This generation shall not pass away
Writer: Evangelos D. Kepenes (2018, 8 October)
Biblical references from: ESV2011, AKJV, LXXE, and others if they fit better with the Greek text
Let the written word of the Prophets and Apostles speak for itself
“But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” (Acts 24:14)
“And the LORD said to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation (the modern generation of Noah).” (Gen. 7:1)
“But to what shall I compare this generation? (the modern Jewish generation of Jesus and the apostles) It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates.” (Matt. 11:16)
“But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus) and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” (Matt. 12:39)
“Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also to this wicked generation (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Matt. 12:45)
“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus) how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me.” (Matt. 17:17)
“And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, Why does this generation seek after a sign? truly I say to you, There shall no sign be given to this generation (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Mark 8:12)
“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation (the modern Jewish generation of the apostles the killed Jesus).” (Acts 2:40)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (the present Jewish scribes and Pharisees who were contemporary of Jesus) because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill you up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of
hell? (Greek text: Gehenna = Valley of the children of Hinnom).
Why, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you whip in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
That on you may come (to the bystanders) all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, All these things shall come on this generation.” (the woes of the Apocalypse concerned the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Matt. 23:29-36)
“So likewise you, (the contemporary Jewish disciples of Jesus to whom He spoke) when you shall see all these things, (they would see everything) know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (the modern Jewish generation that killed Jesus).” (Matt. 24:33)
The demonstrative pronoun – this
The grammar of the ancient Greek language says that the word “this” is a demonstrative pronoun. Pronouns are inflectional words that are used in speech primarily in place of names (nouns or adjectives). Demonstrative pronouns show something which can be felt or meant. We use them to show what is near to us or what we mentioned just before.
“And Adam said, This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of her husband.” (Gen. 2:23 LXXE)
“And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.” (Gen. 12:7)
“And the report of this went through all that district.” (Matt. 9:26)
“Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matt. 13:54)
“This is the great and first commandment.” (Matt. 22:38)
God did not promise a Third Testament nor a third temple to the Jews who were transgressors, disobedient and deniers of the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, but wrath and eternal destruction (= catastrophe, loss, death). (2 Thes. Ch. one)
The modern, wicked and perverse Jewish generation of Jesus and the apostles was the one that filled up the sins of the Jewish nation and was targeted by Jesus who said that this generation would receive, according to the scriptures, the seven plagues of God's wrath. (See: Lev. 26:21, Rev. Chapter 15)
Fill up = make full
The complete sin of the rebellious Jewish nation was that they killed Jesus the leader of life, persecuted the first church, killed many of its members, and prevented the salvation of the nations. (Acts 3:15, Matt. 23:29-36)
“For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last (to the Jews who were contemporary of the apostles).” (1 Thess. 2:14-16)
“But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers? They say to him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other farmers, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” (Matt. 21:38-41)
“Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.
But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops (the Roman army) and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (Jerusalem in 70 AD).” (Matt. 22:4-7)
The sinful, demoralized works of men, murders, thefts, fornications, prostitutions, homosexuality, bestialities, idolatries, patricides, drugs, wars, etc., had been taking place since the creation of the world, as the world history and the Jewish bible testify, so nothing new.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
The executed wrath of God in 70 AD upon the disobedient Jews brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and its second earthly Temple, and marked the ending / fulfillment of the age of the Mosaic Law and its ritual. Early Christianity was the fulfillment of biblical Judaism about the promise of life for all nations which was given to Abraham. (2 Tim. 1:1)
So, Christ, the life, is the end of the law; He is the one who abolished death which derived from the law and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel to those who repent and believe in the true God and savior Jesus Christ, regardless of biological origin. (2 Tim. 1:10)
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17)
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
“And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.” (Acts 13:32-33)
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (from being dead, they became alive in Christ).” (John 1:12-13)
“And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1)
The first church that worshiped the one true God "in spirit and truth" believed in the words of Jesus and his apostles and did not follow the human traditions of the Pharisees and the types of the Mosaic Law. Nor did Jesus' disciples believe in the contradictory Greek thought and the philosophers ("fathers"), or in the 19th century teachings of “Dispensationalism” and “Futurism” as the "Christians" of today believe. Their belief in eternal life through Jesus was based on the written Hebrew Bible and the teaching of the Holy Spirit, bearing fruit "by the power of the Holy Spirit" and not by the power of armed violence and threat, nor by the arguments of the Greek literature.
Paul's specially selected borrowings from national writers such as "for we are also his offspring" and "for in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), emphasize that God is "One" and prove that the apostle, who was Jewish in origin and aware of the Greek wisdom, was trying to turn the Athenians towards the Jewish thought and not towards the Greek thought.
Sayings for the Second coming of Jesus in the generation of the apostles
The disciples of the first church expected their redemption, the destruction of the wicked Jews, and the demolition of the earthly Temple of Jerusalem in their generation, in the presence and appearance of the great God and savior Jesus. (2 Thess. 1:1-10, 2 Tim. 1:14)
“And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end
of the world? (Greek text: του αιώνος = of the age)” (Matt. 24:3 AKJV)
"The sign." The use of the singular in the disciples' question makes the "coming / appearance" and "the end of the age" interrelated and interdependent events. The end of the age of the Mosaic Law of allegories and types was not going to happen without the Presence of the Son of Man on the clouds with the glory of his Father and his holy angels, the one who "would execute judgment" and "would take vengeance" on those who got drunk with the blood of the holy prophets and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
“And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. And I was greatly astonished when I saw her.” (Rev. 17:6)
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” (Mat. 23:37)
“Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64)
The archpriests who were contemporary of Jesus expected the coming of Jesus on the clouds for judgment in their generation.
“So also, when you see all these things, (the disciples who were contemporary of Jesus) you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place .” (Matt. 24:33-34)
“So that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (the ones who were contemporary of Paul), who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:7-8)
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord (this concerns the twelve scattered tribes that were the recipients of the letter). See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (Jam. 5:7-9)
“Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:22)
“Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, (contemporary of Jesus) which shall not taste of death, (they wouldn't experience natural death, they would be alive) till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28)
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another: (this concerned the Jewish disciples who were contemporary of Jesus) for truly I say to you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, (of the 1st century) till the Son of man be come.” (Matt. 10:23)
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants (not everybody) things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John.” (Rev. 1:1)
“Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:3)
“But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come (this concerned the recipients of the letter who lived in Thyatira).” (Rev. 2:24-25)
“I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown (this concerned the recipients of the letter who lived in Philadelphia).” (Rev. 3:11)
“And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” (Rev. 22:10)
The pillars of the true apostolic church, James, Peter, and John, were sent to the circumcised ones. (Gal. 2:9) The Book of Revelation concerned the Jewish Christians of the seven churches of Asia who were contemporary of John and for whom the coming of Jesus was imminent; it did not concern future generations. More about the Book of Revelation click here.
The prerequisites of the fulfillment of God's promise for the transition from the Old One to the New One
“For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor. 3:6)
For the promise of God to be finished / completed, and for the life-giving New Testament to replace the Old Testament because of its weakness and uselessness, - that is, for the Old One / Death to leave, and for the New One / Life to come - the following had to be done:
"But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.” (Mat.12:28)
a) Jesus had to defeat death and take every power in the heavens and on earth. DONE
“And Jesus came (resurrected), and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18)
“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.” (1 Pet. 3:22)
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18)
b) God's wrath upon the violators of the Mosaic Law as defined by the terms of the Old Testament had to be fulfilled. DONE
“The king was angry, and he sent his troops (Roman army) and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (Jerusalem in 70 AD).” (Matt. 22:7)
c) The first handmade, earthly tent had to be replaced by the true heavenly one, and the path leading to the true holies had to be freed. DONE
“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” (Heb. 8:1-5)
“Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” (Heb. 9:6-8)
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:11-12)
“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Heb. 9:24)
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God ……..” (Heb. 10:19-21)
d) The true heavenly temple had to have a heavenly high priest who lives forever and who would not need replacement due to death. DONE
“And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Heb. 7:23-25 NET)
e) The children of the promise, the legitimate heirs of the Kingdom, and the true worshipers of God who is Spirit had to be born. DONE
In the earthly, handmade temple of Jerusalem, fleshly worshipers worshiped with carnal ordinances, food, drink and various baptisms until the time of reformation. In the heavenly, spiritual Temple, spiritual worshipers, new creatures worship "in spirit and truth," because God is spirit and the true worshipers have to be this kind of worshipers.
“But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)
“But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac. But just as at that time the one born by natural descent persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is now. But what does the scripture say? Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.” (Gal. 4:28-31)
“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!” (Gal. 6:15)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)
“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5)
Note: No biblical support is provided by the teaching of the apostles for a forthcoming building of a third earthly temple in Jerusalem and restoration of the Leviticus or any other priesthood. These inaccuracies are spread by today's Christian Zionism that was developed on the basis of the Modern Theory of “Dispensationalism” of Anglican clergyman John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), father of the movement of "Christian Brothers" or "Plymouth Brethren". Darby was trained at Westminster School and Dublin's Trinity College, and his theory was widely accepted by Baptists in the United States when the Oxford University Press published the Bible by the American theologian Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921) that had notes promoting Darby's theory. The supporters of the theory of Dispensationalism, defend myths of rabbinical Judaism and secular geostrategic policies rather than biblical truths.
Calabrian triadist, abbot and hermit, Joachim of Fiore (1145-1202) was a forerunner of Dispensationalism. Being an intermediate between the ancient Gnosticism and the modern one, and believing that the coming of the antichrist would happen in his generation, he invented three consecutive eras of the world's history, according to the persons of the Holy Trinity. The first era was the era of the Father or the law, the second era was the era of the Son or grace, and the third era was the era of the Holy Spirit, the new age. The fantasy of the three eras appears in various philosophical thoughts, as well as in the Marxist dialectic of the three stages - primitive communism, class society, and ultimate communism that will be the kingdom of freedom without a state.
f) The great command had to be fulfilled: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14). DONE
End = (see finally) the fulfillment, the completion of all things, the finishing of it, the result, not the pause or the expiration of it. (Liddell-Scott Dictionary)
The gospel of the kingdom had been preached by the apostles to all nations for the obedience of faith in their generation. Then, the wrath of God was executed upon the arrogant Jews, and thus the age of the Mosaic Law was fulfilled. For more info about "Christ is the end of the Law" see here.
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world" (Rom. 1:8)
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.” (Rom. 16:25-26)
“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8)
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” (Col. 1:3-6)
“If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Col. 1:23)
“And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:20)
“But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” (Rom. 10:18)
“And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6)
The Jewish scriptures were fulfilled, the transition from the Old One to the New One was done, the apostles of Jesus fulfilled their mission, the goal was achieved; those who envision the repetition of the original and unique apostolic work have not believed in it.
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” (Rom. 6:22)
The transformation of the original Christianity
The secular philosophical currents of the 2nd century, looting the spiritual wealth of the genuine Christianity, transformed it into a new state religion of types and expectations.
For the "Christian" philosopher Clement of the Alexandrian philosophical school, and for many others of the same period, Christianity was the supreme philosophy that the Mosaic Law and Greek philosophy prepared. This view was cultivated by the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo who lived in Alexandria in Egypt (15 BC-45 AD), a fanatical defender of the Platonic thought, and was spread by the proponents of human wisdom.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (Col. 2:8-9)
The side effect of this view was that it presented Christianity as accepting Greek thought, a view contrary to what Jesus and the apostles supported.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them.” (Mat. 5:17)
“For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching.” (1 Cor. 1:21 NET)
The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple had brought national, cultural and religious judgment upon the fleshly Israel. Biblical Judaism, having fulfilled its purpose, had given its place to Christianity whose adversaries were the unbelieving Jews. Without a temple and priests, the representation of the latter was taken over by the rabbis who convened the Council of Iamnia in Palestine around 100 AD to finalize the biblical canon of the Old Testament as it was defined in the Talmud. This action established Rabbinic Judaism as the ideological continuation of Pharisaic Judaism.
The period of the representation of Christianity by servants of apostolic caliber had passed. The philosophical apologists, defenders of the "Christian philosophy" as they considered it, helped by the social and political circumstances, achieved the combination of Hellenism - Christianity, gradually creating the label of "Christian Hellenism."
Through intense controversies between the representatives of that period's philosophical trends and the prevailing of those who had the most powerful political support, a new state religion of Roman interests was finally formed in the 3rd - 4th century AD, "Patristic Platonic Christianity."
The contradictory Ancient Philosophy and the Patristic - type soteriology have since become the spiritual deposit of the Greek heritage.
This Christianity, being a variant of national polytheism, prevailed with the power of the Roman weapons and brought spiritual darkness preserved to date by the so-called Christian rival national religions.
Platonism as a theory of ideas had supporters mainly among the Greek religious men, and the Eastern Orthodox "Christian" Church was clothed with it. Aristotelism, as a theory of pragmatism - if something is imperceptible it is also non-existent - had supporters among the Jewish religious men and among the Arabs who read Aristotle's works translated into Arabic. After the schism between the Eastern and Western Church in 1054, the Catholic Western Church under the powerful influence of the Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), priest of the Roman Catholic Church and supporter of Aristotelism, incorporated the Aristotelian philosophy into its theology. Thus, "Aristotelian Christianity" was born, which also influenced the materialistic Western civilization.
Today's representatives and followers of the imposed and schismatic "Patristic Platonic Christianity" and the modern Protestant homologies that are connected with it (see charters of Protestant churches) refuse to accept the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law and the prophets through Jesus that took place 20 centuries ago, as well as the ensuing spiritual blessings. By paying attention to myths, they preserve the religious formalism of the Old Testament.
Those who expect, without any biblical support, the reconstruction of a third earthly temple in Jerusalem by "modern Jews" who cannot prove their generational continuity from Abraham fantasize about the repetition of the biblical history, thus blaming God as a transgressor.
"For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:18)
May the Lord Jesus bless you. Obedience to the truth of God brings his blessings into our lives.
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