A Fight to the End - By Daymond Duck - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/12/09/a-fight-to-the-end-by-daymond-duck/
On Nov. 28, 2023, an Israeli Arab Affairs Correspondent reported that Hamas had offered to release all its remaining hostages for an end to the war.
On Nov. 28, 2023, it was reported that Israeli Prime Min. Netanyahu said:
Hamas has said they will not stop trying to destroy Israel.
They will try again, and again, and again until they succeed.
This leaves Israel with no choice but to destroy Hamas before Hamas destroys Israel.
Several Muslim leaders have said they will not allow Israel to destroy Hamas, so this raises many questions:
(More: On Nov. 28, 2023, the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef posted a video on X urging Israel to give Hamas a deadline of one to six months for the release of all hostages, and to kill the Hamas leaders, including his father, if they do not meet it. He also said Hamas wants Israel to release murderers in exchange for the hostages, and those murderers will continue to kill people if they can. He also wants Israel to treat Qatar as an enemy state if they do not stop financing Hamas.)
(More: On Nov. 29, 2023, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN told UN Security Council Members, Arab nations, and others that met with the UN Security Council, “This (the Hamas attack on Israel) is not a political conflict or about partitioning land. It is solely about the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.” He added, “Anyone who supports a ceasefire basically supports Hamas’ continued reign of terror in Gaza.”)
(More: On Nov. 30, 2023, Israeli Prime Min. Netanyahu told U.S. Sec. of State Blinken, “I have sworn to destroy Hamas. Nothing will stop us.”)
(More: On Dec. 1, 2023, Hamas broke the ceasefire, and the war resumed. The possibility of others getting involved and other prophecies being fulfilled has just increased.)
Here are some recent reports of events that seem to relate to Bible prophecy:
One, concerning corruption in the UN: on Nov. 29, 2023, it was reported that two released hostages said:
(More: On Dec. 2, 2023, Israeli troops entered a private home in Gaza City that had a room full of boxes bearing the UNRWA logo. Underneath the UN-labeled boxes were dozens of rockets, mortars, and other explosives. This does not prove that the UN supported terrorists, but there is other evidence that does.)
(My opinion: It would be a grave mistake for Israel and/or world leaders to allow the UN to establish a new government in Gaza.)
Two, concerning peace in the Middle East and who governs Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war is over: on Nov. 27, 2023, the EU foreign affairs chief met with the heads of several Arab nations to discuss the issue.
They agreed (without seeking Israel’s opinion) that the two-state solution should be adopted, and the Palestinian Authority should rule over the Palestinian part with the assistance of the international community.
There are different opinions of what the two-state solution means, but it often means the Palestinian Authority should get the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and a capital in East Jerusalem.
The current head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, denies that the Holocaust ever happened, and he refuses to condemn Hamas for burning Jews alive, beheading babies, raping women and girls, seizing child hostages, etc.
Why would anyone wonder why God is on Israel’s side?
Three, concerning the decline of America, pestilences, and a population decrease: on Nov. 27, 2023, a U.S. Navy Health Administrator and recruiter posted a video on X that says, “The U.S. military has experienced a major increase in heart-related issues with helicopter and fixed-wing pilots” since the beginning of 2022, and he added that the major increase is vax-related (due to Covid-19 vaccinations).
(More: On Nov. 30, 2023, the state of Texas sued Pfizer for intentionally misrepresenting the facts (deliberately lying) and trying to censor the truth about the effectiveness of its Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer contends that its vaccine is safe and effective and the Texas suit has no merit.)
Four, concerning the decline of America and a borderless world government: on Nov. 30, 2023, it was reported that more than 9,400 illegal aliens had arrived at the U.S. border with Mexico in the last 24 hours.
More than 5,800 were released right away.
According to the report, an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. since Biden became president.
Many get food, housing, a check, free healthcare, free education if needed, etc.
(More: On Nov. 30, 2023, it was reported that a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found that the U.S. Border Patrol is coordinating many of these crossings with the Mexican government.)
(More: On Nov. 30, 2023, it was reported that New York Mayor Adams is cutting his fire department budget and his police budget—in spite of rampant crime—to provide funds for illegal immigrants.)
(More: On Dec. 4, 2023, German Cardinal Muller said, “Mass migration is not about helping people but about destroying national identity.”)
Five, concerning corruption in Washington, in the FBI, and a stolen 2020 election: on Nov 29, 2023, Congressman Clay Higgins confirmed something some of the J6 political prisoners have been saying.
Higgins said, “The FBI was not only involved in the actions on January 6 from within, they had, I suspect, over 200 agents embedded within the crowd, including agents or, as they would call, human assets inside the Capitol dressed as Trump supporters before the doors were opened.”
Six, concerning a departure from the faith and the coming false religious system: starting in the fall of 2024, St. Mary’s College (an all-girls college in Notre Dame, Ind.) will allow men who identify as women to enroll in classes.
I wonder what they will do about the dorm rooms, bathrooms, and showers, and what the religious leaders, who do not know the difference between a man and a woman, earn.
Seven, on Nov. 29, 2023, at the age of 100, Henry Kissinger (a key leader of the global depopulation agenda; the man who chose Klaus Schwab to head the World Economic Forum) died.
It does not matter how powerful anyone is; the day will come when they must bow, confess, and account to God (Rom. 14:11-12).
Eight, on Nov. 30, 2023, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that the international LGBT social movement is extremist.
This should stop the group from working in Russia, but if they do not stop pushing the gay agenda, they could wind up in legal trouble.
Nine, last year, Pres. Biden sold 180 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic petroleum reserves.
On Dec. 1, 2023, he announced plans to buy 2.7 million barrels of oil to replace some of what he sold.
Oil dropped to $20 a barrel when Trump was Pres., and he wanted to buy 77 million barrels of oil and put it in the reserve, but Congress blocked him.
Biden is expected to pay about $79 a barrel for the oil he intends to buy.
Ten, concerning world government: the UN COP28 Conference (Conference of the Parties; 28th meeting) is taking place right now (Nov. 30, 2023 to Dec. 12, 2023).
As I understand it, the speeches are mostly deceptive junk science and scare tactics to “save the planet” (Mother Earth) from horrible natural disasters that are caused by burning coal, driving gas-powered vehicles, farmers using too much fertilizer, ranchers raising too many cows that pass gas, etc.
Behind the deception (called climate change) is a globalist effort to put a leash (global laws) on everyone on earth that will allow an unelected world government to monitor and control everything people do, or remove them (population reduction) from society.
The idea is to close all the coal mines; force people to drive electric vehicles, ride a bicycle or walk; force farmers to use less fertilizer and produce less food; create a meatless society, and force people to eat bugs and worms, etc.
The current meeting will include an effort to get the nations to speed up their agenda and bring it to pass by 2030 or sooner.
Eleven, here are some daily updates on the war:
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 (Day 54): Day six of the ceasefire; Second day of the extended ceasefire.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 (Day 55): Day seven of the ceasefire; Third day of an extended ceasefire.
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 (Day 56): Day eight of the ceasefire; Fourth day of an extended ceasefire.
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023 (Day 57): The second day of the resumed war.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 (Day 58): The third day of the resumed war.
Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 (Day 59): The fourth day of the resumed war.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023 (Day 60): The fifth day of the resumed war.
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 (Day 61): The sixth day of the resumed war.
FYI: God does not send anyone to Hell (all of us are born with a sin nature and destined to go to Hell because we sin), but God has provided a way (Jesus) for everyone to go to Heaven (and He is the only way to get there; John 14:6).
Finally, are you Rapture Ready?
If you want to be rapture ready and go to heaven, you must be born again (John 3:3). God loves you, and if you have not done so, sincerely admit that you are a sinner; believe that Jesus is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried, and raised from the dead; ask Him to forgive your sins, cleanse you, come into your heart and be your Saviour; then tell someone that you have done this.
Abraham’s Family Feud – Part II – Randy Nettles - https://www.rev310.net/post/abraham-s-family-feud-part-ii
Before Moses died, the LORD took Moses up the mountain of Nebo in Moab and showed him the land that He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an inheritance forever. “And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and Jacob, saying, I will give it unto your seed: I have caused you to see it with your own eyes, but you shall not go over there. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knows of his sepulcher unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:1-6).
Even though Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land, the LORD allowed him to see it from a distance. Verse 6 says the LORD personally buried Moses. That is quite a tribute to Moses, the man of God. Moses was the first true prophet of God and he was unique in that he saw and talked with the LORD (as the Angel of the LORD) in person. Most of the prophets in Israel who came after Moses saw and communicated with Him in visions or dreams.
“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34: 10-12).
Joshua, Moses’ assistant, took over Moses’ role as the leader of Israel after his death. Before they crossed over the Jordan River to enter Canaan (the Promised Land) in the year 1406 BC, the LORD spoke to Joshua and gave him his marching orders.
“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” (Joshua 1: 1-6).
Just as God supernaturally intervened when He parted the Red Sea during the time of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, so He did 40 years later when He parted the Jordan River, and Joshua and the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land. “Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan” (Joshua 3:17).
The Israelites began the conquest of the Promised Land by destroying Jericho, with God’s supernatural help of course. The city of Jericho, built thousands of years before Joshua was born, was one of the oldest cities in the world. In some places, it had fortified walls up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. Jericho was a symbol of military power and strength, and the Canaanites considered it invincible. The destruction of Jericho is recorded in Joshua 6.
The number 7 represents perfection and completion. By employing this number in His unique battle plan, the Man of War (the Angel of the Lord) made sure the Israelites knew where the victory came from. The LORD had told Moses and Joshua He would be with them, and He certainly was at Jericho.
“And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. This shall you do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:2-5).
These instructions were repeated by Joshua to the priests, and they were carried out daily for six days and then fulfilled on the 7th day. The seven priests blew their trumpets one time for 6 days in a row. This would be 42 (6×7) times the trumpets sounded in six days. 6 is man’s number and is incomplete (not perfect), so the walls of Jericho did not come down at this time. On the seventh day, the seven priests (and all the children of Israel) made seven laps around the walls of Jericho, blowing their horns each time; for a total of 49 (7 x 7) times. 7 is God’s number and is perfect and complete. On this day, after the 91st (13 x 7) time that the trumpets sounded, the walls fell. The 13th seven was indeed a very unlucky number for the inhabitants of Jericho. From Joshua 6 verse 3 to verse 16, there are 14 (7 x 2) mentions of the number 7, a double dose of completeness.
The walls fell after the last trumpet sounded, and all the people shouted as one. I think the Lord also shouted with them at this time, as He will do at the Rapture. The results were exactly as the Lord had described them to Joshua. It was a great victory for the newly formed nation of Israel and struck terror into the inhabitants of the remaining kingdoms of Canaan. Jericho’s destruction was perfectly complete.
The conquest of the Promised Land continued after Jericho. A summary of all the kings and kingdoms the Israelites conquered is given in Joshua 12. Thirty-one kings were defeated by Joshua and the Israelites at this time (Joshua 12:24). However, there was still much land remaining to be possessed according to Joshua 13:1-6.
In approximately 1399 BC, Joshua assigned, by lot, a specific territory in the Promised Land to nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh, as Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh had already received their inheritance east of the Jordan River. Joshua divided up the land even though there remained much of the land of Canaan yet to be conquered. The priestly Levites were not allotted a portion of land but were given forty-eight cities scattered throughout Canaan. The Tabernacle of Meeting was set up in Shiloh. It was within the tribal territorial allotment of the tribe of Ephraim (Joshua’s tribe).
Before Joshua died, he assembled all the tribes to Shechem, an important city in Ephraim’s territory, where he gave a speech much like Moses did before he passed. It was a speech that reviewed the history of the land of Canaan since Abraham entered it in approximately 1876 BC, until the time of Moses and Joshua and the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites (with the LORD’s help of course). Joshua’s famous line (below) was given in this speech.
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15).
The people responded that they would obey and serve the LORD God of Israel and only His voice would they obey. “So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance.” (Joshua 24:25-26).
Shechem is the place Abram first came to when he entered the land of Canaan. This is where God appeared to Abram and promised him, “To your descendants, I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Afterwards, Abram built his first altar there. Just as God had originally made a covenant with Abram in Shechem, Joshua made a covenant with the children of Israel 477 years later (in the same place) that they would obey the LORD God of Israel and only Him.
The number 477 is interesting. In Shavuot, Pentecost, and the Rapture (rev310.net), I wrote about the gap period between Pentecost (high watch day for the Rapture) and Yom Kippur 2026 (possible beginning of the Tribulation) over the next three years, 2024, 2025, 2026. I mostly wrote about the 120 days between 2026 Pentecost and 2026 Yom Kippur, as 120 is a very significant number. The gap period between 2025 Pentecost and 2026 Yom Kippur is 477 days. The gap period between 2024 Pentecost and 2026 Yom Kippur is 856 days.
I didn’t see anything significant in the number 477 at the time, but as I researched it more the number is somewhat significant. From 1406 BC (the year the children of Israel entered the Promised Land of Canaan) to 2025 AD (the possible year the Church enters the heavenly Promised Land) is 3430 years. 3430 divided by 7 = 490 (70 x 7). There are 477 days between Pentecost 2025 and Yom Kippur 2026. As I said in The Day of the Dead and the Great Flood (rev310.net), 1908 years is the time between Abram entering the Promised Land (1876 BC) of Canaan and the crucifixion of Jesus (AD 33). 1908 divided by 4 = 477.
From 1876 BC to 1399 BC is 477 years. 1399 BC was when Joshua divided up the land of Canaan between the 12 tribes of Israel. From 1399 BC to 922 BC is 477 years. 922 BC was the eighth year of Rehoboam’s (son of Solomon and Naamah, an Ammonitess) reign. It was during his reign that Israel was divided into two kingdoms. He was obedient to the LORD for three years and then turned to pagan gods after that. It was during his fifth year, that the LORD allowed the king of Egypt to sack Jerusalem and take the treasures from the house of the LORD and the king’s house. Something significant probably occurred during his 8th year.
From 922 BC to 445 BC is 477 years. 445 or 444 BC (scholars are divided on the exact year) was the last decree of the Persian king Artaxerxes regarding the Jews. This decree was given to Nehemiah and the Jews to rebuild the walls and city of Jerusalem. In my opinion, it was the beginning of Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks. From 445 BC to 33 AD is 477 years (with 69 Shemitah years). Of course, we know all the great events of 33 AD.
Now, back to 1399 BC. Joshua recorded the children of Israel’s decision to obey the LORD and His word in the Book of the Law of God, and he then erected a memorial stone “under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.” This oak tree is associated with the ‘terebinth’ or oak tree where Abram had set up camp in Genesis 12:6. “ And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance” (Joshua 24:27-28).
The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem, in the plot of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Joseph. (Joshua 24:32)
Shortly after this, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred and ten years old, and they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah which is in the mountains of Ephraim. The exact year of Joshua’s death is not known, but he judged Israel for approximately 25 years according to Josephus. That would put his death in about 1381 BC. Israel was without an effective God-fearing leader after Joshua’s death.
Eleazar the son of Aaron died about this same time. The people buried him in a hill belonging to Phinehas his son, which was given to him in the mountains of Ephraim. “So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel” (Joshua 24:31).
Judah and Simeon were the first tribes of Israel to conquer their territory (mostly) and drive out the Canaanites who dwelt there. They took Bezek, Jerusalem, Hebron, Debir, Zephath, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron. “So the Lord was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron. And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said. Then he expelled from there the three sons of Anak. But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem” (Judges 1:19-21).
However, Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan did not drive out all of the Canaanites that dwelt in their allotted territories. “Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: ‘I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?’ Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you, but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept” (Judges 2:14).
When all the generation of Joshua had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed” (Judges 2:11-15).
Just as Moses (and Joshua) had predicted, the children of Israel started worshipping the gods of the heathens that still occupied the land of Canaan. “For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord, then how much more after my death? Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:27-29).
However, the Lord did not completely abandon His chosen people. The Lord raised up judges (military leaders) which delivered them out of the hands of those who spoiled them. The people would repent, worship the Lord, and follow his commandments for a while, but when the judge died, the people would corrupt themselves more than their fathers in following other gods. This cycle continued for several centuries. The total time of the judges was about 326 years, from 1376 BC to 1050 BC when Saul became king of Israel.
Samuel was the next prophet of God after Moses. He gave his first prophecy as a young child as recorded in 1 Samuel 3 against the judge, Eli, and his family. “So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (1 Samuel 3:19-21).
In 1 Samuel 4, we see the inhabitants of Canaan are still entrenched in their territories, as Israel goes to war against the Philistines. Initially, the Philistines routed the Israelites, so the elders of Israel decided to bring out their ultimate weapon, the ark of the covenant. So, the people sent for the ark of the covenant in Shiloh. The sons of Eli, Phinehas and Hophni, brought the ark to the battle, but because of the apostasy of Phinehas, Hophni, and all the people, Israel was defeated and the ark was captured by the Philistines. When Eli heard the news he fell and broke his neck and died. Samuel takes over at this point as the last of the judges of Israel.
Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines. So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only” (1 Samuel 7:3-4).
The Israelites gathered at Mizpah and confessed their sins before the LORD. Samuel offered a lamb as a burnt offering sacrifice. “Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the LORD
answered him. Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car” (1 Samuel 7:9-11).
“So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also, there was peace between Israel and the Amorites” (1 Samuel 7:13:14).
When Samuel was old, he made his two sons judges of Israel. Like Eli’s sons, they did not walk in the ways of the LORD. They went after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. The elders of Israel came to Samuel and told him they didn’t want his sons as judges but wanted a king to judge them like all the other nations. Saul was the first king of Israel. He was tall, powerful, and good-looking. He started well but ended badly, as he had a bad habit of disobeying the word of God (usually delivered to him by Samuel).
The proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” was when Samuel relayed God’s message to Saul concerning the Amalek people. The original Amalek was the grandson of Esau. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:2-3).
Saul attacked the Amalekites and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword except for their king, Agag. He also spared “the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.”
King Saul disobeyed the word of the LORD in that he did not kill all the people (he spared Agag) and all the animals. He kept the best of the animals and killed the rest of them. The word of the Lord came to Samuel and said, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” When confronted by Samuel for his disobedience, Saul didn’t take responsibility, for he was the king, but instead tried to blame it on the people.
Samuel then told Saul, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
Saul was replaced with David, a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Many years before he was officially made king, the LORD sent Samuel to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint one of his eight sons as a future replacement for Saul. The LORD told Samuel “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The LORD does not judge a person by his outward appearance but by the contents of his heart and if that person is willing to obey the word of God.
Samuel rejected the first seven sons that were presented to him. When David stood before him, the LORD told Samuel, Arise, anoint him; for this is the one! Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:12-13). This was rare in the Old Testament, as usually the Spirit of the LORD only came upon men temporarily to accomplish a particular objective of the LORD’s. About this time, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.
After 40 years as king of Israel, Saul died in battle at the hands of the Philistines. His son Jonathan also died in the same battle. David was made king of Judah at this time, while Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, was made king of the other 11 tribes of Israel. He reigned for only two years. Ishbosheth was murdered and then David became king over all 12 tribes of Israel. The first thing he did militarily was defeat the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem. He then defeated the Philistines that lived on the western coast of Canaan.
David built a house in Jerusalem, establishing his rule from there. He also brought the Ark of the Covenant there. It was at this time that the LORD made a covenant with David. Nathan the prophet had a vision and the LORD spoke these words to him to give to David, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
David defeated most of the enemies of Israel. He subdued the Philistines, Moabites, Zobah, Amalekites, Ammonites, and the Syrians of Damascus. He placed garrisons in Damascus. He also put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. “And the LORD
preserved David wherever he went. So David reigned over all Israel, and David administered judgment and justice to all his people” (2 Samuel 8:14-15).
The Israelites were not supposed to intermarry with foreign women from Canaan. Here is what the LORD told Moses and the children of Israel. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess and has cast out many nations before you and when the LORD
your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly” (Deuteronomy 7:1-4).
Of course, the children of Israel were disobedient in this matter and it started immediately upon entering Canaan (during the time of the judges of Israel). “Thus the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and they served their gods (Judges 3:5-6). This became a generational problem throughout the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
King David took foreign wives from Jerusalem and they gave him many children. He also had many horses and much wealth. These were prohibitions outlined in the book of the Law, Deuteronomy. “But he (the king) shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said You shall not return that way again. Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).
King David started the practice of having many wives, and even foreign wives, but his son, Solomon, perfected the practice. “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites – from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his
heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the
Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods” (1 Kings 11:1-8). One of Solomon’s wives was from Ammon. Her name was Naamah and she was (king) Rehoboam’s mother.
Solomon had been warned twice by God to not go after other gods but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore, the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless, I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:11-13). This was the beginning of the end for the United Kingdom of Israel. Solomon, the wisest man of the ages, had played the fool.
More to come in part III.
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RECOMMENDED READING & LINKS
The Modern-Day Miracle Of Israel Represents A Promise Made—And Kept By God – By Tim Moore - https://harbingersdaily.com/the-modern-day-miracle-of-israel-represents-a-promise-made-and-kept-by-god/
One of the most prolific promises in Scripture is God’s vow to regather the Jewish people. In Ezekiel 28:25-26, He said, “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob. They will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards and live securely when I execute holy judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.”
Did you catch that? Jewish awareness of and faithfulness to God will not precede the regathering; it will result from of His protection after He has manifested His faithfulness. Ezekiel 34:11-31 makes the same point, emphasizing the regathering and the blessing before asserting, “‘Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,’ declares the Lord GOD.” In Ezekiel 36, the prophet twice records the LORD’s emphatic statement that the regathering is not tied to Jewish merit or faithfulness: “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went” (vv. 22 and 32).
Zechariah foretold the regathering to Zion from “the land of the east and from the land of the west” (8:3-8) and God’s promise to “strengthen the house of Judah… and save the house of Joseph… and bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they will be as though [He] had not rejected them” (10:6).
And, of course, Isaiah recorded the promise of God to bring His people Israel back from the east and west and north and south—the four corners of the earth. Jeremiah said this regathering would be so miraculous that it would make even the Exodus from captivity in Egypt pale in comparison (Jeremiah 16:14-15, 23:7-8).
Beginning in the late 1800s, increasing throughout the first half of the 20th Century (despite British resistance), and swelling into a flood in the past 75 years, Jews have indeed been streaming back to Israel—from the four corners of the earth.
That modern-day miracle represents a promise made—and kept.
If You Will It, It Is No Dream
The father of modern Zionism is Theodor Herzl. As a young Hungarian-Austrian journalist, Herzl traveled to France to report on the trial of Jewish French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus. The unmasked Antisemitism that Herzl witnessed from average Parisians led Herzl to realize that Jews would never be fully integrated into Gentile societies. Ancient jealousies and hatreds would eventually reemerge to threaten Jewish families wherever they lived.
Just as Herzel began clamoring for a Jewish homeland, Christian Zionists also arose to support the cause of Jewish statehood. Herzl’s motivation was primarily ethnic or nationalistic, while the Christian Zionists understood the promises of God and the significance of Israel’s reestablishment to God’s prophetic timeline.
Beginning in 1897, Herzl gathered a “Zionist Congress” in Basil, Switzerland, to promote the idea of Zionism and an independent Jewish state. A few highly motivated people took up the cause and became fanatical in their advocacy for Zionism. Eliezar Ben Yehuda was one of these, but his desire to resurrect Hebrew as the primary language of the Jewish people was too much even for Herzl.
Christians like William Blackstone were ardent supporters of the Zionist cause. German Pastor William Hechler discerned the relationship between the Jewish people and the return of the Messiah and fervently promoted Zionism—and even motivated Herzl to be more aggressive in his aspirations.
Christians who longed for the Lord’s return 100 years ago were eager to support Zionism and the establishment of a Jewish homeland—even if the average Jew was unwilling to uproot from relative comfort in Europe and elsewhere to relocate to a desolate strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. They were the visionaries who took their cues from the Word of God, not the naysayers who could only see facts on the ground.
Herzl is famous for saying, “If you will it—it is no dream.” His dream seemed audacious and out-of-reach by most Jews and Gentiles at the turn of the 20th Century. And his statement could be chalked up as yet another example of chutzpah—if it was grounded only in the hubris and pride of man.
But Herzl’s dream aligned with the will of God. In fact, God’s prophecy to regather His people and reestablish them as “one nation, on the mountains of Israel” was a promise guaranteed by the faithfulness of the Promiser.
Because He willed it—it was no dream.
The Time of the Gentiles
Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
Remember Paul’s insight that Jewish resistance to the Gospel propelled it into the Gentile world? Scripture indicates that there would come a time when the focus would return to the Jewish people. The modern nation of Israel was reestablished on May 14, 1948, but the Old City of Jerusalem, including Mount Zion itself, continued to be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until 1967.
Toward the end of the Six-Day War, Israel recognized a brief window of opportunity to recapture Jerusalem. Its military goals did not include the ancient capital. In fact, Israel had urged Jordan to stay neutral during the hostilities. But Jordan’s pride and God’s will aligned to create an opening for the Jews to reclaim the city.
I intend to explore the military aspects of the battle for Jerusalem in a forthcoming book (The Battle for Israel). The implication of this victory was not lost on the spiritually discerning in 1967. Hearing that the city had been liberated, Shlomo Goren, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, rushed to the Western Wall, blew a shofar, and declared, “I proclaim today the beginning of the Messianic Age.” He understood that when the Jews were back in possession of Jerusalem, God’s prophetic time clock would begin counting down to the end.
Despite having Luke 21:24, countless other prophetic Scriptures, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, most Gentile Christians were oblivious to the significance of that moment. I’ve asked scores of believers who lived through that period about the reaction in their churches. They testify to overwhelming apathy to the events taking place half a world away. The rising turmoil of Vietnam and growing unrest at home clamored for far more attention than the goings-on in Israel.
This is a sad commentary on contemporary Christianity—and I claim no inherent immunity from this myopia. While God is at work all around us and fulfilling promises Christians have longed to witness for almost 2,000 years, most followers of Christ are paying attention to all the wrong things. I am reminded of the CS Lewis character, Clarence Eustace Scrubb, whose pitiful self-centeredness stemmed from the fact that he had “read all the wrong books!”
We are called to be people of The Book—to treasure it, study it, believe it, and obey it. Certainly, there are aspects of eschatology that people disagree on, or that we may only see clearly in hindsight. But there is plenty we can understand if we simply open the book and (to follow the twice-cited admonition of Revelation) “read and heed.”
Just before they entered to possess the Promised Land, Moses said to the Jewish people, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever…” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
What is Next?
If “the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled,” what lies ahead? According to God’s prophetic Word, there are no more prerequisites for Jesus to be told to “Go and get Your Bride.”
The very phrase insinuates that we have reentered the time of the Jews—in Jerusalem and beyond. And, certainly, the world has focused its attention on the Jewish question with renewed vigor. Middle East peace inevitably involves Israel. The nations of the world pay close attention to what happens in Jerusalem—and they are uniquely aligned in opposition to Israel. Satan’s own goal of eliminating the Jews is increasingly manifest in antagonism toward Israel and Antisemitism toward Jews.
But God is not done with the Jewish people. He has them right where He wants them—back in their Land and poised to witness His mighty and outstretched hand miraculously protecting them.
Praise the Lord, there is a rising wave of belief in Yeshua among the Jews in Israel and remaining in the Diaspora. But the trickle will become a torrent in the fullness of time. And, when the Jewish people come to the end of themselves, during the Tribulation, they will look upon Him whom they have pierced and weep over Him like a firstborn son. Then, they will cry out “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai—Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the LORD!”
The Countdown is Ticking
All the Signs of the Times indicate that we are living on borrowed time. Jesus is coming soon. But the most important sign of all is Israel. Its mere existence demonstrates that God is all-powerful; that He can choose, bless, and protect whomever He wants; and that He will orchestrate even the evil intentions of Satan and Man to fulfill His perfect will and bring glory to Himself.
Half a world away, Israel is flashing like a neon sign—both a promise and a warning. Jesus is coming soon! He will be the Blessed Hope for those who know Him, but He will be a holy terror for those who have rejected Him (John 3:36).
The choice is yours. Time is of the essence. Next year in Jerusalem might be too late!
The Halls of Inclusion Are Beginning to Exclude Jews - By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-12-10-2023/
The world finds excuses to hate Jews. People across the globe are blaming individual Jews for Israel’s war on Hamas. Even Jews who do not support the invasion of Gaza are being blamed for it. On US college campuses, Jewish students are threatened, harassed, and no longer feel safe. Hate crime against Muslims is on the rise, but it’s even worse for Jews. The Bible says that this tendency toward Jew-hatred would get worse in the end times. And we’re seeing it right now.
You may have heard about the Williamsburg, Virginia street festival canceling a Hanukkah-related menorah lighting ceremony. After receiving criticism for the snub, festival organizers told the press that they rejected the menorah lighting because they have a policy against any kind of religious ceremony. But in an email to the rabbi who was supposed to have conducted the lighting, they said they would allow it if an Islamic group also took part. So, apparently religious expression is okay if it includes Muslims.
An event organizer explained, “We are about Peace, Love & light… don’t want to make it seem we’re choosing a side — supporting the killing/bombing of thousands of men, women & children.” But they also told the rabbi he could go on with the ceremony if he held it beneath a banner calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. That’s called taking a side.
Do you see what they did? They identified the menorah with the IDF’s military action in Gaza. They don’t just blame Israel for what they call the “killing/bombing,” but all Jews. This one snub would be almost nothing if it were alone. But people all over the world are doing what they did — blaming the suffering of Palestinians on all Jews.
In the same vein, a Maine town removed a Star of David because a local Arab American organization called it “offensive.” The town later said it was done in order to comply with the first amendment’s “establishment clause.” But you would have to be deluded to think that allowing a Star of David in a Christmas display amounts to anything like government “establishing” a state religion. The original reason is obviously the real one. The Star of David stands for Jews, and the very existence of Jews offends some in the Arab American community. Members of the KKK also find the existence of Jews offensive. But we should not base community standards on anyone’s bigotry.
The Star of David threatens no one. It is an acknowledgement of a people and their history. Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were part of that people and history. So, the Star of David is a perfectly appropriate symbol to put up as part of a Christmas display. Likewise, no one should see a menorah as a threat. People are using Israel’s war with Hamas as an excuse to hate Jews, something as common in humans and as evil as the seven deadly sins. One wonders if the woke crowd will start banning the Star of David from their “coexist” bumper stickers.
The Bible tells us to expect increasing levels of persecution for both Jews and Christians in the time leading up to the Lord’s return. It’s happening now, and it’s getting worse. Still, God’s promises remain in effect. In Luke 21:33 (NASB), Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
Daily Jot: Redemption even in weakness – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
There are times in life where we do things we know are wrong. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 7:18-23, “for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me.” If you can identify, be encouraged. Even God’s redemption plan came through such human weaknesses.
Let us recall the Genesis 38 story of Jacob’s son Judah, who betrayed his brother Joseph by selling him into slavery. Judah married a Canaanite woman and had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah found a wife named Tamar for his eldest son Er. Genesis 38:7 says Er was “wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord slew him.” Since Tamar was sonless, the next brother in line, Onan, was required to perform the Levirate duty to marry Tamar and have a son entitled to Er’s inheritance. But Onan would not perform the duty, displeasing the Lord, “wherefore he slew him also (v. 10).” Judah sent Tamar back to her father until the youngest son was old enough for marriage, actually, having no intention on keeping that promise because he was afraid Shelah would die as well. Meantime, Judah’s wife dies and he becomes a widower.
Tamar realizes that Judah is never going to allow her marriage to Shelah to secure Er’s inheritance. Tamar decides to disguise herself as a prostitute. And Judah propositioned her. Judah offered her a goat from his flock. Tamar made sure to get Judah’s signet, cord and staff as a guarantee of payment—which never occurred because no “prostitute” could be found. Three months later, Judah is told that Tamar “had played the harlot” and is pregnant. Judah, not knowing he is the father, orders that she be burned for her “whoredom (Genesis 38:24).” Tamar sent Judah his signet, cord and staff as proof that he was the father. Judah acknowledged the emblems as his own, and said that, “She is more righteous than I, because I wouldn’t let her become the wife of my son Shelah (38:26b).” Tamar bore twins, Zerach and Perez.
Perez’s son Salmon married Rahab and they had Boaz, who married Ruth as his Levirate duty, and they had Obed, King David’s grandfather. From this line of Perez, would ultimately come our Messiah, Jesus. All three of these Gentile women--Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth--are mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of the Messiah (Mathew 1:1-16). Judah sold his brother into slavery and had sex with his son’s widow—pretty wicked even by today’s standards. Yet Judah understood right and wrong, and eventually reconciled both of his actions. From those deeds came the exodus from Egyptian slavery and Christ Jesus—liberty and salvation. Paul admits that sin wars within us, but be encouraged. Romans 8:28 says, “that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Though there is no excuse to sin, God’s power is perfected in our weakness.
Daily Devotion: A Friend in High Places - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. —Romans 5:8
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-friend-in-high-places/ - Listen
Christmas is the time when we celebrate Jesus’ arrival on Earth. The angels announced to the shepherds, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11 NLT).
He is that and much more. Not only is Jesus the Savior, not only is He the Lord, not only is He God who came to dwell with us, but He is also a friend. He’s the best friend humanity ever had. And He is the best friend that you ever will have.
It’s amazing to think that the almighty God would offer us His friendship. It’s amazing that He effectively says, “I don’t want to be a casual acquaintance or someone you check in with periodically. I want to be your friend. And I want to be involved in your life. I want to guide and direct you and listen to you and speak to you. I want you to bare your heart to Me, and I want to bare Mine to you.”
God demonstrated His willingness to have friendship with us in a tangible way. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT).
Jesus was called the friend of sinners. (And that wasn’t a compliment.) He was—and still is—the friend of sinners. He demonstrated His desire to have friendship with us when He went to the cross and died in our place while we were still His enemies.
That is why Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). He showed us that love.
How many people would die for a friend? Some would. How many would die for a husband or wife or children? Most probably would. How many would die for a casual acquaintance? Maybe a handful of people would. But would any of us die for our worst enemy? Probably not.
Yet while we were still sinners, while we were still the enemies of God, Jesus Christ died for us, showing us His friendship. Talk about having a friend in high places. Yet Christians can legitimately say, “God is a close friend of mine.”
However, if we want to be the friends of God, we must meet certain requirements. We find them in John’s Gospel, where Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (15:14 NLT).
So, how are we to demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, it’s by doing what He says. And if we do not, then we really have no right to call ourselves His friends.
Not all our friends will always stand by us. But God, who wants to be your friend, always will keep your confidence. You can reveal your heart to Him. You can share your secrets with Him. You can share anything with Him. He understands you. He loves you and cares about you. And He always will be there for you.
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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