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THE FIRST

EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.

CHAPTER 1.

and the amanuensis frequently expressed his

concurrence or approbation in what the apostle AUL, called a to be an apos had indicted. See Note, Rom. xvi. 22. Comp. tle of Jesus Christ through

Col. iv. 18. “The salutation by the hand of

Paul.” (2 Thess. iii. 17. 1 Cor. xvi. 21.) the will of God, and Sos

It is possible that Sosthenes might have been employed thenes b our brother, by Paul for this purpose. (2.) Paul not unfre

quently associated others with himself in writing a Rom. i. 1. 6 Acts xviii. 17.

his letters to the churches ; himself claiming Paul. called to be an authority as an apostle, and the others expressing

S amostle - See Notes. Rom. | their concurrence. (2 Cor. i. 1.) Thus, in Gal. i. 1. Through the will of God. Not by human i. 1, "all the brethren" which were with him are appointment or authority, but in accordance with mentioned as united with him in addressing the the will of God, and his command. That will

churches of Galatia. (Phil. i. 1. Col. i. 1. 1 was made known to him by the special revela

Thess. i. 1.) (3.) Sosthenes was well known at tion granted to him at his conversion, and call Corinth. He had been the chief ruler of the to the apostleship. (Acts ix.) Paul often refers synagogue there. His conversion would, thereto the fact, that he had received a direct com fore, excite a deep interest, and it is not impro

bable that he had been conspicuous as a preacher. mission from God, and that he did not act on his own authority. Comp. Gal. i. 11, 12. 1 Cor.

All these circumstances would render it proper ix. 1–6. 2 Cor. xi. 22–33 ; xii. 1-12. There

that Paul should associate him with himself in was a special reason why he commenced this

writing this letter. It would be bringing in the

testimony of one well known as concurring with epistle by referring to the fact, that he was divinely called to the apostleship. It arose from

the views of the apostle, and tend much to con. the fact, that his apostolic authority had been

ciliate those who were disaffected towards him. called in question by the false teachers at Co.

VER. 2. Unto the church of God which is at rinth. That this was the case, is apparent from the general strain of the epistle, from some par

Corinth, e to them that are sanctified in ticular expressions, (2 Cor. x. 8—10,) and from Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that the fact that he is at so much pains throughout in every place call 8 upon the name of Jesus the two epistles to establish his divine commis

Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: sion. And Sosthenes.-Sosthenes is mentioned in Acts xviii. 17, as “the chief ruler of the syna c Acts xviii. 1. d Jude 1. e John xvii. 19,

9 2 Tim. ü. 22. been beaten by the Greeks before the judgment Unto the church of God which is at Corinth. seat of Gallio because he was a Jew, and because For an account of the time and manner in which he had joined with the other Jews in arraigning the church was established in Corinth, see the Parl, and had thus produced disturbance in the Introduction, and Notes on Acts xvii. 1-17. city. See Note on this place. It is evident that | The church is called “the church of God," beat that time he was not a Christian. When he cause it had been founded by his agency, and was was converted, or why he left Corinth and was devoted to his service. It is worthy of remark, now with Paul at Ephesus, is unknown. Why that although great disorders had been introPaul associated him with himself in writing this duced into that church; though there were seepistle, is not known. It is evident that Sosthe- parations and erroneous doctrines; though there nes was not an apostle, nor is there any reason to were some who gave evidence that they were not think that he was inspired. Some circumstances sincere Christians, yet the apostle had no hesitsare known to have existed respecting Paul's tion in applying to them the name of a church of manner of writing to the churches, which may God. To them that are sanctified. - To those explain it. (1.) He was accustomed to employ who are made holy. This does not refer to the an amanuensis, or scribe, in writing his epistles; profession of holiness, but implies that they were

2 Tim. i. 9. 1 Pet. i. 15. gogue" at Corinth. He is there said to have

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in fact holy. The word means, that they were | on Christ by prayer, and were distinguished by separated from the mass of heathens around them, that, see the Note on Acts vii. 59, and compare and devoted to God and his cause. Though the Note, Acts i. 24 ; also Acts ii. 21 ; ix. 13; xxii. word used here (ńycaouévois) has this idea of | 16. 2 Tim. ii. 22. Both theirs and ours. The separation from the mass around them, yet it is Lord of all, both Jews and Gentiles; of all who separation on account of their being in fact, and profess themselves Christians, of whatever counnot in profession merely, different from others, try or name they might have originally been. and truly devoted to God. See Note, Rom. i. 7. | Difference of nation or birth gives no pre-emiIn Christ Jesus.—That is, by (év) the agency of nence in the kingdom of Christ, but all are on a Christ. It was by his authority, his power, and | level, having a common Lord and Saviour. his Spirit, that they had been separated from the Comp. Eph. iv. 5. mass of heathens around them, and devoted to God. Comp. John xvii. 19. Called to be

VER. 3. Grace be unto you, and peace, from saints.-The word "saints" does not differ mate God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus rially from the word " sanctified,” in the former

Christ. part of the verse. It means those who are se

h 1 Pet. i. 2. parated from the world, and set apart to God as "holy. The idea which Paul introduces here is, Grace be unto you, &c.—See Note, Rom. i. 7.

that they became such because they were called to be such. The idea in the former part of the

VER. 4. I thank 'my God always on your behalf, verse is, that this was done “ by Christ Jesus ;" for the grace of God which is given you by here he says it was because they were called to Jesus Christ; this privilege. He doubtless means to say, that

i Rom. i. 8. it was not by any native tendency in themselves to holiness, but because God had called them to

I thank my God, &c.- No small part of this it. And this calling does not refer merely to an epistle is occupied with reproofs for the disorders external invitation, but it was that which was which had arisen in the church at Corinth. Be'made effectual in their case, or that on which the fore proceeding, however, to the specific state

fact of their being saints could be predicated. | ment of those disorders, (ver. 10, seg.,) the aposComp. ver. 9. See 2 Tim. i. 9, “ Who hath | tle commends them for the attainments which saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not they had really made in divine knowledge, and according to our works, but according to his own thus shows that he was disposed to concede to purpose and grace," &c. (1 Pet. i. 15. Note, | them all that he could. It was no part of the Rom, i. 6, 7 ; viii. 28. Eph. iv, 1. 1 Tim. vi. 12. disposition of Paul to withhold commendation

1 Pet. ii. 9.) With all, &c.—This expression where it was due. On the contrary, as he was 1. shows, (1.) That Paul had the same feelings of disposed to be faithful in reproving the errors of 1:attachment to all Christians in every place; and, Christians, he was no less disposed to commend

(2.) That he expected that this epistle would be them when it could be done. Comp. Note, Rom. 1. read, not only by the church at Corinth, but also | i. 8. A willingness to commend those who do

by other churches. That this was the uniform well is as much in accordance with the gospel, intention of the apostle in regard to his epistles, as a disposition to reprove where it is deserved; is apparent from other places. Comp. 1 Thess. and a minister, or a parent, may frequently do v. 27, “I charge you by the Lord, that this as decided good by judicious commendation as epistle be read unto all the holy brethren." (Col. by reproof, and much more than by fault-finding iv. 16,) “ And when this epistle is read among and harsh crimination. On your behalf. - In you, cause that it be read also in the church of respect to you ; that God has conferred these the Laodiceans.” It is evident that Paul ex- | favours on you. For the grace of God.-On pected that his epistles would obtain circulation account of the favours which God has bestowed among the churches; and it was morally certain on you through the Lord Jesus. Those favours that they would be soon transcribed, and be ex- are specified in the following verses. For the tensively read. The ardent feelings of Paul | meaning of the word grace, see Note, Rom. i. 7. embraced all Christians in every nation. He knew nothing of the narrowness of exclusive Ver. 5. That in every thing ye are enriched by attachment to sect. His heart was full of love, him, in all utterance, k and in all knowledge ; and he loved, as we should, all who bore the Christian name, and who evinced the Christian

k 2 Cor. viii. 7. spirit. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ.—To That in every thing.-In every respect, or in call upon the name of any person, in Scripture regard to all the favours conferred on any of his language, is to call on the person himself. Comp. people. You have been distinguished by him in John iji. 18. Note, Acts iv. 12. The expression, all those respects in which he blesses his own * to call upon the name," (mikulovuévoic,) to children. Ye are enriched by him.-Comp. Note, invoke the name, implies worship and prayer; Rom. ii. 4. The meaning of this expression and proves, (1.) That the Lord Jesus is an object is, “ you abound in these things; they are conof worship, and, (2.) That one characteristic of ferred abundantly upon you.” By the use of the early Christians, by which they were known this word, the apostle intends doubtless to denote and distinguished, was their calling upon the the fact that these blessings had been conferred name of the Lord Jesus, or their offering worship on them abundantly ; and also that this was a to him. That it implies worship, see Note on valuable endowment, so as to be properly called Acts vii. 59; and that the early Christians called a treasure. The mercies of God are not only

conferred abundantly on his people, but they are is usually applied to destitution, want, or poverty; a bestowment of inestimable value. Comp. 2 and the declaration here is synonymous with Cor. vi. 10. In all utterance.— With the power what he had said, verse 5, that they abounded in of speaking various languages, (év mavri Lóyq.) | every thing. In no gift.-In no favour, or gra. That this power was conferred on the church at cious endowment. The word used here (rapioua) Corinth, and that it was highly valued by them, does not refer necessarily to extraordinary and is evident from chap. xiv. Comp. 2 Cor. viii. 7. miraculous endowments, but includes also all the 1 The power of speaking those languages the kindnesses of God towards them in producing apostle regarded as a subject of thanksgiving, peace of mind, constancy, humility, &c. And as it was a proof of the divine favour to them. the apostle meant evidently to say that they pose i See chap. xiv. 5, 22, 39. And in all knowledge.-- sessed, in rich abundance, all those endowments In the knowledge of divine truth. They had which were bestowed on Christians. Waiting for. 1: understood the doctrines which they had heard, - Expecting, or looking for this coming with and had intelligently embraced them. This was glad and anxious desire. This was, certainly, not true of all of them, but it was of the body one of the endowments to which he referred, to of the church; and the hearty commendation wit, that they had grace given them earnestly to and thanksgiving of the apostle for these favours, desire, and to wait for the second appearing of laid the foundation for the remarks which he the Lord Jesus. An earnest wish to see him, had subsequently to make, and would tend to and a confident expectation and firm belief that conciliate their minds, and dispose them to listen he will return, is an evidence of a high state of attentively, even to the language of reproof. piety. It demands strong faith, and it will do

much to elevate the feelings above the world, VER. 6. Even as the testimony of Christ was

and to keep the mind in a state of peace. The confirmed in you :

coming, &c.-Gr. The revelation-(riv å roráEven as, (Katwc.)-The force of this expres

Autiv—the manifestation of the Son of God.

That is, waiting for his return to judge the sion seems to be this, “ The gospel of Christ was at first established among you by means of

world, and for his approbation of his people in

that day. The earnest expectation of the Lord the miraculous endowments of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus became one of the marks of early ChrisThose same endowments are still continued

tian piety. This return was promised by the among you, and now furnish evidence of the divine favour, and of the truth of the gospel to

Saviour to his anxious disciples, when he was

about to leave them. (John xiv. 3.) The provou. 'even as.' i. e. in the same measure as they

y mise was renewed when he ascended to heaven. did when the gospel was first preached.” The power to speak with tongues, &c., (chap. xiv.,) |

| (Acts i. 11.) It became the settled hope and would be a continued miracle, and would be a l

expectation of Christians that he would return. demonstration to them then of the truth of

| (Tit. ii. 13. 2 Pet. iii. 12. Heb. ix. 28.) And Christianity, as it was at first. The testimony of

| with the earnest prayer that he would quickly Christ.—The gospel. It is here called “the tes

| come, John closes the volume of inspiration. timony of Christ,” because it bore witness to

(Rev. xxii. 20, 21.) Christ to his divine nature, his miracles, his VER. 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the messiahship, his character, his death, &c. The message of the gospel consists in bearing witness

end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our to Christ and his work. See chap. xv. 144.

Lord Jesus Christ : 2 Tim. i. 8. Was confirmed.-Was established,

m 1 Thess. iii. 13; v. 23, 24, or proved. It was proved to be divine, by the miraculous attestations of the Holy Spirit. It

Who shall also confirm you.--Who shall estabwas confirmed, or made certain to their souls by

lish you in the hopes of the gospel. He shall the agency of the Holy Spirit, sealing it on their

make you firm (Besalúost) amidst all your trials, hearts. The word translated confirmed, (éßeßai

and all the efforts which may be made to shake win,) is used in the sense of establishing, con- your ta

your faith, and to remove you from that firm firming, or demonstrating by miracles, &c., in

foundation on which you now rest. Unto the Mark xvi. 20. Comp. feb. xiii. 9. Phil. i. 2. | end. That is, to the coming of the Lord Jesus In you, (év juiv.)- Among you as a people, or

Christ. He would keep them to the end of life in your hearts. Perhaps the apostle intends to

in the path of holiness, so that at the coming of include both. The gospel had been established

| the Lord Jesus they might be found blameless! among them by the demonstrations of the agency

Comp. John xiii. 1.) The sense is, that they of the Spirit in the gift of tongues, and had at

should be kept, and should not be suffered to fall the same time taken deep root in their hearts,

away and perish ;-and this is one of the many and was exerting a practical influence on their

places which express the strong confidence of lives.

Paul that those who are true Christians shall be

preserved unto everlasting life. Comp. Phil. i VER. 7. So that ye come behind in no gift; | 6. That ye may be blameless. The word renwaiting 'for the coming of our Lord Jesus dered blameless (åveyklýtovc) does not mean Christ :

perfect, but properly denotes those against whom

there is no charge of crime ; who are unaccused, 1 Tit. ii. 13. m Revelation.

and against whom there is no ground of accusa , So that.-God has so abundantly endowed you tion. Here it does not mean that they were per with his favours. Ye come behind, (uotepčiosai.) sonally perfect, but that God wonld so keep -You are not wanting, or deficient. The word them, and enable them to evince a Christian cha

racter, as to give evidence that they were his thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." friends, and completely escape condemnation in (John xiv. 19,) “ Because I live, ye shall live the last day. See Notes on Rom. viii. 33, 34. also.” (Rev. iii. 21,) " To him that overcometh There is no man who has not his faults ; no | will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even Christian who is not conscious of imperfection; as I also overcame, and am set down with but it is the design of God so to keep his people, my Father in his throne.” From all this, and so to justify and sanctify them through the the argument of the apostle is, that as they Lord Jesus, that the church may be presented | partake with Christ in these high privileges, "a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle” and hopes, and promises, they will be kept by a (Eph. v. 27) in the day of judgment. In the day, faithful God unto eternal life. God is faithful to &c.-In the day when the Lord Jesus shall come his Son; and will be faithful to all who are to judge the world; and which will be called his | united to him. The argument for the perseverday, because it will be the day in which he will ance of the saints is, there ore, sure. be the great and conspicuous object, and which is especially appointed to glorify him. See 2 Thess. i. Ver. 10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the 10, “Who shall come to be glorified in his saints,

name of our Lord Jesus Christ, P that ye all and to be admired in all them that believe.”

speak the same thing, and that there be no Ver. 9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called

9 divisions among you ; but that ye be perfectly unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ joined together in the same mind and in the our Lord.

same judgment. o 1 John i. 3.

p John xvii. 19.

Schisms. God is faithful. That is, God is true, and Now I be seech you, brethren.- In this verse the constant, and will adhere to his promises. He apostle enters on the discussion respecting the will not deceive. He will not promise, and then irregularities and disorders in the church at fail to perform ; he will not commence any thing Corinth, of which he had incidentally heard. which he will not perfect and finish. The object | See ver. 11. The first of which he had inciof Paul in introducing the idea of the faithful | dentally learned, was that which pertained to the ness of God here, is, to show the reason for be divisions and strifes which had arisen in the lieving that the Christians at Corinth would be church. The consideration of this subject occukept unto everlasting life. The evidence that they | pies him to ver. 17; and as those divisions had will persevere depends on the fidelity of God; been caused by the influence of philosophy, and and the argument of the apostle is, that as they the ambition for distinction, and the exhibition had been called by him into the fellowship of his of popular eloquence among the Corinthian Son, his faithfulness of character would render it teachers, this fact gives occasion to him to discertain that they would be kept to eternal life. cuss that subject at length (chap. i. 17-31; xi.); The same idea he has presented in Phil. i. 6, in which he shows that the gospel did not depend “ Being confident of this very thing, that he for its success on the reasonings of philosophy, which hath begun a good work in you, will also or the persuasions of eloquence. This part of perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Ye the subject he commences with the language of were called. The word " called " here does not entreaty. “I beseech you, brethren,”-the lanrefer merely to an invitation or an offer of life, guage of affectionate exhortation rather than of but to the effectual influence which bad been put stern command. Addressing them as his brethforth; which had inclined them to embrace the ren, as members of the same family with himgospel. Note, Rom. vii. 30; ix. 12. See Mark self, he conjures them to take all proper measures 11. 17. Luke v. 32. Gal. i. 6; v. 8. Eph. i. 4. to avoid the evils of schism and of strife. By Col. 111. 15. In this sense the word often oc- the name.-By the authority of his name; or curs in the Scriptures, and is designed to denote from reverence for him as the common Lord of a power, or influence that goes forth with the all. Of our Lord Jesus Christ.—The reasons external invitation, and that makes it effectual. why Paul thus appeals to his name and authority bat power is the agency of the Holy Spirit. here, may be the following: (1.) Christ should

the fellowship of his Son.-To participate | be regarded as the supreme head and leader of with his Son Jesus Christ ; to be partakers with all his church. It was improper, therefore, that him. See Notes, John xv. 148. Christians par- | the church sho

the church should be divided into portions, and icipate with Christ, (1.) In his feelings and its different parts enlisted under different banviews. (Rom. viii. 9.) (2.) In his trials and ners. (2.) “ The whole family in heaven and suretings, being subjected to temptations and earth should be named” after him, (Eph. ii. 15.)

is similar to his. (1 Pet. iv. 13.) “ But re- and should not be named after inferior and e. Inastuch as ye are partakers of Christ's subordinate teachers. The reference to "the letings." (Col. i. 24 ; Phil. ii. 10.) (3.) In venerable and endearing name of Christ here, op to the inheritance and glory which stands beautifully and properly opposed to the him. (Rom. viii. 17.) “ And if children, various human names under which they were 's, heirs of God, and joint heirs with so ready to enlist themselves.” - Doddridge,

(1 Pet. i. 4.) (4.) In his triumph in “ There is scarce a word or expression that he rection and future glory. (Matt. xix. ! [Paul] makes use of, but with relation and tenmich have followed me, in the regene- | dency to his present main purpose; as here,

the Son of man shall sit upon the intending to abolish the names of leaders 018 glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve they had distinguished themselves by, he

Into

then heirs, heirs of God, 8 Christ.” (1 Pet. i. 4.) (4 the resurrection and futu 28,) " Ye which have followed me, ration when the Son of man shall s throne of his glory, ye also shi

beseeches them by the name of Christ, a form in their views of things. They may love each that I do not remember he elsewhere uses."— other much, even where they do not see alike Locke. (3.) The prime and leading thing which they may give each other credit for bonesty and Christ had enjoined on his church was union and sincerity, and may be willing to suppose that mutual love, (John xiii. 34 ; xv. 17,) and for this others may be right, and are honest even where I he had most earnestly prayed in his memorable their own views differ. The foundation of Chris !! prayer, (John xvii. 21-23.) It was well for Paul tian union is not so much laid in uniformity of thus to appeal in the name of Christ--the sole intellectual perception as in the right feelings of 1 Head and Lord of his church, and the friend of the heart. And the proper way to produce union union, and thus to rebuke the divisions and strifes in the church of God, is not to begin by attemptwhich had arisen at Corinth. That ye all speak | ing to equalise all intellects on the bed of Pro the same thing.-" That ye hold the same doc- | crustes, but to produce supreme love to God, and ! trine.”Locke. This exhortation evidently refers elevated and pure Christian love to all who bear to their holding and expressing the same religious the image and the name of the Redeemer. sentiments, and is designed to rebuke that kind of contention and strife which is evinced where dif

Ver. 11. For it hath been declared unto me of ferent opinions are held and expressed. To “speak you, my brethren, by them which are of the the same thing” stands opposed to speaking dif

house of Chloe, that there are contentions ferent and conflicting things, or to controversy; and although perfect uniformity of opinion cannot

among you. be expected among men on the subject of religion For it hath been declared unto me.-Of the conany more than on other subjects, yet on the great tentions existing in the church at Corinth, it is i and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, Chris evident that they had not informed him in the tians may be agreed; on all points in which they letter which they had sent. See chap, vii. 1, differ they may evince a good spirit; and on all comp. the Introduction. He had incidentally subjects they may express their sentiments in the heard of their contentions. My brethren.- A tolanguage of the Bible, and thus “speak the same ken of affectionate regard, evincing his love for thing." And that there be no divisions among you. them, and his deep interest in their welfare, even Greek oxiouara, schisms. No divisions into con when he administered a needed rebuke. Of the tending parties and sects. The church was to house of Chloe.-Of the family of Chloe. It is be regarded as one and indivisible, and not to be most probable that Chloe was a member of the rent into different factions, and ranged under the church at Corinth, some of whose family bad ! banners of different leaders. Comp. John ix. 16; | been at Ephesus when Panl was, and had given 1 Cor. xi. 18; xii. 25. But that ye be perfectly | him information of the state of things there joined together, (Te o è karnptiousvoi.)-The word Who those members of her family were, is unhere used and rendered “perfectly joined toge- | known. Grotius conjectures that they were Stether," denotes properly to restore, mend, or re-phanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, mentioned in pair that which is rent or disordered, (Matt. iv. chap. xvi. 17, who brought the letter of the church 21; Mark i. 19;) to amend or correct that which at Corinth to Paul. But of this there is no cer is morally evil and erroneous, (Gal. vi. 1;) to ren- tain evidence; perhaps not much probability. If der perfect or complete, (Luke vi. 40;) to fit or the information had been obtained from them, it adapt any thing to its proper place so that it shall is probable that it would have been put in the be complete in all its parts, and harmonious, letter which they bore. The probability is that (Heb. xi. 5;) and thence to compose and settle | Paul had received this information before they i controversies, to produce harmony and order. I arrived. The apostle here evidently desires that they

VER. 12. Now this I say, that every one of you should be united in feeling; that every member of the church should occupy his appropriate place, saith, I am of Paul ; and I of Apollos; and I as every member of a well proportioned body, of Cephas;' and I of Christ. or part of a machine, has its appropriate place and use. See his wishes more fully expressed in

Acts xix. 1. John i. 42. chap. xii. 13–21. In the same mind (voi.)-See! Now this I say.This is what I mean; or, I Rom. xv. 5. This cannot mean that they were give this as an instance of the contentions to to be united in precisely the same shades of opin- / which I refer. That every one of you saith. --; ion, which is impossible--but that their minds That you are divided into different factions, and were to be disposed towards each other with mu- ranged under different leaders. The word transtual good will, and that they should live in har- | lated “that" (ori) might be translated here. “bet mony. The word here rendered mind, denotes cause,” or “since,” as giving a reason for his! not merely the intellect itself, but that which is affirming (ver. 11) that there were contentions in the mind-the thoughts, counsels, plans. (Rom. there. “ Now I say that there are contentions. xi. 34 ; xiv. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 16; Col. ii. 18.)-- Bret because you are ranged under different leaders. schneider. And in the same judgment (yvóun.) &c.--Calvin. I am of Paul. It has been doubt-'! This word properly denotes science, or know ed whether Paul meant to affirm that the parties ledge ; opinion, or sentiment; and sometimes, as had actually taken the names which he here sre-i here, the purpose of the mind, or will. The sen cifies, or whether he uses these names as illustratiment of the whole is, that in their understand tions, or suppositions, to show the absurdity of ings and their volitions, they should be united their ranging themselves under different leaders and kindly disposed towards each other. Union | Many of the ancient interpreters supposed that of feeling is possible even where men differ much Paul was unwilling to specify the real names of

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