Luke 24Verses 1-12. Mt 28:1, also Mt 28:2-11. Verse 1. (a) "Now, upon" Mt 28:1, Mk 16:2, Jn 20:1 Verse 4. (b) "two men" Jn 20:12, Acts 1:10 Verse 5. (1) "the living", or "him that liveth" Verse 6. (c) "spake unto you" Mt 16:21, 17:23, Mk 8:31, Lk 9:22, Jn 2:22 Verse 10. (d) "Joanna" Lk 8:3 Verse 11. (e) "seemed to them" Gen 19:14, 2Kgs 7:2, Job 9:16, Ps 126:1, Acts 12:9,15 Verse 12. (f) "Then arose Peter" Jn 20:3,6 Verse 13. Two of them. Two of the disciples. The name of one of them was Cleopas, Lk 24:18. Many have supposed that the other was Luke, and that he omitted his own name from modesty. Others have supposed that it was Peter. See Lk 24:34, 1Cor 15:5 There is no evidence to guide us here. Dr. Lightfoot has shown that Cleopas is the same name as Alpheus, who was the father of the apostle James, Mt 10:3. Emmaus. In regard to the locality of Emmaus, it seems quite probable that it is the same village which is referred to by Josephus (Jewish Wars, vii. 6, 6), who states that, after the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus gave Emmaus, distant from Jerusalem threescore furlongs, to eight hundred of his troops, whom he had dismissed from his army, for their habitation. Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book, vol. it. p. 307, 540) regards it as the present Kuriet el 'Aineb, which Dr. Robinson identifies with Kirjath-jearim. Of this place he says: "Kuriet el 'Aineb itself would be the proper distance from Jerusalem, and being on the road to Jaffa, and on the dividing ridge between the plain and the mountains, the Roman emperor might have deemed it an advantageous post for a colony made up of his disbanded soldiers, who could keep in check the surrounding country. Certain it is that in these later ages the occupants of this place have controlled the whole adjacent region, and for many a generation exercised their lawless tyranny upon helpless pilgrims. "It took just three hours' moderate riding from Kuriet el 'Aineb to Jerusalem: first, a long descent into Wady Hanina, which passes between it and Soba; then a similar ascent, succeeded by a very steep pass, and a very slippery path down to Kulonia. At this place are some heavy foundations of church, convent, or castle by the road-side, which may be of almost any age, and also gardens of fruit-trees, irrigated by a fountain of excellent water. Kulonia is on a hill north of the road, and appears in a fair way to become a ruin itself before long. The path then winds up a valley, and stretches over a dreary waste of bare rocks until within a mile of the city, when the view opens upon its naked ramparts and the mysterious regions toward the Dead Sea." Threescore furlongs. Sixty furlongs, or about seven or eight miles. It is not certain that these were apostles, but the contrary seems to be implied in Lk 24:33. Lk 24:33. If they were not, it is probable that they were intimate disciples, who may have been much with the Saviour during the latter part of his ministry and the closing scenes of his life. But it is wholly unknown why they were going to Emmaus. It may have been that this was their native place, or that they had friends in the vicinity. They seem to have given up all for lost, and to have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not the Messiah, though they naturally conversed about it, and there were many things which they could not explain. Their Master had been crucified contrary to their expectation, their hopes dashed, their anticipation disappointed, and they were now returning in sadness, and very naturally conversed, in the way, of the things which had happened in Jerusalem. (g) "two of them" Mk 16:2 Verse 15. Communed together. Talked together. And reasoned. They reasoned, doubtless, about the probability or improbability that Jesus was the Messiah; about the evidence of his resurrection; about what was to be done in the present state of things. Jesus himself drew near, &c. The disciples were properly employed. Their minds were anxious about the state of things, and they endeavoured to arrive at the truth. In this state of things Jesus came to solve their doubts, and to establish them in the belief that he was the Christ; and we may learn from this that Christ will guide those who are sincerely endeavouring to know the truth. They who candidly and seriously endeavour to ascertain what is true and right he will direct; and often in an unexpected manner he will appear, to dissipate their doubts and to scatter all their perplexities. Our duty is sincerely to strive to ascertain the truth, and to do his will; and if his people do this, he will not leave them to perplexity and wandering. (h) "communed" Mal 3:16, Mt 18:20, Lk 24:36 Verse 16. Their eyes were holden. This expression is used merely to denote that they did not know who he was. It does not appear that there was anything supernatural or miraculous in it, or that God used any power to blind them. It may easily be accounted for without any such supposition; for, 1st. Jesus appeared in another form (Mk 16:12)--that is, different from his usual appearance. 2nd. They were not expecting to see him--indeed, they did not suppose that he was alive and it required the strongest evidence to convince them that he was really risen from the dead. (i) "holden" Jn 20:14,15, 21:4 Verse 17. What manner of communications, &c. What is the subject of your conversation? What is it that has so much affected your minds? They were deeply affected in the recollection of the death of Jesus; and, as became all Christians, they were conversing about him, and were sad at the overwhelming events that had come upon them. Verse 18. Art thou only a stranger? &c. This is an expression of surprise that he should be unacquainted with an affair that had made so much noise, and that had been attended with so remarkable circumstances. The word stranger here denotes one who had come to reside at a place only for a time, not a permanent inhabitant. Many Jews came up from all parts of the world to Jerusalem, to keep the Passover there. They appear to have taken Jesus to be such a stranger or foreigner. The meaning of this verse may be thus expressed: "The affair concerning which we are sad has been well known, and has made a great talk and noise, so that all, even the strangers who have come up to remain there but a little time, are well acquainted with it. Art thou the only one of them who has not heard it? Is everybody so well acquainted with it, and thou hast not heard of it? It is a matter of surprise, and we cannot account for it." (k) "Cleopas" Jn 19:25 Verse 19. A prophet. A teacher sent from God. They did not now call him the Messiah, for his death had led them to doubt that, but they had no doubt that he was a distinguished prophet. The evidence of that was so clear that they could not call it in question. Mighty in deed. Powerful in working miracles, in raising the dead, healing the sick, &c. In word. In teaching. Before God and all the people. Manifestly; publicly. So that God owned him, and the people regarded him as a distinguished teacher. (l) "prophet" Lk 7:16, Jn 3:2, Acts 2:22 (m) "mighty" Acts 7:22 Verse 20. Mt 26:59, also Mt 26:60-66 (n) "now" Lk 23:1, Acts 13:27,28 Verse 21. We trusted. We hoped and expected. Should have redeemed Israel. That he was the Messiah, who would have delivered the nation from the Romans. Besides all this. It is to be observed that Cleopas states things just as they occurred to his own mind. There is little connection. His mind is confused and distracted. There were so many things that were remarkable in Jesus; there was so much evidence that he was the Messiah; their hopes had been so suddenly dashed by his death, and the succeeding events had been so wonderful, that his mind was confused, and he knew not what to think. The things which he now stated served to increase his perplexity. The expressions here are perfectly natural. They bespeak an agitated mind. They are simple touches of nature, which show that the book was not forged. If the book had been the work of imposture, this artless and perplexed narrative would not have been thought of. Today is the third day, &c. Jesus had foretold them that he would rise on the third day. This they did not understand; but it is not improbable that they looked to this day expecting something wonderful, and that the visit to the sepulchre had called it to their recollection, and they were more and more amazed when they put all these things together. As if they had said, "The third day is come, and we have not seen him. Yet we begin to remember his promise--the angels have informed us that he is alive--but we do not know how to put these things together, or what to make of them." Verses 22,23. Certain women. See Mt 28:1-7; Jn 20:12 A vision of angels. An appearance of angels, or they had seen angels. See Jn 20:12. Verse 24. Certain of them which were with us. Peter and John. See Jn 20:2-9. (q) "Certain" He 5:11,12 Verse 25. O fools. The word fool sometimes is a term of reproach denoting wickedness. In this sense we are forbidden to employ it in addressing another, Mt 5:22. That, however, is a different word in the Greek from the one which occurs here. The one there used implies contempt, but the one employed in this place denotes weakness or dulness. He reproached them for not seeing what he had himself so clearly predicted, and what had been foretold by the prophets. The word used in the original does not imply as much reproach as the word fool does among us. It was not an expression of contempt; it was an expression denoting merely that they were thoughtless, and that they did not properly attend to the evidence that he must die and rise again. Slow of heart to believe. Not quick to perceive. Dull of learning. They had suffered their previous opinions and prejudices to prevent their seeing the evidence that he must die and rise from the dead. All that the prophets have spoken. Respecting the character and sufferings of the Messiah. Lk 24:27. (r) "O, fools" He 5:11,12 Verse 26. Ought not Christ, &c. Ought not the Messiah. Was there not evidence that he would do it? and was it not indispensable that he should, in order to fulfil the prophecies? The necessity of his suffering these things referred to here was that it was foretold that he would. The reason why it was predicted, and why it was necessary that it should occur, was that it was proper that God should manifest his justice, and do honour to his law, and secure the due regard for his government, while he pardoned the guilty. (s) Lk 24:46, Acts 17:3, He 9:22,23 Verse 27. Beginning at Moses. At the writings of Moses, or at the beginning of the Old Testament; or rather the word beginning should be separated from what follows, denoting simply that he commenced his discourse, and not that he began at the prophets as well as at Moses; thus, "And commencing his discourse, or replying to them, he expounded from Moses and the prophets," &c. All the prophets. The books of the Old Testament generally. He expounded. He explained or interpreted it to them. Probably he showed them that their notions of the Messiah were not according to the Scriptures. They expected a temporal prince; they were perplexed because Jesus had not assumed the regal power, but had been put to death. He showed them that according to the prophecies he ought to suffer, and that his death, therefore, was no argument that he was not the Messiah. In all the scriptures. In all the writings of the Old Testament. They were called scriptures because they were written, the art of printing being then unknown. The things concerning himself. Concerning the Messiah. It does not appear that he applied them to himself, but left them, probably, to make the application. He showed what the Scriptures foretold, and they saw that these things applied to Jesus of Nazareth, and began to be satisfied that he was the Messiah. The most striking passages foretelling the character and sufferings of Christ are the following, which we may suppose it possible our Saviour dwelt upon to convince them that, though he was crucified, yet he was the Christ: Gen 3:15, De 18:15, Gen 49:10, Nu 21:8-9, Is 53:1-12, Dan 9:25-27; Is 9:6,7, Ps 110:1-7, Ps 16:1-11, Ps 22:1-31, Mal 4:2-6 (u) "Moses" Lk 24:44, Acts 3:22 (v) "the prophets" Acts 10:43, 26:22 Verse 28. He made as though he would have gone further. He did not say he would go farther, but he kept on as if it was not his intention to stop, and doubtless he would have gone on if they had not constrained him to tarry. (w) "and he made as though" Gen 32:26, Mk 6:48 Verse 29. Constrained him. They urged him, or pressingly invited him. They did not yet perceive that it was Jesus, but they had been charmed and delighted with his discourse, and they wished to hear him farther. Christians are delighted with communion with the Saviour. They seek it as the chief object of their desire, and they find their chief pleasure in fellowship with him. The two disciples felt it a privilege to entertain the stranger, as they supposed, who had so charmed them with his discourse; and so those to whom the gospel is preached, and who love it, feel it a privilege, and not a burden, to show kindness to those who bear to them the message of salvation. Abide with us. Remain with us, or pass the night in our house. Verse 30. Sat at meat. Reclined at the table, or while he was at supper. He took bread and blessed it, &c. This was the office of the master of a feast, and perhaps this first attracted particularly their attention. Though he was in their house, yet he acted as master of the feast, as he used to do with them before his death. Perhaps, also, as he gave them the bread, they observed the prints in his hands, and they knew that it was Jesus. This was not a sacramental, but a common supper; yet our Saviour sought a blessing on the food, and thus set an example to all his followers to acknowledge God in their daily gifts, and to seek his benediction in all their enjoyments. (2) "vanished" or, "ceased to be seen of them" Verse 31. Their eyes were opened. The obscurity was removed. They saw him to be the Messiah. Their doubts were gone, and they saw clearly that he was risen, and was truly, as they had long hoped, the Saviour of men. It is not meant that they were before blind, but that they did not know till then who he was. He vanished out of their sight. He suddenly departed. It does not appear that there was anything miraculous in this, but, during their surprise, he took the opportunity suddenly to withdraw from them. (2) "vanished" or, "ceased to be seen of them" Verse 32. Our heart burn within us. This is an expression denoting the deep interest and pleasure which they had felt in his discourse before they knew who he was. They now recalled his instruction; they remembered how his words reached the heart as he spoke to them; how convincingly he had showed them that the Messiah ought to suffer, and how, while he talked to them of the Christ that they so much loved, their hearts glowed with intense love. This feeling was not confined to them alone. All the followers of Jesus know how precious and tender are the communications of the Saviour, and how the heart glows with love as they think or hear of his life, and sufferings, and death. He opened to us. He explained to us the Scriptures. See Lk 24:27. This narrative shows us, 1st. How blind men may be to the plainest doctrines of the Scriptures until they are explained to them. These disciples had often read or heard the Scriptures, but never, till then, did they fully understand that the Messiah must suffer. 2nd. It is proper there should be those whose office it is to explain the Scriptures. Jesus did it while on earth; he does it now by his Spirit; and he has appointed his ministers, whose business it is to explain them. 3rd. If men attempt to explain the Bible, they should themselves understand it. They should give their time and talents to a suitable preparation to understand the sacred volume. Preaching should consist in real, and not fancied explanations of the Scriptures; the real doctrines which God has taught in his word, and not the doctrines that men have taught in their systems. 4th. Here was convincing evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. This was but one of many instances where Jesus convinced his disciples, contrary to their previous belief. In this case the evidence was abundant. He first satisfied them from the Old Testament that the very things which had happened were foretold; he then dissipated every doubt by showing himself to them and convincing them that he was truly the Christ. There was no chance here for deception and juggling. Who would have met them and talked with them in this way but the real Saviour? Who would have thought of writing this narrative to help an imposture? What impostor would have recorded the dulness of the disciples as to the plain declarations of the Old Testament, and then have thought of this device to prop up the narrative? Everything about this narrative--its simplicity--its tenderness--its particularity--its perfect nature--its freedom from all appearance of trick--shows that it was taken from real life; and if so, then the Christian religion is true, for here is evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. (y) "burn" Ps 39:3, Jer 20:9, 23:29 Verse 33. The same hour. Though it was late, and they had stopped, as they thought, for the night, yet such was their joy that they hastened to tell it to their companions and friends. This was natural and proper, and it shows how quick and ready they who have found the Saviour are to tell it to others. Comp. Jn 1:41-45. Young converts to Christ should hasten to tell their joy, and should not shrink at self-denial to proclaim to others what God hath done for the soul, Ps 66:16. "My lips and cheerful heart, prepare To make his mercies known: Come, ye that fear my God, and hear The wonders he hath done. "When on my head huge sorrows fell, I sought his heavenly aid; He saved my sinking soul from hell, And death's eternal shade." The eleven. The eleven apostles. Judas was now dead. This shows that the two that went to Emmaus were not apostles. Verse 34. Saying. The eleven said this. Hath appeared to Simon. To Peter. It is not known precisely when this happened, as the time and place are not mentioned. Paul has referred to it in 1Cor 15:5, from which it appears that he appeared to Cephas or Peter before he did to any other of the apostles. This was a mark of special love and favour, and particularly, after Peter's denial, it showed how ready he was to pardon, and how willing to impart comfort to those who are penitent, though their sins are great. (z) "hath appeared" 1Cor 15:5 Verses 36,37. Jesus stood in the midst of them. This was when the apostles were assembled, and when they had closed the doors for fear of the Jews, Jn 20:19. It was this fact, as well as his sudden and unexpected appearance, that alarmed them. The doors were shut, and the suddenness of his appearance led them to suppose they had seen a spirit. Peace be unto you. This was a form of salutation among the Hebrews denoting a wish of peace and prosperity. See Gen 43:23. It was peculiarly appropriate for Jesus, as he had said before his death that he left his peace with them as their inheritance (Jn 14:27), and as they were now alarmed and fearful at their state, and trembling for fear of the Jews, Jn 20:19 (a) "And as they thus spake" Mk 16:14, Jn 20:19 Verse 37. (b) "supposed they had" Mk 6:49 Verse 38. Why are ye troubled? Why are you alarmed or frightened? And why do thoughts, &c. The word thoughts here means doubts or suspicions. It is used in this sense also in 1Timm 2:8. The doubts which they had were whether he was the Christ. He reproves them for doubting this; for, 1st. The Scriptures had foretold his death; 2nd. He had himself repeatedly done it; and, 3rd. They had now the testimony of Peter that he had seen Jesus alive, and of the angels that he was risen. After all this evidence, Jesus reproves them for doubting whether he was truly the Messiah. Verses 39-43. Behold my hands, &c. Jesus proceeds to give them evidence that he was truly the same person that had been crucified. He first showed them his hands and his feet--still pierced, and with the wounds made by the nails still open. Comp. Jn 20:27. He told them to handle him and see him. He ate before them. All this was to satisfy them that be was not, as they supposed, a spirit. Nor could better evidence have been given. He appealed to their senses, and performed acts which a disembodied spirit could not do. Handle me. Or touch me; feel of me. Comp. Jn 20:27. And see. Be convinced, for you could not thus handle a spirit. The object here was to convince them that his body had really come to life. For a spirit, &c. He appeals here to what they well knew; and this implies that the spirit may exist separate from the body. That was the view of the apostles, and our Saviour distinctly countenances that belief. Verse 41. Believed not for joy. Their joy was so great, and his appearance was so sudden and unexpected, that they were bewildered, and still sought more evidence of the truth of what they wished to believe. This is nature. We have similar expressions in our language. The news is too good to be true; or, I cannot believe it; it is too much for me. Any meat. This word does not mean meat in our sense of it, but in the old English sense, denoting anything to eat. (c) "believed" Gen 45:26 (d) "Have ye" Jn 21:5 Verse 42. Honey-comb. Honey abounded in Palestine, and was a very common article of food. Bees lived in caves of the rocks, in the hollows of trees, and were also kept as with us. The disciples gave, probably, just what was their own common fare, and what was ready at the time. Verse 43. (e) "did eat" Acts 10:41 Verse 44. These are the words. Or this is the fulfilment of what I before told you respecting my death. See Lk 18:33, Mk 10:33. While I was yet with you. Before my death. While I was with you as a teacher and guide. In the law of Moses. The five books of Moses-- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Among the Jews this was the first division of the Old Testament, and was called the law. The prophets. This was the second and largest part of the Hebrew Scriptures. It comprehended the books of Joshua, Judges, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, which were called the former prophets; and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve smaller books from Daniel to Malachi, which were called the latter prophets. The psalms. The word here used probably means what were comprehended under the name of Hagiographa, or holy writings. This consisted of the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and the two books of Chronicles. This division of the Old Testament was in use long before the time of Christ, and was what he referred to here; and he meant to say that in each of these divisions of the Old Testament there were prophecies respecting himself. The particular subject before them was his resurrection from the dead. A most striking prediction of this is contained in Ps 16:9-11. Compare it with Acts 2:24-32, 13:35-37. (f) "These are" Mt 16:21 (g) "that all things" Lk 21:22, Acts 3:18, 13:27,33 (h) "in the prophets" Lk 24:27 (i) "in the Psalms" Ps 22:1 Verse 45. Opened he their understanding. Enabled them fully to comprehend the meaning of the prophecies which foretold his death and resurrection. They had seen him die, they now saw him risen. Their prejudices were now, by his instructions, and by the facts which they could no longer call in question, removed, and they no longer doubted that he was the Messiah, and that all the facts in the case which had before confounded them could be easily accounted for. Hence we may learn- 1st. That facts, or the farther disclosure of truth, will yet remove the mysteries that we now see in religion. 2nd. That our prejudices and our preconceived opinions are one cause of our seeing so many mysteries in the Bible. If a man is willing to take the plain declarations of the Bible, he will commonly be little perplexed with mysteries. 3rd. That God only can open the mind so as fully to comprehend the Scriptures. He only can overcome our prejudices, open our hearts, and dispose us to receive the ingrafted word with meekness, and with the simplicity of a child. See Acts 16:14, Jas 1:21, Mk 10:15. 4th. The design of God's opening the understanding is that we may be acquainted with the Scriptures. It is not that we may be made wise above what is written, but that we may submit ourselves wholly to the Word of God. Verse 46. It behoved It became proper or necessary that the Messiah should thus suffer. It was predicted of him, and all things have happened as it was foretold. (k) "it behoved" Isa 53:3,5, Acts 4:12 (l) "to rise" 1Pet 1:3 Verse 47. Repentance. Sorrow for sin and forsaking of it. It was proper that the necessity of repentance should be preached among all nations, for all were sinners. See Acts 17:30. Remission of sins. Pardon or forgiveness of sins. It should be proclaimed that all men should repent, and that those who are penitent may be pardoned. In my name. By my command it should be proclaimed that men should repent, and by my merit that they may be pardoned. Pardon is offered by the authority of Christ to ALL nations, and this is a sufficient warrant to offer the gospel to every man. Beginning at Jerusalem. This was the dwelling of his murderers, and it shows his readiness to forgive the vilest sinners. It was the holy place of the temple, the habitation of God, the place of the solemnities of the ancient dispensation, and it was proper that pardon should be first proclaimed there. This was done--the gospel was first preached there. See Acts 2:1 and following. Paul also, in his travels, preached the gospel first to the Jews, the ancient people of God, offering them pardon through their own Messiah; and, when they rejected it, turned to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46. (m) "repentance" Acts 5:31, 13:38 Verse 48. Are witnesses of these things. Of my life, my sufferings, my death, and my resurrection. How solemn was their office--to testify these things to the world, and, in the face of suffering and death, to and proclaim them to all nations! In manner, like all Christians are witnesses for Christ. They are the evidences of his mercy and his love, and they should so live that others may be brought to see and love the Saviour. Verse 49. The promise of my Father. The promise which the Father had made to them through the Saviour. See Mt 10:19, Jn 14:16,17,26. The promise was, that they should be aided by the power of the Holy Ghost. He also doubtless referred to the promise of God, made in the days of Joel, respecting the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. See Joel 2:28,29, compared with Acts 2:16-21. Endued with power from on high. The power which would be given them by the descent of the Holy Ghost --the power of speaking with tongues, of working miracles, and of preaching the gospel with the attending blessing and aid of the Holy Ghost. This was accomplished in the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. See Acts 2:1 and following. (o) "endue" Isa 44:3, Joel 2:28, Acts 2:1-21, 1:8 Verses 50,51. To Bethany. Mk 16:19. Bethany was on the eastern declivity of the Mount of Olives, from which our Lord was taken up to heaven, Acts 1:12. Bethany was a favoured place. It was the abode of Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus, and our Saviour delighted to be there. From this place, also, he ascended to his Father and our Father, and to his God and our God. While he blessed them. While he commanded his benediction to rest upon them; while he assured them of his favour, and commended them to the protection and guidance of God, in the dangers, trials, and conflicts which they were to meet in a sinful and miserable world. Verse 51. (p) "carried up" Acts 1:9, Heb 4:14 Verse 52. They worshipped him. The word worship does not always denote religious homage. Mt 2:11. Comp. Lk 14:10. But here it is to be remarked, 1st. That they offered this worship to an absent Saviour. It was after he left them and had vanished out of their sight. It was therefore an act of religion, and was the first religious homage that was paid to Jesus after he had left the world. 2nd. If they worshipped an absent Saviour--a Saviour unseen by the bodily eye, it is right for us to do it. It was an example which we may and should follow. 3rd. If worship may be rendered to Jesus, he is divine. See Ex 20:4,5 (q) "worshipped him" Mt 28:9,17 Verse 53. Were continually in the temple. Until the day of Pentecost--that is, about ten days after. See Acts 2:1-47. Praising and blessing God. Chiefly for the full proof that the Messiah had come; had redeemed them, and had ascended to heaven. "Thus the days of their mourning were ended." They were filled with happiness at the assurance of redemption, and expressed what every Christian should feel--fulness of joy at the glad tidings that a Saviour has died, and risen, and ascended to God; and an earnest desire to pour forth in the sanctuary prayers and thanksgivings to the God of grace for his mercy to a lost and ruined world. (r) "praising" Acts 2:46,47, 5:42
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