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Temple tax?

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Loyal
Matt 17:24; When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?"
Matt 17:25; He *said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, [COLOR=red]"What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?" [/COLOR]
Matt 17:26; When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, [COLOR=red]"Then the sons are exempt.[/COLOR]
Matt 17:27; [COLOR=red]"However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me." [/COLOR]

Tax collectors.... you gotta love them. Jesus did. According to tradition, the two-drachma tax was for "up-keep
of the temple". I wonder if it was like the highway taxes in this state. They take the money.. but many of the highways are still... ummm.... in need of up-keep.

Now the original custom was that only strangers and visitors should pay the tax. But over the years the Romans wanted t get their share also. Jesus asks Peter who were the taxes for? Peter answers correctly, but Jesus says.... we'll go ahead and pay it anyway... even though technically we are exempt.

The nice thing about Jesus is... He knows where the fish with the money their mouths are. For the rest of us, finding money is a little more difficult sometimes. Maybe that's why we hate taxes.

This poll tax seemed to be a sore subject for the Pharisees. They even asked Jesus about it (trying to trap Him).

Matt 22:15; Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.
Matt 22:16; And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
Matt 22:17; "Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
Matt 22:18; But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, [COLOR=red]"Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?[/COLOR]
Matt 22:19; [COLOR=red]"Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax."[/COLOR] And they brought Him a denarius.
Matt 22:20; And He *said to them, [COLOR=red]"Whose likeness and inscription is this?" [/COLOR]
Matt 22:21; They *said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He *said to them, [COLOR=red]"Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."[/COLOR]
Matt 22:22; And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

It's pretty hard to trap Jesus. He already "perceived their malice" before He answered them.
They ask Him about the poll tax. Jesus knew the Romans had no right to tax the temple. They weren't of the Jewish faith and could care less about the temple. I'm guessing Jesus knew the Romans didn't use much (if any) of this money to take take care of the temple. The Pharisees and Herodians knew this also.

Perhaps they were even secretly hoping Jesus had an answer so they didn't have to pay anymore.
Jesus says pay the tax to who you think it is due. Caesar is in charge here.
If Jesus would have told them they didn't need to pay the tax, they would have reported Him to the Romans.
If He comes right out and says we should pay the tax to the Romans, then He is acknowledging they have the authority over the temple.

But even here it seems that Jesus is saying at least some of the tax belongs to Caesar.
 
Active
Doctrinally, Mtt 22:17 (KJV) also cross references to Lk 23:1-2 (KJV) as the question (of Mtt 22:17) was designed to put Jesus in a bind so the Pharisees could justify the false accusation against Him made in Lk 23:2.
 
Active
Doctrinally, Mtt 22:17 (KJV) also cross references to Lk 23:1-2 (KJV) as the question (of Mtt 22:17) was designed to put Jesus in a bind so the Pharisees could justify the false accusation against Him made in Lk 23:2.
The Pharisees knew that under the OT Law, Jews had no business paying money to any ruler except a Jewish ruler (Deut 17:14-15). They were trying to trap Him (Mtt 22:15), but He saw right through their ploy.

Paul later echoed what Jesus said about ''rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" in Romans 13:1-7 (KJV).
 
Active
Arrgh taxes.

The interesting thing is Jesus made friends with the tax collectors and they repented..eg zaccheus and matthew.

Most tax collectors are just doing their job but there will always be the few that try and scam everyone and keep it for themselves. They will be found out eventually, for their fraud. White collar criminals think they are clever to get away with stealing money without physically robbing or holding up a bank...but they havent reckoned with God who can see everytime they fudge an account.
 
Active
If He comes right out and says we should pay the tax to the Romans, then He is acknowledging they have the authority over the temple.

But even here it seems that Jesus is saying at least some of the tax belongs to Caesar.
Where did you see that the tax was for the temple's upkeep?
Why would the Romans be at all concerned with such a thing?
I rather think the tax was going to Rome, not Jerusalem.
 
Loyal
When such questions come up something else comes to my mind:

"They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" Matt 22:21

So then the question comes to me what is not God's?

"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." I Chron 29:14

"The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalm 24:1

It is all God's. Until we inherit, we are only stewards, not owners. This is even more so for unbelievers who have not yet become heirs. Until and if we actually inherit is is all God's.
What remains that really belongs to Caesar or any government of men in all of the world? The reason we might go ahead and pay a tax is explained in another place:

"... Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." Matt 17:25-27
 
Member
Where did you see that the tax was for the temple's upkeep?
Why would the Romans be at all concerned with such a thing?
I rather think the tax was going to Rome, not Jerusalem.
If I'm correct, it was first instituted in the Mosiac law to be used for the tabernacle (see Exodus 30:13).

Later mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24 when Joash was seeking funds to repair the temple.

Acknowledged by the post-exilic Jews in Nehemiah 10:32

I really don't have anything to offer on your second question.
 
Active
Where did you see that the tax was for the temple's upkeep?
Why would the Romans be at all concerned with such a thing?
I rather think the tax was going to Rome, not Jerusalem.
The OP said it was "according to tradition," no scripture references offered.

However, the context of the passage has the Pharisees questioning Jesus about the legality of a Jew paying taxes to Caesar, which goes back to Deuteronomy 17:14-15.

If I'm correct, it was first instituted in the Mosiac law to be used for the tabernacle (see Exodus 30:13).

Later mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24 when Joash was seeking funds to repair the temple.

Acknowledged by the post-exilic Jews in Nehemiah 10:32

I really don't have anything to offer on your second question.
That's a different tax than the one the Pharisees questioned Jesus about in the Matthew passage given in the OP. The Jews were supposed to pay the tax in the passages you listed, but the Pharisees' question to Jesus in the book of Matthew was whether or not it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.

Under the law, God told Israel not to put a non-Jewish leader over them. The answer the Pharisees were looking for from Jesus was "no, it's not lawful for a Jew to pay taxes to Caesar." (Deut 17:14-15) Had He said that, the Pharisees would have accused Him of sedition, which they falsely did anyway in

The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus in a Catch-22 to try to get rid of Him (Luke 23:2).

But it didn't work when Jesus answered the Pharisees to render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.
 
Loyal
The OP said it was "according to tradition," no scripture references offered.
Matt 22:17; "Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
It is somewhat unclear "why" the poll tax was imposed. As you say... I cannot find a scripture stating the "why". (other than they were Romans)
However both passage above, specifically stae that it was a "poll-tax". As both you and I have said, this was "supposed" to be for the Jews.
But Matt 21:17; states that "caesar" was taking the poll-tax.

I rather think the tax was going to Rome, not Jerusalem.
Ummm... I think that's what I said.

Jesus knew the Romans didn't use much (if any) of this money to take take care of the temple.
If I'm correct, it was first instituted in the Mosiac law to be used for the tabernacle (see Exodus 30:13).

Later mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24 when Joash was seeking funds to repair the temple.

Acknowledged by the post-exilic Jews in Nehemiah 10:32
I suppose these are as good a reference as any. You may be correct :smile:
 
Active
If I'm correct, it was first instituted in the Mosiac law to be used for the tabernacle (see Exodus 30:13).

Later mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24 when Joash was seeking funds to repair the temple.

Acknowledged by the post-exilic Jews in Nehemiah 10:32

I really don't have anything to offer on your second question.
Hello, Mr Kinson.
Wouldn't you think a Jewish instituted tax would be collected at the temple, instead of on the streets?
And wouldn't you think it should be paid in a currency NOT of Rome?
I'm pretty sure the tax mentioned here was of Rome for only Rome.
 
Loyal
Hello, Mr Kinson.
Wouldn't you think a Jewish instituted tax would be collected at the temple, instead of on the streets?
And wouldn't you think it should be paid in a currency NOT of Rome?
I'm pretty sure the tax mentioned here was of Rome for only Rome.
I think that's the whole point here. Rome was collecting a tax for something they had nothing to do with and weren't really
supposed to be collecting for. But they couldn't have the Jews collecting a tax and they themselves not getting any of it could they?
 
Active
King Herod, who, correct me if I am wrong, was the roman who rebuilt the temple and imposed the tax, but he made it really grandoise and overburdened the jewish population with this colossal building. He wasnt really using it though..it was just to curry favour with his subjects. By the time he started on it the temple was already ichadbod,,,the glory had departed.

Jesus saw what a state it was in, despite its flash design it had become a market place and a den of thieves...instead of a house of prayer it was originally meant to be.

My bible (kjv) says tribute, not poll tax.
Probably the same thing, but tribute money meaning respects...for example, today nz currency still has the queens elizabeth 2's head on it...so actually it technically belongs to her. She actually rules the country. Even above the prime minister. So we cant really get out of paying her tribute, or nowadays the tax, which parliament in which she presides over decides to do with the money (however ill advised). Tax money here is meant to be used to run the country and keep it maintained, welfare, education etc.

I dont know about americans how their money or tax system works, since they are a republic. If I recall they rebelled against england/britain to avoid paying tax. Something about a Boston tea party? And wanted to be ruled by their own people so did not recognise the british King or Queen.

When Jesus mentioned to his disciples that actually they did not have to pay it because they were sons and daughters of the King anyway (meaning God the Father) as you dont make your children pay for what you provide...unless you a really mean parent.

The royal family, for example, dont have to pay for anything. Its all provided by their subjects. They dont even carry money on their person...they dont need to. Cos they own it all.
 
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Active
My bible (kjv) says tribute, not poll tax.
Probably the same thing, but tribute money meaning respects...for example, today nz currency still has the queens elizabeth 2's head on it...so actually it technically belongs to her. She actually rules the country. Even above the prime minister. So we cant really get out of paying her tribute, or nowadays the tax, which parliament in which she presides over decides to do with the money (however ill advised). Tax money here is meant to be used to run the country and keep it maintained, welfare, education etc.

I dont know about americans how their money or tax system works, since they are a republic. If I recall they rebelled against england/britain to avoid paying tax. Something about a Boston tea party? And wanted to be ruled by their own people so did not recognise the british King or Queen.
It's similar here in Canada, although the Queen is a more of figurehead here since we got our Constitution in 1982. Her inscription is still on some Cdn money and we still have a Governor General who is the representative of the Queen in Canada.

It just seems to me that a poll tax is not the same thing as a temple tax. It's quite possible the poll tax was going to pay for Herod's temple, but it's not the same temple tax that God instituted under the Law. Scripture shows that it was a Roman tax: of Rome and for Rome.

I looked up the word ''tribute'' in the KJV dictionary (Webster's 1828) and the definition is as follows:

TRIB'UTE, noun [Latin tributum, from tribuo, to give, bestow or divide.]

1. An annual or stated sum of money or other valuable thing, paid by one prince or nation to another, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace and protection, or by virtue of some treaty. The Romans made all their conquered countries pay tribute as do the Turks at this day; and in some countries the tribute is paid in children.

2. A personal contribution; as a tribute of respect.

3. Something given or contributed.

That tells me it was a political tax, not a tax given to Israel by God under the Law.

Comparing scripture with scripture, the parallel passage to Mtt 22:15-22 (in Bro B-A-C's OP) is also in Luke 20:19-26, which gives a little greater context to the incident as to the Pharisees' motivation behind the question of whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not.

Luke was also the one who mentioned the political tax on Israel by the Romans in Luke 2:1-7, and explained the significance of it at Jesus' birth.

Lu 2:1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Lu 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Lu 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Lu 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: )
Lu 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Lu 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Lu 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I'm fuzzy on my Ancient History but one commentary I have says historically, Israel was a part of the province of Syria from the time of Alexander the Great, which ties right in with Webster's 1828 first definition to the word ''tribute."

The taxation cross-reference is lost in Luke 2:1-7 in the modern versions that use the words ''registered'' or ''census'' in place of ''taxed.''

Maybe the tribute was used for the upkeep of Herod's temple; scripture doesn't specify what Rome used the proceeds for. But I do trust my Bible over tradition that it was a political tax imposed by Rome and not specifically a temple tax.
 
Loyal
I dont know about americans how their money or tax system works, since they are a republic. If I recall they rebelled against england/britain to avoid paying tax. Something about a Boston tea party? And wanted to be ruled by their own people so did not recognise the british King or Queen.
The Boston Tea Party was because of "taxation without representation". Americans were taxed, but had no say in the British government.
We recognized them. They did not recognize us. This is part of what led to the American Revolutionary war.

In the US we have something called "separation of church and state". This was originally so that the government couldn't tell the church what to do.
Over the years it has turned into "the church can't tell the government what to do". But now the government has a lot of religious rules here
that weren't here a generation ago. When I was young we could take Bibles to school, sometimes curriculum was taught from Bibles. We could pray in
school. (and often did).

Part of the problem with having the government subsidize funding for schools, is now they "own" the schools in a manner of speaking, so they
can tell you what can be said and taught, unfortunately the government here has many rules about this. It's almost Nazi Germany before world war II
in some ways.

Pastors here cannot even recommend which political party to vote for. (Many do it anyway).
Lyndon B Johnson (President 1963-1969) started something called 5013c. Which was originally tax exemption for churches, but it comes with many
strings attached. One of the rules to qualify for 5013c is that you cannot promote or lobby for or against any political party. So in effect, the
government has yet another way of telling the church what they can and can't do.

Some churches (including the one I go to) do not take advantage of 5013c because of this. But even them it doesn't always help.
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) was caught a few years ago targeting churches and conservative groups and making them pay higher
taxes, while letting liberal organizations pay less taxes. It is my understanding this is still under investigation.
 
Loyal
Back to the original verse.

Matt 17:24; When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?"
Matt 17:25; He *said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?"
Matt 17:26; When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are exempt.
Matt 17:27; "However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me."

Jesus is telling Peter, we are exempt from this tax. why?

The NLT puts it this way.

Matt 17:24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?
Matt 17:25 “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?”
Matt 17:26 “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free!
Matt 17:27 However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

The Amplified Bible gives reference to Exodus here.
(AMPC) When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher pay the half shekel? [Exo 30:13; Exo 38:26]

The "God's Word" interpretation says this...
(GW) When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter. They asked him, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

The NIV says...
(NIV) After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

Even my King James version has a heading about the passage

The Temple Tax

Mat 17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
Mat 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Mat 17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
It isn't part of the text in King James, but it is above it.
 
Active
Tax, tribute, custom..,it was money.
In OT, the mosaic law required a tithe, this was a tenth of the produce...this was NOT money, it was offerings like food for the Levites. The levites ate from what was offered to them.

God would have been happy with a fish offering, but Jesus showed Peter that the romans required money, so He found money inside a fish. I expect they ate the fish themselves lol.

It would have been used for the upkeep of the temple...like the maintainence of the building, not actually feeding the Levite priests, which was what the tithe in OT was for.

King Herods temple was grander than what God had originally prescribed for His temple, because Herod was an egomaniac, and wanted favour with Judea, actually there are parallels with the current american president, with these grand building projects that crippled the nation.

However Jesus showed us the temple of the holy spirit is not made with human hands. And He is the cornerstone.

The tax in Luke was a different kind of tax to the tribute money. Modern versions might call the tribute a poll tax because it was like a modern day poll tax, for example, when the harbour bridge was built in auckland everyone driving over it had to pay a tax to go over it at the foot of the bridge, to help pay for it.

In Israel, it would have been everyone using the temple had to pay to go in to use it. However God did not design it that way that it had to be paid for by money given to the govt. He specified offerings, not money or a user fee. But the time of Jesus the temple had been completely taken over by foreign powers, so they could charge the jewish people for using it. And often the powers kept the money for themselves they didnt actually use it to maintain the building or give to thr priests they spent it on themselves.

Kjv says tax in Luke for when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and had to go to Bethlehem, others version say it was a census, and it was probably was, but the thing is you can hold a census without having to go back to your ancestral birthplace. It seems aside from counting the population, the govt or caeser augusta, wanted everyone to PAY.
 
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Active
Back to the original verse.

Matt 17:24; When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?"
Matt 17:25; He *said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?"
Matt 17:26; When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are exempt.
Matt 17:27; "However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me."

Jesus is telling Peter, we are exempt from this tax. why?

The NLT puts it this way.

Matt 17:24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?
Matt 17:25 “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?”
Matt 17:26 “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free!
Matt 17:27 However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

The Amplified Bible gives reference to Exodus here.
(AMPC) When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher pay the half shekel? [Exo 30:13; Exo 38:26]

The "God's Word" interpretation says this...
(GW) When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter. They asked him, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

The NIV says...
(NIV) After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

Even my King James version has a heading about the passage

It isn't part of the text in King James, but it is above it.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that: the King James Bible is my final authority and the KJV resources I have that expound on Mtt 22:15-22 (in this case, Young's Concordance and Bullinger's notes) call it a census tax. Strong's only calls it 'double drachma.'

But even if it was a temple tax, as far as Mtt 17:24-27 goes and why Jesus told Peter they were exempt from the tax, wouldn't it just be because Jesus was the Son of God? Even though at that time the Romans had hijacked the temple (so to speak), why would He have to pay for the upkeep of God's house when, since He was God, it was His house to begin with? The idea of the members of the Royal Family being exempt from paying taxes to the civil gov't.

Anyway, since we'll have to agree to disagree, I'll now bow out of this thread. :smile:
 
Active
It would have been used for the upkeep of the temple...like the maintainence of the building, not actually feeding the Levite priests, which was what the tithe in OT was for.

King Herods temple was grander than what God had originally prescribed for His temple, because Herod was an egomaniac, and wanted favour with Judea, actually there are parallels with the current american president, with these grand building projects that crippled the nation.

However Jesus showed us the temple of the holy spirit is not made with human hands. And He is the cornerstone.
Where do you read that king Herod rebuilt the temple?
Wasn't that done after the Jews returned from Babylon?
 
Active



Thanks to Wikipedia for this image. It's the Roman Denarius, probably the subject of the "render unto Caesar" debate. The inscription reads “Ti[berivs] Caesar Divi Avg[vsti] F[ilivs] Avgvstvs” (“Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus”), claiming that Augustus was a god, and Tiberius the 'son of God'.

That's part of the reason why Jesus' answer confounded the Herodians and Pharisees in their hypocrisy. He's asking, who are you serving, the One True God, or this Roman pretender to the throne?

The incident in Matthew 17, I think, is the temple tax. Here, Jesus is saying "my disciples owe their allegiance to one greater than the temple."
 

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