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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:28

 

 

In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the way of righteousness is life - חיים chaiyim, lives; life temporal, and life eternal.

And in the pathway thereof there is no death - Not only do the general precepts and promises of God lead to life eternal, and promote life temporal; but every duty, every act of faith, patience of hope, and labor of love, though requiring much self-abasement, self-denial, and often an extension of corporal strength, all lead to life. For in every case, in every particular, "the path of duty is the way of safety." The latter clause is only a repetition of the sense of the former.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness is life.

Life in the way of righteousness

There are many ways which men are found to pursue in order to the attainment of happiness. One pursues the way of worldly pleasure; another is fascinated by the splendour and magnificence and show of the world; another seeks happiness in the business of life. These ways are false ways and disappointing ways. There is a way which is neither delusive nor disappointing. It is the way of holiness, the way of conformity to God’s mind and will. The righteous walk in this way. But who are the righteous? They who are interested by faith in the Redeemer’s righteousness for justification and acceptance before God. They are distinguished by the integrity of their principles and a conscientious endeavour to discharge every duty they owe their fellow-men. They are careful to avoid all known sin, and desire to live in the practice of all known duty. They are not satisfied with present attainments in religin, but seek to grow in grace as well as knowledge. They are animated by the constraining love of Jesus. They live in the exercise of communion with God in prayer and praise. And the text declares that those who walk in holy obedience to the revealed will of God, and are filled with the fruits of righteousness, have received a new nature, and are animated by a new life. The existence of the life of grace in the soul will be manifested by its corresponding effects in the walk and conversation. In the way of righteousness is the life of consolation and joy. God’s smile is on the righteous in all their goings. Great are the privileges of the righteous, which must be felt, but cannot be adequately described. The new life, kindled by the Spirit of God, shall never be extinguished. It shall survive every shock of opposition and trial, and shall triumph over the combined rage of earth and hell. “In the pathway thereof there is no death.” The righteous must die, as well as the unrighteous; there is no peculiarity of exemption in their case from the stroke of the last enemy. But to the believer in Jesus death is unspeakable gain. Then are we in the number of the righteous? (C. Rawlings, B.A.)

The way of religion recommended as

I. A straight, plain, easy way. God’s commands (the rule we are to walk by) are all holy, just, and good. Religion has right, reason, and equity on its side.

II. As a safe, pleasant comfortable way.

1. There is not only life at the end, but there is life in the way; all true comfort and satisfaction. The favour of God, which is better than life; the Spirit, who is life.

2. There is not only life in it, but so as that in it “there is no death,” none of that sorrow of the world which works death, and is an allay to our present joy and life. There is no end to that life that is in the way of righteousness. Here there is life, but there is death too. In the way of righteousness there is life and no death--life and immortality. (Matthew Henry.)
.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:28". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"In the way of righteousness is life; And in the pathway thereof, there is no death."

How could a proverb like this need any comment or explanation whatever?


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the way of righteousness is life,.... The life of the soul, or spiritual life, as Aben Ezra; and eternal life, as Gersom. One that is in the true way of righteousness is one that is instilled by the righteousness of Christ, which justification is the justification of life: such an one is made alive, and reckons himself alive in a law sense; and enjoys true spiritual peace and comfort, arising from the love and favour of God, and acceptance with him, in which he sees his interest, and in which is life; and this righteousness, by which he is justified before God, entitles him to eternal life; to which the path of holiness, he is directed and enabled to walk in, leads; though it is a narrow way, and a strait gate, Matthew 7:14. Christ, and righteousness and holiness in and by him, are the way, the truth, and the life, or the true way to eternal life; and all in this way now live spiritually, and shall live eternally, John 14:6;

and in the pathway thereof there is no death; no condemnation to them that are in Christ, the way, and are justified by his righteousness; the law's sentence of death shall not be executed on them, though it passed upon them in Adam; spiritual death shall not again prevail over those who are passed from death to life; nor shall they be hurt at the second death; they shall never die that death, it shall have no power over them; life and immortality are the sure effects of being in the way of righteousness. The Targum renders it, "the way of the perverse": and the Septuagint version, "of those that remember evil": and the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the way of angry men is unto death": and so the Vulgate Latin version,

"the out of the way path leads to death:'

and so some Hebrew copies read, instead of "no death, unto death"; but the most read as we do, and which the Jewish commentators follow.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Compare Proverbs 8:8, Proverbs 8:20, etc.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively.


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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.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

28 In the path of righteousness is life,

And the way of its path is immortality.

All the old versions to the Venet . give אל־ instead of אל־ , and are therefore under the necessity of extracting from ודּרך נתיבה a meaning corresponding to this, εἰς θάνατον , in which they are followed by Hitzig: “a devious way leadeth to death.” But נתיב ( נתיבה ) signifies step, and generally way and street ( vid ., at Proverbs 1:15), not “devious way,” which is expressed, Judges 5:6, by ארחות עקלקלות . And that אל is anywhere punctuated thus in the sense of אל is previously improbable, because the Babylonian system of punctuation distinguishes the negative אל with a short Pathach , and the prepositional אל (Arab. ilâ ) with a short Chirek , from each other ( vid ., Pinsker, Einl. p. xxii.f.); the punctuation 2 Samuel 18:16; Jeremiah 51:3, gives no support to the opinion that here אל is vocalized thus in the sense of אל , and it is not to be thus corrected. Nothing is more natural than that the Chokma in its constant contrast between life and death makes a beginning of expressing the idea of the ἀθανασία , which Aquila erroneously read from the אל־מות , Ps. 48:15. It has been objected that for the formation of such negative substantives and noun-adjectives לא ( e.g. , לא־אל , לא־עם ) and not אל is used; but that אל also may be in close connection with a noun, 2 Samuel 1:13 shows. There אל־טל is equivalent to אל יהי טל , according to which it may also be explained in the passage before us, with Luther and all the older interpreters, who accepted אל in its negative signification: and on (the בּ governing) the way ... is no death. The negative אל frequently stands as an intensifying of the objective לא ; but why should the Chokma , which has already shown itself bold in the coining of new words, not apply itself to the formation of the idea of immortality?: the idol name אליל is the result of a much greater linguistic boldness. It is certain that אל is here not equivalent to אל ; the Masora is therefore right in affirming that נתיבה is written with He raphatum pro mappicato ( vid ., Kimchi, Michlol 31a, and in the Lex .), cf. 1 Samuel 20:20, vid ., Böttcher, §418. Thus: the way of their step is immortality, or much rather, since דּרך is not a fixed idea, but also denotes the going to a distance ( i.e. , the journey), the behaviour, the proceeding, the walk, etc.: the walking (the stepping over and passing through) of their way is immortality. Rich in synonyms of the way, the Hebrew style delights in connecting them with picturesque expressions; but דּרך always means the way in general, which divides into ארחות or נתיבות (Job 6:18; Jeremiah 18:5), and consists of such (Isaiah 3:16). The distich is synonymous: on the path of righteousness (accentuate בארח צדקה ) is life meeting him who walks in it, and giving itself to him as a possession, and the walking in its path is immortality (cf. Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 10:28); so that to go in it and to be immortal, i.e. , to be delivered from death, to be exalted above it, is one and the same thing. If we compare with this, 1 Samuel 14:32, it is obvious that the Chokma begins ( vid ., Psychol . p. 410) to break through the limits of this present life, and to announce a life beyond the reach of death.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The way of religion is here recommended to us, 1. As a straight, plain, easy way; it is the way of righteousness. God's commands (the rule we are to walk by) are all holy, just, and good. Religion has right reason and equity on its side; it is a path-way, a way which God has cast up for us (Isaiah 35:8); it is a highway, the king's highway, the King of kings' highway, a way which is tracked before us by all the saints, the good old way, full of the footsteps of the flock. 2. As a safe, pleasant, comfortable way. (1.) There is not only life at the end, but there is life in the way; all true comfort and satisfaction. The favour of God, which is better than life; the Spirit, who is life. (2.) There is not only life in it, but so as that in it there is no death, none of that sorrow of the world which works death and is an allay to our present joy and life. There is no end of that life that is in the way of righteousness. Here there is life, but there is death too. In the way of righteousness there is life, and no death, life and immortality.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness [is] life; and [in] the pathway [thereof there is] no death.

Ver. 28. In the way of righteousness is life.] And life, in any sense, is a sweet mercy, a precious indulgence. Life natural is but a little spot of time between two eternities, before and after, but it is of great consequence (for ex hoc momento pendet aeternitas), and given us for this purpose, that glory may be begun in grace, and we have a further and further entrance into the kingdom of heaven here, as Peter saith, 2 Peter 1:11.

And in the path thereof there is no death.] Christ hath unstinged the first death, and made it of a punishment, a benefit; of a postern to let out temporal life, a street door to let in eternal life. (a) Surely the bitterness of this death is past to the righteous; there is no gall in it (as the Hebrew word there signifies); nay, there is honey in it, as once there was in the corpse of Samson’s dead lion. And for the second death, there is no danger; for they shall pass from the jaws of death to the joys of heaven. Yea, though hell had closed her mouth upon a child of God, it could as little hold him as the whale could Jonah; it must, perforce, regurgitate, and render up such a morsel.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

How blessed is every portion of the divine word, when read with an eye to Christ. Wherever Christ is seen, and known, and enjoyed; there the word becomes life and spirit to the heart. I found thy words and did eat them, (saith one of the prophets) and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart. And what rendered God's word so sweet was, that Christ filled every part of it. These were the green pastures in which God caused his servant to lie down, when he fed him beside the still waters. When Christ is seen in them, and the Holy Ghost gives the soul to taste Christ in them; then as the church said, so all the people find; it is blessed to sit down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to the taste. Reader! do you find it to be so? Have you found Christ in this chapter? Depend upon it, the grace of God, and the word of God, which bringeth salvation, brings it from this source: and it then flows in upon the soul, in rich, full, free, and blessed streams of Christ as the salvation of God for poor sinners. Oh! for grace so to find, so to enjoy, so to relish, and so to live upon Jehovah's precious gift to men. In this way of Jesus and his righteousness is life, and in the very path-way thereof, the private, as well as the public ordinances of grace, there is no death.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/proverbs-12.html. 1828.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 28. In the way of righteousness is life, it leads to the possession and enjoyment of true life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death, no misfortune of any kind, for it is only the devious way that leads to destruction.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 12:28. In the path-way thereof there is no death Or, There is immortality. The LXX read the clause, But the way of the revengeful is to death: and Houbigant, after the Vulgate, But a devious way leadeth to death.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The practice of justice and godliness, though it expose a man to some dangers and inconveniences in the world, yet it will certainly lead him to life and happiness, whereas the end of all wicked courses is death and destruction.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

28. Way of righteousness is life — Plural, lives; life temporal and life eternal.

Pathway thereof… is no death — Better. A devious way leadeth to death. The original denotes a crooked, winding path, of uncertain, if not of positively evil, termination. The later critics think our Authorized Version has mistaken the sense.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:28. In the way of righteousness is life, &c. — The practice of righteousness, though it expose a man to some dangers and inconveniences in the world, through the corruption of mankind, and the malice of the devil, yet it will certainly lead a man to life and happiness; whereas the end of all the wicked is death and destruction.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Bye-way. Of vice. Hebrew, "and a way which leadeth to death," or "its paths conduct to death." (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

life: i.e. life eternal. See note on Leviticus 18:5.

no death = immortality. Or take nethebah (as in Judges 5:6. Isaiah 59:8) as denoting, with derek, no devious winding by-path. In this case we must read "el, "to", instead of "al, "no". This avoids the necessity of the italics.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

In the way of righteousness (is) life; and (in) the pathway (thereof there is) no death. "The pathway:" two Hebrew nouns, as in the English version, derek (Hebrew #1870) n


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(28) In the way of righteousness is life.—Comp. above on Proverbs 10:2, “Righteousness delivereth from death.”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
8:35; 9:11; 10:16; 11:19; Ezekiel 18:9,20-24; Romans 5:21; 6:22,23; Titus 2:11,12; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; 3 John 1:11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . No death, literally "no-death," i.e., "immortality."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

I. There is a way of righteousness in the world.

1. This fact is universally recognised. Men regard each other as moral and responsible beings. The doctrine of necessity will not do for every-day life. In all positions and conditions, man is met with the assumption that there is a "way of righteousness," and his fellow-men deal with him accordingly. Man could not be held accountable for his actions if a right way of life did not exist, in which it was possible for him to walk.

2. This fact is confirmed by conscience. Bad actions are followed by remorse, and good deeds bring gladness to the soul. If there were no way of righteousness, how could this be the case?

3. It is revealed to us by God. The Bible sets forth two paths, in one of which man must walk, it foretells a day in which God will judge men, and will hold them guilty who have refused to walk in the way of righteousness after it has been made known to them. Where there is no way of righteousness there can be no transgression, and, consequently, no penalty.

II. The way of life implies—

1. A beginning. All ways or paths have a starting-point, all methods or plans of life date from some point of time.

2. An object in view. If men walk in a certain road it is presumed that they have some purpose in view.

3. An end or goal. So the way of righteousness. Its beginning is "repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ;" the object at which it aims by "patient continuance in well-doing" is "glory, and honour, and immortality;" its end is "eternal life" (Act ; Rom 2:7), for "in the pathway thereof is no death, or immortality" (On this subject see also homiletics on chap. Pro 4:18).

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

From life being said to be in the way of righteousness, I should urge the lesson that the deeds of the hand have a reflex influence upon the state of the heart. There is life in spiritual-mindedness, and it serves to aliment this life to walk in the way of obedience.—Chalmers.

And life, in any sense, is a sweet mercy, a precious indulgence. Life natural is but a little spot of time between the two eternities, before and after, but it is of great consequence, and given us for this purpose, that glory may be begun in grace, and we have a further and further entrance into the kingdom of heaven here, as Peter saith (2Pe ). Christ hath unstinged the first death, and made of a postern to let out eternal life, a street-door to let in eternal life. Surely the bitterness of this death is past to the righteous; there is no gall in it; nay, there is honey in it, as once there was in the corpse of Samson's dead lion. And for the second death there is no danger, for they shall pass from the jaws of death to the joys of heaven. Yea, though hell had closed her mouth upon a child of God, it would as little hold him as the whale could Jonah; it must, perforce, regurgitate such a morsel.—Trapp.

"Righteousness" which is the very path of the righteous man, is itself eternal life. All men have a "way," and this implies that all men have an "end." The Psalmist had before announced (Psa ) that "the way of the ungodly shall perish;" that is, not only shall they not reach their end, but their very way shall die down and perish. They shall cease to take an interest in it. But this passage goes deeper. It says the path of righteousness is life itself, and then, contrasting them with the wicked, it says, "their way is a path," i.e., it leads somewhere; and then implies that all other ways are "a death!" These are striking truths. Immortality is a path. It travels the ages. It begins among believers. It is itself its destiny. Impenitence is "a death." It travels nowhere. The very mind of the impenitent can announce no terminus for his way-worn tread.—Miller.

NOTE.—It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that Miller translates the latter clause of this verse, "The way is a path, not a death."

HOMILY ON THE ENTIRE CHAPTER

On the true wisdom of the children of God as it ought to appear

(1) In the home, under the forms of good discipline, diligence, and contentment;

(2) In the State, or in the intercourse of citizens, under the forms of truthfulness, justice, and unfeigned benevolence (Pro ); in the Church, or in the religious life, as a progressive knowledge of God, a diligent devotion to prayer, and striving after eternal life (Pro 12:23-28).—Lange's Commentary.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:28". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-12.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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