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Sermon #12                                                                                                                                                                                                 Isaiah Series


Title:   Why Did God Forsake the Jews?


Text:                            Isaiah 2:5-9

Subject:                     Judicial Reprobation

Date:                          Sunday Evening — October 16, 2016

Readings:     Lindsay Campbell and Mark Henson



There was a time when the Jewish nation, the Jewish church, and the Jewish people were honored by God, blessed and favored above all the people of the world, as the chosen objects of his goodness.

Š      God chose Abraham, called him, and established his covenant with him, and passed by all the rest of the world.

Š      God gave his law to Israel, and left the rest of the world to themselves.

Š      God gave the Jews the light of Divine truth, and left all the nations of the world in darkness.

Š      For two thousand years God was known only in Israel. All the rest of the world was left to grope about in the darkness of superstition, witchcraft, and idolatry.


But today the Jewish people are scattered among the nations. The nation of Israel is a nation of unrest, plagued with war, terrorism, and civil strife. And the Jews’ religion is only a show, a dead corpse, an empty shell, a meaningless, useless, pointless chanting of old prayers and remembrance of days long gone. The center of their religion is a piece of ground where the temple once stood. They no longer have that temple or its priesthood, the mercy-seat or the sacrifice by which God once distinguished them from all other people. They have had no temple, priesthood, mercy-seat, or sacrifice for nearly 2000 years. God has left the house of Judah desolate. He has forsaken the people who were once favored above all the people of the earth. — Why?


WHY HAS GOD FORSAKEN THE JEWS? That is the title of my message tonight. And that is the subject of our text (Isaiah 2:5-9).


(Isaiah 2:5-9) “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (6) Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. (7) Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: (8) Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: (9) And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.”


I do not suggest or imply that all Jews are reprobate. God has an elect people among the physical descendants of Abraham whom he will save by his grace. But as a nation, a church, and a people Israel is fallen, blinded, and cut off. Why? — Why has God forsaken the Jews?The answer is twofold:


1.    Without question, the cutting off of the Jews was necessary for the accomplishment of God’s purpose of grace toward his elect among the Gentiles (Romans 11:11-15, 25-27).


The Jews’ unbelief, their rejection and crucifixion of Christ, did not defeat, thwart, overturn, or even hinder God’s purpose of grace. He did cast off the nation of Israel. But he did not cast off his elect people. He did forsake physical Israel, but not the Israel of God.


(Romans 11:11-15) “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (12) Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (13) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (14) If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. (15) For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”


(Romans 11:25-27) “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”


God did not, in any way, compel the Jews to reject and crucify his Son. He did not compel them to forsake him. But he did overrule their obstinance and he did sovereignly use it to accomplish his purpose of grace toward us (Psalm 76:10; Romans 11:32-36).


(Romans 11:32-36) “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”


2.    Yet, the judgment of God upon Israel is the result of Israel’s willful, deliberate unbelief and rejection of the counsel of God against themselves (Romans 10:21; 11:21-23). — God forsook the Jews because the Jews forsook God. He left them because they left him. He blinded them, so that they cannot see, because when they had his light they refused to walk in it.


(Romans 10:21) “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”


(Romans 11:21-23) “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (22) Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (23) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.”


Proposition: In our text Isaiah holds up Israel as a reprobate nation to warn us of the danger of despising the goodness, mercy, and grace of God.


(Isaiah 2:5-9) “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (6) Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. (7) Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: (8) Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: (9) And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.”


Divisions: May God the Holy Ghost be our Teacher, as I call your attention to four things in out text.

  1. The Responsibility Pressed (v. 5).
  2. The Reprobate People (v. 6
  3. The Ruinous Path (vv. 6-9)
  4. The Reasonable Punishment (v. 9).


The Responsibility Pressed


First, here is the responsibility pressed to all who are favored with the light of the Gospel (v. 5). God’s prophet calls a sinful people to trust Christ. — “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.


It is the responsibility of all to whom light is given to walk in the light. The Jews had the light of God. But they refused to walk in the light. And now the light they had has become darkness.


All men have the light of creation and conscience (John 1:9; Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-15).


(John 1:9) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”


(Romans 1:18-20) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”


(Romans 2:14-15) “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another).”


The Jews had the light of the law and the prophets (Romans 3:1-2).


(Romans 3:1-2) “What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? (2) Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”


You and I have the light of the Gospel of the glory of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:3-7).


(2 Corinthians 4:3-7) “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. —— (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”


I know that only the light of the Gospel can give men and women saving faith in Christ (Romans 10:17). — But I also know that if a person walks in the light God gives him, God will give him more light.

Š      Cornelius (Acts 10).

Š      Apollos (Acts 18:24-26).

Š      John’s Disciples (Acts 19:1-7).

And I know that if you or I despise and reject the light God has given us in this place, ours shall be the greater condemnation (Matthew 11:20-30).


(Matthew 11:20-30) “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: (21) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (22) But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. (23) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (24) But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (25) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


You are responsible to believe what God has revealed and to obey the Gospel of Christ (1 John 5:10).


(1 John 5:10) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”


We are responsible to walk in the light God has given us. — The greater the light, the greater the responsibility. And we are responsible to walk in the light of the Lord unto the end (Proverbs 4:18).


(Proverbs 4:18) “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”


Behold the judgment of God upon Israel, and be warned! Because they ceased to walk in the light of the Lord, God sent them blindness. And their blindness is so great that they think their darkness is light (Romans 11:20-21).


(Romans 11:20-21) “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: (21) For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”




Second, we have set before us the reprobate people who had forsaken the Lord God. Isaiah here describes the physical descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel as a reprobate people (v. 6). — “Therefore hast thou forsaken thy people.” That is reprobation. Israel was forsaken (Hosea 4:17; Matthew 23:37-38).


(Hosea 4:17) “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.”


(Matthew 23:37-38) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”


Reprobation, in the Bible, is the judgment of God which falls upon men and women because of their willful rejection of Divine truth (Romans 1:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Yes, reprobation is as much a part of God’s eternal decree as election; but God sends judgment in justice as the result of man’s sin and rebellion. Divine judgment is always a matter of Divine retribution.


(Romans 1:28) “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”


(2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”


(Isaiah 2:6) “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.”


How miserable is the condition of that people God has forsaken! Those who are forsaken of God cannot be saved (Isaiah 6:9-12; John 12:37-41).


(Isaiah 6:9-12) “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (11) Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, (12) And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.”


(John 12:37-41) “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: (38) That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? (39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, (40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (41) These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.”


This is a condition which the house of Israel has brought upon itself. God never leaves any who do not first leave him. He never forsakes any who do not first forsake him. He never casts off any who do not first cast off him.


But hear me God will not trifle with those who trifle with Him! He will cast you off, if you persist in despising his goodness! (Proverbs 1:23-33; 29:1).


(Proverbs 1:23-33) “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. (28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: (29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. (33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”


(Proverbs 29:1) “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”


Illustration: Noah’s Generation




Third, the prophet of God describes the ruinous path which led to the utter desolation of the nation of Israel (vv. 6-9). — Those people God had long favored, he has forsaken. Those who were called his people, he has cast off. And here the prophet tells us why: — “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because…


God had set Israel apart for himself as a peculiar people. They were “not reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9). The Lord God distinguished, honored, favored, and exalted the Jews above all people, but they were “replenished from the east, and (became) soothsayers like the Philistines, and they (pleased) themselves in the children of strangers” (v. 6). They embraced as their brethren those who worshipped strange gods from the east. — To build up and fortify their kingdom, they sacrificed the truth of God!

  • They became engulfed in the religious darkness, superstition, and practices of the idolatrous heathens. — “Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people” (Hosea 7:8).
  • They sought, more and more, the approval of men, until at last they had no regard for the approval of God.


God gave them his oracles, his Word, his prophets, and his law to order their steps, but they sought the counsel of astrologers, soothsayers, magicians, and pagan wise men! They rejected the counsel of God for the counsel of men, despised God’s prophets and chose the guide of soothsayers, and subjected God’s Word to the devises of witchcraft.

Š      Astrology!

Š      Visionary Prophets!

Š      Points of Power!

Š      Charismatic Wonders!

Š      Idolatrous Superstition!

Š      The Doctrines of Men!


God called for Israel to trust him, assuring them that he would be their wealth, their strength, and their defense, but they filled their land with silver, and gold, and treasures, and horses, and chariots (v. 7). The possession of these things was not evil, but…

  • Desiring them was evil.
  • Disobeying God to get them was evil.
  • Depending upon them was evil.


God required them to worship him alone, as he revealed himself in the Scriptures, but they filled their land with idols (v. 8).

  • They worshipped many images.
  • They worshipped the works of their own hands
  • They formed their gods by their own fingers.


Idolatry takes many forms.

Š      The worship of anything in the place of God.

Š      The worship of any image.

Š      The worship of any false god.

Š      The worship of God contrary to his Word.

Š      The worship of yourself, will-worship, the worship of the works of your own hands!


God had exalted and honored Israel, but they lowered themselves to the worship of tree stumps (v. 9; Isaiah 44:14-22; 45:20-25). They worshipped a god who cannot save, a god who had less power, wisdom, and ability than they did!


(Isaiah 2:9) “And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.”


(Isaiah 44:14-22) “He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. (15) Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. (16) He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: (17) And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. (18) They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. (19) And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? (20) He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (21) Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. (22) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”


(Isaiah 45:20-25) “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”




Fourth, the prophet of God declares the reasonable punishment upon the idolatrous nation. — “Therefore forgive them not” (v. 9).


An irreversible, just sentence is passed against the nation. Isaiah is here speaking prophetically, not vengefully. And I assure you that God will not forgive those who despise and reject the light of the Gospel of his grace, who wilfully turn from the light of Divine truth to the darkness of false religion (Psalm 139:21-22; Galatians 1:6-9, 5:1-4).


(Psalm 139:21-22) “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? (22) I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”


(Galatians 1:6-9) “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”


(Galatians 5:1-4) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”




I have been talking about reprobation, God’s rejection of Israel. But the whole message applies to us. We are living in the midst of an apostate, reprobate, religious age (2 Timothy 3:1-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).


(2 Timothy 3:1-17This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (10) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (11) Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (13) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”


(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (5) Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (6) And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”


But God has shown us mercy (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).


(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Now, let us walk in the light he has given us (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17).


(2 Thessalonians 2:15-17) “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (16) Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, (17) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”








Don Fortner








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