Obrazy na stronie

False Christs to arise before


the destruction of Jerusalem.

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22 And except those days should be false prophets, and shall shew great. A. M. 1033. An. Olymp. shortened, there should no flesh besigns and wonders; insomuch that, 'if an. Olymp.

saved : " but for the elect's sake those it were possible, they shall deceive the days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo,| 25 Behold, I have told


before. here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

very elect.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Be24 For there shall arise false Christs, and hold, he is in the desart; go not forth : be

*a Isai. 65, 8, 9. Zech. 14. 2, 3. D Mark 13. 21. Luke 17. 23. & 21. 8.

Deut. 13. 1. ver. 5. 11. 2 Thess. 2. 9, 10, 11. Rev. 13. 13.

a John 6. 37. & 10. 28, 29. Rom. 8. 28, 29, 30. 2 Tim. 2. 19.

periods and revolutions ; for it is remarkable that the temple it was the common artifice of these impostors to shew signs was burnt by the Romans on the same month, and on the and wonders, omursa xos Tepata; the very words used by Christ same day of the month, on which it had been burned by the || in this prophecy, and by Josephus in his history: Ant. book Babylonians. See Josephus, war, book vi. c. 4.

xx. c. 7. Among these Simon Magus, and Dositheus, men. Verse 22. Except those days should be shortened] Josephus tioned before; and Barcocab, who, St. Jerom says, precomputes the number of those who perished in the siege attended to vomit flames. And it is certain these and some eleven hundred thousand, besides those who were slain in other others were so dexterous in imitating miraculous works, that places, war, book vi. c. 9.; and if the Romans had gone on de- || they deceived many, and such were their works, that if the stroying in this manner, the whole nation of the Jews would elect, the chosen persons, the Christians, had not had the fullest in a short time have been entirely extirpated : but for the evidence of the truth of Christ's mission and miracles, they sake of the elect, the Jews, that they might not be utterly de- must have been deceived too: but having had these proofs, stroyed, and for the Christians particularly, the days were they could not possibly be deceived by these impostors. This shortened. These, partly through the fury of the zealots on is simply the meaning of this place; and it is truly astonishone hand, and the hatred of the Romans on the other; and ing that it should be brought as a proof for the doctrine partly through the difficulty of subsisting in the mountains, (whether true or false is at present out of the question) of without houses or provisions, would in all probability have been the necessary and eternal perseverance of the saints! How all destroyed, either by the sword or famine, if the days had not abundant the Jews were in magic, divination, sorcery, incanbeen shortened. The besieged themselves helped to shortentation, &c. see proved by Dr. Lightfoot on this place. those days by their divisions and mutual slaughters; and by fa Verse 25. Behold, I have told you before.] That is, I have tally deserting their strong holds, where they never could have forewarned you. been subdued, but by famine alone. So well fortified was Jeru Verse 26. If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desart] salem, and so well provided to stand a siege, that the enemy || Is it not worthy of remark that our Lord not only foretold the without could not have prevailed, had it not been for the fac- || appearance of these impostors, but also the manner and cirtions and seditions within. When Titus was viewing the fortifica- || cumstances of their conduct? Some he mentions as appearing tions after the taking of the city, he could not help ascribing his in the desart. Josephus says, Ant. b. xx. c. 7. and war, b. success to God. “We have fought,” said he,“ with God on our ii. c. 13. That many impostors and cheats persuaded the side; and it is God who pulled the Jews out of these strongholds, || people to follow them to the desart, promising to shew them for what could machines, or the hands of men avail against such signs and wonders done by the providence of God. An towers as these?” War, book vi. c. 9.

Egyptian false prophet, mentioned by Josephus, Ant. b. xx. Verse 23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is c. 7. and in the Acts, chap. xxi. 38. led out into the DESART Christ] Our Lord had cautioned his disciples against false four thousand men, who were murderers, but these were all Christs and prophets before, ver. 11.; but he seeins here to taken or destroyed by Felir. Another promised salvation intimate that there would be especial need to attend to this to the people, if they would follow him to the DESART, and caution about the time of the siege. And in fact many

such he was destroyed by Festus, Ant. b. xx. c. 7. Also one Joimpostors did arise about that time, promising deliverance | nathan, a weaver, persuaded a number to follow him to the from God; and the lower the Jews were reduced, the more DESART, but he was taken and burnt alive by Vespasian. disposed they were to listen to such deceivers. Like a man See War, b. vii. c. 11. drowning, they were willing to catch even at a straw while As some conducted their deluded followers to the DESART, there was any prospect of being saved. But as it was to so did others to the secret chambers. Josephus mentions a little purpose for a man to take upon him the character of false prophet, war, b. vi. c. 5. who declared to the people in the Christ, without miracles to avouch his divine mission, so the city, that God commanded them to go up into the temple,

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The whole land to be

suddenly desolated. A.M. 4033. hold, he is in the secret chambers; 29 “ Immediately after the tribula- A. M. 1038. An. Olymp. believe it not.

tion of those days, “ shall the sun be An. Olymp. 27 For as the lightning cometh out darkened, and the moon shall not of the east, and shineth even unto the west ; give her light, and the stars shall fall from so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be

28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will shaken : the eagles be gathered together.

30. And then shall appear the sign of the

• Luke 17. 24. - Job 39. 50. Luke 17. 37. Dan. 7. 11, 12.

Isai. 13. 10. Ezek. 32.7. Joel 2. 10, 31. & 3. 15. Amos 5. 20. & 8. 9.
Mark 13. 24. Luke 21. 25. Acts 2. 20. Rev. 6. 12. Dan. 7. 13.

and there they should receive the signs of deliverance. Alations of heaven withdrawing their light; and the sun and multitude of men, women, and children, went up according- moon being darkened. See Isa. xiii. 9, 10. ly; but instead of deliverance, the place was set on fire by

The destruction of Egypt, by the heaven being covered, the Romans, and 6,000 perished miserably in the flames, or the sun envelloped with a cloud, and the moon withholding in attempting to escape them.

her light. Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8. Verse 27. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and

The destruction of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, is reshineth even unto the west] It is worthy of remark, that our presented by casting down some of the host of heaven, and the Lord, in the most particular manner, points out the very stars, to the ground. See Dan. viii. 10. march of the Roman army : they entered into Judea on the And this very destruction of Jerusalem is represented by East, and carried on their conquests westward, as if not the prophet Joel, chap. ij. 30, 31. by shewing wonders in only the extensiveness of the ruin, but the very route which heaven and in earth-darkening the sun, and turning the moon the army would take, were intended in the comparison of into blood. This general mode of describing these judgments, the lightning issuing from the cust, und shining to the west. leaves no room to doubt the propriety of its application in the

Verse 28. For wheresoever the carcase is] IItwua, the dead present case. carcase. The Jewish nation, which was morally and judi- The falling of stars, i. e. those meteors which are called cially dead.

falling stars by the common people, was deemed an omen of There will the eagles] The Roman armies, called so partly evil times. The heathens have marked this : from their strength and fierceness, and partly from the figure of these animals which was always wrought on their ensigns.

Sæpe etiam stellas, vento impendente videbis

Præcipites cælo labi, noctisque per umbram It is remarkable, that the Roman fury pursued these wretch

Flammaruin longos à tergo albescere tractus. ed men wheresoever they were found. They were a dead car.

Virg. Geor. i. ver. 365. case doomed to be devoured ; and the Roman eagles were the commissioned devourers. See the pitiful account in Jose- And oft before tempestuous winds arise phus, war, b. vii. c. 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, and 11.

The seeming sturs fall headlong from the skies, Verse 29. Immediately after the tribulation, &c.] Comment

And shooting through the darkness, gild the night ators generally understand this and what follows, of the end With sweeping glories, and long trails of light, of the world, and Christ's coming to judgment : but the word

Dryden. immediately shews that our Lord is not speaking of any dis

Again the same poet thus sings : tant event, but of something immediately consequent on calamities already predicted ; and that must be the destruction of

Sol tibi signa dabit : solem quis dicere falsum Jerusalem. “The Jewish heaven shall perish, and the sun and

Audeat ? Ile etiam cæcos instare tumultus noon of its glory and happiness shall be darkened-brought

Sæpe monet : fraudemque et operta tumescere bella. to nothing. The sun is the religion of the church; the moon

Ille etiam extincto miseratus Cæsare Romam, is the government of the state ; and the stars are the judges

Cum caput obscurâ nitidum ferrugine texit, and doctors of both. Compare Isai. xiij, 10. Ezek. xxxii. 7,

Impiaque æternam timuerunt sæcula noctem. 8,&c.Lightfoot.

Ibid. ver. 462. In the prophetic language, great commotions upon earth The sun reveals the secrets of the sky, are often represented under the notion of commotions and And who dares give the source of light the lie? changes in the heavens :

The change of empires often he declares, The fall of Babylon is represented by the stars and constel- Fierce tumults, hidden treasons, open wars.

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The sign of the Son of


man to appear in heaven. A. M.403S. Son of man in heaven : a and then 31 · And he shall send his angels A. M.4083. An. Olymp. shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, with a great sound of a trumpet, and An. Olymp.

band they shall see the Son of man they shall gather together his elect coming in the clouds of heaven with power from the four winds, from one end of heaven and great glory

to the other.

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a Zech. 12. 12ch. 16. 27. Mark 13. 26. Rev. 1.7.ch. 13. 41.

1 Cor. 15. 52. 1 Thess. 4. 16.—_. Or, with a trumpet, and a great roice.

He first the fate of Cæsar did foretell,

At Ascalon, 2,500. At Ptolemais, 2,000. At Alerandria, And pitied Rome, when Rome in Cæsar fell:

50,000. At Joppa, when taken by Cestius Gallus, 8,400. In iron clouds conceal'd the public light,

In a mountain called Asamon, near Sepporis, above 2,000. At And impious inortals found eternal night. Dryden. Damascus, 10,000. In a battle with the Romans at Ascalon, Verse 30. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man] 10,000. In an ambuscade near the same place, 8,000. At The plain meaning of this is, that the destruction of Jerusa- Japha, 15,000. Of the Samaritans on mount Gerizim, lem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, || 11,600. At Jotapa, 40,000. At Joppa, when taken by Ves•such a signal manifestation of Christ's power and glory, that pasian, 4,200. At Tarichea, 6,500. And after the city was all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will, in conse

taken, 1,200. At Gumala, 4,000, besides 5,000 who threw quence of this manifestation of God, be led to acknowledge themselves down a precipice. Of those who fled with John Christ and his religion. By ons yns, of the land, in the text, l of Gischala, 6,000. Of the Gadarenes, 15,000 slain, besides is evidently meant here, as in several other places, the land of countless multitudes drowned. In the village of Idumen, above Judea and its tribes, either its then inhabitants, or the Jewish 10,000 slain. At Gerasa, 1,000. At Mac us, 1,700. In people wherever found.

the wood of Jardes, 3,000. In the castle of Masada, 960. Verse 31. He shall send his angels] Tous ayyeãouç, his mes- In Cyrene, by Catullus the governor, 3,000. Besides these, sengers, the apostles, and their successors in the Christian mi- || many of every age, ser, and condition, were slain in the war, nistry.

who are not reckoned ; but of those who are reckoned, the With a great sound of a trumpet] Or, a loud sounding trum- | number amounts to upwards of 1,357,660, which would have pet—the earnest affectionate call of the gospel of peace, life, appeared incredible, if their own historian had not so partiand salvation.

cularly enumerated them. See Josephus, war, book ii. c. 18, Shall gather together his elect] The Gentiles, who were now | 20. book iii. c. 2, 7, 8, 9. book iv. c. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9. book vii. chosen or elected, in place of the rebellious obstinate Jews, c. 6, 9, 11. and Bp. Newton, vol. ii. p. 288–990. according to our Lord's prediction, Matt. viji. 11, 12. and Many also were led away caprices into all nations. There Luke xiii. 28, 29. For the children of the kingdom (the Jews, were taken at Japha 2,130. At Jotapa, 1,200. At Tariches, who were born with a legal right to it, but had now finally 6,000 chosen young men, who were sent to Nero; others forfeited that right by their iniquities) should be thrust out. sold to the number of 30,400, besides those who were giten It is worth serious observation, that the Christian religion to Agrippa. Of the Gadarenes were taken 2,200. In Idumea spread and prevailed mightily after this period : and nothing | above 1,000. Many besides these were taken in Jerusalem, contributed more to the success of the gospel, than the de- so that, as Josephus says, the number of the captives taken struction of Jerusalem happening in the very time and manner, in the whole war, amounted to 97,000. Those above seventeen and with the very circumstances, so particularly foretold by years of age, were sent to the works in Egypt, but most were our Lord. It was after this period, that the kingdom of Christ distributed through the Roman provinces, to be destroyed in began, and his reign was established in almost every part of their theatres by the sword, and by the wild beasts; and those the world.

under seventeen years of age were sold for slaves. Eleven To St. Matthew's account, St. Luke adds, chap. xxi. 24. thousand in one place perished for want. At Cæsarea, Titus, They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away like a thorough-paced infernal savage, murdered 2,500 Jews, caprire into all nations ; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down in honour of-his brother's birthday : and a greater number by the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The at Berytus in honour of his father's. See Josephus, war, b. vumber of those who fell by the sword was very great. Ele- | vii. c. 3. s. 1. Some he caused to kill each other : some were VEN HUNDRED THOUSAND perished during the siege. Many thrown to the wild beasts; and others burnt alive. And all were slain at other places, and at other times. By the com- this was done by a man who was stiled The darling of manmand of Florus, the first author of the war, there were slain kind! Thus were the Jews miserably tormented, and distriat Jerusalem 3,600, Jos. War, b. ii. c. 14. By the inhabit- buted over the Roman provinces; and continue to be distressants of Cæsarea, above 20,000. At $cythopolis, above 13,000. cd and dispersed over all the nations of the world to the pre

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The parable by which these


things were represented. 32 | Now learn · a parable of the { things, know that it is near, even at 4.M11033. An. Olymp. fig tree; When his branch is yet tend the doors. der, and putteth forth leaves, ye know 34 Verily I say unto you,

d This

gethat summer is nigh.

neration shall not pass, till all these things be 33 So likewise


ye shall see all these fulfilled.

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a Luke 21. 29.

Jam, 5. 9.

Or, he.ch. 16. 28. & 23. 56. Mark 13. 30. Luke 21. 32.

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sent day. Jerusalem also was, according to the prediction of Nero, and the seventeenth of Agrippa, mentioned Acts xxv. our Lord, to be trodden down by the Gentiles. Accordingly it and xxvi. that is, in May, A. D. 66. has never since been in the possession of the Jews. It was The temple was burnt August 10, A. D. 70. the same day first in subjection to the Romans, afterwards to the Saruzens, and month on which it had been burnt by the king of Babythen to the Frunks, after to the Mamulukes, and now to the lon : Josephus, Ant. b. xx. c. 11. 8. Turks. Thus has the prophecy of Christ been most literally The city was taken September 8, in the second year of the and terribly fulfilled, on a people who are still preserved as reign of Vespasian, or the year of Christ 70. Ant. b. vi. c. 10. continued monuments of the truth of our Lord's prediction, That was the end of the siege of Jerusalem, which began, and of the truth of the Christian religion. See more in Bp. | as Josephus several times observes, about the fourteenth day Newton's Dissert. vol. ii. p. 291, &c.

of the month Nisan, or our April. See War, b. v. c. 3. s. 1. Verse 32. Learn a parable of the fig tree] That is, These c. 13. s. 7. b. vi. c. 9. s. 3. signs which I have given you will be as infallible a proof of Dr. Lardner farther remarks, There is also an ancient inthe approaching ruin of the Jewish state, as the budding of the scription to the honour of Titus, “who, by his father's ditrees is a proof of the coming summer.

rections and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation and deVerse 34. This generation shall not pass) H yeveo avtn, this stroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any race ; i. e. the Jews shall not cease from being a distinct peo- generals

, kings, or people before.” The inscription may be ple, till all the counsels of God relative to them and the Gen

seen in GRUTER, vol. i. p. 244. It is as follows: tiles be fulfilled. Some translate nysvede autn, this generation,

Imp. Tito. CÆSARI. DIvI. VESPASIANI, F meaning the persons who were then living, that they should

VESPASIANO. Aug. PONTIFICI. Maximo not die before these signs, &c. took place : but though this

Trir. Por. X. INP. XVII. Cos. VIII. P. P was true, as to the calamities that fell upon the Jews and the

PRINCIPI. Suo. S. P. Q. R destruction of their government, temple, &c. yet as our Lord mentions Jerusalem's continning to be under the power of the

Quod. Præceptis. Patris. ConsiliIsque. Et Gentiles, till the fulness of the Gentiles should come in, i. e.

Auspscils. GENTEM. JUDÆORUM. DOMUIT. ET till all the nations of the world should receive the gospel of

Urbem. HIEROSOLYMAM. OMNIBUS. ANTE. SE Christ, after which the Jews themselves should be converted

Ducibus. Regibus. GentiBUSQUE. AUT. FRUSTRA unto God, Rom. xi. 25, &c. I think it more proper not to

Petitam. AUT. OMNINO. INTENTATAM. DELEVIT Testrain its meaning to the few years which preceded the de For this complete conquest of Jerusalem, Titus had a tri. struction of Jerusalem ; but to understand it of the care taken umphal arch erected to his honour, which still exists. It by divine providence, to preserve them as a distinct people, stands on the Via Sacra, leading from the Forum to the and yet to keep them out of their own land, and from their Amphitheatre. On it are represented the spoils of the temple temple service. See on Mark xiii. 30. But still it is literally il of God, such as the golden table of the shew-bread, the golden true in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. John pro candlestick with its seven branches, the ark of the covenant, bably lived to see these things come to pass ; compare Matt. the two golden trumpets, &c. &c. for a particular account sec xvi. 28. with John xxi. 22. and there were some Rabbins the note on Exod. xxv. 31. On this arch, a correct model of alire at the time when Christ spoke these words, who lived till which, taken on the spot, now stands before me, is the followthe city was destroyed, viz. Rabbun Simeon, who perished with ing inscription : the city; R. Jochanan ben Zuccai, who outlived it; R. Za

SENATUS dock, R. Ismael, and others. See Lightfoot. .

POPULUSQUE ROMANUS The war began, as Josephus says, Ant. b. xx. c. ll.

DIvo Tito. DIvI VESPASIANI. F in the second year of the government of Gessius Florus, who

VESPASIANO AUGUSTO succeeded Albinus, successor of Porcius Festus, mentioned The Senate and People of Roine, to the Divine Titus son of Acts xxiv. 27. in the month of May, in the twelfth year of the Divine Vespasian: and to Vespasian the Emperor.

s. 1.

The careless state of the people


at this advent of Christ.

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35 : Heaven and earth shall pass 40 • Then shall two be in the field; ; An. Olymp. away, but my words shall not pass the one shall be taken, and the other An. Olymp. away:

left. 36 | But of that day and hour knoweth no 41. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my the one shall be taken, and the other left. Father only.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also hour your Lord doth come. the coming of the Son of man be.

43 & But know this, that if the good man of 38 For as in the days that were before the the house had known in what watch the thief flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying would come, he would have watched, and and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe would not have suffered his house to be broken entered into the ark,

up. 39 And knew not until the flood came, and 44 "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an took them all away; so shall also the coming of hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. the Son of man be.

45 i Who then is a faithful and wise servant,

* Ps. 102. 26. Isai. 51. 6. Jer. 31. 35, 36. ch. 5. 18. Mark 13. 31. Luke 21. 33. Hebr. 1. 11. _D Mark 13. 32. Acts 1. 7. 1 Thess. 5. 2. 2 Pet. 3. 10. -c Zech. 14. 7. - Gen. 6. 3, 4, 5. & 7. 5. Luke 17. 26. 1 Pet. 3. 20.

e Luke 17. 31, &c.- _fch. 23. 13. Mark 13 SS, &c. Lu'e 21 56.& Luke 12. 39. 1 Thess. 5. 2.. 2 Pet. 3, 10. Rev. 3. 3. & 16. 15.- ch. 25. 13. 1 Thess. 5. 6.- Luke 12. 42. Acts 20. 28. 1 Cor. 4. 2. Hebr. 3. 5.

On this occasion, a medal was struck with the following in- be taken, and the other left.] The meaning seems to be, that scription round a laureated head of the emperor :—1MP.erator so general should these calamities be, that no two persons J.ulius CÆS.ar VESP.asianus AUG.ustus. P.ontifex Maximus, || wheresoever found, or about whatsoever employed, should be TR.ibunitia P.otestate P.ater Patriæ CO.NS.ul VIII.—On the both able to effect their escape : and, that captivity and the obverse, are represented a palm tree, the emblem of the land | sword should have a complete triumph over this unhappy of Judea ; the emperor with a trophy standing on the left ; Ju- people. dea under the figure of a distressed woman, sitting at the foot of Two women shall be grinding] Women alone are still emthe tree weeping, with her head bowed down, supported by ployed in grinding the corn in the East; and it is only when her left hand, with the legend JUDAEA CAPTA. S.enatus dispatch is required, or the uppermost millstone is heary, that C.onsultus, at the bottom. This is not only an extraordinary || a second woman is added. See Wakefield, and Harmer, Obs. fulfilment of our Lord's prediction, but a literal accomplish- || vol. i. 253. That they were formerly thus employed, see ment of a prophecy delivered about 800 years before, Isai. Exod. xi. 5. and the note there. See also Isai. xlvii. 2. iii. 26. And she desolate, shall sit upon the ground.

Verse 42. Watch therefore] Be always on your guard, that Verse 36. But of that day and hour] Sigce here is translated you may not be taken unawares, and that you may be próseason by many eminent critics, and is used in this sense by perly prepared to meet God in the way either of judgment or both sacred and profane authors. As the day was not known, mercy, whensoever he may come.

This advice the followers in which Jerusalem should be invested by the Romans, there- of Christ took, and therefore they escaped ; the miserable Jews fore our Lord advised his disciples to pray that it might not rejected it and were destroyed. Let us learn wisdom by the be on a sabbath ; and as the season was not known, therefore things which they suffered. they were to pray that it might not be in the winter ; ver. 20. Verse 43. If the good man of the house had known]' See on Mark xiii. 32.

a master of a family, who expected a thief at any time of the Verses 37, 38. As the days of Noahấthey were eating and night, would take care to be awake, and ready to protect his drinking] That is, they spent their time in rapine, luxury, | house; so do ye, who know that the Son of man will come. and riot. The design of these verses seems to be, that the Though the day and hour be uncertain, continue always in a desolation should be as general, as it should be unexpected. state of watchfulness, that he may not come upon you une Verse 39. 'And knew not] They considered not—did not lay | awares.

WAKEFIELD. Noah's warning to heart, till it was too late to profit by it :

Verse 45. Who then is a fuithful and wise servant] All so shall it be—and so it was in this coming of the Son of should live in the same expectation of the coming of Christ,

which a servant has with respect to the return of his master, Verses 40, 41. Then shall two men-two women-one shall | who,'in departing for a season, left the management of his

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