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Amos 2

Amos Chapter 2

1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:

3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.

4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? Saith the LORD.

12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.

13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.

INTRODUCTION TO AMOS CHAPTER 2

This inhuman act was prompted by the spirit of vengeance.  The most outstanding men shall be removed.  Centuries have looked down on Moab and not a descendant living and fifty or more of her cities lie in total ruins.  The scene passes from Moab to Judah and Amos predicts the burning of her palaces and then turns to Judah’s unthankfulness.

EXPOSITION TO AMOS CHAPTER 2

1 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

 Moab the eldest son of Lot Gen. 19:37, of incestuous birth. When the Moabites seen the children of Israel on the plains they sent for Balak to come and curse the Israelites.  Money was offered to Balaam for his divination but God prevented the cursing of Israel “whom thou blesses is blessed, and he whom thou cursed is cursed.”  During the Judges Moab was subdued by Ehud and the land had rest for 80 years (Judges 3:30).  During the days of David he subdued Moab and laid two lines on the ground and lined the Moabites up on the two lines and then killed all on one line thus destroying fifty percent of Moab 2 Sam. 8:2.  By the time of Jeremiah Moab had not gone into captivity and the Prophet described them in words like this “therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed” Jer. 48:11. In other words the character of Moab had not changed.  Moab was wholly given to the god Chemosh and the prophets predicted that they would be ashamed of their god as Israel was of the golden calves at Bethel.  Moab lay east of Jordan and the Dead Sea and Joshua was encamped there before the invasion and destruction of Jericho.  It is interesting to know that Moses viewed the land of Israel for Mount Pisgah in the land of Moab and died there and was buried on the North side of the mountain in a valley Deut. 34:5,6.  The prophets predicted that her cities would become a desolation, “without any to dwell therein.”  Nebo, Kirathaim, Nisgab, Heshbon, Madmen, Horonaim, Luhith, Dibon, Aroer, Holan, Jahzah and the list goes on.  So complete is the destruction of Moab that the books written by travelers and archeologist enumerates about 50 cities, not one of which is used as a dwelling place by man. I was impressed to learn that the land that was once fertile is now unfertile.  The prophet said, “No city shall escape.” The cities are now deserted and the land no longer used for cultivation.  They were predicted to make their homes among the rocks.  Today a few people live there and they live among the rocks for the sake of protection.   I am overwhelmed by the prophecy and the fulfillment.  I recommend for further examination of Edom that you read (Keith, Evidence of Prophecy, Porter’s Damascus, Volney’s Travels, & Lands of the Bible by McGarvey)

Only you will be able to decide whether this was a guess by mortal man who couldn’t know what would be on the morrow or was it from Him who knows the “the end from the beginning.”

The following pages will set forth the testimony of scripture regarding what the prophets said about Moab.

Deu 23:3  “No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD,

Neh 13:1-2  On that day they read aloud from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and there was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God,

2  because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Num 21:29  “Woe to you, O Moab! You are ruined, O people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, And his daughters into captivity, To an Amorite king, Sihon.

 Num 22:4-8  And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.

6  “Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

7  So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak’s words to him.

8  And he said to them, “Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the LORD may speak to me.” And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam.

Num 25:1-3  “While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.

2  For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

3  So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the LORD was angry against Israel.”

Psa 60:8  “Moab is My washbowl; Over Edom I shall throw My shoe; Shout loud, O Philistia, because of Me!”

Isa 15:1-9  “The oracle concerning Moab. Surely in a night Ar of Moab is devastated and ruined; Surely in a night Kir of Moab is devastated and ruined.

They have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba; Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off.

3  In their streets they have girded themselves with sackcloth; On their housetops and in their squares Everyone is wailing, dissolved in tears.

4  Heshbon and Elealeh also cry out, Their voice is heard all the way to Jahaz; Therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; His soul trembles within him.

5  My heart cries out for Moab; His fugitives are as far as Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah, For they go up the ascent of Luhith weeping; Surely on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of distress over their ruin.

6  For the waters of Nimrim are desolate. Surely the grass is withered, the tender grass died out, There is no green thing.

7  Therefore the abundance which they have acquired and stored up They carry off over the brook of Arabim.

8  For the cry of distress has gone around the territory of Moab, Its wail goes as far as Eglaim and its wailing even to Beer-elim.

9  For the waters of Dimon are full of blood; Surely I will bring added woes upon Dimon, A lion upon the fugitives of Moab and upon the remnant of the land.”

Isa 16:1-14  “Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.

2  Then, like fleeing birds or scattered nestlings, The daughters of Moab will be at the fords of the Arnon.

3  “Give us advice, make a decision; Cast your shadow like night at high noon; Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.

4  “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you; Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.” For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased, Oppressors have completely disappeared from the land.

5  A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness.

6  We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride; Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury; His idle boasts are false.

7  Therefore Moab shall wail; everyone of Moab shall wail. You shall moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth As those who are utterly stricken.

8  For the fields of Heshbon have withered, the vines of Sibmah as well; The lords of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters Which reached as far as Jazer and wandered to the deserts; Its tendrils spread themselves out and passed over the sea.

9  Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; For the shouting over your summer fruits and your harvest has fallen away.

10  And gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field; In the vineyards also there will be no cries of joy or jubilant shouting, No treader treads out wine in the presses, For I have made the shouting to cease.

11  Therefore my heart intones like a harp for Moab, And my inward feelings for Kir-hareseth.

12  So it will come about when Moab presents himself, When he wearies himself upon his high place, And comes to his sanctuary to pray, That he will not prevail.

13  This is the word which the LORD spoke earlier concerning Moab.

14  But now the LORD speaks, saying, “Within three years, as a hired man would count them, the glory of Moab will be degraded along with all his great population, and his remnant will be very small and impotent.”

Jer 48:1-47  Concerning Moab. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Woe to Nebo, for it has been destroyed; Kiriathaim has been put to shame, it has been captured; The lofty stronghold has been put to shame and shattered.

2  “There is praise for Moab no longer; In Heshbon they have devised calamity against her: ‘Come and let us cut her off from being a nation!’ You too, Madmen, will be silenced; The sword will follow after you.

3  “The sound of an outcry from Horonaim, ‘Devastation and great destruction!’

4  “Moab is broken, Her little ones have sounded out a cry of distress.

“For by the ascent of Luhith They will ascend with continual weeping; For at the descent of Horonaim They have heard the anguished cry of destruction.

6  “Flee, save your lives, That you may be like a juniper in the wilderness.

Jer 48:7  “For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures, Even you yourself will be captured; And Chemosh will go off into exile Together with his priests and his princes.

8  “And a destroyer will come to every city, So that no city will escape; The valley also will be ruined, And the plateau will be destroyed, As the LORD has said.

9  “Give wings to Moab, For she will flee away; And her cities will become a desolation, Without inhabitants in them.

10  “Cursed be the one who does the LORD’s work negligently, And cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood.

11  “Moab has been at ease since his youth; He has also been undisturbed on his lees, Neither has he been emptied from vessel to vessel, Nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, And his aroma has not changed.

12  “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I shall send to him those who tip vessels, and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars.

13  “And Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

14  “How can you say, ‘We are mighty warriors, And men valiant for battle’?

15  “Moab has been destroyed, and men have gone up to his cities; His choicest young men have also gone down to the slaughter,” Declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

16  “The disaster of Moab will soon come, And his calamity has swiftly hastened.

17  “Mourn for him, all you who live around him, Even all of you who know his name; Say, ‘How has the mighty scepter been broken, A staff of splendor!’

18  “Come down from your glory And sit on the parched ground, O daughter dwelling in Dibon, For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you, He has ruined your strongholds.

19  “Stand by the road and keep watch, O inhabitant of Aroer; Ask him who flees and her who escapes And say, ‘What has happened?’

20  “Moab has been put to shame, for it has been shattered. Wail and cry out; Declare by the Arnon That Moab has been destroyed.

21  “Judgment has also come upon the plain, upon Holon, Jahzah, and against Mephaath,

22  against Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim,

23  against Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon,

24  against Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.

25  “The horn of Moab has been cut off, and his arm broken,” declares the LORD.

26  “Make him drunk, for he has become arrogant toward the LORD; so Moab will wallow in his vomit, and he also will become a laughingstock.

27  “Now was not Israel a laughingstock to you? Or was he caught among thieves? For each time you speak about him you shake your head in scorn.

28  “Leave the cities and dwell among the crags, O inhabitants of Moab, And be like a dove that nests Beyond the mouth of the chasm.

29  “We have heard of the pride of Moab–he is very proud– Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.

30  “I know his fury,” declares the LORD, “But it is futile; His idle boasts have accomplished nothing.

31  “Therefore I shall wail for Moab, Even for all Moab shall I cry out; I will moan for the men of Kir-heres.

32  “More than the weeping for Jazer I shall weep for you, O vine of Sibmah! Your tendrils stretched across the sea, They reached to the sea of Jazer; Upon your summer fruits and your grape harvest The destroyer has fallen.

33  “So gladness and joy are taken away From the fruitful field, even from the land of Moab. And I have made the wine to cease from the wine presses; No one will tread them with shouting, The shouting will not be shouts of joy.

34  “From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, even to Jahaz they have raised their voice, from Zoar even to Horonaim and to Eglath-shelishiyah; for even the waters of Nimrim will become desolate.

35  “And I shall make an end of Moab,” declares the LORD, “the one who offers sacrifice on the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.

36  “Therefore My heart wails for Moab like flutes; My heart also wails like flutes for the men of Kir-heres. Therefore they have lost the abundance it produced.

37  “For every head is bald and every beard cut short; there are gashes on all the hands and sackcloth on the loins.

38  “On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets there is lamentation everywhere; for I have broken Moab like an undesirable vessel,” declares the LORD.

39  “How shattered it is! How they have wailed! How Moab has turned his back–he is ashamed! So Moab will become a laughingstock and an object of terror to all around him.”

40  For thus says the LORD, “Behold, one will fly swiftly like an eagle, And spread out his wings against Moab.

41  “Kerioth has been captured And the strongholds have been seized, So the hearts of the mighty men of Moab in that day Will be like the heart of a woman in labor.

42  “And Moab will be destroyed from being a people Because he has become arrogant toward the LORD.

43  “Terror, pit, and snare are coming upon you, O inhabitant of Moab,” declares the LORD.

44  “The one who flees from the terror Will fall into the pit, And the one who climbs up out of the pit Will be caught in the snare; For I shall bring upon her, even upon Moab, The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.

45  “In the shadow of Heshbon The fugitives stand without strength; For a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, And a flame from the midst of Sihon, And it has devoured the forehead of Moab And the scalps of the riotous revelers.

46  “Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh have perished; For your sons have been taken away captive, And your daughters into captivity.

47  “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab In the latter days,” declares the LORD. Thus far the judgment on Moab.

Eze 25:8-11 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because Moab and Seir say, ‘Behold, the house of Judah is like all the nations,’

9  therefore, behold, I am going to deprive the flank of Moab of its cities, of its cities which are on its frontiers, the glory of the land, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim,

10  and I will give it for a possession, along with the sons of Ammon, to the sons of the east, that the sons of Ammon may not be remembered among the nations.

11  “Thus I will execute judgments on Moab, and they will know that I am the LORD.”

Mic 6:5  “My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, In order that you might know the righteous acts of the LORD.”

Zep 2:8-9  “I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory.

9  “Therefore, as I live,” declares the LORD of hosts, The God of Israel, “Surely Moab will be like Sodom, And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah– A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them, And the remainder of My nation will inherit them.”

2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:

This important city in Moab would be torched by an invading army and was fulfilled when it was invaded by the Babylonians

3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.

These men were captured and like the Nuremburg trials after World War 2 were tried and convicted and then executed.

4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

The prophet did not overlook the sins of Judah and now turns his attention to their transgressions and how the Lord will punish them for disregarding the law and lying to the people about how peace was coming to the nation and that all was well.  These lies led the people down the path to destruction.

5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

In addition to keeping a persons clothes that would be used to sleep in at night they were drinking the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.  They arrested people for petty things and then confiscated their property, took their stash of wine and then went to the house of their idol god and drank it in revelry and debauchery.  Under the mask of religion they profess to be holy and now the prophet is telling them that their conduct is bringing disaster on the nation.  The worst abominations and most grievous oppressions have been committed by some of the professed worshippers of the Lord.

7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

Mic 2:2  They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.

Mic 2:9  “The women of My people you evict, Each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever.

Mic 7:2-3  The godly person has perished from the land, And there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net. Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together.

Zep 3:3  Her princes within her are roaring lions, Her judges are wolves at evening; They leave nothing for the morning.

Eze 22:25-27  “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her.

26  “Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

27  “Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get  dishonest gain.

Isa 10:2  So as to deprive the needy of justice, And rob the poor of My people of their rights, In order that widows may be their spoil, And that they may plunder the orphans.

Eze 22:11  “And one has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife, and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law. And another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter.

1Co 5:1  It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.

8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

 They were anxious to make loans but demanded collateral and when they didn’t own anything of value they would resort to the very clothes that a person was wearing. The clothes that they took in pledge was a large enfolding cloak, which he wrapped over his shoulders in the day and at night when he lay down it was his sleeping bag.  Take note that they laid the pledge by every altar. These men were pretending to be religious while all the while they were in violation of the law that they professed to be observing.  What a bunch of hypocrites! And worse, they were using the clothes as bedding when they went to the place of worship. They were in violation of the law as recorded in:

Exodus 22:25-27 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest. “If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am gracious.”

And add to all this they were drinking the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

 

9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

Sometimes people say “I don’t like history,” but God keeps reminding his people to remember the past history of what he has done for his people.  In the text before us he wants Israel to remember what he had done to the Amorite more than 600 years earlier.  This historical fact is recorded in Num. 21:21-26.

10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

The Amorites were the most powerful of the Canaanitish tribes. God had promised Abraham 1100 years before that he would give his descendants the land of the Amorites.

Gen 15:16  “Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

Six hundred years later at the Jordan crossing Joshua addresses the people and reminds them of the Amorites.

Jos 24:15  “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

We must never forget our own history and see how God was directing the affairs of the Mayflower pilgrims and our founding fathers.  Note:  We need often to be reminded of the mercies we have received.

“Son, remember; Israel, remember,

  1. That God brought thee out of a house of bondage, rescued thee out of the land of Egypt, where you would have otherwise perished in slavery.
  2. That he led thee forty years through a desert land, and fed thee in a wilderness, you would have otherwise perished with hunger. Mercies to our ancestors were mercies to us, for, if they had been cut off, we would not be here.
  3. That he made room for them in Canaan. I destroyed the Amorite before them, here put for all the devoted nations. They were of great stature (whose height was like the height of the cedars) and the people of Israel were as shrubs to them; and they were also of great strength, not only tall, but strong.
  4. He was strong as the oaks. Their kingdom was eminent among the nations, and over-topped all its neighbors. The Amorite was not only cut down, but plucked up: God said that he destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath, so that the Amorites were no more a nation.

 11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? Saith the LORD.

Amos is still on his history lesson by showing them that they had an advantage over other nations who had no prophets or Nazarites.

12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.

They had tempted the Nazarites to break their vow and forbade the prophets to speak the word of God.

Mic 2:6  ‘Do not speak out,’ so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, Reproaches will not be turned back.

13 Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

Amos uses a metaphor of a cart loaded cart whose wheels are compacting the ground beneath it to illustrate how they were trying to squeeze God out of the lives of his people.

14 Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

When God moves in judgment on them no matter how fast they run there will be no place to run to muscle and strength won’t count and the high and mighty can’t get away from God.

 15 Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

Archers will be overwhelmed and no matter how fast you can run you can’t get away from the army that God sends in judgment on that nation.

16 And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.

The prophet says that God’s decree is that they will run out of their house leaving everything behind including their clothes and they will be captured and executed.  Amos tells them, that every means of strength, resistance, flight, swiftness of foot, of horse, or place of refuge, should fail them.

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