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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 39

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-29

Chapter 39

Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the [Rosh prince or the Russian] prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but a sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel ( Ezekiel 39:1-2 ):

They are to be destroyed and they will be left only a sixth part. Five- sixths of them will be wiped out.

I will smite the bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall in your right hand. You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you, and all of your bands, and all of the people that are with you: and I will give you unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and the beasts of the field, to be devoured. You will fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire upon Magog ( Ezekiel 39:3-6 ),

So this is where we spoke about the possibility of a nuclear exchange, where God said, "I will send a fire upon Magog,"

and among them that dwell carelessly in the coast ( Ezekiel 39:6 ):

And the isles or the coasts are usually just a reference of distant nations.

and they shall know that I am the LORD ( Ezekiel 39:6 ).

So in verse Ezekiel 39:6 you have there the possibility as God sends fire upon Russia and nations that are dwelling carelessly. You have that possibility of nuclear exchange.

So I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is come, it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken ( Ezekiel 39:7-8 ).

Some of the heaviest prophecies in the Bible. God says, "All right, that's it. It's done. This is the day that I have spoken about."

And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, bows and arrows, and the handstaves, and spears, and they shall burn them with fire for seven years ( Ezekiel 39:9 ):

Translated into modern warfare, they will be burning the oil supplies, no doubt, that have been brought in in this massive invasion. And they will have their energy needs taken care of for a period of seven years.

So that they will not have to cut wood out of the field, neither cut down any of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. It shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog ( Ezekiel 39:10-11 )

That is the leader, the Russian prince of Meshach and Tubal.

a place there of graves in Israel, and the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea ( Ezekiel 39:11 );

So they will be buried over in the area of Jordan on the east of the Dead Sea, the valley of passengers.

and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all of his multitude: and they will call it, The valley of Hamongog ( Ezekiel 39:11 ).

Or the valley of the multitude. Hamon is multitude, the multitude of Gog.

And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land ( Ezekiel 39:12 ).

It'll take them seven months to bury the dead.

Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and they shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall sever out men of continual employment ( Ezekiel 39:13-14 ),

In other words, they will hire professional buriers.

with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they begin a search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when anyone sees a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land ( Ezekiel 39:14-16 ).

Now it is interesting to me that they do not touch the bones. They have professional buriers to bury these bones. When they find bones, they just set signs by them. There could be a fear of radioactivity. Especially in that they do not begin the search until seven months are over. So it could be that there is a real fear of radioactivity, and thus the burying is left to professional buriers. The people that discover the bones only set a sign by it so the professional buriers can come along and bury them.

And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, to every beast of the field, To assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I'd sacrifice for you, even the great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat the flesh, and drink the blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, of goats, of bullocks, of all of them the fatlings of Bashan. Ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink the blood till you are drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with the mighty men, and with all of the men of war, saith the Lord GOD. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all of the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward ( Ezekiel 39:17-22 ).

This will be the day of restoration for Israel when God once again takes them as His people and they acknowledge Him as their God.

And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespass against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them to the hand of their enemies; so fell they all by the sword ( Ezekiel 39:23 ).

God here speaks of hiding His face from them. Again, He will repeat that in verse Ezekiel 39:29 as He says, "Neither will I hide My face any more from them."

Paul the apostle in Romans the eleventh chapter, in talking about the grace of God that has come to us Gentiles, declares that God has taken up like a wild olive branch and grafted us into the roots of the Old Testament promises that we might be the partakers of the blessings that God promised to Abraham and all. That God cut off the natural branch, Israel, that we might be grafted in. However, Paul said, "Don't boast against the natural branch" ( Romans 11:18 ). As Christians we should not be boasting against Israel saying, "Well, nya nya nya, God cut you off and He's adopted us. And we have your blessings and we have your, the promises that God made to you." For Paul said, "If God cut off the natural branch to graft in a wild branch, He's also able to graft in again the natural branch." And he said, "Did God cut it off that He might cast it away forever? God forbid. For blindness has happened in Israel in part (or for a time) until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in and then all of Israel shall be saved. For God shall send forth a deliverer out of Zion to turn the hearts of the children unto their fathers," as he quotes the passage from Joel, second chapter. So, even in the New Testament, Paul does not seek to make this prophecy concerning Israel apply to the church. The church has a separate place as a wild olive branch grafted in to partake of the fatness of the roots. But even as we have been grafted in and the natural branch cut off that we might be grafted in, so God will again restore His work on Israel.

Those people today who seek to interpret prophecy by saying, "God is through with Israel. The Jews are over. The Jews that you see today aren't real Jews," and all of this kind of hogwash are doing a great disservice to the Word of God and to the understanding of prophecy. For all the way through God has affirmed His perpetual, eternal love for His people Israel. And that he would never cast them off forever, but He is definitely going to work with them once again for they are His people and though He has blinded their eyes for a time, yet the day will come when they will be grafted back in and they again will enjoy the blessings of God's special people during the Kingdom Age.

Now here in the prophecy God speaks of having hid His face from them for a time. But,

According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name; And after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations ( Ezekiel 39:24-27 );

So this prophecy will take place after God has brought them back and made them a nation. He's already done that. But after also, He has destroyed this Russian army that will be invading. For the latter part of verse Ezekiel 39:27 , "and I am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations." That takes place at the destruction of the Russian army, verse Ezekiel 39:23 of chapter 38, as God speaks of His destroying of the army, He said, "Thus will I magnify Myself and sanctify Myself and will be known in the eyes of many nations." So this is a reference back, verse Ezekiel 39:27 is referenced back to verse Ezekiel 39:23 of chapter 38. So when God has destroyed the Russian army, what then?

Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them into their own land, and I have left none of them any more ( Ezekiel 39:28 ).

So they will not really recognize God until the Russian invading army is destroyed. Israel as a nation does not recognize God today. Only about ten percent of the people in Israel are religious at all. Most of the people that I've talked to in Israel are very irreligious or atheistic. That religious group that is there is able to exert a lot of political clout, only because the Likud party does not have a clear majority. And they have to make compromises with the religious party which only is seven percent in the Knesset, which pretty much represents the total picture of the Jews who are really religious. And thus, in order to make a government, he has to have a coalition and he has to have the support of these religious members of the Knesset. If he doesn't have their support, Begin can't get a government formed.

But the Jews demand a heavy price. I mean, the religious Jews demand a heavy price to support Begin. And thus, they demand that certain religious laws be established, which neither the government or the majority of the people are in favor of at all. In fact, it's creating quite a backlash against these orthodox religious people. Some of the laws that they are forcing through the parliament because they are demanding that if they are going to continue to support Begin and the Likud party you've got to enforce, or you have to bring into legislation these laws that favor the religious aspects of the people.

But make no mistake about it, Israel is not a religious nation, nor are they spiritual people. There are some very fanatic zealots, religious zealots there. And there are a group of orthodox Jews. There are some that are so orthodox that they're opposed to the government, and they do not believe that the government of Israel should really exist. They said that we don't have a right to be a nation until the Messiah comes. And one of the rabbis has actually written to King Hussein and asked him to annex Measharim into Jordan because they don't want to be a part of Israel. Because they feel that the Israeli government really shouldn't exist until Messiah comes.

But when God has destroyed the Russian army, the Jews at that point will recognize God and they will then have their eyes open. God said, "I will no longer hide My face from them," and there will be a fantastic spiritual revival in Israel.

Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 39:29 ).

So at this point when the Russian army is destroyed, God will pour out His Spirit upon the nation Israel. Now that brings in some very strong and powerful implications. Because right now God has poured out His Spirit upon the Gentile world as He is drawing out a body, a bride for Jesus Christ. And we have been studying on Monday night the work of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. We are now in the phase of the work of the Holy Spirit in the world, and God's Spirit is working in the world today. And as God's Spirit is working in the world, the purpose is to draw out a people that will compose the bride of Jesus Christ. And as God's Spirit is working in and through the church today, by that power of God's Spirit within the church that whole force of evil is being held in check.

There are people today who hate the church violently. Most of them are newscasters and political cartoonists. There is a definite concerted effort to destroy the church by ridicule, by lies, by distortions. Those forces of evil hate the fact that the church would dare to speak up for morality and hold back this flood of filth that they want to pour out upon the world. And you can see their consternation as they express it in their political cartoons, especially in the LA Times. But the world can be thankful for the church, for if it were not for the restraining power of the Spirit within the church, the world would already be turned over to the evil one. And the antichrist would already be reigning. But that which hinders the coming forth of the antichrist in his taking over of the world, the Spirit of God within the church will continue to hinder until it is removed out of the way, and then the man of sin will be revealed. The son of perdition who will come forth with all kinds of lies and deceit deceiving the whole world and bringing it under his influence and control. And the floodgates of evil will be opened up. But that cannot happen as long as the church is here that restraining force of the Spirit within the church is holding back the floodgates of evil. But, when the Lord removes the church, then His Spirit will be poured out upon the nation Israel, and God will be dealing with the nation Israel by His Spirit during this final seven-year cycle.

In Daniel chapter 9, "There are seventy sevens determined upon the nation Israel." Sixty-nine of those sevens have already been fulfilled. "For from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince will be seven sevens (forty-nine years) and sixty-two sevens (a total of 483 years), the walls will be built again in troublous times. And after the sixty-two years, or the total of sixty-nine years, I mean, sixty-nine sevens, 483 years, shall the Messiah come, but the Messiah will be cut off, (not be crowned as king, not take over the rule of the world, not establish the kingdom of God). The Messiah will be cut off and receive nothing. And the prince of the people that shall come, (Titus under the order of Nero), will destroy the holy city" ( Daniel 9:25-26 ), and the Jews will be dispersed. That part of Daniel's prophecy was literally fulfilled to the very day. For March 14, 445 B.C. Artaxerxes gave the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. And according to the Babylonian calendar of 360 days to a year, exactly 483 years later on April 6, 32 A.D. Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But He was cut off; He was crucified that very week and did not receive the kingdom. And Titus came with the Roman troops, destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were dispersed and remained dispersed for 1,900 years through the whole world.

Seventy sevens are determined upon Israel. Sixty-nine have been fulfilled, but the seventieth is yet to be fulfilled. And it will begin when God pours His Spirit out upon the nation Israel. Now, at this point, this world leader who comes, first of all, as a deceiver will make a covenant with the nation Israel. Continuing on in Daniel chapter 9. And in the covenant will no doubt grant them the right and the privilege to rebuild their temple. And we get into that as we move into chapter 40, as he describes the new sanctuary that is to be built in Jerusalem. And in the next three chapters he'll be describing the new sanctuary that will be built in Jerusalem. But in the middle of the last seven-year cycle, this leader who made the covenant to help them to build their temple will come to that temple, will stand in the Holy of Holies and declare that he is God and demand that he be worshipped as God. This is what is known as the abomination of desolation.

Paul said concerning it, "that this man of sin will come and stand in the temple of God declaring that he is God and demand to be worshipped as God." Jesus said, "When you see the abomination of desolation that Daniel spoke about standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness for there is going to come then a time of great tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again." Daniel tells us that 1,290 days after this man creates this abomination of desolation stands in the temple and causes the daily sacrifices and prayers to cease that 1,290 days later Jesus will come. Or the Lord will come and establish His kingdom upon the earth.

So, the sequence of events: Russia invading Israel, the church being taken out, Russia being destroyed, the eyes of Israel being opened, God pouring out His Spirit upon them, but simultaneously the arising of this man of sin out of the federation of ten European nations. And his arising into power as God is dealing with His Holy Spirit upon the nation of Israel for this final seven-year cycle.

Now as we turn to the book of Joel, chapter 2, we find that Joel speaks and predicts the very same things in parallel prophecies. In verse Ezekiel 39:20 of Joel chapter 2, God speaks of the day after the people have been gathered back into the land and there is a mighty invasion of this land by this great army. In chapter 2 he speaks of the great invasion, how that the Lord, verse Ezekiel 39:11 , "shall utter His voice before His army, for His camp is very great. For He is strong that executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome and who can abide it?"

Now the Lord declares in verse Ezekiel 39:20 , "But I will remove far off from you the northern army." Remember Ezekiel tells us that they're coming out of their north quarters to invade Israel. But God said, "I will remove far from you the northern army. I will drive him into a land that is barren, desolate, his face toward the east sea and his hinder part towards the utmost sea. Fear not O land, be glad rejoice, for the Lord will do great things. Don't be afraid" ( Joel 2:20-22 ). And then the Lord said, "I will restore unto you then the years that the cankerworm, the locust, and so forth have eaten" ( Joel 2:25 ). "And ye shall know," again remember when God destroys Russia that there will come that acknowledgement and all of God, verse Ezekiel 39:27 , "Ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and I am the Lord your God and none else, and My people shall never be ashamed."

And what then? God said, "Ye shall know that I am God, and I have poured out My Spirit upon you." And thus Joel said, "For it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and upon My servants and handmaidens in those days will I pour out of My Spirit, saith the Lord" ( Joel 2:28-29 ).

Now, the problem with this particular passage is that Peter quoted this passage to explain to the people what was happening at Pentecost. But if you will read in the context God tells us there is going to be a former rain and a latter rain. "And I will cause the former rains to come and then also the latter rains" ( Joel 2:23 ). Now, the prediction of Joel of the pouring out of God's Spirit is really a prediction of God pouring out His Spirit upon Israel that was also declared there in Ezekiel 39 . God did pour out His Spirit upon His church when the people were gathered together on the day of Pentecost saying, "What meaneth this?" Peter said, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel." What? God is pouring out His Spirit. But, though he points to that as what is happening, the pouring out of God's Spirit, this prophecy of Joel is really for the last days when Israel recognizes that He is their God again, because immediately Joel goes right into the events of the Tribulation. "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord come" ( Joel 2:30 ). That great and awesome day when Jesus returns with power and great glory to establish God's kingdom.

So, before that happens, there is going to be great cataclysmic judgments upon the earth. And this moon into blood and sun into darkness is predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24:0 as a part of the things that will happen during the Great Tribulation. Revelation chapter 6, under the sixth seal, when the sixth seal is broken, then these cataclysmic things take place upon the earth, the including of the sun darkened and the moon not shining or giving her light, the stars of heaven falling like a fig tree shaking her figs. So, this whole scenario is confirmed and corroborated by each of the prophets.

Israel is now in the land. The next event, and there will be probably many of them taking place simultaneously, will be Russia's invasion which will be quickly squelched by the power of God, the church being caught out to meet the Lord in the air, the Spirit of God then being poured out upon the nation Israel as they recognize that the Lord is God, the rise of the antichrist, the final seven-year cycle that the earth is to go through. The first three and a half years being a time of relative prosperity, and then plunging in to that great horrible bloodbath, the Great Tribulation, when God begins to judge the earth for her unrighteousness and sin. And Revelation chapters 6 through 18 give you vivid details of this three-and-a-half-year period. In fact, there is no period in the history of the earth that is more documented than this three and a half years, as far as the Bible is concerned. God has written more about this three-and-a-half-year period than any other period in the history of man. And Revelation 6:0 through 18 tells you the things that are going to transpire in that three-and-a-half-year period. Giving you vivid details.

At the end of that final seven-year cycle shall the Lord Himself come in clouds with great glory with His saints and He will set His foot in that day on the Mount of Olives, and it will split in the middle. And He will enter into Jerusalem through the east gate, which we'll get to next week in our study in chapter 43, which will be open for Him. And He will establish His reign and His kingdom over the earth and we shall live and reign with Him upon the earth for a thousand years.

So that is the sequence of events, and we are right now at the border and only God knows how close to the next major event of the church being caught up as Russia begins her invasion of the Middle East. God said, "I have said it, and I will do it." Now He's been a hundred percent accurate up till now. He's got Israel back in the land. He's got the land all plowed and planted and again bringing forth abundantly. The waste places have been rebuilt. Now it doesn't seem practical that God would bring it up this far and then just dump the whole thing and say, "Well, let's forget it." Having brought it this far, you can bet He's going to take it all the way.

And we're in... well, we're ready to begin the final countdown. The countdown began when the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The countdown began. And they counted down the sixty-nine seven-year cycles, the 483 years, and right on target the Messiah came. But then there was a foul up. The Messiah was cut off. The people of Israel were dispersed. The countdown ceased, it stopped. It was on hold. Now it is necessary to start rearranging things. Let the people go through a long period of desolation. "For two years, or two thousand years, Hosea, you will be scattered and dispersed. But in the third year I will raise you up and you will live in my sight." Or, "for two days, the third day I'll raise you up" ( Hosea 6:2 ). Two days, "a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, a thousand years as a day" ( 2 Peter 3:8 ). Israel was dormant for almost two thousand years. But God started bringing them into the land and He's almost ready to start the countdown, once... you know, the countdown will start once more as soon as Russia makes her invasion and is destroyed and God puts His Spirit upon Israel, all systems go. The countdown starts ticking off again. You're in the last seven years. And there are a lot of fascinating events. We'll be getting into some of those next week as we move into the rebuilding of the temple. And I've got some fascinating things to share with you concerning the rebuilding of the temple in Israel. As we get into this prophecy in Ezekiel and as we compare it with the prophecies of Revelation. But we're getting ready to start the countdown.

Now, this is God's plan; this is God's program. People say, "Well, what about the poor Palestinians?" And my heart goes out for these people. However, let me say this. That things are coming to a close all the way around. Before they'll ever be able to solve any of these problems it will all be over.

The thing that we need to be concerned about is our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's the primary issue. Because Jesus said, "They that were ready went in. Therefore, be ye ready" ( Matthew 24:44 ). Talking about the days when He was going to come for His church. There were ten virgins. Five wise, five foolish. They all slumbered and slept. And the cry went forth, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." And they awoke. The cry is going out today, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." The church is beginning to stir, beginning to wake up. The foolish virgin said, "Oh, come on, let's have some of your oil, our lamps are going out." "Sorry. If we give you some of ours we may not have enough to make it in ourselves. You better go to town and see what you can do." And while they were gone, the bridegroom came and they that were ready went in. There are some who are still not ready. Still in that slumbering state. Still working, trying to get it together. The time is now to walk in the Spirit, not to walk after the flesh. Not to seek after the flesh, but to walk after the Spirit. The time is now. They that were ready went in. Therefore, be ye ready.

We are not going to go into chapter 40 tonight, because chapter 40 comes into a whole new division of the book as we move in now to that seven... the beginning of the seven-year cycle, the building of this sanctuary and all. And I want to get an overhead projector, because as you read chapter 40, you read all of these little cubicles, thirty little cubicles along the wall and all, and it's awfully hard to get it into your mind. And it's just, measure this, a reed here and a reed there and it's awfully hard. The east gate, the west gate, the north gate, and so I want to get an overhead next week so that I can draw for you the design of the sanctuary so that as you read it and read these little cubicles you can visualize it because we'll draw a diagram for you of this sanctuary that is to be built. And thus, when you then read it and all, you look at the diagram, then you can fit it together and piece it together. Or we might even, I don't know, print some up for you so that you'll have the diagram so that you can follow, put it in your Bible and then whenever you read that area you can look at the diagram and you can see how it fits together. But we'll wait for chapter 40 until next week and put it together. And we'll take five chapters next week and then four chapters the following week and thus finish the book of Ezekiel. So, your assignment for next week is chapters 40 through 44 for next week.

Now I urge you to be ready for the coming of the Lord and maybe you're thinking, "Oh man! I want to be ready. Don't just send me home." The pastors will be back in the prayer room. It's on the far right over here. And I would encourage you to go back there and just open your heart to God and to the Spirit of God, because God wants to pour out His Spirit upon you tonight. God wants you to be a part of His family, a part of the bride of Christ, a part of the kingdom of God. You the wild olive branch, there's still time to graft you in. And you can be a part of God's Spirit working in the world today to bring together a bride for Jesus Christ. Not much longer.

We're living on borrowed time as far as the whole prophetic picture is concerned. We've been living on borrowed time. We Gentiles have been living on borrowed time actually since 1967. For Jesus said, "Jerusalem will be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled" ( Luke 21:24 ). And when in 1967 the Jews regained control of Jerusalem, the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. So you're on borrowed time. But God's not going to let it run much longer. If you're going to make any move, you'd better make it now. Or else you better study Revelation 6:0 through 18 carefully so you'll have a good grasp on what's going to be happening to you in the coming months and seven years ahead.

May the Lord be with you, fill your heart with love, fill your heart with praise, fill your heart with God's Spirit. That He might work in you bringing you into the image of Christ, helping you to be what God wants you to be-a true representation of Him before this poor, sad, sin-cursed world. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 39". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-39.html. 2014.
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