Bible Study

Exodus III: The return to Egypt

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Bible Study Guide 

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I’m happy to finally return to the study of Exodus after the lapse in concentration due to severe headaches. Praise God for this period for despite the pain, I got to truly enjoy rest. To pick up where we’ve left off, let’s turn our Bibles to the fourth chapter. 

Aaron joins Moses

Scripture in focus: Exodus 4

4:1 > Even after the lengthy conversation/explanation that Moses had with God in 3:14-22, Moses is still doubtful. Although God promised that He’ll be with him, Moses panics over the people not believing him.

4:2-5 > Miracles are signs for those that didn’t believe, and God gives Moses the power to work miracles so that His people may believe starting with the rod that became a part of the many miracles pertaining to the delivery of God’s people. Here, we see it become a serpent that Moses runs away from, but when God commanded him to take it by the tail which is the most dangerous place to handle a snake, Moses had enough faith to do so and come away unharmed.

We might ask, where was this faith in the first place when God came to him? God was building it up. And why snakes? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the Egyptians had a fascination with snakes… as I do.

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4:6-8 > Leprosy was a dreaded disease that was thought to be incurable. In these verses, we see Moses puts his hand into his bosom and when he takes it out, it’s leprous. Again, he places said hand in the same place, but this time when he takes it out, it’s back to normal. A thing or two I took away from this:

* Moses was never to work miracles by his own power or for his own praise. He was supposed to work them by the power of God and for His glory.

* By the power of God, Moses would bring diseases upon Egypt.

4:9 > If the two miracles were doubted, then the water would become blood. This foreshadowed the first plague. Since Egypt was dry land, water was of utmost importance to them, so much, that they worshiped the Nile.

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4:10-12 > After all of these things, Moses comes up with another excuse: “I can’t speak well.” What he means is that he is unable to articulate his thoughts in flowing speech, and I can relate for I write better than I speak. However, Moses was brought up in an Egyptian palace and was exposed to one of the best education systems in his time, and he was indeed mighty in words and deeds (Acts 7:22). He didn’t need a translator or a course in public speaking, all Moses needed to do was trust the Lord. If the Lord could’ve spoken to him through a burning bush, God could speak through him in front of Pharaoh.

God is not interested in our abilities for He’s the One Who gives them to us anyway. He’s not interested in our eloquent speeches, just our willingness.

4:13-16 > Moses tries to wriggle out one last time by saying that he’s up to the task if God insists, but it’ll be better if God sends someone else. God is rightly angry at Moses’ unwillingness, but He commissions Moses’ brother Aaron for the role of spokesperson. God already knew that Moses was going to throw the Book of Excuses at Him, so He already had Aaron on his way. 

4:17-18 > Despite Moses’ unwillingness, he had the “staff of God” and was given the power to perform the signs and miracles. Aaron was just the mouthpiece. Moses then seeks permission from his father-in-law to leave, so he could go and accomplish God’s purpose. 

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4:19-20 > There was no one waiting to kill Moses upon his return to Egypt for the ones that sought his life were all dead. Moses takes his wife, sons, and the “staff of God” to return to the dreaded Egypt.

4:21 > God tells Moses how events will unfold in Egypt. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart shows God’s direct involvement in the affairs of men so that His purpose will be accomplished. Pharaoh refuses to believe in the One True God, for he was a god himself, and so, God had to harden his heart – later on, Pharaoh will harden his own heart – to bring judgement upon a mortal masquerading as a god on earth and for resisting His will.

4:22-23 > The firstborn son was special and sacred to the ancient Egyptians and God considered the nation of Israel his firstborn son and the Pharaoh was not going to have it. Who was this God? Why is an entire nation special to Him? Pharaoh was considered the favored son of his false god Ra, but God was going to let the mortal ruler know that Israel was His covenant people, and He was going to reveal Himself through them. In order for Israel to truly serve God, they needed to leave the world (Egypt) behind.

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4:24-26 > God inflicts an illness upon Moses for he had neglected his duty by not circumcising his second son. Zipporah didn’t approve of this practice as we can see from these verses, but Moses is the head of the household, and he knew the importance of this rite, so he shouldn’t have listened to his wife. Zipporah eventually performed the rite swiftly for she understood the danger of her husband’s life albeit repulsed. She threw the skin at Moses’ feet showing her disapproval of him as a husband because of this blood covenant with God. God let Moses go, but Zipporah was in her feelings still expressing her dislike for the Hebrew practice.

4:27-28 > Aaron and Moses reunites on Mount Horeb and became brothers in ministry that very day. Moses told his brother everything concerning the mission from God and the signs he has been given. 

4:29-31 > The brothers met with the elders and everything functions smoothly: Aaron the effective mouthpiece, Moses the demonstrator. The people believe, and they humbled themselves before God and worships Him.

Related scripture reading:

^ John 14:11 > Believe in Jesus for the very works’ sake. Because of the many signs and wonders, the people who followed Jesus believed. 

Additional Notes

^ To expand a little on 4:2-5 where God uses the simple shepherd’s staff in Moses’ hand, God likes to use what’s in our hands to bring glory to Him. In John 6:9, God uses the five loaves and two fishes in a boy’s hand to feed many. He used the stone and sling in David’s hand to bring down Goliath (1 Samuel 17:49). There are a few other examples throughout the Bible.

^ The book of Exodus attributes the hardening process ten times to God (verse 21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17), and nine times to the Pharaoh himself (7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34-35). The first two references (verses 21 and 7:3), state that God “will harden” the Pharaoh’s heart without specifying when that will be. The next ten references (the only exception is in 9:12), indicate that the Pharaoh hardened his own heart (via bible-studys.org).

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

Thank You

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Bible Study

Exodus II: Moses

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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The book of Exodus begins with enslaved Israelites in Egypt. Joseph was no more and his good deeds for Egypt was a thing of distant memory. The Pharaoh decided to oppress the Israelites and ordered the midwives to kill the male children. Later, the Pharaoh became even crueler in wanting to kill the male children. God’s people felt deserted and in need of a leader.

And then a baby was born.

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Moses kills the Egyptian within him

Scripture in focus: Exodus 2

2:1-2 > Moses is born. He is healthy and utterly beautiful. His parents’ names are listed later in Exodus 6:20 as Amram and Jochebed. Moses was hidden for three months as an act of faith (Hebrews 11:23). The 3 months that he was hidden reminds me of Christ’s 3 days in the tomb.

2:3-4 > The ark was a vessel of divine deliverance and when Moses is placed in an ark of bulrushes (a floating basket), we see God’s hand in every detail. God sealed Noah in the ark for safety; Moses is placed in an ark of safety. It was placed where the Egyptian women of the palace came to dip as part of their religious ritual so it was no accident that she placed her son there and had big sister Miriam to guard it from afar off.

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2:5-6 > Pharaoh’s daughter eventually comes along, sees the basket and have one of her maidens fetch it. Upon opening it, the princess realizes that it was a Hebrew baby. But then that baby wept and it melted her heart. She accepts this baby as if it was a gift from Hapi, god of the Nile. The flags mentioned were weeds that grew near the bank in the water.

2:7-9 > Moses’ mother trusted God in hiding him for 3 months, and she trusted Him again in setting her baby out on the river. God rewarded her faith wonderfully! Jochebed gets to train him in the early years and get paid for it, no background check needed.

2:10 > After the child is fully weaned, he is adopted by the princess and is called Moses because he was drawn out of the water. A fitting name for later, he’ll draw God’s people out of Egypt.

2:11-12 > Moses is 40 (Acts 7:23-25) when he witnesses an Egyptian slave driver beating a Hebrew slave and something just snaps in him. He feels the need to avenge his brethren and so, he kills the slave driver and buries the body in the hot, unforgiving sand. This was a hasty act upon Moses’ part.

That day, Moses kills the Egyptian inside him and buried it in the sand, but he was yet to find his identity as a Hebrew. He went from being a prince to a fugitive in that very moment.

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2:13-14 > When Moses tries to intervene in a violent dispute between two Hebrew men, he is put in place: “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” First, he is a murderer and then a meddler? Moses was in fact a great prince and judge for Israel, but they did not want him. Here, we see Moses being rejected by his own people as a type of Christ for when Jesus came into the world, He was rejected by His very own people despite His royal background. Just as Jesus had to come out of the Palace and into a humble place before delivering mankind, Moses had to come out of the glorious palace and into a humble place.

Moses had intended for no one to see him kill the Egyptian, but as the saying goes, “be sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

2:15 > When the Pharaoh learned that Moses killed an Egyptian, his heart changed rather quickly. Moses might’ve been adopted by the princess and given an Egyptian upbringing, but he was not born an Egyptian. He flees to Midian (meaning “brawling” or “contention”) which becomes a place of refuge for him.

2:16-17 > Coming to Midian, Moses meets the daughters (7) of a priest in Midian. Moses helped them water their flocks. This is a BIG change from the life Moses enjoyed as one of the royal family and being waited on hand and foot. The desert was his working years. It was in the desert that he learned humility; how to serve.

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2:18-20 > The priest of Midian was Reuel (meaning “friend of God”) also known as Jethro (a title meaning his excellence), a worshiper of the true God. Since Moses still had his Egyptian clothes on (after all, he fled Egypt with the clothes on his back, and he was a well-educated Egyptian), the women assumed that he was Egyptian.

2:21-22 > Moses becomes part of Jethro’s family by marrying Zipporah (“sparrow”) and having a son Gershom (“refugee”). He settled in Midian and now had a family. He was a shepherd, an utmost humbling occupation.

2:23-25 > God hears the cries of the Israelites and remembers them. After all, He is the One Who hears, remembers, and sees. 400 years of misery comes to a climax after Thutmose III (1483-1450 B.C.) dies. Why do we wait until things get badly out of hand to cry out to God?

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God calls Moses to lead His people

Scripture in focus: Exodus 3

3:1 > For 40 years, Moses lived as a shepherd in the desert. Even at this point in his life, he doesn’t even have a flock to call his own. He is now 80 and God has a special task for him.

3:2-3 > The Angel of the LORD appears in the burning bush. This messenger is the Lord Himself taking to Moses (Acts 7:30). This fire was not consumable and it was probably the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:11). The sight was so unusual that Moses had to investigate why the burning bush was not… burning.

3:4 > Our Lord is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29)! 🙌 Notice that God did not speak to Moses until He had his full attention. Sometimes, His Word doesn’t touch our heart as it should for we neglect to give it full attention; I can testify to this. Also, note that the first words God spoke to Moses were his very own name reminding him that although he might’ve been forgotten by men, he was important to God. God remembered him even after all of these years. The double call (Moses, Moses) implies a sense of urgency, just as when God called Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Simon (Luke 22:31), Martha (Luke 10:41) and Saul (Acts 9:4)

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While Moses was tending to his father-in-law’s flock of sheep in the mountains of Midian, God spoke to Him via a burning bush. A few years later, Moses recieved the 10 Commandments there.

3:5 > Wherever the presence of God is, it is considered holy. The area near the bush was God’s house and it had to be treated with great respect. Moses was coming even closer to inspect this burning phenomenal when God told him to do two things:

1. Don’t come any nearer: God is holy and there’ll always be a distance between God and mortals. No matter how beautiful, rich, or perfect we might be, we’ll never be equal to God.

2. Remove your sandals: In Afro-Asia culture, people do not wear shoes inside a home. Moses was in God’s house, and he had to show respect by the removal of his shoes. 

3:6 > The great I AM! God’s opening words take us back to 2:24 showing that He has remembered His people. Moses hides his face in reverent fear.

3:7-10 > God explains His plans to Moses and what Moses’ place in the plan will be. God is compassionate and He cares for His people. I love where He says “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians” (v. 8), for it points to a future  incarnation of Jesus coming to deliver us from worldy bondage to salvation (John 1:14). Here, God is going to deliver His people through Moses who’ll be an instrument. 

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3:11-12 > Moses’ answer is a question, and we immediately see that he has some doubts about taking on the task that God has set before him. All God wants is a willing vessel, and He’ll do the rest, so when/if He comes to us with a task, remember that with Him, ANYTHING is possible and reply, “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). We need to be willing to be used by God; humble and willing in His presence, and He’ll do the rest. God didn’t answer Moses’ “Who am I?” question, instead, He takes Moses’ focus off himself and places it where it should be – on Him. When Moses questions his ability, God promises to be with him. He was very patient with Moses. 

3:13-14 > Moses wonders what he’ll tell the Israelites about Who has sent him. There are 3 primary names of God:

1. Elohim (God) – This name emphasizes His strength and creative power and it occurs 31 times in Genesis 1

2. Jehovah/Yahweh – Often translated as Lord in the KJV, this Name is used to express God’s self-existence.

3. Adonai (Lord) – Simply “master”.

Moses did not understand enough about God’s authority, but that is soon solved when God reveals Himself as “I AM” (Yahweh). This name shows that God simply is, and points to His self-existence. He is unchanging, uncreated, and eternal. “I AM” speaks of absolute presence, breathes of His timelessness, and cements His existence. With a statement so powerful as “I AM”, how then, can we gloss over His existence as we LITERALLY see His intimate woven detail throughout His wonderful works of Creation. He is! (Hebrews 11:6)

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3:15 > “The LORD God of your fathers”This ain’t no new god. This is the God that placed Noah in an ark to keep him safe, that walked with Abraham, the One that kept His promise to Hagar, and Who was with Joseph in Egypt. He is everlasting and eternal. He’ll never die for He is the same throughout (Hebrews 13:8). In times of despair, “I AM” becomes what we lack: when we’re hungry, He says, “I AM the bread of life”. When we’re in the dark, He says, “I AM the light”. “I AM” announces His presence and invites the interested to get to know Him (Revelation 3:20), to taste and see that He is good.

Life in Him is eternal (John 8:24).

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3:16-17 > God instructs Moses what to tell the elders of Israelites. His plan is to deliver His children from bondage so they could worship Him and be established as His chosen people. If we want to start a new life in Christ, we must believe that there is a Promised Land and be willing to leave the world (Egypt) behind. We cannot serve God while we’re caught up in the world (Egypt); we must leave worldliness behind if we truly want to worship God.

3:18 > God instructs Moses what to tell Pharaoh.

3:19-20 > God warns Moses that Pharaoh will not listen, but he’ll let the people go after God performs His miracles. God already knew that Pharaoh wouldn’t let His people go easily, so He’ll bring great judgment against Egypt to persuade him. He shows Moses that it’s going to be a battle. The great symbolism here shows that we, Christians (Israelites) too, are in a spiritual warfare fighting against principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is fighting with all his might to keep us in the world, but we can overcome the world through Christ and follow God. Pharaoh (symbolic of Satan) would fight to keep the Hebrews under subjection to him.

3:21-22 > God tells Moses how the Israelites will plunder the Egyptians; they were not going to leave empty-handed (Genesis 15:14; Deuteronomy 15:12-14). After all, the Hebrews’ fight was not with the Egyptian people, but against the cruel rulership which made them slaves. Most likely, they would’ve come into favor with some of the Egyptians. Since the Hebrews were slaves and without resources, the silver and gold were definitely necessary to finance the building of the tabernacle.

Related scripture reading:

^ Acts 7:22 > Moses was educated in all things Egyptian given that he was raised as a prince.

^ Hebrews 11:24 > When he becomes of age, Moses is refused to be called “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”.

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Additional Notes

^ Moses in Egyptian most likely meant “to give birth to/born”; the Hebrew equivalent means “to be drawn out”.

^ The Midianites, who were descendants of Abraham and Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4), settle in the Arabian Peninsula along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqabah.

^ In 3:1, we see Moses leading the flock of sheep to Mount “Horeb” (Sinai). This is also the place where God gave Israel His gift of the Law.

^ The Israelites must be willing to be delivered. They have to want Moses to deliver them before he could deal with the Pharaoh. We must be willing to give up the world (Egypt) before Jesus can deliver us. Just as Jesus had to deal with Satan to defeat and deliver us from our sinful bondage, Moses had to deal with the Pharaoh (Satan) to deliver the Israelites.

^ God had planned for the deliverance of both Moses and for the Israelites. The details in His plan was flawlessly executed. God did this.

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

Thank You

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Bible Study

Exodus I: The Israelites in Egypt

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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The story of Exodus begins where Genesis ends. The book begins with the words of Genesis 46:8 and from Exodus 1:1 – 12:36 recounts Israel’s final years in Egypt before the Exodus. I’ve always found Ancient Egypt to be fascinating, and although the Biblical Pharaohs may require additional research on my part, I’ve read that during the Second Intermediate Period (1786-1550), Egypt was overrun by the Hyksos (a people of diverse origins possibly from Western Asia).

The Hyksos introduced the horse and chariot to Egypt | Ancient ...

They were said to have introduced the horse and chariot to Egypt. By 1550 B.C., the Hyksos were expelled by Ahmose, who ushered in the 18th Dynasty and the New Kingdom Period (1550-1070 B.C.). It is from this period that a new king arose who did not know what Joseph had done for Egypt and viewed the Israelites mightier than his people (Exodus 1:8-10). Thutmose III was ruler over Egypt while Moses was in exile in Midian, but when he finally returned to Egypt, Amenhotep II was on the throne, and he was the Pharaoh of Exodus.

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Israel’s affliction in Egypt.

Scripture in focus: Exodus 1

1:1-6 > In these opening verses, we have a recital of Israel coming into Egypt via the 12 patriarchs, Joseph’s death, and the passing away of that generation. 

1:7 > Here, we see that the seed of Abraham was now a nation. Gen. 35:11-12 had been fulfilled in Egypt. To think that this family started with 5 people (Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilphah, and Bilhah) back in Haran!

1:8-10 > When Joseph was alive, he was loved for all the good that he did for Egypt, now that he was dead, he was soon forgotten and all of his influences were wiped clean from the new councils. Solomon puts this well in Eccl. 9:5; 15. If we work to please man, our works will die with us, but if we work to please and serve God, they will follow us (Rev. 14:13).

This new king did not care for Joseph’s heroics for he did not live during the famine, did not know him, and thus, felt no obligation to the mass of foreigners living in his land. He only cared that they were too many and some sort of control over them had to take place for he feared they were mightier than the locals. 

Also, this “new king” is said to be most likely a Hykso for the Amorites were one of the main elements of the Hyksos people, and they might as well have a reason to loathe the descendants of Jacob because of the Shechem incident (Gen. 34) and Jacob’s later conflict with the Amorites (Gen. 48:22). 

1:11 > The Hebrews are put to work to build treasure cities for the Egyptians. Work also took the Hebrews’ minds off war: at that time, the Egyptians feared invasion from the Hittites of the north, and had the Hebrews choose to join their enemies, then it would’ve shaken their security.

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1:12-14 > Despite their bondage, the Hebrews continues to prosper and grow. Egypt was like a mother’s womb for Israel to multiple into the nation that it was destined to become so when it was time for them to finally leave Egypt, it was like leaving the nest.

1:15-17 > Pharaoh Amenhotep I (1545-1525 B.C.) commanded the midwives to commit infanticide; he is succeeded by Thutmose I (1525-1508 B.C.) who commanded the Hebrew boys to be thrown into the Nile in verse 22. These Pharaohs were agents of Satan for the attempted destruction of the Seed of the woman, but God preserved the Messiah’s line. The midwives refuse to partake in the killing of the young ones for they feared God. And rightly so, for we should not break God’s law to obey Government.

1:18-21 > Because they obeyed God before man, the midwives were blessed by God.

1:22 > The Pharaoh is relentless in pursuing his drive to get rid of the newborn baby boys, that he goes even further: he gave public orders to drown all the male children of the Hebrews. The Nile river was worshiped by the Egyptians, and they believed in many gods so this was like human sacrifice. However, they’ll rue the day that they followed their Pharaoh’s orders for the 10th plague would kill their firstborn.

Related scripture reading:

^ Psalms 105 and 106: these psalms look at Israel’s history from God’s perspective, their faithfulness, God’s mercy in spite of Israel’s sinfulness, and the Lord’s justice. 

^ Acts 7:8

^ For Exodus 1:7 cross-reference the multiplication promises in Genesis 1:28; 9:1; 12:2; 17:2; 26:4; 28:14 and 48:4.

Additional Notes

^ The book of Exodus reflects how we Christians were in bondage to the slave of sin before our Savior comes to deliver us. The cruel Pharaoh (Satan) afflicts Israel (God’s children) until the gift of salvation through the Deliverer. This is our story, too.

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

Thank You

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Disclaimer

Bible Study

Exodus: a short introduction

Meaning: Exodus is a Greek word meaning “exit”, “departure” or “going out”.

Author: Moses

Penned: 1445-1404 B.C.

Position: the 2nd book of the Bible, Old Testament, and Pentateuch 

Chapters: 40

300 years separate Genesis from Exodus.

In Exodus, we’ll read about the freedom for God’s people from slavery and the beginning of national identity. This book gives us an insight into Hebrew customs and it emphasizes God’s covenant. The deliverance from bondage is a beautiful analogy of the sinner’s redemption from the bondage of sin. God is presented as:

^ The great “I AM”;

^ The One Who controls history;

^ A holy God;

^ The God Who remembers, and

^ The God Who speaks.

Exodus records the 10 Commandments, the 10 plagues, the beginning of the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea and the building of the Tabernacle.

 

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Soon, I’ll be uploading the study for Exodus and I invite you to join me. Until then, study the Word and continue to look heavenward for we need to hold onto God more than ever given the times that we’re living in. The coming of our King draws near.

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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