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Reading The Bible


Karhoof
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I wanted to open a thread here... just somwhere to put some thoughts and questions as they arise, as I read through the entire bible from begining to end. (KJV)

 

The plan is to read it all and then read it again, focusing on contradictions, absurdities, abberations, etc... with supporting texts.

I'm not planning as thorough a bible study as deep as Phanta's (a deep bow to you for the effort), rather, enough to satisfy my own curiosity and see them all for myself.

 

I've gotten a lot further than planned before starting this thread. So far, I've read just about half of the bible. Right now, I'm mired deep in the chapped-lip fest of slobbering all over gods ass in Psalms. UGH!

 

Job was no fun either. After the mind-bogglingly stupid premise of the first chapters, somewhere around chapter 16 I found myself wishing god or Satan would have smote the extremely long winded bastard AND his three friends, just so they would SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Come on! Six freakin' verses just to say, "Listen to me"? Jesus H. Christ on a stick!

 

 

On a more serious note, one of the biggest things that stands out so far is the wording of II Sam. 24:1+ versus I Chron. 21:1+.

The two are clearly relating the same event, yet they read:

II Sam.

1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

I Chron.

1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

 

I don't recall seeing a discusion about this anywhere here.

One author sees god as having told David what to do. Another author claims Satan is responsible.

God is Satan.

 

 

Thoughts?

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On a more serious note, one of the biggest things that stands out so far is the wording of II Sam. 24:1+ versus I Chron. 21:1+.

The two are clearly relating the same event, yet they read:

II Sam.

1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

I Chron.

1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

 

I don't recall seeing a discusion about this anywhere here.

One author sees god as having told David what to do. Another author claims Satan is responsible.

God is Satan.

 

 

Thoughts?

I have seen this before, and clearly it 1) should show that God is Satan and 2) people writing religious crap have no idea what they are talking about.

 

It's all just bullshit opinions. Like Fox News with a religious slant.

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I've seen that contradiction brought up before too, but I can't remember if I ever heard a reasonable explanation. (Well, do we ever get one?)

 

Perhaps the apologetic answer is that God inspired Satan to provoke David? Satan as a tool in God's hands to do his dirty deeds. (He can't destroy his image you know, of supposedly being good and all. So the evil stuff must be done by his footman.)

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On a more serious note, one of the biggest things that stands out so far is the wording of II Sam. 24:1+ versus I Chron. 21:1+.

The two are clearly relating the same event, yet they read:

II Sam.

1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

I Chron.

1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

 

I don't recall seeing a discusion about this anywhere here.

One author sees god as having told David what to do. Another author claims Satan is responsible.

God is Satan.

 

 

Thoughts?

Wow. Seriously? This particularly story is so fucked up I'm surprised you don't have so many more issues with it. ;)

 

"Someone" for some reason gets David to do a census. Joab is against it but does it anyhow. There's no explaination why this is wrong or why he's against it. But it's all done.

 

When it's all said and done David is now all guilty. He asks YHWH how to make things better. YHWH is pissed and he tells his man Gad three options for David to choose from:

1) 3 years of famine

2) 3 years of running from his enemies

3) 3 days of pestilence in the land

David can't decide so he throws himself on the mercy of YHWH asking him to choose anything except #2 (of the three options only #2 truly directly impacts David when you think about it).

 

So YHWH, in his mercy, chooses #3 and kills 70,000 random people that did nothing except live in the land David ruled.

 

Now after all those people die YHWH gets a case of "the sorries." So he calls of the killings. But the angel? No way. He's off the Jerusalem. He's going to destroy it for some reason that no one knows about. But right when he's about to do the deed he's interrupted by David who finally admits that he's the one who did wrong instead of those 70,000 people that he never killed to begin with by being indecisive when it came to choosing his own punishment and relying on the mercy of YHWH instead.

 

So he goes to the threshing floor of <one of two names> the Jebusite and buys his property to build an alter. Because that's where the angel of death happens to be and it's always good to build alters where death angels are hanging out.

 

Now in one story it basically "the end." Because it says that YHWH ended the plague. Well, he did that already. It says he was sorry and stopped. This was to stop the destruction of Jerusalem for some other reason.

 

In the other this is done because the tabernacle is way off on the top of Gibeon and David is afraid of the death angel. So he declares that this is going to be the location of the new temple and hires some stone cutters and gets to work.

 

The thing here is that all it really takes is an alter and some sacrifices and everything is made well in the end. So what's up with the three choices? The 70,000 dead? The census at all?

 

Why in one version is YHWH simply angry to begin with? If YHWH initiates it does he have the right to punish anyone? Why kill 70,000 people because he ordered David to take a census? What if David declined? Is this a test? It said YHWH was angry? Do you deny the request of an angry deity? Giving in cost 70,000 lives.

 

If Satan initiated it, and not at the behest of YHWH, then why punish anyone but David? He sinned and supposedly everyone is responsible for their own sins. Why the 70,000 deaths? If YHWH ultimately wanted sacrifices why the round-a-bout way of getting the alter?

 

That YHWH shows sorrow in each story demonstrates that YHWH chose poorly.

 

The problem is YHWH or Satan is simply one minor issue with this entire narrative. It does demonstrate that this version of "god" wasn't quite the all-powerful creature he's come to be known as but just some super-human like his peers of the times.

 

mwc

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I actually sort of liked reading Job in the sense that while I despised God's actions in the book, I could relate to Job's pondering why God is allowing suffering to exist. When you read Ecclesiasties, keep an eye out for the verses that say there is no afterlife.

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I actually sort of liked reading Job in the sense that while I despised God's actions in the book, I could relate to Job's pondering why God is allowing suffering to exist. When you read Ecclesiasties, keep an eye out for the verses that say there is no afterlife.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book in the Bible. Wonderful. While I think someone added some stuff at the end, the basic text supports a view of life that is naturalistic and without any heaven, after life, etc.

 

I should use quotes from Ecclesiastes when I write emails.

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Wow. Seriously? This particularly story is so fucked up I'm surprised you don't have so many more issues with it. ;)

Oh, I have plenty of issues with it. Right now, I'm just scratching the surface.

 

There's no explaination why this is wrong or why he's against it.

I'd hafta find the verse, but during the Exodus (which is an entirely different bucket of worms) god told Moses to number the people... but NOT to number the tribe of Judah. Those he claimed for himself and his alone.

 

If YHWH initiates it does he have the right to punish anyone? ..... Is this a test?

We would probably have to ask Balaam. YHWH pulled this same stunt with him.

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But what about:

Nehemiah 7

 

5 Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogies. Then I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up first in which I found the following record:

Is this not essentially the same scenario we just considered with David? But Nehemiah is not punished.

 

And when I looked at Exodus:

30:11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 When you are taking the number of the children of Israel, let every man who is numbered give to the Lord a price for his life, so that no disease may come on them when they are numbered. 13 And this is what they are to give; let every man who is numbered give half a shekel, by the scale of the holy place: (the shekel being valued at twenty gerahs:) this money is an offering to the Lord. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, is to give an offering to the Lord.

All the men that were numbered in the story with David got a disease. Did they not pay the tax? Is that really what that was all about? Each time they did a count it cost money or lives? So a census was "evil?" The introduction of the sacrificial system in the temple altered this and so we see this reflected in the text? Because nowhere can I find anything that gives any rules on a census in general.

 

I could only find speculation from apologists stating things like they were only used prior to wars because they returned the available fighting men and so this means that David must have had war in mind. Killing 70,000 of his men isn't really the best solution to this problem though. You may as well let him go to war if you're just going to have casualties that high. The secondary deaths from that many corpses laying about must have been awful.

 

mwc

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When you read Ecclesiasties, keep an eye out for the verses that say there is no afterlife.

I've already made numerous mental notes on no mention whatsoever of life after death.

"So it came to pass that king Hassleblad died and was made to sleep with his fathers."

;)

But will do when I get there.

 

How did you manage to get through Psalms? It's only through sheer will that I don't skip over them.

Honestly though, I've taken a little break and written one of my own that I'll probably post. ;)

 

Read enough King James-speech and your mind gets a little funky, ya know?

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I wanted to open a thread here... just somwhere to put some thoughts and questions as they arise, as I read through the entire bible from begining to end. (KJV)

 

The plan is to read it all and then read it again, focusing on contradictions, absurdities, abberations, etc... with supporting texts.

I'm not planning as thorough a bible study as deep as Phanta's (a deep bow to you for the effort), rather, enough to satisfy my own curiosity and see them all for myself.

 

I've gotten a lot further than planned before starting this thread. So far, I've read just about half of the bible. Right now, I'm mired deep in the chapped-lip fest of slobbering all over gods ass in Psalms. UGH!

 

Job was no fun either. After the mind-bogglingly stupid premise of the first chapters, somewhere around chapter 16 I found myself wishing god or Satan would have smote the extremely long winded bastard AND his three friends, just so they would SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Come on! Six freakin' verses just to say, "Listen to me"? Jesus H. Christ on a stick!

 

 

On a more serious note, one of the biggest things that stands out so far is the wording of II Sam. 24:1+ versus I Chron. 21:1+.

The two are clearly relating the same event, yet they read:

II Sam.

1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

I Chron.

1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

 

I don't recall seeing a discusion about this anywhere here.

One author sees god as having told David what to do. Another author claims Satan is responsible.

God is Satan.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

I have never posted a thread about it, but ran across that myself in reading. This is just a good example of why the Bible can't possibly be considered literally, written by Him.

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This is just a good example of why the Bible can't possibly be considered literally, written by Him.

Well said! Or if I may add to your statement, another example of...

 

 

 

 

 

I'm reading one verse of Psalms with each of my other Bible readings. I was planning on reading them more carefully when I get to them in order as well, but we'll see. I got the idea from a Catholic "read the Bible in a year" lesson plan.

Reading them one at a time sounds like a good plan. But as I'm already on Psalm 105 or so, I'll probably simply finish them, with another break or two. Reading the same three dozen sentances over and over, just in a different order, is very tiresome.

Even without the dedications listed, it's fairly easy to see why some specific verses were written.

 

I've been aware of the "bible in a year" program for a while, but for me at least, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles were better in large blocks. There's a natural progression in both story and timeline.

 

... which brings me to another point.

These six books did more to change my view of the "Israelites" than anything else I could possibly imagine. I can't find enough adjectives to describe how thoroughly VILE and CONTEMPTABLE a people they were. Joshua sets them up as bloodthirsty murderers, but these books show that when they finally find some peace, they turn on each other faster than god changes his mind.

I find them completely disgusting in nearly everything they do.

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Perhaps the apologetic answer is that God inspired Satan to provoke David? Satan as a tool in God's hands to do his dirty deeds. (He can't destroy his image you know, of supposedly being good and all. So the evil stuff must be done by his footman.)

This is the only possible justification for it. It was the first thing that came to mind as I read it.

The later author saw how god was angered and saw the problem. Shifting the blame in an attempt to fix it?

As far as I know, until the canon was set, the various books were seldom in the same place at the same time.

 

Dunno.

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... which brings me to another point.

These six books did more to change my view of the "Israelites" than anything else I could possibly imagine. I can't find enough adjectives to describe how thoroughly VILE and CONTEMPTABLE a people they were. Joshua sets them up as bloodthirsty murderers, but these books show that when they finally find some peace, they turn on each other faster than god changes his mind.

I find them completely disgusting in nearly everything they do.

 

I feel you there. I haven't re-read the bible since being a Christian (about 6 years I guess). But going to the Church of Christ we read the OT and NT though every year in bible class while growing up. I never asked questions, but it did make me feel terribly sad, paranoid and cynical with the no end in sight to the heartbreaking evil. You know, until Jesus. With there being pretty much no characters in the bible that one could actually admire, Jesus comes out looking like, well, the son of god. I think that's the biggest reason they keep the OT around - to make the NT seem much much better by comparison.

 

Did you like how incredibly obviously gay David and Jonathan were? David was one of those guys that you liked until he became King and a douchebag. He was a nifty folk -type hero before that.

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If YHWH initiates it does he have the right to punish anyone? ..... Is this a test?

We would probably have to ask Balaam. YHWH pulled this same stunt with him.

 

I was thinking that exact same thing. The whole story of Balaam is so screwed up.

 

God: "Go do X!"

Balaam: "Ok!" Balaam does X.

God: "You bastard! Why did you do X?!" God tries to smite Balaam.

 

(As an aside, ever notice how many times God "tries" to kill someone, but for some reason fails? How is that supposed to work?)

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Did you like how incredibly obviously gay David and Jonathan were? David was one of those guys that you liked until he became King and a douchebag. He was a nifty folk -type hero before that.

I wish they would make a movie where David and Jonathan were gay. And what's with that one bible story where God said he would forgive the Isrealites if they repented and then they repent but God punishes them anyway and says they didn't? It was in one of the prophet books.
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I just finished reading a book called Deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls which explains how the scrolls shed a lot of light on understanding how Jews viewed their scriptures.

 

One point the book makes is that scriptures were present in varied forms, at the same time. There were lots of different versions of the same book, and no one seemed too bothered by it. The book makes the argument that this shows that there probably never were "original" texts, what we have today are the ones that survived and were the most popular versions.

 

As for the census story, the story in 2 Samuel was likely written down before or during the time the Jews were taken into captivity in Babylon in 586 BCE. Chronicles were written afterwards. From Wikipedia:

 

Often the Chronicles paint a somewhat more positive picture of the same events. This corresponds to their time of composition: Samuel and Kings were probably completed during the exile, at a time when the history of the newly wiped out Hebrew kingdoms was still fresh in the minds of the writers, a period largely considered a colossal failure. The Chronicles, on the other hand, were written much later, after the restoration of the Jewish community in Palestine, at a time when the kingdoms were beginning to be regarded as the nostalgic past, something to be at least partially imitated, not something to be avoided. Some scholars consider Samuel and Kings, which were written earlier, to provide a more reliable history than Chronicles.

 

The contradiction is probably because Chronicles is a revisionist version of earlier histories, rewriting them in a positive light and cramming in new concepts like "Satan made me do it" which could have been borrowed from the Persian Zoroastrianism religion.

 

It shows the evolution of Judaism from primitive tribal, land-based religion (God is tied to the land and has limited powers) to a larger, more universal religion which applies everywhere, not just in the immediate vicinity of the Temple. This was necessary because with the temple destroyed and the people exiled, they had to find some way to carry on. Religion evolved.

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Did you like how incredibly obviously gay David and Jonathan were? David was one of those guys that you liked until he became King and a douchebag. He was a nifty folk -type hero before that.

I wish they would make a movie where David and Jonathan were gay. And what's with that one bible story where God said he would forgive the Isrealites if they repented and then they repent but God punishes them anyway and says they didn't? It was in one of the prophet books.

 

That would make an awesome movie. Sort of like Brokeback Mountain meets Gladiator meets that scene in Braveheart where the gay prince's lover gets thrown out the window.

 

No wonder David's wife hated his guts.

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.... You know, until Jesus. With there being pretty much no characters in the bible that one could actually admire, Jesus comes out looking like, well, the son of god. ( <-- LOL! )

 

I think that's the biggest reason they keep the OT around - to make the NT seem much much better by comparison.

^ bolded mine

 

The OT was kept to ligitimize this new religion and its new god Jesus.

Jesus steals gods thunder in exactly the same way that Paul steals the spotlight from the disciples.

 

 

 

 

I was thinking that exact same thing. The whole story of Balaam is so screwed up.

That story shows just what a Bronze Age people they were. That Kings believed Balaam had the power to bless or curse by speaking words aloud reveals how deeply the superstitions were held. The Egyptians would inscribe the names of their enemies on pottery and smash them with the belief that this would somehow ensure victory.

 

But then, far too many people still believe in things like Voodoo... or saying special words and incantations (prayers). ;)

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Well, I finished Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon and just started Isaiah.

 

Psalms - :twitch:

 

Proverbs - If Proverbs is the sum of Solomon's wisdom, the Queen of Sheba was a simpleton bordering on retardation. I was not impressed. Granted, if he kept every single one of these tidbits of common sense on the forefront of his thoughts 24/7, then yes, he could be seen as wise. My own common sense tells me that he probably took his own advice and held his tongue before saying anything.

 

Ecclesiastes - Wow! I think I finally found someone in the bible that I actually like!

Lo, if but Solomon had nought a tenth... sorry... the author of Ecc. is infinitely wiser than Solomon could ever hope to be. Pity it's with such sadness that he views everything. But it's this showing himself to be a real person that makes him so endearing. I would have loved to have sat and talked with him. Better still, counted him as a friend.

 

When you read Ecclesiasties, keep an eye out for the verses that say there is no afterlife.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book in the Bible. Wonderful. While I think someone added some stuff at the end, the basic text supports a view of life that is naturalistic and without any heaven, after life, etc.

@ NG, Half the book states, "Do all you can, 'cause this is all we've got."

@ Shyone, Wonderful is right! I repeat, Wow!

 

Song of Solomon - Will require much study on next reading.

 

Isaiah - I've just finished chapter 7. I need to do some serious study before I say anything more about 7:14-17.

 

 

I went window shopping this weekend and priced an NASB study bible for the next reading/deeper study. $50.00 is a little steep! Oh well, just hafta start saving for it.

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Okay, here we go...

 

Isaiah 7:14 - 16 reads,

14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

15Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

16For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

 

This, these three verses, are the christian Holy Handgrenade.

Pull the pin on this and the whole thing blows up.

 

MWC, Davka or anyone else with a good understanding of Hebrew, give me a little help here.

What I've got so far is, Isaiah tells Ahaz that a child has already been concieved, or is about to be concieved. By the time this child reaches the age of accountabiblity, his (Ahaz) foes will have been overthrown.

(let's not even get into the fact that this child is never mentioned to any degree again. :Hmm: )

 

This takes place 100 YEARS BEFORE THE EXILE TO BABYLON! This kid is loooooooong dead by that time. Fully 680+ years before the supposed birth of Jesus... whose name was supposed to be Emmanuel!

 

 

 

Any christians reading this... even any christian guests, please log in and explain to me how god missed the mark by 700 years or so and is still "unerring".

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You could always look at the pages on Isaiah 7 at MessiahTruth. They give it a pretty full treatment.

 

I think G.Matthew has "virgin" because of the LXX/Greek translations.

 

mwc

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Thanks for the link. Great site. I've got it bookmarked.

 

Back to the point; clearly, Isaiah was clueless about any "virgin" birth still centuries in the future.

 

As long as christians don't actually read the chapter where their "messiah" prophesy comes from (like I never did), questions will never be raised.

 

 

I'm off to do some research on Is. 53 ;)

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Back to the point; clearly, Isaiah was clueless about any "virgin" birth still centuries in the future.

I would say so. From everything else in the "prophets" they were pretty "clear"(?) that they were only concerned about their own times. Only here and there does anyone ever seem to talk about some far off unknown future time. They were concerned about their "here and now" (as it were).

 

As long as christians don't actually read the chapter where their "messiah" prophesy comes from (like I never did), questions will never be raised.

One of the things I did after I came to this site was download one of those lists of "300 prophecies Jesus fulfilled" and I looked them all up in context. That's was the first time I had ever truly looked at them in a critical fashion. I also realized that I had no idea what Jews believed and set out to try to understand that so I could understand what these "prophecies" may have actually meant to begin with.

 

mwc

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I know the thread has moved past the 2 Samuel 24 account but I just HAD to share what my research into the reasoning behind the story revealed. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness and have a massive catalog of their books, sort of an encyclopedia of sorts, on my computer. Anyway I looked up this account, and came upon a Questions From Readers article addressing the subject.

 

They start out by saying that they honestly have no clue why taking a census could be a sin. But of course they have to say SOMETHING about it so there is some speculation.

Some have thought that David erred in not collecting the head tax as God said should be done at such times. Others have felt that the king was showing weakness in trying to find out how large his military force was, instead of depending on God for victory no matter what its size. Yet others say that David might have given in to human pride, wanting to be able to boast over Israel’s importance and glory.

 

But, as noted, we simply do not know why David’s census was a sin. What he did was definitely wrong, for it was Satan who “proceeded to stand up against Israel and to incite David to number Israel.” (1 Chron. 21:1)

 

So of course it is wrong because the bible said it was wrong! I also like how they quote the contradictory scripture lol.

 

Well here is where it gets really rich:

 

As a punishment for this sin Jehovah (YHWH) brought three days of pestilence that killed 70,000 Israelites. (2 Sam. 24:12-16) Was that unjust? Were 70,000 innocent people dying for the king’s error? The Bible plainly shows that we all are sinners deserving of death; it is only by God’s undeserved kindness that we live. (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Lam. 3:22, 23) So those who died had no special “right” to life. Additionally, can any human today say for sure that those 70,000 were not guilty of some serious sin not mentioned in the historical record?

 

So there is your apologist explanation. The article basically concludes that there are many examples of God's fairness and justice in the Bible so he must have had a good reason for what he did. :Wendywhatever:

 

Well I don't know about you all, but my concerns have been addressed :Wendywhatever::Wendywhatever:

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Yeah. "God" took the opportunity to kill off 70,000 people that needed killing anyhow.

 

mwc

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