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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 60:20



"Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thy sun shall no more go down - There shall be no total and long night of calamity, error, and sin. This is designed to describe the flourishing and glorious state of the church. It, of course, does not mean that there should be no times of calamity, no period of ignorance, no scenes of persecution; but it means that there should not be total night. Truth should reign on the earth, and there never would be a time when the light of salvation would be extinct. There never would be a time like that when Jerusalem was wholly destroyed, and a long total night came over the land. There never would be a time when the Sun of righteousness would not shine, or when the world would be wholly deprived of the illumination of his beams. The church would be perpetual. It would live through all changes, and survive all revolutions, and to the end of time the light of salvation would shine upon a darkened world. Since the Messiah came the light of revelation has never been wholly withdrawn from the world, nor has there been a period in which total and absolute night has come over all the church of God. But the prophet, probably, referred to far more glorious times than have yet occurred. The period is coming when the light of salvation will shine upon the earth with unclouded and universal splendor, as if the sun having ascended to the meridian should stand there in a blaze of glory age after age; when there shall be no alternation of day and night when the light shall not be obscured by clouds; and when there shall be no eclipse of his glory.

Neither shall thy moon - This language is poetic, and means that there would be no such obscurity in the church as there would be in the world should the sun and moon be withdrawn. Light and beauty unobscured would fill the whole heavens, and the darkness of night would be henceforward unknown.

Withdraw itself - Hebrew, יאסף yē'âsēp - ‹Be collected,‘ that is, shall not be withdrawn, or shall not wane. The Septuagint, Οὐκ ἐκλείψει Ouk ekleipsei - ‹Shall not be eclipsed,‘ or shall not fail.

The days of thy mourning - (See the notes at Isaiah 25:8). The description here, therefore, is one of great glory and happiness in the church. That period will yet arrive; and no friend of God and of the happiness of man can think of that time without praying most sincerely that it may soon come, when the Sun of righteousness, in the fullness of his glory, shall ascend to the meridian, and stand there without one obscuring cloud, and pour the splendor of the noontide beams all over a darkened world. Some of the ideas in this chapter, descriptive of the glorious times of the gospel, have been beautifully versified by Pope in his Messiah:

Rise, crown‘d with light, imperial Salem, rise!

Exalt thy tow‘ry head, and lift thy eyes!

See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;

See future sons and daughters yet unborn,

In crowding ranks on every side arise,

Demanding life, impatient for the skies!

See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,

Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend:

See thy bright altars throng‘d with prostrate kings,

And heap‘d with products of Sabcan springs!

For thee Idumea‘s spicy forests blow,

And seeds of gold in Ophir‘s mountains glow;

See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,

And break upon them in a flood of day!

No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,

Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;

But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,

One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,

O‘erflow thy courts; the light himself shall shine

Reveal‘d, and God‘s eternal day be thine!

The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,

Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;

But fix‘d his word, his saving power remains;

Thy realm forever lasts, thine own Messiah reigns!

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 60:20

Thy sun shall no more go down

The world of light

THE SOURCE OF THE LIGHT. “The Lord.” This is true even of the present world. The light which reason sheds on our path is a ray of His kindling. But here, in this world of ours, there are generally intermediate sources through which the light we have is conveyed to us. It does not come directly from God. In the heavenly world, however, it will be different. There, every intermediate agency will be done away, and the light that shines will shine immediately from God. There are four things symbolized in the Bible by this word “light, ‘ and all that we shall know or possess of each of these four things in heaven, we shall know or possess through Jesus.

1. Knowledge (Psalms 119:130).

2. Holiness (Romans 13:12).

3. Happiness (Psalms 97:11).

4. Beauty or glory (John 17:24). In this lower world we know how true it is that there is no beauty or glory that the eye takes in for which we are not indebted to the light that shines from yonder natural sun. In heaven Jesus is the Sun that shines on all.

II. THE CHARACTER OF THE LIGHT. Three elements of it are mentioned in our text. When we decompose the light of the natural sun, seven rays or colours are the result of the analysis. But these seven we know may be resolved into three--the red, the yellow, and the blue. Thus there is a trinity of rays of elements in the light which the natural sun is pouring forth continually And it is an interesting thing to find that when we come to analyze the light of the heavenly world, the same feature is found to mark it.

1. There is one ray in this light which may be called the continuous ray “Thy sun shall no more -o down neither shall thy moon withdraw itself.’

2. We have here a perpetual ray. “An everlasting light. To speak of the perpetual, as well as the continuous nature of this light, is not a distinction without a difference. You may have light that is continuous for a season even when you know that it cannot be perpetual.

3. The third ray may be characterized as a joyous ray. “The days of thy mourning shall be ended.” (R. Newton, D. D.)

The saint on earth and in heaven

The words present us with two different views of truth.


1. It is a state of change--vicissitude--perpetual alteration. The sun rises to set; it sets to rise. The moon waxes and wanes.

2. The words point us to our present state of comparative darkness; for the contrast is between the minor light of the sun, the lesser light of the moon, and the glorious light of the Lord.

3. The words present us, too, with a picture of a state of mourning: “The days of thy mourning shall be ended.”

II. THEY OPEN TO US A GLORIOUS PROSPECT. There are two blessings especially pointed out to us here.

1. Perfect light.

2. Perfect happiness. (J. H. Evans, M. A.)

The present and future state of the people of God

I. THE PRESENT STATE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD. A state of darkness and of sorrow. To what causes can such experience be ascribed?

1. To their remaining ignorance, and the imperfection of their present views.

2. This may be the case under a sense of the prevalence of sin, and especially of unbelief.

3. They may be in such a situation also, from the Lord withdrawing from them the sensible communications of spiritual light and comfort.

II. THEIR FUTURE STATE. A state of uninterrupted light, of perpetual cessation from sorrow, consequently of endless joy. The Lord shall be the everlasting light of His people.

1. As He will give them a more enlarged capacity of knowing and enjoying “Him.

2. He will afford them more perfect discoveries of Himself.

3. He will afford them more enlarged views of His works and ways.

4. He will impart to them the fullest assurance of their interest in His peculiar regard.

5. He will be their everlasting Light. (D. Dickson.)

The eternal day

1. Israel of old had light while all the rest of the world sat in darkness. This typical Church of God abode not in the light continually, its history was chequered with alternate brightness and gloom, repentance and relapse, prosperity and adversity.

2. Another dispensation came; Jesus Christ was born at Bethlehem, “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel,” and the sun shone upon the earth as it had never done before. A visible Church was called out to walk in the light, which Church still exists upon the earth, and from the days of Pentecost until now its sun has never altogether gone down, neither has its moon withdrawn herself. The light has not been always equally clear, but it has been still day.

3. But there is a Church upon the earth which is within the visible Church, and is its central life. I refer to the spiritual Church. This secret Church, this Church mystical, this true body of our Lord Jesus Christ, may claim to have had this text fulfilled in its experience in a far larger sense. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” Yet even to the Church spiritual the text has not been fulfilled in its largest conceivable sense, for I fear me that to the most spiritual some darkness comes. Their light is sown, but it has not yet sprung up to its full harvest.

4. We must, therefore, refer to a fourth form of the Church. If we see it not at all in the typical, a little in the visible, very much in the spiritual, we find it all in the Church triumphant. The full triumph of the Church of Christ shall begin in the millennium.

I. THE LIGHT OF THE TRIUMPHANT CHURCH SHALL BE INCESSANT. “Thy sun shall no more go down,” etc. There will be no intervening nights of darkness, but one long noonday of purity and felicity, “the days of her mourning shall be ended.” And why will this be?

1. Because the light of heaven is independent of creatures. In heaven the saints will need no teacher. When God sends a true preacher he is a star in God’s right hand, and the Church is bound to value his light, which is the gift of heaven, but we shall need no teachers there; we shall see, not through a glass darkly, but face to face. Up there they need no comforters to succour them in the time of their distress, for God Himself has wiped away all tears from their eyes. Poor saints will not then be dependent upon the alms or the consolations of others, though once their generous friends were like sun and moon to them.

2. Because it is cleared of all clouding elements. Here below in the Church of God, whatever by God’s grace may be our light, errors will arise to cloud it; evil men come in unawares and distract God’s saints. There are none such up yonder. Satan himself shall be shut out.

3. The saints themselves shall be so purified that nothing in them shall darken their light. Here to-day Christ changes not, but we change, and hence our joy departs. It shall not be so there. Notice that the text hints that both the major and the minor necessities of saints will be abundantly supplied. Have you not found sometimes that the Lord Jesus Christ has withdrawn Himself from you? Then your sun has gone down. You ore prospering in business; God gives you all that heart can wish, the moon does not withdraw herself, but the sun has gone, and woe beclouds your spirit. It will never be so in heaven, you shall see your Lord face to face without a veil between, and that eternally. Here, on the ether hand, at times Jesus has shone upon you, and as to spiritual things you have been rich, but then earthly trouble has hovered over you, the “moon” has withdrawn herself. Not often have both sun and moon been as flesh and blood would have them. True, you have been able to do without the moon in the presence of the sun, but you would have preferred both spiritual and temporal prosperity. Now in heaven all the wants of our nature will be completely supplied.

4. The Church triumphant will be delivered from the vicissitudes of those seasons which cause the going down of sun and moon. I do not refer to slimmer and winter, but to ecclesiastical and temporal arrangements, such as the Sabbath and times of assembly and Church fellowship. It was a glad day for Israel when the trumpets rang out the morning of the Jubilee, for every slave was free, and every debtor found his liabilities discharged. Back came each man’s lost inheritance, and the whole nation was glad. With sound of trumpet and of cornet they saluted the rising of the sun on the first day of that Jubilee year; but the jubilee year went by, and lands were mortgaged and forfeited, and slaves fell again into slavery, and bankrupts were again, seized by their creditors. We are coming to a jubilee, of which the trumpets shall sound for ever.

II. THE LIGHT OF THE TRIUMPHANT CHURCH IS EVERLASTING. “The Lord shall be thine everlasting light.” Why will the perfection and bliss of the saints triumphant never end?

1. Because the God from whom it comes is eternal.

2. The covenant by which the saints stand in heaven is a sure one.

3. The guarantee of that covenant can never fail, seeing it is Christ Himself. “Because I live ye shall live also” is the great seal set upon the indentures by which we hold our inheritance in the skies.

4. Those who possess heaven are also themselves immortal.

III. THE LIGHT OF THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT SHALL BE BOUNDLESS. “The Lord shall be thine everlasting light.” The Lord is infinite. If He is our sun there can be no limit to the light in which we shall rejoice.

1. If God is to be our light, then in every separate believer there will be a perfect light of bliss and holiness. You are aged, you feel also that you are full of infirmities and sins; now, these will all vanish, and that weakened form of yours shall be raised in power. Your ignorance will give place to the light of knowledge, your sin to the light of purity, your sorrow to the light of joy.

2. In addition to your possessing personal light, you will enjoy the closest possible fellowship with God.

3. This glorious light will give us the clearest views of Gospel truth.

4. There, no doubt, we shall understand more of Providence. Here our sun goes down sometimes as to the Divine dealings; we cannot make out what He means; the lines are dark and bending; we thought He would have led us by a straight course, but we wind to and fro in the wilderness. All the happiness which knowledge and understanding can bring to intelligent beings shall be at our feet.

5. There we shall receive the utmost endurable joy. Some have thought the joy of heaven would lie in knowledge; they shall have it. Others have rejoiced in the prospect of continued service; they shall serve Him day and night in His temple. The sweetest thought of heaven to me is rest, and I shall have it, for “there remaineth, therefore, a rest for the people of God.” Peace! O quiet soul, do you not long for it? You shall have it. Security and a sense of calm! O tempest-tossed one, you shall have them. Strength, power--some have wished for that. You shall be raised in power. Fulness, the filling up of every vacuum! You shall have it; you shall be filled with all the fulness of God.

IV. THE LIGHT OF THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT IS UNMINGLED. “The days of thy mourning shall be ended.”

1. The mourning from a persecuting world.

2. There will be no more mourning from the common trials of life.

3. Then shall we be delivered from all mourning caused by our inward sin.

4. We shall be delivered from every kind of mourning as to an absent God, for we shall never grieve Him any more.

5. I find that one version reads it, “The days of thy mourning shall be recompensed,” and I say this to those who have to mourn more than others: you shall have a recompense. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 60:20". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thy sun shall no more go down,.... This is a different sun from the former; this is the church's sun, and no other than the sun of righteousness, Christ Jesus; who has his risings and settings now, at least, in the apprehensions of his people; he sometimes withdraws himself, and is gone; and then returns again: but so it will not be in this state: the saints shall be for ever with him, and he shall be for ever with them; who will always behold his glory, and be enlightened by him; see 1 Thessalonians 4:16,

neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; or, "shall not be gathered"F9יאסף "non colligetur", Montanus, Vitringa; "vel recolligetur", Vatablus; "occultabitur", Munster, Tigurine version. , under a cloud; or "fail"F11 ουκ εκλειψειν, Sept. "deficiet", Pagninus. , as the Septuagint version; or, "suffer a defect", as the Arabic version; as the moon does when in the wane, or is eclipsed. This may refer to this then present state of the church, which shall not fail; and to the blessings and comforts of it from Christ the sun, which will not cease, the enjoyment of them be ever interrupted. The Targum is,

"thy kingdom shall cease no more, and thy glory shall not be removed;'

and so MaimonidesF12Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 29. p. 263. interprets it of the kingdom of the Messiah, that shall endure for ever:

for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light; this is repeated for the confirmation of it:

and the days of thy mourning shall be endedF13שלמו "completi erunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "completisunt", Vitringa. ; or, "completed"; shall be fully up, and so at an end: or, "shall be recompensed"F14"Compensabuntur", Tigurine version. ; with an everlasting day of joy and pleasure; there will now be no more sin to distress the saints; no more temptations of Satan to annoy them; no more afflictions either of body or mind to trouble them; no more pain, or crying, or death; and so no more mourning; sorrow and sighing will flee away; all tears will be wiped from their eyes; and everlasting joy be upon their heads; see Revelation 21:4.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

There shall be no national and spiritual obscuration again as formerly (Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9).

mourning … ended — (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 60:20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

Ver. 20. Thy sun shall no more go down.] Thy joy shall no man take from thee; thou shalt have a habitual cheerfulness.

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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Literally he means the Jews’ mourning in Babylon, but especially the uninterrupted happiness of the church: the Hebrew here for

ended signifies recompensed; their days of rejoicing shall abundantly recompense all their days of mourning.

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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Thy sun . . . go down. These prophecies

mourning. See note on Isaiah 3:26. yet await

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself - There shall be no national and spiritual obscuration again, as formerly (Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9).

The days of thy mourning shall be ended - (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4.)

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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Psalms 27:1; 84:11; Amos 8:9; Malachi 4:2
the days
25:8; 30:19; 35:10; Revelation 7:15-17; 21:4

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary


Isa . Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon, &c.

No one who is capable of appreciating the higher forms of poetry can refuse to pay a tribute of admiration to this magnificent chapter. It is a rapturous ode congratulating Zion on her restoration to heavenly favour, &c. Much of the chapter can only be interpreted spiritually. The text can never be true of this world. The parallelism of this verse.


1. There is great propriety in the figure which makes the light of the moon an emblem of earthly joy. The sun's light is in a sense his own, not so the moon. As the light of the sun is essential, so are the joys which come direct from God; as the light of the moon is borrowed and reflected, so is the joy that springs from earthly things. The things of earth have no inherent power of giving happiness.

2. There is equal propriety in saying of the "days of our mourning" that the moon withdraws itself. Our troubles come in two ways—

(1.) By the removal of our pleasant things.

(2.) Our pleasant things are left, but the joy of them is gone.

3. Our days of mourning, like the moon's withdrawing itself, are often sources of the greatest profit. Nothing helps reflection like trouble and sorrow. The loss of earthly joy makes heavenly hopes more bright.


1. We may compare the light of the sun to the joy which the soul receives from communion with God. The light of the sun is light from the highest source of light; and the joy of Divine communion is joy from the highest source of joy.

2. On earth the sun of the soul may go down—our heavenly prospect become clouded.


1. The causes that lead to the obscuring of our spiritual joys will be removed—clouds, shadow, night, &c. What must it be to be there?

2. And with this highest and purely spiritual glory shall be associated in the sublimest perfection all elements of the happiness that is secondary and subordinate. Ended shall be the hours of earthly anxiety, &c. Upon all the glory there shall be a defence, the defence of immortality. To which of the two worlds are you tending, &c.?—Frederick Greeves, D.D.

Isa . It is the purpose of God to grant larger manifestations of His grace and more copious outpourings of His Spirit in order to fulfil these delightful prophecies, and bring on even on earth golden days, &c. But the text manifestly points to heaven, as there only can it be completely and for ever verified (Rev 21:23). In this description of heaven we observe two things—

I. THE TOTAL ABSENCE OF ALL THE EVILS WE DEPLORE ON EARTH. Our text tells us what this life is, and what the life to come shall be, and plainly contrasts one state with the other. Now, joy and sorrow are blended; light and darkness are intermixed, &c. We are scarcely aware how necessary these vicissitudes and variations are. We forget that night is as necessary as the day. Morning never breaks so beautifully as after a tempestuous night, &c. These changes are the marks and indications of an imperfect dispensation of things, and they often present serious obstructions to our happiness and repose. We have a sun, but that sun goes down; we have a moon, but that moon withdraws itself; we have light, but that light is clouded and incomplete; we have days upon days, but they are often days of mourning, &c. Heaven, therefore, is beautifully described as exhibiting the total absence of all the evils we deplore, &c. He infirmity of body, &c. They are for ever gone, and if remembered at all, shall be remembered only as a ground of triumph that they are no more, &c.

II. THE PERPETUAL ENJOYMENT OF ALL THE GOOD WE DESIRE. God Himself shall constitute the immediate felicity of His children.

1. Knowledge without obscurity.

2. Holiness without sin.

3. Communion without weariness.

4. Happiness without alloy.


1. Secure a title to it, and a meetness for it.

2. Guard against the temptations and sins that often embitter the changes of this life.

3. Aim to take as many with you as you Song of Solomon 4. Remember you may be much nearer to it than you expect. What is your hope, &c.?—Samuel Thodey.

Isa . Never was a picture of national happiness described in more glowing colours than in this verse. It can only be completed in heaven. I. A MELANCHOLY SKETCH OF THE LIFE THAT NOW IS. And is it not a faithful sketch? Let us inquire into—

1. Some of the sources of human calamity. Some suffer from the afflictions—

(1.) Of the mind.

(2.) Body.

(3.) Worldly disappointments.

(4.) Family afflictions.

(5.) Bereavement. Thus days of mourning are allotted to all. The cup goes round.

2. Some of the reasons why these are permitted under the government of a wise, righteous, gracious God. To imbitter sin, to discipline and mature the character, to wean from the world, and conform to Christ.

3. Some of the consolations which the Gospel furnishes under them. Our sorrows are attended by many consolations. We are supported by many promises, &c. II. A DELIGHTFUL ANTICIPATION OP THE LIFE TO COME. In a future life our pains and sorrows cease. When our sorrow ceases positive happiness begins.

1. The presence of God. In this life God blesses us mediately—by channels of mercy, &c.; but in heaven immediately—He Himself will be the source of our bliss.

2. The absence of all sources of disquiet. Sin, sorrow, &c.

3. The communication of happiness suited to our nature.

4. Perpetuity gives the final charm.—S. Thodey.

Isa . I. The promise. Includes the ultimate prevalence of righteousness. The consequent increase of human enjoyment. II. The security of it. God will accomplish it, for the revelation of His own glory.

Isa . The growth of God's kingdom. I. The small proportion which the Church hears to the world. II. The promised enlargement. In numbers and influence. III. The certain and speedy accomplishment of this promise. God will bring it to pass. Will hasten it—in His time.—J. Lyth, D.D.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 60:20". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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