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The Jewish Religion
One Bahá'í's Concept from
The Book of Revelation

Chapter Two



1250 BC


Bible Verses

[12] And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Pergamos - Jewish - Commentary

V.12 John is told to write to the angel of the church of Pergamos. Pergamos was a small town where John had been teaching. It was a principal center for worship and popular because of the Temple of Asclepius, which was supposed to offer healing. The word Pergamos means 'Popular'. The town is in total ruins, so we consider this a symbol. The word 'Popular' is related to the Jewish Faith. It should be noted that Bahá'u'lláh says these things with a sharp sword with two edges meaning that He clearly divides the truth as shown in both His approval and criticism in the next verses.

The angel (star) is the prophet Moses. It should be noted that for each church (religion) it is the "Angel" (Prophet / Revealer / Manifestation of God) that is addressed and not some small town's church congregation.

The One (Bahá'u'lláh) with the "with the two edged sword" was mentioned in (Rev.1:16) and discussed in the associated verses.

[13] I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

V.13 He Commends:

He commends them for their works and holding fast to His name.

    From . the history of the Jewish people we learn that the foundation of the religion of God laid by Moses was the cause of their eternal honor and national prestige, the animating impulse of their advancement and racial supremacy and the source of that excellence which will always command the respect and reverence of those who understand their peculiar destiny and outcome.
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace,
    p. 364)
For those who have suffered poverty, they have received spiritual richness. We think of those who have stood up under Satanic tribulations down through the ages, especially in Germany during the holocaust. To this day they are still surrounded by powers of opposition, in a situation that could be called the seat of Satan. Even with all the opposition, this religion is very strong, and very well respected.

God reminds them that He has not forgotten about Antipas who was martyred. This is a clear message that nothing can be hidden from God.

[14] But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

V.14 He Condemns:

He condemns them for their worship of idols and following the doctrine of Balaam. The idols are not physical figures but symbols of materialism and worldliness.

Balaam was a high priest who went against the Israelites. Balac (also spelled Balak) was a king, who by following Balaam cast a stumbling block before the Israelites for riches. Balak is a symbol of gold and materialism.

[15] So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

V.15 The Nicolaitans are a group that went against religion, and strangely even in Israel today most Jews call themselves "non religious". Many of the leaders of thought in atheism have been Jewish. While the Jews have been a very intellectual and well educated people they are condemmed for this worldly intellectualism in contrast to the followers of the Sabean Religion (of Native People) who were praised (Rev.2:6) for their opposition to the Nicolaitan atheistic beliefs.

[16] Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

V.16 The Threat:

He is asking them to listen to His new message, and says that if they do not, He will come quickly with the "sword of His mouth", which means that until they recognize His new religious teachings they will have tribulation.

[17] He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

V.17 The Refrain:

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:" He tells them to listen to what the Spirit is saying.

The Promise:

"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

The promise is very great. The hidden manna is the teachings for the unity and love of mankind, and the white stone is a symbol of spiritual life. The new name is Bahá'u'lláh, a gift to those who recognize the new Manifestation for this age.

Chapter Six
Bible Verses

[5] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

V.5 The Third Seal and the Third Angel is associated with the Jewish Faith. The horse of the Third Seal is black; the rider has a pair of balances which symbolize judgment and the legal system, and it is evident that in the western world law has long had its foundation in the Old Testament of the Jews and the Ten Commandments.

The problem for the 'End of Times' is that the law has become legalisms. Just as the teachers of the white horse taught dogmatisms - and the emotions of warriors of the red horse led to war - these black robed "justices" or judges of the black horse are also faulty in that their balances promote legalisms rather than justice.

    Ye will most certainly be called upon to answer for His trust on the day when the Balance of Justice shall be set, the day when unto everyone shall be rendered his due, when the doings of all men, be they rich or poor, shall be weighed.
    The Summons of the Lord of Hosts,
    p. 189,
    Suriy-i-Mulúk / Surih of the Kings:11)
[6] And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

V.6 At the 'time of the end' there is great concern among all the rulers regarding the economic situation, which has a predominant involvement of the legal systems. The specific values of the penny (coinage / currency) and the measures are relative. In these days many have noted the world concern about oil and there is widespread prejudiced resentment regarding the prominence of members of the Jewish Religion in the monetary and legal systems. Altogether the Lord's blessings of bounty and plenty on this earth have been turned into deprivation and poverty for many.

Chapter Eight
Bible Verses

[10] And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

V.10 The third angel sounded:

The third angel, in the order in which the ancient religions appeared, was that of the Jewish Religion. It has certainly been a great star in the firmament of religions and the lamp of Jewish law was indeed a great guide to the people. Saying that the great star (lamp) fell from heaven, indicates that the star left its rightful place and was no more. The star fell from heaven in that it no longer gave the spiritual direction that would bring harmony, peace and unity to all mankind.

Rabbis, many of them sincere, taught dogmatic doctrines. Because these doctrines were antiquated they caused the separation of many of the followers from the practice of the religion and many of those who were associated with the religion, only in name, often prided themselves in saying that they weren't religious, and indeed often became humanists and even atheists.

    Because this man's father was a Jew, he considers himself a Jew; not that he has investigated the Reality and proved satisfactorily to himself that Judaism is right; nay, rather he is aware that his forefathers have followed this course, therefore he has held to it himself.
    (Bahá'í Scriptures,
    p. 268)
[11] And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

V.11 The name of the star is given as 'Wormwood' (a bitter medicinal plant). Because the teachings are now no longer the true spiritual teachings that the prophets had brought the bitterness of these teachings cause many men to die spiritually. Life giving water is a symbol of knowledge of God's true righteous and justice, but when it is misused it is turned to blood.

Still, one great contribution, and attribute, which we attach to the Jewish Religion is the establishment of law. Not just religious law, but also social law, as we see for example in the Ten Commandments. The Judaic, Christian, Islámic, Bahá'í religions all have this common origin. Indeed, through Abraham, all the nations of the earth are said to have been blessed by this star.

    How many are the strangers who have sought shelter beneath the shadow of the tree of Thy oneness, and how numerous the thirsty ones who have panted after the fountain of Thy living waters in Thy days!
    Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 33)

The fall of law is associated with the 3rd Seal and the third (black) horse of the Apocalypse described in Rev.6:5 and is also described in Rev.16:4-7.

Chapter Fourteen

Bible Verses

[9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

V.9 The third angel, identified with the Jewish religion, is warning us that those who hold in their minds and hearts devotion to Satan (Satanic desires and goals) have the mark of 'the beast' and will be punished. The opposite is true of those who focus their love and intention on God.
    Whosoever hath this Divine Lamp before his face, his forehead shall glisten with manifest light and his speech shall take effect in all minds and spirits, and God shall assist him by the power which penetrateth the essences of things.
    Bahá'í Scriptures,
    p. 471)
In the previous chapter there was discussed the concern and concepts that many people have about the significance of the symbol of "the mark of the beast". Here we see that such "marks" are actually marks of character. In the case of the "mark of the beast" that of bad character in that people put their mind, hearts, souls, hands to the work of the "beast", or that which is satanic.

[10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

V.10 The third angel states that those who turn away from spiritual values shall 'drink the wine of the wrath of God'. With indignation it is to be poured out upon those who follow the ways of the 'beast' and who follow the deceitful ways of the past. The torment is war and terror. That this occurs in the presence of the holy angels and the presence of the Lamb, is indicative that it occurs in Israel and the Holy Land, where we do indeed today see the precursor of a universal struggle.
    By the righteousness of Him Who is the Absolute Truth, were the veil to be lifted, thou wouldst witness on this earthly plane all men sorely afflicted with the fire of the wrath of God, a fire fiercer and greater than the fire of hell, with the exception of those who have sought shelter beneath the shade of the tree of My love. For they in very truth are the blissful.
    (The Báb,
    Selections from the Writings of the Báb,
    p. 12)

[11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

    "On the day when the heaven shall give out a palpable smoke, which shall enshroud mankind: this will be an afflictive torment."
    [1 Qur'án (Koran) 44:10.]
    .The symbolic term "smoke" denotes grave dissensions, the abrogation and demolition of recognized standards, and the utter destruction of their narrow-minded exponents. What smoke more dense and overpowering than the one which hath now enshrouded all the peoples of the world, which hath become a torment unto them, and from which they hopelessly fail to deliver themselves, however much they strive? So fierce is this fire of self burning within them, that at every moment they seem to be afflicted with fresh torments.

    Ere long, thine eyes will behold the standards of divine power unfurled throughout all regions, and the signs of His triumphant might and sovereignty manifest in every land. As most of the divines have failed to apprehend the meaning of these verses, and have not grasped the significance of the Day of Resurrection, they therefore have foolishly interpreted these verses according to their idle and faulty conception.

    The Kitáb-i-Íqán,
    p. 76)

[12] Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

V.12 Praise is given to those who keep the commandments of God, in all the religions, and who have faith as Jesus taught. Those who are committed to their religions are always tested. Such has been the case in the past and it is erroneous to think that such will not be the case in the future.
    Thus hath the Dove of holiness proclaimed: "Do men think when they say 'We believe' they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?"[Qur'án (Koran) 29:2]
    Gems of Divine Mysteries: Verse 32)

Chapter Sixteen
Bible Verses

[4] And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

V.4 The third vial was the broad spreading (like on the rivers and fountains) of the rules of human law, rather than God's Principles of Justice, by the officials, bureaucrats and managers who were deprived of spiritual knowledge. This is signfied as becoming blood both here and in (Rev.8:8). While the archetypal Third Angel is associated with the Jewish Religion, all the vials are associated with each of religions and here 'Abdu'l-Bahá shows the relationship to Islám.
    "In the 4th verse, the rivers and fountains of water signify less influential men than the Ulama, who were likewise affected, because the knowledge of the people which should be, like water, the cause of life, becomes like blood; it becomes the cause of misleading the people (and so the cause of death), for they changed the teaching of God,"

[5] And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

V.5 The Third Angel is always associated with the Jewish Faith, which is always associated with 'rivers' and 'waters' which are symbolic of knowledge, learning and teaching.
    "In the 5th verse the angel of the waters (i.e. the power of knowledge) is addressing God. He says: Thou art just and righteous, for these people deserved that their knowledge should be changed into blood."

[6] For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

V.6 The saints and Prophets had their blood shed in bringing God's message to us. Those who are responsible for the shedding the blood of Prophets become dark in their spirits (blood).
    "For as they have changed the teachings of the Prophets, God has changed their knowledge into the blood of darkness, that they may drink it because of their deserts (sic)."

Chapter Eighteen
Bible Verses

[4]And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

V.4 John heard another Voice from Heaven. This is not one of the "strong" or "loud" Voices and is here identified with the Jewish Religion. The Voice is saying to come out of the city and have no part of her sins and plagues. One must wonder if there are any people that have read The Book of Revelation, and this verse, who will have remained in Babylon the Great when the Great Catastrophe comes. A prominent theme among many Jews is that of Alilyah, their return to Israel.
    35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

    (King James Bible,
    If ye pay no heed unto the counsels which, in peerless and unequivocal language, We have revealed in this Tablet, Divine chastisement shall assail you from every direction, and the sentence of His justice shall be pronounced against you. On that day ye shall have no power to resist Him, and shall recognize your own impotence.
    The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 9)

[5] For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

V.5 The sins of this city have reached heaven and God, which does not forget.
    O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man's injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed it with My seal of glory.
    Persian Hidden Word no.64)

[6] Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

V.6 This city is to be rewarded double in chastisement, as it has filled the cup with iniquities.
    Collateral with this ominous laxity in morals, and this progressive stress laid on man's material pursuits and well-being, is the darkening of the political horizon, as witnessed by the widening of the gulf separating the protagonists of two antagonistic schools of thought which, however divergent in their ideologies, are to be commonly condemned by the upholders of the standard of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh for their materialistic philosophies and their neglect of those spiritual values and eternal verities on which alone a stable and flourishing civilization can be ultimately established.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    Citadel of Faith,
    p. 125)

[7] How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

V.7 This city glorifies herself, as it is rich in living a delicious material life, and brags that it is the queen of cities, and will see no sorrow.
    For a long time the religious world had been weakened and materialism had advanced; the spiritual forces of life were waning, moralities were becoming degraded, composure and peace had vanished from souls and satanic qualities were dominating hearts; strife and hatred overshadowed humanity, bloodshed and violence prevailed. God was neglected; the Sun of Reality seemed to have gone completely; deprivation of the bounties of heaven was a fact; and so the season of winter fell upon mankind.
    Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 256)

[8] Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

V.8 Physically, her plagues come in one day, suddenly. Physically, Babylon will utterly be burned with fire. There will be death, mourning, and famine as God judges this city (and others like it). But, these verses also have spiritual significance and spiritually the seven plagues that have taken over Babylon are described in chapter 16.

[9] And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

V.9 The kings of the earth who have gained wealth from this city lament greatly for the extreme loss.
    It is . cancerous materialism, .which Bahá'u'lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a foretaste of the devastation which this consuming fire will wreak upon the world, and with which it will lay waste the cities of the nations participating in this tragic world-engulfing contest, has been afforded by the last World War. in the global havoc which humanity, forgetful of its God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His appointed Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably experience.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    Citadel of Faith,
    p. 125)

[10] Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

V.10 At the time that John recorded these words it would have been impossible to imagine how such a giant city might have been destroyed in a hour in the manner described. Today it takes little imagination to think of people standing at a distance and viewing what has occurred.
    Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.
    The Persian Hidden Words No. 63)
They stand back, in fear of the torment, saying 'alas', for it was a mighty city, and in one hour judgment had been served.

[11] And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

V.11 The merchants of the world who have lost their trade, mourn and weep.
    These same fiery tribulations will not only firmly weld the American nation to its sister nations in both hemispheres, but will through their cleansing effect, purge it thoroughly of the accumulated dross which ingrained racial prejudice, rampant materialism, widespread ungodliness and moral laxity have combined, in the course of successive generations, to produce, and which have prevented her thus far from assuming the role of world spiritual leadership forecast by 'Abdu'l-Bahá's unerring pen -- a role which she is bound to fulfill through travail and sorrow.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    Citadel of Faith,
    p. 126)

[12] The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

V.12 The next three verses present a list of material things but the whole of the world, creation, and the Book of Revelation is filled with inner significances. Every color, sound, odor, texture as represented in physical objects has spiritual significance. Those of a material mind see only the external and do not recognize the internal.
    Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of inner significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl.
    The Tablet of the Branch,
    in Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 207)

[13] And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

    Verily, wert thou to read the most mighty, wonderful verses to the stone for a thousand years, will it understand, or will they take any effect therein? No! by thy Lord, the merciful, the clement! If thou readest all the verses of God unto the deaf, will he hear a single letter? No! Verily, by the beauty, the mighty, the ancient!

    Thus have We delivered unto thee some of the jewels of wisdom and utterance, in order that thou mayest gaze unto the direction of thy Lord and be severed from all the creatures. May the spirit and glory rest upon thee, and upon those who dwell upon the plain of holiness and who remain in the Cause of their Lord in manifest steadfastness!

    The Tablet of the Branch,
    in Bahá'í World Faith,
    p. 207)

[14] And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

V.14 As pointed out in the verses above the true goods of this world are actually fruits of the soul. The external objects are all that are recognized by those with materialistic minds.
    That the forces of a world catastrophe can alone precipitate such a new phase of human thought is, alas, becoming increasingly apparent. That nothing short of the fire of a severe ordeal, unparalleled in its intensity, can fuse and weld the discordant entities that constitute the elements of present-day civilization, into the integral components of the world commonwealth of the future, is a truth which future events will increasingly demonstrate.
    (Shoghi Effendi,
    The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 46)

[15] The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

V.15 The merchants of all the finery, which have made both them and the city rich, stand far away in fear of this torment There is great weeping and wailing because of their loss. The chastisement is very great.
    LXXXV. Say: O ye that are bereft of understanding! A severe trial pursueth you, and will suddenly overtake you.
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh)

[16] And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

V.16 They are saying 'Alas, that great city, clothed in finery, and decked with precious stones, is gone. The purple and scarlet are the politics with religion, which in the past have supported each other, are gone. The finery and precious stones represented the material wealth of the few, which now is gone. The spiritual values of inner significances were completely lost to them.
    Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure.
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 219)

[17] For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

V.17 In one hour the great riches have come to naught. Today we can well envision the ships standing afar off and viewing the scene.
    'Hath the Hour come?' 'Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of clear tokens! Verily, the Inevitable is come, and He, the True One, hath appeared with proof and testimony. The Plain is disclosed, and mankind is sore vexed and fearful. Earthquakes have broken loose, and the tribes have lamented, for fear of God, the Lord of Strength, the All-Compelling.' Say: 'The stunning trumpet blast hath been loudly raised, and the Day is God's, the One, the Unconstrained.' 'Hath the Catastrophe come to pass?' Say: 'Yea, by the Lord of Lords!'
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,
    p. 131)
In the Bahá'í Scriptures the inevitable is often spoken of as having already occurred. These verses also have a spiritual meaning and in the Divine, past, present, future are as One. (See Appendix at the end of Chapter Nine).
[18] And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

V.18 And they cried when they saw the city burning, as they knew that there was no city like it. The greatest city of the world for trading destroyed. An unimaginable loss. Especially when we try to imagine it extended worldwide. In reading the verses we must remember that they also have a deeper spiritual meaning.
    The smoke of corruption hath enveloped the whole world in such wise that naught can be seen in any direction save regiments of soldiers and nothing is heard from any land but the clashing of swords. We beseech God, the True One, to strengthen the wielders of His power in that which will rehabilitate the world and bring tranquillity to the nations.
    Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 39)

[19] And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

V.19 Today, we can of course envision the possibility of the immediacy of the catastrophe and destruction.
    XVIII. The thing that must come hath come suddenly; behold how they flee from it! The inevitable hath come to pass; witness how they have cast it behind their backs! This is the Day whereon every man will fly from himself, how much more from his kindred, could ye but perceive it. Say: By God! The blast hath been blown on the trumpet, and lo, mankind hath swooned away before us! The Herald hath cried out, and the Summoner raised His voice saying: "The Kingdom is God's, the Most Powerful, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting."
    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh)

[20] Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

V.20 We are told to rejoice, as God has made way for a new world.
    Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.
    The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh,
    p. 121)

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