The Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Omen

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Synopsis of:   The Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Omen

Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from:

Isiah 9:8    Sub-titled:      Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression  8  The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.  9  And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,  10  The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the Sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into Cedars.

The key words in this verse for todays message are Sycamores and Cedars. Soooo… lets look at them closely. Another name for the Sycamore tree is “fig mulberry”  tree. Since the Greek word for fig is sukos s-u-k-o-s, and the Greek word for mulberry is moros m-o-r-o-s;  if you conjoin them you get the Latin name:  ficus f-i-c-u-s (for fig), sycamoros s-y-c-a-m-o-r-o-s (for sycamor).  This information’s source is the New York Botanical Gardens.

But, how could this have any reason to believe it is part of the omen for America. After all this tree does not grow in the northeast section of our country. Furthermore, if the fallen bricks were prophetic of a fallen nation, what would the Sycamore have to do with America. My friends, it is a sign of an uprooting of a nation. This is the way the Lord has of giving us a warning, or a harbinger, or threat.

Here again history is repeating itself. Two-thousand and five hundred years before September 11th, 2001. The falling down and the uprooting signs were repeated same as it happened to Israel.

Remember the old cliché’ “If a tree falls down and no one hears it, does it make a sound.” Well the falling Sycamore made two sounds. You see it made one sound for those who did hear it as a warning or omen as a call for redemption. And for those who did not hear the omen, the sound of judgment.

Don’t forget that there was more than one tree in the harbingers, or prophetic warnings. The Sycamore that was uprooted and the cedar that replaced it in ancient Israel.  Therefore the Cedar becomes the seventh omen. Recall the statements made, both in ancient Israel and in modern New York City, “The sycamores have been cut down, but we will plant cedars in their place.”  Why did they do that?

For the same motive, for which the replaced the bricks made with mud and straw with stones carved from the mountain.

The sycamore was a ordinary or commonplace tree. So it was very much like the commonly used bricks of clay and straw. The Cedar was a far stronger and mightier than the sycamore; and even more-so, it was highly priced and prized. So the common was replaced with the exotic.

One commentary of that ancient day stated:  Instead of harkening, heeding, and repenting; the nation determines to act in a spirit of defiance… it will exchange the feeble sycamore that are cut down for strong cedars which the wildest gales will spare.”  The “wildest gales” would be the nation’s judgment. Mainly… the tree they saw as a tree of hope was in reality an omen of judgment.

To the Israelites   this second tree becomes a symbol of national recovery, confidence and hope. But, same as the quarried stone, it expresses the nations defiance.

Two years after the uprooting of the Sycamore tree a strange sight appeared in the corner of Ground Zero, a tree, placed in the identical place that held the sycamore. According to prophecy the sycamore should be replaced with a conifer, a cone bearing, needle bearing tree. The tree, same as the hewn stone was donated by an individual. Who, then, orchestrated this tree replacement. No one it was just an individual wanting to do something for his country.  You see, prophetically it just had to happen; just as the hewn, quarried gazit stone was donated by an individual. Both parts of the ancient prophecy happened at Ground Zero. Both became a public event.

And, who managed the event? A local spiritual leader, making the planting of the Erez tree a ceremony. A ceremony that did not have anything to do with repentance. Each occasion was on one of the omens, the sixth and the seventh. Did you hear the resounding endorsement of the human spirit and it’s defiance of the calamity? The Rev. Dr. Daniel Matthews, rector, at the dedication bestowed on the tree a name, as he proclaimed: “This Ground Zero Tree of Hope will be a sign of the indomitable nature of human hope…”  A sign of hope  and  a sign,  The word indomitable means unconquerable, strong, invincible.

All of this is meticulous fulfillment of the ancient vow, seemingly emphasizing it. They couldn’t have done it better if they had recited the verse Isiah 9/11. In fact I keep getting excited each time I repeat the address of the verse Isiah 9/11, Isiah what..?  9/11. This is mind-boggling, and hard to realize that it happened and is happening so identical to ancient Israel’s omens and their reactions.

In all rights it seems that the vow ends with the sixth and seventh omen. The first seven omens are all omens that can be seen, and, they all followed in order. This is not so with the last two remaining.

Thus far we have discussed: the (1)breach, (2)the terrorist, (3) the fallen bricks (4) the tower, (5)The Gazit stone (6)the sycamore (7) the Erez tree But, really, there are two more. One of them speaks of what is and the other speaks of what will be. These first seven each relates to one piece of the pie. The last two will not be about one piece but of the whole mystery.

These two will be not like any of the others   and yet   like all of them. Now you see why it is called a mystery of the many omens. To find the eighth we must go back to the introduction.

Isiah 9:8    The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.  9  And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,  10  The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

The vow must be substantial only if it represents the voice of the whole nation, which would be the leaders. And the seat of government was in the capital of Israel.  Furthermore the NIV Bible Commentary says: National pride is usually most arrogant in a capital city.

So what do you think of when you think of our nation’s capital…. Washington DC.  Well, next question; what were the targets of the 9/11 attacks…. New York City and Washington DC. Which President do you think of when you think of Washington DC? Right in DC we can find the Lincoln Memorial, a memorial to one of our greatest of presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Engraved on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial are the President’s Second Inaugural Address. May I read it to you.

The Almighty has His own purpose….Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” What “mighty scourge”  is he speaking about? And, what “drop of blood drawn by the lash” is he talking about. He is speaking of the war that was devastating our nation; The American Civil War that we are still commemorating with Civil War displays.

Late in November of 2003 the sycamore was replaced. Then, on the Fourth of July 2004 the Gazit Stone was lowered to the floor of Ground Zero. Then, just three months later  would come the Eighth Omen or Harbinger. Not at Ground Zero, but in the nation’s capital. Words equivalent to the ancient vow and by the candidate campaigning for the office of vice-president. These words were spoken by him on September 11, 2004, not at Ground Zero but in the nation’s capital.

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The Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Omen

Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from:

Isiah 9:8   Sub-titled: Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression 8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the Sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into Cedars.

The key words in this verse for todays message are Sycamores and Cedars. Soooo… lets look at them closely. Another name for the Sycamore tree is “fig mulberry” tree. Since the Greek word for fig is sukos s-u-k-o-s, and the Greek word for mulberry is moros m-o-r-o-s; if you conjoin them you get the Latin name: ficus f-i-c-u-s (for fig), sycamoros s-y-c-a-m-o-r-o-s (for sycamor). This information’s source is the New York Botanical Gardens.

But, how could this have any reason to believe it is part of the omen for America. After all this tree does not grow in the northeast section of our country. Furthermore, if the fallen bricks were prophetic of a fallen nation, what would the Sycamore have to do with America. My friends, it is a sign of an uprooting of a nation. This is the way the Lord has of giving us a warning, or a harbinger, or threat.

Remember that when the debris and ashes was finish falling and the dust began clearing, is was found that the debris had up rooted a tree at the far corner of the property. And what kind of tree you suppose it was…. A Sycamore !! But, Bro. Dick, I thought you said that the Sycamore tree that ancient Israel replaced was a Sycamore tree that does not grow in the northeast of our country.

Yeah, but…. a omen, or harbinger, will follow the idiom or dialect of the nation for which it is meant.

In other words the tree follows that which is grown in that nation. You see, the mid-eastern Sycamore does not grow here but there is a Sycamore that does; it is the English Sycamore. And….. there was an English Sycamore growing on the Ground Zero’s property corner. After it was uprooted by the debris it became a focal point and was transformed, you might say, a symbol of 9/11, In fact, it was labeled as the Sycamore of Ground Zero, in the media’s reports.

Here again history is repeating itself. Two-thousand and five hundred years before September 11th, 2001. The falling down and the uprooting signs were repeated same as it happened to Israel.

Remember the old cliché’ “If a tree falls down and no one hears it, does it make a sound.” Well the falling Sycamore made two sounds. You see it made one sound for those who did hear it as a warning or omen as a call for redemption. And for those who did not hear the omen, the sound of judgment.

Don’t forget that there was more than one tree in the harbingers, or prophetic warnings. The Sycamore that was uprooted and the cedar that replaced it in ancient Israel. Therefore the Cedar becomes the seventh omen. Recall the statements made, both in ancient Israel and in modern New York City, “The sycamores have been cut down, but we will plant cedars in their place.” Why did they do that?

For the same motive, for which the replaced the bricks made with mud and straw with stones carved from the mountain.

The sycamore was a ordinary or commonplace tree. So it was very much like the commonly used bricks of clay and straw. The Cedar was a far stronger and mightier than the sycamore; and even more-so, it was highly priced and prized. So the common was replaced with the exotic.

One commentary of that ancient day stated:  Instead of harkening, heeding, and repenting; the nation determines to act in a spirit of defiance… it will exchange the feeble sycamore that are cut down for strong cedars which the wildest gales will spare.” The “wildest gales” would be the nation’s judgment.

Interestingly the Hebrew word for cedar is Eres E-r-e-z. In fact the English language Bibles use the word Cedar, as in Cedars of Lebanon.” Cedars are evergreen conifers, that is they are cone-bearing trees that have needles rather than leaves. As one commentator put it: “The Hebrew Erez tree rendered Cedar in all English versions, is most likely a generic word for the pine family.” Mainly… the tree they saw as a tree of hope was in reality an omen of judgment.

To the Israelites this second tree becomes a symbol of national recovery, confidence and hope. But, same as the quarried stone, it expresses the nations defiance.

Two years after the uprooting of the Sycamore tree a strange sight appeared in the corner of Ground Zero, a tree, placed in the identical place that held the sycamore. According to prophecy the sycamore should be replaced with a conifer, a cone bearing, needle bearing tree. The tree, same as the hewn stone was donated by an individual. Who, then, orchestrated this tree replacement. No one it was just an individual wanting to do something for his country. You see, prophetically it just had to happen; just as the hewn, quarried gazit stone was donated by an individual. Both parts of the ancient prophecy happened at Ground Zero. Both became a public event.

And, who managed the event? A local spiritual leader, making the planting of the Erez tree a ceremony. A ceremony that did not have anything to do with repentance. Each occasion was on one of the omens, the sixth and the seventh. Did you hear the resounding endorsement of the human spirit and it’s defiance of the calamity? The Rev. Dr. Daniel Matthews, rector, at the dedication bestowed on the tree a name, as he proclaimed: “This Ground Zero Tree of Hope will be a sign of the indomitable nature of human hope…” A sign of hope and a sign, The word indomitable means unconquerable, strong, invincible.

All of this is meticulous fulfillment of the ancient vow, seemingly emphasizing it. They couldn’t have done it better if they had recited the verse Isiah 9/11. In fact I keep getting excited each time I repeat the address of the verse Isiah 9/11, Isiah what..? 9/11. This is mind-boggling, and hard to realize that it happened and is happening so identical to ancient Israel’s omens and their reactions.

My favorite commentary, Matthew Henry Commentary, had this to say about the verse Isiah 9/11: If the enemy cut down the sycamores, we will plant cedars in the room of them. We will make a hand of God’s judgment gain by them, and so outbrave them. ”Note, they are ripening apace for ruin whose hearts are unhumbled under humbling providences.”   Ripening apace for ruin. Then there is no hope? Oh, there is hope, but when a nation such as this places it’s hope in it’s own powers to save itself, then it’s hope is false. My friends, true hope is only found in returning to God. Without doing so, the nation’s Tree of Hope is a omen of the day when it’s strong cedars come crashing down.

In all rights it seems that the vow ends with the sixth and seventh omen. The first seven omens are all omens that can be seen, and, they all followed in order. This is not so with the last two remaining.

Thus far we have discussed: the (1)breach, (2)the terrorist, (3) the fallen bricks (4) the tower, (5)The Gazit stone (6)the sycamore (7) the Erez tree But, really, there are two more. One of them speaks of what is and the other speaks of what will be. These first seven each relates to one piece of the pie. The last two will not be about one piece but of the whole mystery.

These two will be not like any of the others   and yet   like all of them. Now you see why it is called a mystery of the many omens. To find the eighth we must go back to the introduction.

Isiah 9:8   The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

You see it speaks of Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria. The name Samaria was both the name for the Northern Kingdom of Israel, in the 9th and 8th centuries BC, and, also the name of a city in the heart of the mountains of Samaria, a few miles northwest of Shechem. So…. Which was the verse speaking of, the city, or the kingdom? After all the vow could have been spoken by anyone in either. However, the vow must be substantial if it represents the voice of the whole nation, which would be the leaders. And the seat of government was in the capital of Israel. Furthermore the NIV Bible Commentary says: National pride is usually most arrogant in a capital city.

So what do you think of when you think of our nation’s capital…. Washington DC. Well, next question; what were the targets of the 9/11 attacks…. New York City and Washington DC. Which President do you think of when you think of Washington DC? Right in DC we can find the Lincoln Memorial, a memorial to one of our greatest of presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Engraved on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial are the President’s Second Inaugural Address. May I read it to you.

The Almighty has His own purpose….Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” What “mighty scourge” is he speaking about? And, what “drop of blood drawn by the lash” is he talking about. He is speaking of the war that was devastating our nation; The American Civil War that we are still commemorating with Civil War displays.

The main thrust here is that the vow had to have been a public declaration of the nation’s leaders. It has to have been proclaimed in the capital city. The eighth and ninth omen I said would be not visible. Well Isiah 9/10 is not visible when it is spoken, especially when spoken with defiance. In the aftermath of the calamity our nations leaders responded with public proclamations of defiance. So, then, the name of the eighth omen or harbinger is “utterance.”

Late in November of 2003 the sycamore was replaced. Then, on the Fourth of July 2004 the Gazit Stone was lowered to the floor of Ground Zero. Then, just three months later would come the Eighth Omen or Harbinger. Not at Ground Zero, but in the nation’s capital. Words equivalent to the ancient vow and by the candidate campaigning for the office of vice-president. These words were spoken by him on September 11, 2004, not at Ground Zero but in the nation’s capital.

Good morning. Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s word to get us through: The bricks have fallen, But we will build with dressed stones. The sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.” Can you believe it? He said those precise words of Isiah 9/11. Unbelievable!

Why would a vice-presidential candidate saying this out-and-out? You see, it happened because of the same reason all else happened. It was not his motive or his intention. It happened because it had to happen. It was a recurrence of the ancient mystery. The vow had to be proclaimed by a leader, which he became. In addition, the whole of his speech orbited around that verse. He made comments like, “Let me show you how we are building and putting cedars in those three hallowed places.” And…. “ In a place where smoke once rese, you and I, we will see that cedar rising.

And he then pinnacles the speech with a dramatic conclusion in the form of a final vow: “The cedars will rise, the stones will go up, and this season of hope will endure.” I don’t think he ever knew what he was doing. I believe he was simply wanting to deliver an inspirational message to raise the spirit of the nation.

He was only speaking lyrically. He had no idea; no more than those who donated and those who placed the hewn stone and the Erez tree. Everyone was unknowingly doing their part in the ambiguous mystery. But, still, it was America’s vow. You might say that this was an omen to seal the other omen; or the harbinger to seal the other harbingers. It became the revealing America as a notion under the shadow of judgment.” Do notice, it was a shadow of judgment.   In other words…. there is still time America !!!

Every piece of the enigma falls into it’s proper place. Therefore, it happens according to the ancient prophecy. No mortal hand directs it. It just occurs. As the prophet said: “The Almighty has His own purposes.”

This eighth omen was named Utterance And now for the ninth omen whose name is The Prophecy, is a document.It, also, is both like and unlike the eight omen. It is both a summing up and yet not predominant of those that went before it. You might think of it as a summation of that which comes after it. See, I told you it was a mystery; but then we have a mysterious God.

The eight omen spoke primarily of what is, in the present tense; and the ninth speaks about what would be, in the future tense. The dissimilarity here is significant. Because Isaiah 9/10 occurs in two domains. In one domain it’s the voice of a nation proclaiming a vow in defiance of. But in the other domain, its the voice of a prophet, the voice of Isaiah, and of God speaking through him. It is a prophecy; and as a prophecy it’s a judgment on the nation’s defiance and arrogance, and an omen, or foretelling of it’s future. In plain English the nation’s response was in the form of a vow that set the nation’s course of defiance, a course that ends in judgment..

On September 12, 2001, the morning after the attack, The US Senate and the House of Representatives convened to issue a joint resolution responding to 9/11. It was to be the nation’s first official response to the tragedy. You may recall that it is imperative that the vow must be spoken by the entire nation. Here were the nation’s representatives at a joint session. What a most picture-perfect place for this to happen.

The Senate majority leader made his way to the podium to present it, and began: I have a resolution to the desk. The assistant legislative clerk read the document. Un-hun—I said the ninth omen was to be a document. It read:

A joint resolution expressing the sense of the Senate and the House of Representatives regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. He then continued reading the entire resolution of condemnation and condolences and then a call for unity, a war against terrorism, and the punishment of those responsible.

But when the Senate Majority Leader Daschle started his speech. At its climax these words were proclaimed on Capital Hill, to present….. yes, you guessed it…. the nation’s response to the tragedy. Here it is:

“I know that there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation, but there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that I think speaks to all of us at a time like this….

The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with stone, the fig trees have been felled, but, we will replace them with cedars

Yes, the ancient vow had been actually proclaimed to the nation from Capital Hill—the vow had been reverberated through the halls of congress. With those words he had identified our nation as a nation under judgment as a matter of national record.. Although he thought he was unwittingly delivering an inspiring speech, but not realizing that he playing his part in a prophetic mystery.

But, you might say that he was not a prophet. Correct, but that is not a necessity. In the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of John, Caiaphas is recorded as saying, “It is necessary that one man should die for the People.” It was the start of a conspiracy that would end with the crucifixion of the Messiah. Caiaphas also was not a prophet. But, he was speaking, as the Bible puts it, “not of his own initive,” but prophesying by virtue of his office as the chief officer of his nation. So…. the Senate Majority Leader was prophesying as the highest representative of the highest representative body of his nation.

Bro. Dick, how does that happen? It’s called inspiration. They were inspired by God to do His bidding. In fact, he even used the word “inspiration” in his speech: “I know that there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation.” You mean God inspired him to do this? Look…the word inspiration comes from the Latin word, inspiration, which means “to be in-breathed or breathed upon. The word’s definition says: a supernatural or divine influence upon the prophets, the apostles, and the sacred writers, or upon men, to enable them to communicate divine truth.

This brings clarity to the prophetic words of Caiaphas having a double meaning; that which he wanted to say and that was prophesy. Same goes for the prophetic words of the Senate Majority Leader; the message he intended to encourage his listeners and the message he did not intend to give the following words are of divine origin.

Think about this. When you want to send a letter you identify the one you want to communicate with, you must address it. So it is with when a prophecy is to be sent it must be addressed. It’s there in Isaiah’s prophecy, “The Lord has sent forth a word to Jacob… Israel…. Ephraim….Samaria….all the people”

Now the same prophecy, the same message, is to be re-addressed for it to arrive to the people of America. And, so it was, the Senate Majority Leader addressed it properly when he said, “There is a passage in the Bible, from Isaiah that I think speaks to us at a time like this.  Here again is the double meaning. What he meant to say was, “There’s a passage in the Bible to bring comfort in times of crisis like this” But, what he did not intend to say was, ”There is a message from scripture now given and speaking to America. The message is a prophetic word of warning, sent to a nation that once knew God, and appointed to be given and to speak at this particular time when a nation is standing in danger of judgment.”

It was also prophetic in the fact that is stated: “That is what we will do. We will rebuild and we will recover.

So, America would choose the same course as that of ancient Israel, endorse the same approach, walk in the same footprints.

He even spoke of the replacement of the tree as a fig tree. Probably, not knowing that the biblical “shakam” is the name for fig-mulberry which is the other name for the sycamore.

Here is something else to ponder. The biblical principle of two witnesses applies first to the legal realm, but can be also related to the realm of nations. The first witness could be applied to The Senate Majority Leader on the day after 9/11. And, the second would be the First Vice Presidential candidate, three years later on the anniversary of 9/11. This further fuses the significance of their testimony.

Now a question to deliberate. If America is following the same outline as ancient Israel, endorsing the same signs, articulating the same words, replying with the same answers, and reenacting the same acts; how can it escape suffering the same fate?

Well, if the proclamation of the vow was the first stage of judgment for Israel, and not the last, then what about America? What does the future hold? God is trying to tell us…. either change your ways through true repentance or suffer the consequences as did ancient Israel.

When Jesus viewed Jerusalem in their sin His thoughts were, “Why did these people reject me?

His entire purpose was to bring them into His Father’s covenant. They rejected Him, in doing so, rejected the Father. At the cross His concern was for the Father’s covenant with Abraham. Saying, to the Father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Are you ready for doing battle in a spiritual war. Do you remember to:

EPH 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Prepare, my friends, we may be at war sooner than we think.

So until next Sunday           same time                 same station.

We draw near to the end, God in His mercy will open the eyes of the world. One last chance for repentance.

Time is short, hell is hot, and eternity forever. Make the right decisions today while you still have a choice. This is not a drill, it is reality!

America Bless God               and                 God will Bless America

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