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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 2201 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #169 on: May 15, 2019, 09:38:24 am »
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● Gen 24:3c-4 . . that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I dwell, but will go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac.

The words "land of my birth" can also mean "to my country and to my relatives." That is exactly how the steward understood them because that is how he will narrate Abraham's instructions in Gen 24:38.

I just bet Abraham was fully aware of the fate of the men of God who married the daughters of men back in the early parts of Genesis. Those men of God all died in the Flood right along with their impious wives.

The influence of a non God-fearing spouse could prove fatal to Isaac's future. If he's going to serve and worship his dad's god, then he is going to have to marry a girl who fully appreciates and supports the prophecies regarding Abraham's progeny.

Spouse hunting demands a level head and cold steel discernment or there is real risk in ending up like Solomon, one of the greatest of God's men, who was ruined by his marriages to women who didn't share his religious beliefs. (1Kgs 11:1-10)

● Gen 24:5-6 . . And the servant said to him: What if the woman does not consent to follow me to this land, shall I then take your son back to the land from which you came? Abraham answered him: You must not, for any reason, take my son back there!

I think Abraham knew only too well just how much like sheep men are. When they fall in love, they'll literally sacrifice their lives to keep a woman; which is exactly what Jacob did. Rachel was a good girl; but she cost Jacob fourteen years of his life away from home in a foreign land with a bad influence: uncle Laban.

Suppose Isaac went up north and feasted his glims on Rebecca? Well, up ahead we're going to find out that she was young, cute, and filled out in all the right places. I've seen what that does to men. I worked with a married man once who kept a young love on the side. He often used his wages to buy that girl jewelry while his wife and two little kids were housed in a ramshackle rental unit.

It was too risky to let Isaac go up there. He might be tempted to remain with Rebecca if she refused to live so far off from her family. Isaac's future was in the land deeded to Abraham on oath; not up there in Mesopotamia; and his bride's place was with him and Yhvh; not with her family and Laban's idols.

● Gen 24:7 . .The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from my native land, who promised me on oath, saying "I will assign this land to your offspring" He will send His angel before you, and you will get a wife for my son from there.

The identity of "His angel" is interesting. It's not referred to as one of His angels; just His angel. Jacob knew His angel as Yhvh; the divine benefactor he encountered on the way north during his flight from Esau. (Gen 28:12-15, Gen 48:17)


NOTE: I sincerely believe that God Himself has never even once been to the Earth in person. He stays put, secluded in a sort of forbidden city somewhere apart from the cosmos and His business down here is conducted by a supreme celestial being who has the authority to speak for God, to speak as God, and to be respected as God. This supreme celestial being is curious in that it is capable of appearing in a fully functioning human body, viz: a living avatar. (eg. Gen 18:1-33, Ex 24:9-11, John 1:18)

● Gen 24:8-10a . . And if the woman does not consent to follow you, you shall then be clear of this oath to me; but do not take my son back there. So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him as bidden. Then the servant took ten of his master's camels

Nobody is quite sure exactly when camels were domesticated. The earliest depiction of them in relief and cuneiform text as beasts of burden and transportation is sometime around 1100 BC.

● Gen 24:10b . . and set out, taking with him all the bounty of his master;

The servant will need to demonstrate to the bride, and to the bride's family, that she'll be well taken care of. The servant of course didn't take along everything Abraham owned in total, but merely an adequate representation of his abundant wealth; which by inheritance, would all be Isaac's some day; and, by association, his future wife's too.

Additional men accompanied the servant (Gen 24:32) who were very likely all armed (Gen 14:14); not only for the caravan's protection, but for the bride's as well. No doubt included among the camel's burdens were tents, victuals, provender, water, and appropriate accommodations for the bride's comfort on the journey back to Canaan. It was at least five hundred miles from Hebron up to Abraham's people in Mesopotamia, so the return trip couldn't possibly be made in a single day on camels and would necessitate overnight bivouacs in rugged country.

● Gen 24:10c . . and he made his way to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor.

The Greek translation renders naharaim in dual form meaning, "two rivers", and from that arose the name Mesopotamia-- the land between the two rivers. Some feel that the name naharaim really means "the land along the river" or "the land within the river".

It's a territory bounded approximately on the east by an imaginary north/south line drawn from Ar Raqqah Syria to Urfa Turkey. The southern and western borders are delineated by the Euphrates as it runs from Ar Raqqah Syria towards Gaziantep Turkey: an area within which at one time lay the kingdom of Mitanni. This is called Naharain in the Egyptian texts, and Naharima in the El-Armana letters.

The details of the journey are passed over. It would have been fun to hear about the caravan's adventures. How they had to dodge a flock of ostriches that ran out in the road, and maybe how a lion came around at night and spooked everybody, or how one of the men fell asleep at the wheel and his camel ran off the road and hit a tree; stuff like that. But Genesis has priorities; and the journey's details were not one of them. In a blink, the caravan arrives; a trip that took maybe two weeks or so; and Rebecca rapidly becomes the prime focus. This chapter, after all, about the bride; rather than the groom.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #170 on: May 16, 2019, 08:30:46 am »
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● Gen 24:11 . . He made the camels kneel down by the well outside the city, at evening time, the time when women come out to draw water.

"evening time" is from an ambiguous word that indicates any time between high noon and sunset as opposed to morning which can indicate any time between sunrise and high noon.

● Gen 24:12 . . And he said: O Lord, God of my master Abraham, grant me good fortune this day, and deal graciously with my master Abraham:

This steward was truly a God-fearing man, and truly faithful to the one who sent him on this errand. His prayer is not self centered, but centered upon the best interests of his master's son. Incidentally, this is the very first prayer recorded in the Bible of any individual clearly requesting providence.

● Gen 24:13-14 . . Here I stand by the spring as the daughters of the townsmen come out to draw water; let the maiden to whom I say "Please, lower your jar that I may drink" and who replies "Drink, and I will also water your camels"-- let her be the one whom You have decreed for Your servant Isaac. Thereby shall I know that You have dealt graciously with my master.

This man didn't beat around the bush, nor begin reading from a siddur, nor a missal, nor did he chant by rote, nor blather in tongues. He gets right down to business and spells out his concerns in plain language. Let me say something very clearly: If you are the kind of person who has to pray in tongues because you don't have enough command of your own native language to express yourself in any other way, then maybe you should go back to school for a while.

Of great interest is the steward's apparent lack of concern regarding the prospective bride's looks. Only God truly knew who would be right for Isaac, and Abraham's steward is not going to select a bride for his master's son like as if she's flesh on the line the way the sons of God did back in Gen 6:2. No; she must be hand-picked by God alone because He alone knows what's in a heart. If the girl that God chooses for Isaac is attractive; well that will be a bonus, but absolutely not the deciding factor.

● Gen 24:15 . . He had scarcely finished speaking, when Rebecca-- born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor --came out with her jar on her shoulder.

As fortune would have it, the very first girl to arrive is Becky. Although she's related to Abraham, at this point Abraham's steward doesn't know who she is yet. In fact he's probably expecting to conduct many tiresome interviews; testing one girl after another until the right one shows up.

● Gen 24:16a . .The maiden was very beautiful,

Some chafe at that passage and refuse to believe Genesis is talking about Becky's physical assets. However, later on, in Gen 26:6-7, Isaac will attempt his dad's old trick and say Becky is his sister; in order to save his skin. The reason Isaac gives for the lie is he believed the men of Gerar would be tempted to kill him because Becky was attractive. It is highly unlikely pagan men would take Becky away from Isaac just because she had a beautiful personality. As a rule, ancient men didn't fight over the nice girls; they battled for the alluring ones.

● Gen 24:16b . . a virgin

Becky is three girls in one: a maiden, a virgin, and a virgin. What the heck you say? How is she two virgins?

The word for "virgin" in 24:16 is bethuwlah (beth-oo-law') which can indicate a virgin, a bride; and also a city or state. Technically, bethuwlaw doesn't necessarily indicate a girl who's never slept with a man. The primary denotation is chronological, and the word simply indicates a mature young woman of marriageable age whether she is married or not; e.g. Joel 1:8, where a bethuwlah laments the husband of her youth.

● Gen 24:16c . . whom no man had known.

That kind of wording says that Becky is not only all grown up, but she's a bethuwlah who still has her virginity. We have before us a gorgeous peach, not living with a man, neither has ever slept with a man.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #171 on: May 17, 2019, 07:34:22 am »
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● Gen 24:16d . . She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up.

The "spring" in this case was a small pool of water fed by an aquifer, which is different than an artesian well; they gush, while aquifers seep.

Some of the shafts of ancient man-made wells in that part of the world resemble mini open-pit mines; with steps hewn into the sides to facilitate access to the water for dipping jars and buckets. Becky's spring was likely constructed like that.

● Gen 24:17a . .The servant ran toward her

The Hebrew word for "ran" is the same word used in Gen 18:2 and 18:7 to describe Abraham's movement when the three men appeared in his camp. Abraham was about 99 years old at the time and it's very doubtful he was able to move his legs all that fast. It's far more likely he just hastened.

In any case, it was nevertheless essential that Abraham's steward not waste any time because Becky had strong legs and would surely be gone away home in a blink.

● Gen 24:17b . . and said: Please, let me sip a little water from your jar.

It's amazing that a gorgeous young girl like Becky would allow a total stranger to approach her without protest or without screaming for help. Was she na´ve? Was she foolish?

Well . . maybe in that day, and around her town, you could trust people. But it would not be wise to do that in some parts of New York or Los Angeles. A seemingly honest appeal for assistance could very well be a distraction while an accomplice sneaks up behind you.

Although Becky arrived first, ahead of the other girls, by now there may have been several others milling around the spring because that was the time of day for them to be there. In groups, they could all watch out for each other. Genesis doesn't tell about any of the others though because the spotlight is totally on Isaac's future bride.

● Gen 24:18a . . Drink, my lord: she said,

The Hebrew word for "lord" is 'adown (aw-done') and is suitable for courteously addressing a male superior; whether actual or assumed; viz: fathers, aged men, kings, husbands, and/or God.

● Gen 24:18b . . and she quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and let him drink.

The word for "quickly" is from mahar (maw-har') which means: to be liquid or flow easily; viz: nimble (the opposite of that would be the sluggishness of molasses in January) and implies to act promptly. I really like the way Becky responded. When people do things grudgingly, they often stonewall, perform slowly, and drag their feet just to show you they're annoyed. But Becky didn't hesitate. She gave water to the man whole-heartedly, sharply, and immediately.

Whether she actually let him drink out of her hand is doubtful. Lowering the jar upon her hand merely indicates it was previously up on her shoulder or maybe on top of her head. Becky probably just supported it from underneath with one hand while tilting the top with the other so the contents would pour out and Abraham's steward could slack his thirst.

● Gen 24:19-20 . .When she had let him drink his fill, she said: I will also draw for your camels, until they finish drinking. Quickly emptying her jar into the trough, she ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels.

Flo-Jo Becky-- flying all over the place like a US Navy SEAL trainee in hell week. No time to waste if she was going to water all those camels before dark.

The Arabian camel can drink more than twenty gallons of water in one sitting when it's very thirsty. I hope that man gave them some water earlier because he had ten camels and Becky could be hauling as much as 200 gallons. If her pitcher held five gallons, the weight would be about 41 pounds of water for each one of the forty trips she would have to make down and back up out of that spring. Wow that girl was fit! Well, she did it-- and all without any grousing about it.

● Gen 24:21 . .The man, meanwhile, stood gazing at her, silently wondering whether The Lord had made his errand successful or not.

That man must have been totally blown away. The very thing about which he prayed barely five minutes ago was occurring right before his eyes and all so brisk and sudden too. This was just too easy and just too unbelievable. Could this really be of The Lord? He dared not let himself enjoy any success yet until he knew for sure.

●  Gen 24:22 . .When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half-shekel, and two gold bands for her arms, ten shekels in weight.

The word for "nose-ring" is nexem (neh'-zem) which just means ring, or jewel. Without a modifier, there is no way of knowing for sure if the ring is for the nose or the ear. However, in verse 47 up ahead, Abraham's steward will say he installed the ring in Becky's nose.

The half shekel was a unit of weight and a media of exchange in those days. It weighed about 6.019 grams which is equal to about 92.87 grains. Typical .22 caliber lead bullets weigh approximately 40 grains apiece, so it would take at least two and a third of them to equal the weight of the ring. That's really not much, but if it's stuck in your nose or hanging on your ear I guess it would become noticeable after a while.

The combined weight of the two bands was ten shekels, which is twenty times the weight of the ring; or about 1,857 grains; which is equivalent to forty-six .22 cal lead bullets.

1,857 grains + 93grains = 1,950 grains; which is equivalent to 4.06 troy ounces of gold. ( a troy ounce is equal to 480 grains) As of May 17, 2019 the commodity value of gold was roughly 1,286 dollars US per troy ounce. So to date, Becky's gold, in commodity value, was worth roughly 5,221 dollars US. (4,661 Euro)
_

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #172 on: May 18, 2019, 07:52:20 am »
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● Gen 24:23-25 . . Pray tell me; he said: whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night? She replied: I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. And she went on: There is plenty of straw and feed at home, and also room to spend the night.

That did it. The identity of Becky's family was the final chop that felled the tree. Abraham's steward had no more doubts about the Lord's providence. At this point, he put the ring in Becky's nose and the bands on her arms.

● Gen 24:26-27 . .The man bowed low in homage to The Lord and said: Blessed be The Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His steadfast faithfulness from my master. For I have been guided on my errand by The Lord, to the house of my master's kinsmen.

How utterly astounded Becky must have been that this stranger would give her all that gold for doing nothing more than watering him and his camels; and then his prayer to boot.

I'm guessing that at this point, Becky began to suspect that something was up. There were men with Abraham's steward who were no doubt all intently observing this scene and gauging Becky's reactions throughout the whole incident. Looking at them, looking at the man, looking at his camels loaded down with all manner of stuff, and that there were more saddled camels than men to ride them; I think Becky began to get nervous because right then she took off out of there for home like a United passenger with scarcely seconds to spare to catch their connection from Chicago to Seattle.

● Gen 24:28 . .The maiden ran and told all this to her mother's household.

Becky told the story to her mom's side of the family, which suggests that her dad Bethuel may have kept a concubine as well as a wife.

Here's a possible scenario of what happened next.

Becky's mom (whose name isn't given) has become anxious-- it's getting late, and her baby hasn't returned yet with the evening water supply.

Then, WHAM! as sudden and unexpected as a California earthquake: an excited, out of breath Becky-girl comes crashing through the door with a shriek and a squeal; dropping her jug on the floor with a thud, sloshing water over the floor, accompanied by the incomprehensible jabbering of a flock of magpies-- gasping for air, lungs burning; she spits her tale as arms flash with gold, and the ring in her nose sparkles like a glimmering salmon lure every time she turns her head; which is quite often.

At first, in dazed silence, everyone is paralyzed and nobody moves.

Then, BOOM! the whole place erupts and people start scrambling. Chairs get knocked over, tables bumped out of their places, lamps teeter, and doors slam with the whump and concussion of incoming mortar rounds. People out in the courtyard are barking orders to the servants at the tops of their voices; as everyone bolts off from ground-zero in ten different directions like panicked North Koreans making emergency preparations to put Kim Jong-Un up for the night.

Meanwhile, Becky's brother Laban (who just happens to be infected with a severe case of unbridled avarice) ignites the afterburners and sails out the door at Mach 2 on his way to fetch Abraham's steward.

● Gen 24:29-30a . . Now Rebecca had a brother whose name was Laban. He ran out to the man at the spring when he saw the nose-ring and the bands on his sister's arms, and when he heard his sister Rebecca say: Thus the man spoke to me.

There's no record that Laban ever actually met Abraham in person, but Bethuel surely must have talked about him around the dinner table-- how the god of Noah had called uncle Abram to leave Mesopotamia and head south to the frontier. And caravans arriving from Egypt surely passed through Abraham's region, picking up news and information about the great sheik's exploits and the fact that Abraham's camp was very large; a community of at least a thousand people.

Then; Shazaam! Abraham's steward seemingly materializes out of nowhere-- totally unexpected like Forrest Gump's friend Jenny after a long absence --with samples of Abraham's prosperity. That must have been really exciting: akin to news from early-day Texas oilfields.

● Gen 24:30b-31a . . He went up to the man, who was still standing beside the camels at the spring. He said: Come in, O blessed of The Lord;

The word for "Lord" is actually  YHVH and is the very name of deity the steward used in his prayer.

Laban didn't actually worship Yhvh nor serve Him either. The steward's god was Yhvh; so for now, Yhvh would be Laban's god too. Becky's brother was a clever Machiavellian manipulator. By feigning respect for the steward's god; Laban no doubt hoped it would work to advantage. Later we're going to discover that Laban's own personal religion was actually idolatry. He kept a supply of divine figurines in his home-- little statuettes called teraphim.

● Gen 24:31b . . why do you remain outside, when I have made ready the house and a place for the camels?

Unlike Abraham's home, where Abraham ruled supreme, the daddy in Becky's home doesn't seem to have much voice or power in it. Bethuel's son, is the principle spokesman. He and his mom together seemed to run the place. Some husbands are happy with that kind of an arrangement so what the hey, if it works for them? It could be too that the daddy's health was not all that good and so he preferred letting his family manage the home.
_

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #173 on: May 19, 2019, 07:30:31 am »
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● Gen 24:32 . . So the man entered the house, and the camels were unloaded. The camels were given straw and feed, and water was brought to bathe his feet and the feet of the men with him.

In those days, when somebody "entered the house" they actually entered a gateway into a courtyard bordered by living quarters and stables.

Who took care of the animals? Probably servants. Which would indicate that Bethuel had done pretty well for himself in life. His home was spacious enough to shelter the servant and his detachment; plus he had enough provender and bedding for at least ten camels.

Hmmmm. Makes one curious why Becky was out there fetching water. Why did she have to do it if they had servants? Well, I don't think she really had to; but Isaac's future bride was no narcissistic prima donna: she was one of those people who don't mind pitching in and getting their hands dirty. Privileged or no privileged; that girl was something.

● Gen 24:33a . . But when food was set before him, he said: I will not eat until I have told my tale.

Always one for business, the man got straight to the point.

● Gen 24:33b . . He said: Speak, then.

Who was it said: speak? Well, the nearest antecedent is Laban. You know, that boy reminds me of Sonny Corleone; the eldest brother in Mario Puzo's book "The Godfather". Sonny was headstrong, outspoken, and a slave to his passions; just like ol' Laban.

● Gen 24:34 . . I am Abraham's servant: he began.

I think it's commendable that this man, so far from home, didn't introduce himself by his own name but rather by the name of the one whom he represented.

● Gen 24:35 . .The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich: He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and burros.

I love the way this man gives credit to Yhvh for Abraham's good fortune rather than to idols, heathen deities, dumb luck, brute force, fortuitous circumstance, and/or Abraham's business skills.

It was important that the man tell Becky's family about Abraham's religion, and about his wealth, because in a moment he's going to drop a 2,000 pound bunker buster that will change their lives forever.
_

Bladerunner

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #174 on: May 19, 2019, 09:24:55 pm »
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● Gen 24:32 . . So the man entered the house, and the camels were unloaded. The camels were given straw and feed, and water was brought to bathe his feet and the feet of the men with him.

In those days, when somebody "entered the house" they actually entered a gateway into a courtyard bordered by living quarters and stables.

Who took care of the animals? Probably servants. Which would indicate that Bethuel had done pretty well for himself in life. His home was spacious enough to shelter the servant and his detachment; plus he had enough provender and bedding for at least ten camels.

Hmmmm. Makes one curious why Becky was out there fetching water. Why did she have to do it if they had servants? Well, I don't think she really had to; but Isaac's future bride was no narcissistic prima donna: she was one of those people who don't mind pitching in and getting their hands dirty. Privileged or no privileged; that girl was something.

● Gen 24:33a . . But when food was set before him, he said: I will not eat until I have told my tale.

Always one for business, the man got straight to the point.

● Gen 24:33b . . He said: Speak, then.

Who was it said: speak? Well, the nearest antecedent is Laban. You know, that boy reminds me of Sonny Corleone; the eldest brother in Mario Puzo's book "The Godfather". Sonny was headstrong, outspoken, and a slave to his passions; just like ol' Laban.

● Gen 24:34 . . I am Abraham's servant: he began.

I think it's commendable that this man, so far from home, didn't introduce himself by his own name but rather by the name of the one whom he represented.

● Gen 24:35 . .The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich: He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and burros.

I love the way this man gives credit to Yhvh for Abraham's good fortune rather than to idols, heathen deities, dumb luck, brute force, fortuitous circumstance, and/or Abraham's business skills.

It was important that the man tell Becky's family about Abraham's religion, and about his wealth, because in a moment he's going to drop a 2,000 pound bunker buster that will change their lives forever.
_


Unbelievable

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1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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patrick jane

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #175 on: May 19, 2019, 09:28:30 pm »
It spices up our lives Blade !!! Hang in there brother.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -

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May 19, 2019, 12:20:56 am