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Posts tagged ‘Mosaic Law’

Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

Matthew 5:43-47 – 6. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18

MT5:43 “You heard it said: ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’[1] [Leviticus 19:18] MT5:44 But, I tell you: Love your enemies[2] and pray for your persecutors. MT5:45 And so prove to be Sons of your Heavenly Father.[3] For His sun rises upon the wicked and the good. And He rains upon the righteous and unrighteous. MT5:46 For what is your reward if you only love those loving you? Are not tax-collectors doing the same? MT5:47 And, what extraordinary thing are you doing if you only greet your brothers?[4] Are not the Non-Jews[5] doing the same thing? MT5:48 So, you shall be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.[6]

[1] Hate your enemy: The NJB ftn comments: “The second part of this commandment is not found in the law. It is the brusque expression of a language which has few half-tones and is equivalent to: ‘There is no obligation to love one’s enemy.’” However, one might find the spirit in Psalms 26:5; 101:3; 119:104, 113; 139:21, 22.

[2] Love your enemies: Barclay:

“There is no commandment of Jesus which has caused so much discussion and debate as the commandment to love our enemies.”

The Greek for “love” here is from AGAPE and many feel the English “love” does not do justice to this word. Barclay has it: “Seek the highest good of another.” Perhaps the best definition of AGAPE completely lacks the word in the context: 1 Corinthians 10:24, ‘Seek not for self but for others’ and Philippians 2:4, ‘Look not after self but others.’ AGAPE can be ruled by a) principle; and, b) motive. If the principle or motive be wrong then the AGAPE is misdirected. If the motive and principle are correct then the AGAPE is pure. There are only 4 occurrences of AGAPAO in the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings (Matthew 5:43, 44, 46; 6:24). Luke 6:27-35 outlines how this “love” is demonstrated: 1) pray for; 2) do good to; and, 3) lend without interest (Compare Luke 6:28 and Romans 12:20: enemies). Luke adds ‘pray for insulting’ and ‘do good to hateful.’ (Romans 12:14: bless) Your enemies are those who do not love you and are most often found among those bowing next to you in prayer or singing loudly God’s praises!

Paul argues that the “law’s fulfillment” is found in “love of neighbor.” (Galatians 5:14) If “love of neighbor” fulfills the law, what does “love of enemy” do? It leaps light years ahead of the Mosaic Law or Torah and puts before the average man a difficult, if not impossible task, unless one is committed to Nazarene discipleship.

[3] Prove to be Sons of your Heavenly Father: See Luke 6:35. Divine sonship does not come by birth as John 1:12, 13 shows. There must be a “birth from above.” (1 John chapters 3, 4) The strongest proof of this status as a son is to love one’s enemies. As Matthew and Luke show, the Father does good to both the wicked and unthankful. Thus, no Nazarene Saint can argue that one can withhold goodness from the wicked or ungrateful. It is the tendency to show kindness to those loving you, whereas God’s love is showered on those who might still ignore Him and continue to exist in a sinful state. With the Nazarene these are not mere words, for we see him demonstrating this again and again.

[4] If you only greet your brothers: Various renderings: TCNT: show courtesy to; GDSP: if you are polite to your brothers only; PHI: greetings only within your own circle. There is much of just plain good manners here and this graciousness is across the social board. The ultimate display of hate is to ignore greeting those with the simplest words that might indicate some spark of recognition or respect.

There is an exception which John, a witness to the Mountain Teachings, mentions at 2 John verse 10 in the context of known antichrists and deceivers.

[5] Non-Jews: This is ETHNIKOI in Greek, from which comes the English “ethnic.” The word means non-Jew and possibly rouses a certain feeling of superiority in Jesus’ audience. The Nazarene uses it four times in his sermon (Matthew 5:47; 6:7, 32).

[6] Perfect: This is the Greek word TELEIOI from TELOS (= “end”) and may be rendered “complete, mature, fulfilled.”

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Preceding article: Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

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Additional reading

  1. Christianity like Judaism God’s call to human responsibility
  2. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  3. Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments
  4. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  5. Luther’s misunderstanding
  6. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  7. Wrath kills the foolish man, and envy consumes the covetous one
  8. If You want to start winning the war
  9. Love one another; just as I have loved you
  10. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  11. Leaders in disguise
  12. The days are coming
  13. Today’s thought “Clothing yourselves with the right attitude” (May 16)
  14. Thought for September 8 Weak but standing strong in the ground swell
  15. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  16. Improving the world by improving the Faith
  17. Time Has A Way Of Healing

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Further reading

  1. The Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) –
  2. Let’s Get Practical.
  3. A Love-Hate Relationship
  4. Love Your Enemies
  5. Matthew 5 – The Sermon on the Mount
  6. The divinely approved enemy
  7. When Belief Shows Up In Behavior.
  8. Godly Love.
  9. Peter Doesn’t Hold Back – Acts 4
  10. Proverbs 10 – Integrity and Love
  11. Proverbs 21 – Finding Life, Righteousness, and Honor
  12. 5 Reasons Why I’m Not a 5 Point Calvinist – A Biblical Response
  13. The suffering of the rightous
  14. TFTD – 05 July 2014 – Thoughts from Today’s Bible Readings
  15. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 10:1-15
  16. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise Matthew 5:27-32
  17. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise5:33-37
  18. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 5:43-48
  19. Matthew 5:44-45
  20. Forgiving Others
  21. Forgiveness 1
  22. Forgiveness 2
  23. Forgiveness 3
  24. Forgiveness 4
  25. Is Forgiveness The Key To Happiness?
  26. Forgiveness: An Act of Self Love
  27. Daily Inspiration – Forgiveness is a Wonderful thing.
  28. Expressions of Love
  29. How to Love the Unlovable
  30. Forgive Your Enemies
  31. Today’s Scripture reading (Love your enemies)
  32. Daily Bible Verse Matthew 5:44
  33. Scripture Verse Of The Week ‘Matthew 16 verse 25’
  34. Rise And Stand
  35. Resistance Isn’t Futile
  36. Friday, September 5, 2014
  37. Targeted Attacks by The Enemy
  38. At Odds with the World
  39. When we put on the “armor of God” – let’s not to forget to “walk humbly”
  40. Paris – Charlie Hebdo? The only way to win this thing is to love
  41. Paris terror and Christian response to evil
  42. When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. 
  43. Do not gloat when your enemies fall
  44. Of Dissonance and Hashkafah
  45. On A Common Curse
  46. One More Way How Not To Become A Saint
  47. Peace child
  48. What compassion, what patience
  49. Love in Action
  50. Jesus Motivates Us to Move to a Higher AGAPE Love Walk!
  51. Agape Love vs. Erotic Love

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Most important weekend of the year 2016

Assembled together on the night before he died, Jeshua and his disciples and closest friends came together in an upper room to celebrate the Passover meal.  They recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

That night the 14th of Nisan is one Jesus wanted to be remembered for an other occasion as well. Not only had his followers to remember the deliverance of God’s Chosen People, the Israelites, but now their rabbi had opened they way for others than Jews.

By his own example the sent one from God showed how his followers had to become servants for God and for the People of God. Like Jesus had called for people to follow him, the apostles had to come to do so too. They too had to become as humble as Christ was. As a sign of humbleness Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The work which is reserved for servants Jesus did and he also asked them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads to freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

In the end, in life which passes so quickly and everything is vanity (like Solomon writes in today’s reading – Ecclesiastes 1) everything turns around “Giving and Receiving”.  We all have received the Grace of God by the sent one from God, who is the son of man and the son of God, who gave his life for our sins.

Like Jesus offered himself as a lamb of God to have his blood as a signpost to deliver us from the punishment of death, we too should offer our lives as we are strengthened by the Messiah and are giving life-spirit by the blood of Christ, being partakers in the Body of Christ.

Thanks to the ransom offer brought by Jesus God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.

As God commanded to remember the night the firstborns of Israel where saved so also Jesus asked his followers to remember the day he gave his body and poured out his blood for the salvation of mankind.

Long before the Mosaic Law covenant was altered, Jehovah foretold through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make with the nation of Israel “a new covenant.”

32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,+ ‘my covenant that they broke,+ although I was their true master,’* declares Jehovah.”

33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them,+ and in their heart I will write it.+ And I will become their God, and they will become my people.”+(Jeremiah 31:32, 33)

English: Stained glass image of the Lamb of Go...

Stained glass image of the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) with a Christian banner. photo by John Workman in St. Ignatius church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history we have seen how God made Himself a people. For a very long time it was for the People of Israel that there was a covenant on which they could count. One of the regulations or demands was to remember how the exodus from Egypt was made possible. That putting of blood at the doorposts could also considered as a signature of choosing for God, which made it possible to be passed over for damnation or destruction. After that event there was still a need of offers to be brought to the temple or synagogue. But on the 14th of Nisan Jesus spoke about an other offer which would not have to be repeated any more and which would be sufficient for all times. though that offer would not take away the remembrance of the liberation marks.

Jesus came to institute and Evening Meal on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. Speaking of the cup of wine, he told his 11 faithful apostles:

“This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20)

Matthew’s account quotes Jesus as saying regarding the wine:

“This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26:27, 28)

Jesus’ shed blood validates the new covenant. That blood also makes possible the forgiveness of sins once and for all time.

A few years later the apostle Paul would remind the new followers

14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.+ 15 I speak as to men with discernment; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ?+ The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?+ 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body,+ for we are all partaking of that one loaf. (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17)

On that special intimate night rabbi Jeshua had taken the bread and the wine.

26 As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it,+ and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”+(Matthew 26:26)

19 Also, he took a loaf,+ gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body,+ which is to be given in your behalf.+ Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+(Luke 22:19)

Notice how Jesus says

Keep doing this in remembrance of me.

The blood+ of the covenant,+ which is to be poured out in behalf of many+ for forgiveness of sins + should, like the blood of the lambs for the liberation of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery, be contributed to the heathen or pagan people who are willing to come under the blood of Christ, whitewashed from sin. But they should remember it and come together, more than once in a year, because Jesus asks it to do it often and whenever we do it to do it in remembrance of him.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night+ on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body,+ which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+ 25 He did the same with the cup+ also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant+ by virtue of my blood.+ Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Chorinthians 11: 23-26)

For that reason we should come together today and remember the Exodus out of Egypt, out of slavery of the worldly work, but also the exodus from the slavery of sin and death.

14 “‘This day will serve as a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to Jehovah throughout your generations. As a lasting statute, you should celebrate it.(Exodus 12:14)

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Please read also the related articles concerning this special weekend, 14 Nisan and following days:

  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  3. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  4. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  5. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  6. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  7. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  8. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  9. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  10. Day of remembrance coming near
  11. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  12. Observance of a day to Remember
  13. Jesus memorial
  14. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  15. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  16. White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
  17. First month of the year and predictions
  18. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  19. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  20. A Great Gift commemorated
  21. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  22. Passover and Liberation Theology
  23. Seven days of Passover
  24. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  25. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  26. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  27. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  28. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  29. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  30. Like grasshoppers
  31. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  32. Who Would You Rather Listen To?
  33. Focus on outward appearances
  34. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  35. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy

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We wish you a nice memorial day and a holy Pesach

File:Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art Cat. 347.jpg

Johannes de Doper wijst Christus aan als het Lam Gods. Ca. 1500-1510 – Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art – Master of the Saint John Altarpiece

Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it

From the start of the universe the awesome giving and protecting  God did have a Plan. But there was man who doubted the rightfulness of the Creator so God did five humanity the allowance to prove it had it to the better end. He had never to be intended to be a dictator, but wanted to be a loving Father. As such He would also liked to be recognised and spoken too. His most beloved son, Jeshua (Jesus) loved his Father and tried to show the world the love of Him and told us to pray to his Father as “Our Father, who is in heaven.”

More than ones God had to face the rebelling creations. Even when they liked to be called People of god, the Israelites more than ones also went against their owner. In history we have seen many times that people revolted against God, but every time He showed His patience. In history God’s peoplewere conquered, taken captive, killed, enslaved, and so forth and so on, but when you look carefully you shall notice that whatever happened God was always with them and when they themselves wanted He was willing to step in and help them.

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

First century Iudaea Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When time was ripe God did not want to wait any more to send His son to give the world a better prospect. It could take it or leave it. Many did not want to take it. As was planned a peace offering was presented to the Most High God of all, the God of gods. He took on the offering and accepted Jesus as the most complete peace offering. Now He does not need any other offer any more. He only demands that people would turn to Him now and accept His son Jesus, the son of man Jeshua form Nazareth. He allowed Jeshua to be His only mediator, because in him He had found a man who really understood men, because he was one of them, a real son of men. Jesus was willing to come up for the poor, the ill and all those in need. Not only for his fellow Jews? No they had proven they were stubborn and still wanted to go their own way. As long as many of them did not want to repent and accept that Jesus was the Messiah, a saviour born for the whole world, he could not do much for them.

As Jew, Jesus, a man of special capacity and with an outstanding personality, is part of that group of people in the seed of Abraham. He too is part of the chosen, a star in the sky, which brightens up the world and shows everyone over there the way to go.  In him we shall be able to find the best manager and accomplisher of the Word of God

The world still went its own way. After two thousand years still there are lots of people who do not want to see. God is patient and keeps looking down at the world. After that His people were “cleansed” and the world tried to wipe them out, God let the ‘heathen’ people to take care that God’s People could come into their own land Israel. It was allowed to grow, but God’s People did not want to recognise the Hand of God, so they had to feel that they have to earn the land. The Holy Land may be theirs, but they shall have to learn to accept all of God His Creations. Believers, other believers and non-believers, they all make part of the Creation of God. He is it that allows everything to exist. People should not doubt why God allows so much. He has given the man to prove himself.

As Adam and Eve did not want to accept the authority of Jehovah God, today even in Israel there are many who do not want to accept that Higher Authority. They prefer as human beings to exclude other human beings from their world, though they have received their live from the Most High God themselves. They want to own the whole world and be the boss in all situations. They are not prepared to accept Jesus as their King. For the time being God allows them to try to do it on their own way. But He shall not wait for ever. There shall come a moment that God shall give His son the task to return to the world and to judge it. Men may fail, but Jesus nor his Father will. Jesus has proven to be righteous and God is the most righteous of all. And God loving people will be justified. Those who love God and His Word, receive the signs and they shall know the one to follow and everyone who shall believe in this son of God shall be justified, even when they could not be justified by the Mosaic Law.

“38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39 NIV)

“4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-8 NIV)

Jehovah who appeared to Abram in the first of a series of visions, and bade him leave the country with his family, promising to make of him a great nation, is still going to provide that great nation.

“1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”” (Genesis 12:1-3 NIV)

God renewed His promise on several occasions and showed His People how His promise would come to fulfilment. The sacredness of Palestine in the esteem of the Jews is partly accounted for by the fact that it was the cradle and sepulcher of their Patriarchs and their “Promised Land” or Ereẓ Yisrael.

“It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” (Deuteronomy 11:12 NIV)

“The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 2:12 NIV)

“I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.” (Joel 3:2 NIV)

Having tied the Words of God in our heads we do not have to be afraid even when we see all the trouble going on in the Land of Israel. As we see how people are destroying this world, we can form an idea that God is not letting to have His creation to be destroyed, so time shall come near. Now it is up to us to be patient and to accept that stupid human beings want still to go their own way, which would be worthless. We can and should try to protect the environment and we should try to show them other ways to get to a world of peace worth living in. We also should show them that if they do not take care of this world, they shall not be able to destroy the world, but destroy their possibility to live nicely.

The world shall have to be careful and should be aware that it can fall apart. Not only children getting against their parents, also religions against religions, would be some of the signs which would show up when the time was near. We can notice them or we can ignore them. We can be aware of what is happening in the world and react accordingly. No matter how you turn it, people would have to know they shall have to  surrender to the one to whom God has given the right to rule the earth. And Yes, also the Jews, the Israelites, they shall have to be humble enough to give it all in god His hands and to face His son, admitting that he is the only right one to take in the throne of Jerusalem, God’s City.

It may look as if the world is going mad and that it is full of evil. Many people live in fear of terrorists. We have to face many global problems like global warming, financial insecurity and minority groups that rise to power at several places.As in the time of Zecharia the burden of the word of Jehovah shall always be on the land. When to Jehovah shall be the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel. Jehovah will drive those out who do not belong there.

“1  The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach and will rest upon Damascus—for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the LORD— 2 and upon Hamath too, which borders on it, and upon Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skilful. 3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets. 4 But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire. 5 Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted.” (Zechariah 9:1-5 NIV)

Our futures seem so unpredictable, especially as violence and crime rise – even in our own neighbourhoods. Many people are feeling miserable today because they can not cope or think something bad could happen in the future. their head is so busy to wonder what would or could happen. Instead of trying to get to know God’s Word and to look for the solutions He has given the world in His Word.

Most people do think they own the world and they can regulate everything in it. They do not want to see that  it is up to the Most High Jehovah God to rule the world. We should grasp that both past and future are God’s business, not ours. God has given us today and for that we should be happy and thankful. We should appreciate every day we can get from the Lord most High. We should never let the past or future interfere with our present rejoicing. We can only do one thing at a time in the moment we are in. Whatever moment God has given us — whatever task God has given us — let us do it unto the Lord and savour it.

As God had promised to Abraham that his seed will multiply and that his descendants would receive a city of joy, we should rejoice in that thought and be sure that God will bring it to happen, because God is a God of His word and a God of Truth.  Knowing that Zechariah his a message may also bring our hearts at peace today.

For many the world may seen like it is out of control, but with God’s watchful eye overseeing everything that happens, He will not let it go too far but will intervene at just the right time to save us from destruction, like He has always done in the past. So let’s not let ourselves be worried to much about the things that are happening. God said they would. Instead let them strengthen our faith and make us look forward all the more eagerly to the return of Christ.

The world shall have to face it, all around us, should as us :”Surrender”. Yes surrender, not to the worldly organisations, but to God His government, His Kingdom. Jesus is waiting to embrace all who come to him. We do have to come to live in the right relation with each other, Jesus and his Father because we are Created to live in relation with God. God is the One  who gives sense to it all. We should “Trust the future to God” and devote ourselves to His son and to Him.

Believing that Jesus, the son of God,  is the promised Messiah who shall return to take up his seat in the city of Jerusalem must give you assurance that everything for Jerusalem shall come all right. For Jesus is the High Priest and spitting image of his Father, who has received the power by God to do good and accepting him as  “a rewarder” presupposes an understanding of those “exceeding great and precious promises by which we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is to this Jesus that a visible ruling position shall be given with a visible ruling government.

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4 NIV)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Wordwe should people around us let us see the truth about Israel. All those living in Jerusalem and outside should trust Jehovah and look forward to the return of His son Jesus, knowing that they shall be saved by grace through their faith for, in the words of both Old and New Testaments, “the just shall live by faith” and when they lived according God’s Law they shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God of which Jerusalem shall be the capital.

An interpretation of the borders (in red) of t...

An interpretation of the borders (in red) of the Promised Land, based on God’s promise to Abraham. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let us make sure that we do find God before it is to late, and let us in the meantime show full respect for the Creation fo Jehovah. When we are Followers of Christ Jesus with deepening God will not tie our shoes without us. We have to keep our heart on the right path, wishing to do the will of God and when we see lots of things going wrong in Jerusalem and Israel we should try to see why those Israelis as many others do not seem to succeed in what they want.

Those who have the foundation to go the distance should go out into the world and let others know what they can do and what could bring a solution to Israel and worldpeace. Letting know others that there are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the Will of God.

In case also Israelites and people living over there would try to do more God’s work in God’s way they shall see that they will never lack God’s supplies. Those who want to be children of God should share their love with others. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed.

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Please do read:

  1. A promise given in the Garden of Eden A covenant of grace or the covenant of redemption.
  2. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  3. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua Hashem, the name of the Creator revealed.
  4. Acknowledge the majesty of the Lord’s reputation!
  5. With God All Things Are Possible
  6. Believing in God the rewarder
  7. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  8. Israel God’s people
  9. Jerusalem Gods city
  10. Waiting for God’s Salvation
  11. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  12. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly? Why was God so happy with His son?
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Impaled until death overtook him
  15. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  16. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  17. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  18. Because men choose to go their own way
  19. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  20. Bad things no punishment from God
  21. God Watches
  22. The World framed by the Word of God
  23. A visible organisation on earth
  24. God wants to be gracious to you
  25. No good thing will he withhold
  26. Belief of the things that God has promised
  27. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  28. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  29. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  30. Power in the life of certain
  31. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  32. Only worship the Creator of all things
  33. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  34. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  35. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  36. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint Love One Another
  37. Give your worries to God
  38. Life’s challenges may not paralyse you
  39. Rejoicing in the day
  40. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  41. Doest thou well to be Angry?
  42. The Conclusion of the System of Things

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Do also find:

  1. God of Israel!When God returned the land to His chosen people, and gathered them back to their promised land back in 1948, they choose not to have God among them, and that was their biggest mistake!
  2. Learning to Live in LibertyAfter 400 years of cruel bondage and enslavement, the Jews are walking out with God’s mighty hand on them, just as promised (Exodus 13).

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  • “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (sharperthanatwoedgedsword.wordpress.com)
    the “home office” of Jesus’ earthly ministry, along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
    +
    “truly an Israelite”, making a particular distinction in a diverse region equally populated by Hebrew and Greek Jews. In the language of the New Testament, being “an Israelite” was considered worthy  of honor, a claim of descent from Jacob, the first Israel and patriarch of the Twelve Tribes. The rest of the greeting is a tacit recognition that, before God changed his name and his nature, Jacob was not a very nice person…he is perhaps best known for cheating his brother Esau out of his birthright (trading a bowl of stew for it) and their father’s blessing (aided by his mother and some goatskin).
  • Why Did the Jewish People Reject Jesus? (meanlittleboy2.wordpress.com)
    Why did the Jews fail to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, when the Old Testament Scriptures were filled with prediction, type, and prophecy regarding His advent into our world?
    +
    Gradually the Jewish schools came to confer degrees upon their graduates. There were the Rav, or rabbi, the Tana, the Gayon, the Sadi, and the Rabbon. It was thought necessary for the graduates of the rabbinical schools to display their rank by wearing different clothing. Little by little an educational aristocracy was formed, which was called the Sanhedrin. This term is of Greek origin, the Hebrew name being Beth din ha-go-dol, Great House of Judgment.
    +
    “As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service . . . The Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms . . . In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.”– The Desire of Ages, 29.
  • “Judgment Day Separation” by Rev Samuel Mametsa, Sunday Service, the 21st of October 2012. (kutamaphc.wordpress.com)
    Jesus Christ is giving us a glimpse of what will happen on Judgment Day. The bible says in verse 31, that when the Son of man come in glory, meaning He won’t come in the physical form; He will come carrying the annointing from heaven.
    +
    There is this song which says “The home that we so desire, we can see it from far”.I ask myself “Do the people understand this song when they sing the song, do they understand the home, or the house that they are talking about?” The song says “We can see this home, the hills also” My worry is that people sing it but they can’t see the home yet.
  • Prayer for United Kingdom(themessengerj15.wordpress.com)In 2010 I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to write out a prayer for United Kingdom.
    +
    I felt the Lord say we should give Him a reason why He should save Britain.
    +
    When the motion was passed in favour of establishing a homeland in Palestine for the Jewish people. Britain sided with the Arabs to destroy and destabilise the fledging State. Officers from the British Army stood by and watched while Arab militia men massacred and butchered innocent and defenceless Jewish women and children.
  • He’s Here…And He’s Got This {Jehovah Shammah} (simplystriving.wordpress.com)
    I curl into my favorite resting place, a cup of hot nutella chocolate in hand, and open up my studies of this very Name. A reference in Psalm catches my eye and I scurry to read what it has to say.
  • If Jehovah is your God! (sacollinsvogan.wordpress.com)
    So has Jehovah purposed, in reference to those whom He has eternally loved and chosen. All of our present and future blessedness, is wrapped up in this holy and gracious purpose.
  • Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2012 Deuteronomy 31:6(randyobrien50.wordpress.com)another chapter in our calamitous times is being written, thanks to ‘Frankenstorm’ Sandy. She’s had a hand in at least ten deaths in the U.S. and one so far in Canada, where in Toronto yesterday, a Staples sign blew down in the 60 kilometres per hour winds and struck her.

    +

    If we truly believe in the all-powerful, faithful God we profess to worship, then we should calmly accept such an awesome promise, and consequently there shouldn’t be any fear in our souls, for the Lord has proven His power and faithfulness time and time again. I guess the problem is that a majority of the population don’t believe in the Most High God Jehovah, and those who do, don’t have sufficient faith to stand the rigours of these troubled times.

Hellenistic influences

The early days of Christianity

2.1. Hellenistic influences

An ingenious and learned school, formed at Alexandria, had contrived, by a system of allegorical interpretation, to infuse Platonism into the Old Testament, the school at Jerusalem had been growing increasingly rigid, and interdicted any such daring exegesis.

In the first centuries of our current calendar the influence of the Greek culture in the Roman Realm was still noticeable and guarded Greece its cultural inheritance one of the most important universities of the Roman Realm which stood in Athens.

At the Athenian schools also Christians, like Prohæresios, the sophist, were found under its members.

Sophists (sophistēs, meaning “wise-ist, one who does wisdom,” and σοφός, sophós means “wise man”) were a category of traveling teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching arete — excellence, or virtue — predominantly to young statesmen and nobility. As itinerant intellectuals they taught courses in various subjects, speculated about the nature of language and culture and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others which could be of good use for the youngsters to be able to have their say in the official meetings or ekklèsia (Ecclesia)

Many sophists’ questioned the existence and roles of traditional deities and investigated into the nature of the heavens and the earth, which prompted a popular reaction against them. The attacks of some of their followers against Socrates prompted a vigorous condemnation from his followers, including Plato the most famous student of Socrates, and Xenophon. The sophists became considered greedy instructors who used rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. according to some the sophist was not concerned with truth and justice, but instead looked for power.

File:PopesixtusII.jpg

The martyrdom of Saint (Pope) Sixtus II and his deacons. Martyre de saint Sixte II et de ses diacres. Cote: Français 185 , Fol. 96v . Vies de saints, France, Paris – 14th century. – Richard de Montbaston et collaborateurs

Sixtus II, or Xystos, who suffered martyrdom in Rome about 258 C.T., also may have studied in Athens and is called “the son of an Athenian philosopher”. But the most noted men who frequented the schools here were Basil from Kæsareia, and Gregory from Nazianzos, about the middle of the fourth century. These schools of philosophy kept paganism alive for four centuries, but by the fifth century the ancient religion of Elevsis and Athens had practically succumbed. In the Council of Nikæa there was present a bishop from Athens. In 529 the schools of philosophy were closed. From that date Christianity had no rival in Athens.[1]

Jesus clearly taught that Jehovah is “the only true God” and that the human soul is mortal. (John 17:3; Matthew 10:28) Yet, with the death of the apostles and the weakening of the organizational structure, such clear teachings were corrupted as pagan doctrines infiltrated Christianity.

A key factor was the subtle influence of Greek philosophy. Explains The New Encyclopædia Britannica: “From the middle of the 2nd century AD Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for their own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” Once philosophically minded persons became Christians, it did not take long for Greek philosophy and “Christianity” to become inseparably linked.
As a result of this union, pagan doctrines such as the Trinity and the immortality of the soul seeped into tainted Christianity. These teachings, however, go back much farther than the Greek philosophers. The Greeks actually acquired them from older cultures, for there is evidence of such teachings in ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religions. As pagan doctrines continued to infiltrate Christianity, other Scriptural teachings were also distorted or abandoned.

File:HermesTrismegistusCauc.jpg

Hermes Trismegistus

The question how the Son was related to the Father (Himself acknowledged on all hands to be the one Supreme Deity), gave rise, between the years 60 and 200 C.T. to a number of Theosophic systems, called generally Gnosticism, and having for their authors Basilides, Valentinus, apologist and ascetic Tatian the Syrian or the Assyrian , writer of the Diatessaron (a  prominent Gospel harmony) and other Greek speculators.[2] According to some, it was through Gnosticism that pagan influences slipped into Christian worship. Gnosticism, they assert, served somewhat as a bridge between paganism and Christianity.[3] The Gnostic systems revealed more theosophy than theology and in the Jewish Kabbala is found a theosophy mixed with various forms of magic and occultism. The Kabbalah, which includes the tracts named Sefer Yetzirah, The Zohar, Pardes Rimonim, and Eitz Chaim, seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realisation.
The Hellenistic main source is the Corpus Hermeticum or the Hermetic Corpus, a collection of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, which became again of importance in the New Age. Therein astrology and other occult sciences and spiritual renewal are addressed. Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Alexandria was full of Jews, the literary as well as commercial centre of the East, and the connecting link between the East and the West. There the largest libraries were collected; there the Jewish mind came into close contact with the Greek, and the religion of Moses with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. There Philo wrote, while Christ taught in Jerusalem and Galilee, and his works were destined to exert a great influence on Christian exegesis through the Alexandrian fathers.

During the fourth century Egypt was going to give to the church the Arian heresy, the Athanasian orthodoxy, and the monastic piety of St. Antony and St. Pachomius, which spread with irresistible force over Christendom.

The theological literature of Egypt was chiefly Greek. Most of the early manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures — including probably the invaluable Sinaitic and Vatican MSS. — were written in Alexandria. But already in the second century the Scriptures were translated into the vernacular language, in three different dialects. What remains of these versions is of considerable weight in ascertaining the earliest text of the Greek Testament.

To the Jews, that were the mostly receptive for Hellenic influences, belonged the priests. For many of them meant the accepting of the Hellenism a manner to have Judaism going with its time.

While many Jews accepted the Hellenism, a new group calling themselves Hasidim or Chassidim — devout people (literally “loving kindness”, diverted of the Hebrew חסידות (chassidoet), meaning “piety”) — encouraged people to keep stricter obedience to the Law of Moses. The first group of Hasidim, also called the Assideans or Hasideans (the Anglicized form, derived through the Greek asidaioi, of the Hebrew Hasidim, “the pious”, men endowed with grace (Psalm 39:5; 148:14)), were an ancient Jewish sect that developed between 300 B.C.E. and 175 B.C.E. They were the most rigid adherents of Judaism in contradistinction to those Jews who were beginning to be affected by Hellenistic influences. The Hasidim led the resistance to the Hellenizing campaign of Antiochus IV of Syria, and they figured largely in the early phases of the revolt of the Maccabees or Machabees, Jewish family of the 2d and 1st cent. B.C.E. that brought about a restoration of Jewish political and religious life. They are also called Hasmoneans or Asmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon. Their ritual strictness has caused some to see them as forerunners of the Pharisees. Throughout the Talmudic period numerous figures were referred to as Hasidim. [4]

The Hellenization of the Jews in the pre-Hasmonean period was not universally resisted. Generally, the Jews accepted foreign rule when they were only required to pay tribute, and otherwise allowed to govern themselves internally. Nevertheless, Jews were divided between those favoring Hellenization and those opposing it, and were divided over allegiance to the Ptolemies or Seleucids. When the High Priest Simon II died in 175 BCE, conflict broke out between supporters of his son Onias III (who opposed Hellenization, and favored the Ptolemies) and his son Jason (who favored Hellenization, and favored the Seleucids). A period of political intrigue followed, with priests such as Menelaus bribing the king to win the High Priesthood, and accusations of murder of competing contenders for the title. The result was a brief civil war. The Tobiads, a philo-Hellenistic party, succeeded in placing Jason into the powerful position of High Priest. He established an arena for public games close by the Temple. (Ginzberg, Lewis. “The Tobiads and Oniads.”. Retrieved 2007-01-23. Jewish Encyclopedia.) Author Lee I. Levine notes, “The ‘piece de resistance’ of Judaean Hellenization, and the most dramatic of all these developments, occurred in 175 BCE, when the high priest Jason converted Jerusalem into a Greek polis replete with gymnasium and ephebeion (2 Maccabees 4). Whether this step represents the culmination of a 150-year process of Hellenization within Jerusalem in general, or whether it was only the initiative of a small coterie of Jerusalem priests with no wider ramifications, has been debated for decades.” (Levine, Lee I. Judaism and Hellenism in antiquity: conflict or confluence? Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. pp. 38–45. Via “The Impact of Greek Culture on Normative Judaism.”)

The ordinary people were disgusted by the Hellenised priests and chose more and more party for the Chassidim. There broke a period of martyrdom when Jews in the whole country were forced to go along or to settle with pagan happenings and offerings or to die.[5]

A gold multiple of “Unconquered Constantine” with Sol Invictus, struck in 313. The use of Sol’s image appealed to both the educated citizens of Gaul, who would recognize in it Apollo’s patronage of Augustus and the arts; and to Christians, who found solar monotheism less objectionable than the traditional pagan pantheon

Constantine (C., Flavius Valerius Constantinus) was during the decline period of the Roman Realm the Big Emperor (306–337 C. T.) and tried to merge Christianity with particular pagan customs and doctrines. He undertook the first steps to make this merger religion as the official state religion. Accordingly Greece became a part of Christendom. He moved the capital of the realm of Rome to Byzantium, which he named in honour of himself Constantinople.

In 321 C. T. Constantine ordained that the Sunday (Lat.: dies Solis, an old title that was connected with astrology and sun worshipping, not Sabbatum [Sabbath] or dies Domini [day of the Lord]) would be a day of rest for everybody, except for the farmers. Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun as the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas.

The winged sun was an ancient (3rd millennium BC) symbol of Horus, later identified with Ra

Belief in the old polytheism had been shaken; in more stolid natures, as Roman Emperor Diocletian, it showed its strength only in the form of superstition, magic, and divination. Probably many of the more noble-minded recognized the truth contained in Judaism and Christianity, but believed that they could appropriate it without being obliged on that account to renounce the beauty of other worships. Such a man was the Emperor Alexander Severus; another thus minded was Aurelian, whose opinions were confirmed by Christians like Paul of Samosata. Not only Gnostics and other heretics, but Christians who considered themselves faithful, held in a measure to the worship of the sun. Constantine cherished this mistaken belief.[6]


[1] Christian Athens, Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[2] Arianism., Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[3] Notion and characteristics, Catholic Encyclopaedia, New York 1908

[4] In the 18th Century Eastern Europethis movement would be taken up again for the third time by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer (1698-1760) also known asIsrael Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic Judaism.

[5] S. Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (1962); S. G. Kramer, God and Man in the Sefer Hasidim (1966); A. L. Lowenkopf, The Hasidim (1973).

[6] The original Catholic Encyclopedia

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Some Jews are known to have engaged in non-surgical foreskin restoration in order to join the dominant cultural practice of socializing naked in the gymnasium, where their circumcisionwould have been a social stigma.

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Previous: The early days of Christianity 1.2. Considered as a danger 1.2.2. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Next: The early days of Christianity 2.2.1. Politics and power first priority

  • contemplative political philosophy (acourseaboutnothing.wordpress.com)
    Contemplation has always been at the heart of liberal education.  Contemplation was known as practice, the practice of political philosophy.  All who had intimations of Socrates’ presence and purpose knew it.  Contemplation was (and is) an activity of mind-body.  Athletics (what the Greeks called gymnastics) was no less education than music and the performing arts.  Together these formed an organic whole in the image of a human creature.
  • Local Deities? Mystery Cults and Osiris and Isis. Soul and Spirit. (jamesbradfordpate.wordpress.com)
    Koester says that “The old Greek religion was a religion of city gods”, in which gods were the patrons of cities.  He says on pages 164-165 that “None of these cults would ever claim to be a world religion since the belief that deities were bound to particular holy places was still very much alive.”  But Koester narrates that people moved around and economics, politics, and science became increasingly universal, and so people were becoming dissatisfied with local deities.
    +
    In Christianity, Jesus dies and rises again, whereas it is not said in the myth of Osiris that Osiris was resurrected, but Osiris after his death goes to the realm of the dead to rule, while his son takes charge of this world.
    +
    Koester makes interesting points about the goddess Isis.  For one, he says that the woman in Revelation 12 resembles Isis, which stood out to me, as one who was raised in a denomination that tried to disassociate from the “pagan” elements of the “world’s” Christianity.  Second, according to Koester on page 189, Isis in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses 11.5.1-3 is treated as the “one and only god” and “ruler of the the universe” (Koester’s words).  As I look at the passage itself, there seems to be therein an acknowledgement that other gods exist, but there’s also an affirmation that Isis is “The single form that fuses all gods and goddesses” (the passage’s words).
  • Baptism of Pagan Practices (bythepen.me)
    Mount Carmel was previously a pagan site. In the Old Testament, we see that it was there that Yahwhey and Elijah took on Jezebel and the priests of Baal. Anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists eat this up, of course, but in reality, history has unfolded with Our Lord as the victor. This is just one of the several instances where that ancient serpent has been “crushed by the heel of Our Lady” – one of Christ’s most powerful tools.
    +
    there were bound to have been some parallels of Christian truth among pre-Christian beliefs and rituals. The early Christians were well aware of this and sometimes used it to their advantage in order to convert the pagans. In fact, St. Paul does this very thing in the Acts of the Apostles. I think of Paul as the father of the interpolation tactic described there. Unlike the Twelve, he was well educated in Hellenistic as well as Jewish law and religion, which is why I believe Christ chose him with a special purpose as “Apostle to the Gentiles”. He was a huckleberry who knew his stuff and how to use it to reach them.
  • Ancient Hellenistic Harbor Discovered in Acre, Israel – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
    An ancient harbor where warships may have docked 2,300 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists in the Israeli port city of Acre.The harbor, the largest and most important found in Israel from the Hellenistic period, was uncovered during archaeological excavations carried out as part of a seawall conservation project, the Israel Antiquities Authority said today. Among the finds were large mooring stones incorporated in the quay and used to secure sailing vessels, the IAA said.
    +
    The excavation will continue in those sections of the harbor that extend in the direction of the sea, the IAA said. The archaeologists will try to clarify if there is a connection between the destruction of the harbor and the Hasmonean uprising in 167 B.C., the destruction wrought by Ptolemy in 312 B.C. or some other event.
  • We owe a cock to Asclepius (ins2ition.wordpress.com)
    SO were the final, last Words said by Socrates.
    No one could help by then, Even Hippocrates.
    if YOU’VE said it once you’ve said One thousand times.
    I Don’t only say it because that line rhymes.
  • Live as the world wishes you to and accept all events: Stoic Philosophy (by Devin) (lvv4ublyth.wordpress.com)
    Stoicism was founded in Athens by Zeno in early 3rd century, it was originally taught by him at the Stoa Poikile. Another famous stoic is Marcus Aurelius, a famous roman emperor. The discipline of Stoicism teaches self-control as a means of defeating destructive emotions, which they believed were caused by errors in judgment and would not be felt by a true sage. Stoicism became the foremost philosophy among the leaders of Hellenistic and Roman society.
  • Pherecydes of Leros [Pherecydes of Athens] (vonfaustus.blogspot.com)
    Dionysus leading the Horae.
    [Day of Saturn + Hour of Mercury]
    Hermes I call, whom Fate decrees to dwell in the dire path which leads to deepest hell
    O Bacchic [Bakkheios] Hermes, progeny divine of Dionysius [Dionysos], parent of the vine,
    And of celestial Venus [Aphrodite] Paphian queen, dark eye-lash’d Goddess of a lovely mien:

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