderly when Isaac was born, died at the age of 127.

The Tomb Of Sarah

"23:1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. 23:2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron [see Why Bethlehem, Hebron And Jerusalem?] in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her." (Genesis 23:1-2 KJV)

Abraham purchased a tomb at Hebron for a burial place for Sarah. It would, in time, be the burial place of Abraham (with his wife Sarah; Abraham is the legal owner of the tomb, as we are about to read) and Isaac (and his wife Rebekah) and Jacob / Israel (and his wife Leah; Jacob's wife Rachel is buried near Bethlehem - The Rachel Prophecies).

"23:16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 23:17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about [see The Boundary Law], were made sure 23:18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. 23:19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 23:16-19 KJV)

Abraham was himself at that time very old. He had accomplished everything that the LORD commanded him to do, but there was the still the matter of a wife for Isaac - whereby the Messianic line, that Abraham was commanded to establish through Isaac, would continue. Rather than choosing a local Canaanite woman (as Judah later did to establish the "Jews"; see Who Were The First Jews?), Abraham sent a trusted servant to Syria, where Abraham's own Iraqi-ancestry family settled at Haran.

"24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 24:2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." (Genesis 24:1-4 KJV)

Isaac's wife would not be found by mere chance (see Who Chose Rebekah?).

Rebekah

"24:5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?

24:6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 24:7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 24:8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 24:9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter." (Genesis 24:5-9 KJV)

It would be repeated later with Isaac's son Jacob (see The Syrian Marriage Wells).

"24:57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man?

And she said, I will go.

24:59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

24:61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way." (Genesis 24:57-61 KJV)

So Isaac and Rebekah were married.

"24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?

And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

24:66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." (Genesis 24:62-67 KJV)

After the death of Sarah, Abraham had many other children who would, as we've explained, fulfill the promise / prophecy of Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates. Keturah became the mother of many of them.

Hebron

"25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah." (Genesis 25:1-4 KJV)

Abraham had other children through concubines (apart from Hagar). Like Ishmael, they were sent to their homelands so that the line of Isaac could possess the small area of "Israel."

"25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." (Genesis 25:5-6 KJV)

Abraham died and was buried with Sarah. His "sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah."

"25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.

25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost and What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?], and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

25:11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi." (Genesis 25:7-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did Abraham understand about the Messiah that many merely Christian-professing (i.e. claiming to be Christian while ignoring Christ's actual and true teachings) people today do not?
See What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?, Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?


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This Day In History, June 21

217 BC: Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal destroyed a Roman army (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) under consul Gaius Flaminicy in a battle at Lake Trasimenus in central Italy (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

524: The Battle of Vezeronce. The Burgundians under King Godomar defeated the Franks.

1314: The Scots of Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II's army at Bannockburn.

1377: King Edward III of England died. King from 1327, he attempted to invade France in 1339 and 1340, thereby starting the Hundred Years War. He was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.

1633: Galileo Galilei was forced by the Roman Catholic Church to "abjure, curse, and detest" his (entirely correct) theory that the earth orbits the sun.

1667: The Peace of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664-67), with the Dutch ceding New Amsterdam, known today as New York, to the English.

1749: Halifax was founded when Col. Edward Cornwallis brought more than 2,500 English immigrants to Nova Scotia ("New Scotland").

1824: During the Greek War of Independence, Egyptian forces captured Psara in the Aegean Sea.

1887: Queen Victoria celebrated her golden jubilee marking 50 years on the British throne.

1900: The Boxer Rebellion began in China to oppose foreign interference in Chinese affairs. An international force of Japanese, Russian, German, U.S., British, Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops put down the uprising by August 14 (which obviously proved that there was foreign interference in Chinese affairs).

1977: Menachem Begin became Israel's 6th Prime Minister (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism).

1982: John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the attempted murder of U.S. President Reagan in 1981.

1990: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 50,000 and injured more than 200,000.

1990: Hungary officially re-launched its stock exchange, 42 years after its closure by the Communist Party. The Budapest stock exchange was the first Western-style securities exchange in any Warsaw Pact country.

2006: The newly-discovered moons of the planet Pluto were officially named Nix and Hydra (although most scientists reject religion, they nevertheless very often name scientific discoveries and programs after pagan gods and idols).





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