Revelation 17:7-11

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Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rev 17:9 And here [ is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, [ and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven,

Introduction

In our study of the first six verses of this 17th chapter we saw that a great harlot was seen riding on a scarlet colored beast. That scarlet colored beast is the subject of verses 7-12 which we will cover today. But before we continue, let us remind ourselves that this harlot is not just any harlot. This harlot is “that great harlot” who is the fallen wife of our Lord and Savior. Anyone familiar with the Old Testament prophets would immediately recognize the meaning of the phrase “the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth”.

Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THEGREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Here is the only great “harlot” which was the focus of the Old Testament prophets. She is our Lord’s own harlot wife, who has placed the pleasing of the kings of this world above the need to please and obey her own God- given husband, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Here is how this is expressed in the prophet Isaiah:

Isa 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [ and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isa 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Here is how God refers to His own people throughout the prophets:

Isa 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

“The faithful city is a harlot… full of murderers”. Who does she specialize in murdering? What is our Lord’s answer to that question?

Luk 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Luk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Luk 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

So “the faithful city is become a harlot” who is also called “that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Jerusalem is God’s own people to this very day, who reign over the kings within and without. But as with all harlots, her lovers have no respect or true love for her, and will, in time turn on her.
What else happens within us all? What else takes place in this great city in which all the prophets must be killed? This is what has happened within us all:

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

It is God’s own people who kill those He sends to them. “It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem”.
To let us know that this is the same today in the Christian church, it is revealed to us that it was “the Jews who believed on Christ” who wanted him killed. It was not the Romans as we so often hear.

Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [ but] the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Joh 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Stand with Christ, stand fast in His doctrine, and you and I will to this very day, be hated of “those… who believe in Him”, who are “Abraham’s seed”, and yet our Lord can say of them “If ye were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.” Like “the scarlet colored beast”, those who claim the name of Christian, are at the same time Abraham’s seed and yet are not Abraham’s seed. They believe in Christ, and at the same time want Him dead. It is all a mystery which the scarlet colored beast cannot understand “because [ for a Christian who cannot hear Christ’s Word, our Lord can truly say] My Word has no place in you”. Speaking to these same believing Jews, Christ tells them:

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

Again, to demonstrate how those who claim to be Christ’s own wife are playing the harlot, we have this sure word of prophecy:

Jer 2:4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Jer 2:20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
Jer 2:21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
Jer 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
Jer 2:23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;

We are supposed to be God’s people. We are to be the virgin bride of Christ:

2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Paul tells us that all of his counsel concerning the proper relationship between husbands and wives, is really nothing more than a dissertation concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

What does this all mean? We have already covered the meaning of “seven heads and ten horns” in our study of this very same beast back in chapter 13.

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

What we saw is that seven is the symbol for a complete beast, and ten is the number of the perfection of the flesh of that complete beast.
What this combination of a beast and a harlot tells us is that when we speak of the Great harlot, we are also speaking of “the beast that carries her”. “I will show you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her”. What this unholy alliance of the beast and this harlot tells us is that this mystery is the account of our own relationship as the unfaithful wife of our own husband and Savior, Christ Jesus. What we are being told is that we are both the great harlot who is riding the scarlet colored beast, as well as being the scarlet colored beast upon which this great harlot rides. The fact this great harlot is sitting upon us, tells us that she rules over our physical bodies which are filled with the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Her function as a harlot is to make us feel good while we are dishonoring and disobeying our husband. To do this we must be made to be feel rich and increased with spiritual riches, while in reality we are playing the harlot and are “poor and blind and naked”.

Pro 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

We must come to understand the principle that “the [ vision] is one”, and that both this harlot and this beast are who we are at our own appointed time, and God is showing us that all of this is merely a part of His “great and marvelous” works within our lives, which will prepare us to enter into the temple.

Gen 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

We, as Pharaoh, are being shown what the Lord is doing within us.
“The angel said unto me” is the voice of God’s elect angels, who bear witness to what is seen in His Word. They can say nothing except the Lord has already given us those words from the throne of His Father.
The mercy seat within the temple, is the throne of God, from which He spoke to Israel.

Exo 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

This is all now done through God’s elect, who have been given to see and hear these Words of God. These words are now called “fire in their mouths”. All fire that comes from that throne is to be understood as being nothing less than the Word of God.

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Zec 4:11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side] of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
Zec 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
Zec 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

“The beast was, and is not, and yet is”. There is absolutely no way to understand such an apparently contradictory statement, unless we are also given to understand how we must “lose our life to find it”. Until we see that our “perdition” is our salvation, we will never understand how we are “saved by fire”.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Only if we are granted to understand how we are at this very moment being “crucified with Christ, and yet we are living” will we be given to understand how our own beast within can be both dead and yet be alive and going into perdition, How we can we possibly be “was, and is not, and yet is”? Here is how that verse is fulfilled within us.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 2:20 and Rev 17:8 are opposite sides of the same coin, which is the coin of our lives. Gal 2:20 is that side which reflects the ultimate death of our first Adamic beast, while Rev 17:8 is that part of our lives which reflects the healing of our deadly wound as “carnal… babes in Christ”, before we are truly “crucified with Christ”. We have already covered this part of our walk in the revelation of Jesus Christ within us, in our study of the deadly wound of the beast we all are, as it is revealed to us in Rev 13.

Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat [ Greek – thronos, throne], and great authority.
Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

When our “deadly wound is healed”, we all return to the weak and beggarly elements from which the sword of God’s Word had delivered us. We must all live by these words.

Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Who among us has not, in his own time, returned to that from which we had been delivered? These are words which are addressed to us all:

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, [ the healing of that “deadly wound… by a sword] that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? [“the wound by a sword]

The word ‘among’ in Gal 3:1 is ‘en’, and it means “in you”. It is the same Greek word which is twice translated as ‘in’ in this verse:

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Eight is the number of the new man or the new week or a new beginning. This eighth beast is the beast we are that Christ has overcome while yet in a beastly “vessel of clay”.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We have seen in our studies of Rev 9 that this “bottomless pit” is the Greek word ‘abussos’ and it appears seven times in the book of Revelation. It is first mentioned three times in Rev 9.

Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

It is mentioned once in chapter 11, where we are given a very good clue as to the location of this ‘abussos’ which is called the bottomless pit.

Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

It is mentioned once here in this verse we are now studying in Rev 17:8, where we are given the same clue of its meaning which we were given in chapter 11.

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Finally, this “bottomless pit” is mentioned twice in Rev 20.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

But when we look for the total entries for this word under its original Greek entry, we discover two more very revealing entries for this Greek word ‘abussos’. Here are those two entries:

Luk 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Luk 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
Luk 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

The word ‘abussos’ is translated as “the deep” in verse 31 of Luk 8, and it is explained as meaning “into the lake”, in verse 33.
Here is our final and ninth entry for this Greek word ‘abussos’ which is most commonly translated as ‘bottomless pit’ in the King James.

Rom 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [ from above]:)
Rom 10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

What this tells us is that “the deep” is the same as the “many waters on which the woman sits” and is nothing less than a symbol for the sea of the flesh of all mankind:

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 11:7 and 17:8 both tell us that “the beast ascends out of the bottomless pit” and here in Rev 13:1 we read “I… saw a beast rise up out of the sea”. The Greek word for ‘sea’ here is ‘thalassa’ and not ‘abussos’, but it is clear, that ‘thalassa’ here is just another way of saying “the deep”, or “the lake” into which the swine stampeded and drowned. “The sea” out of which the beast arises is the Biblical type of all flesh, out of which we all rise as the scarlet colored beasts which we all are by natural birth into bodies of sinful flesh and blood.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

That is the spiritual meaning of “the bottomless pit”. It is the symbol for the sinful flesh and blood which we all worship from our first breath.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

As we have already seen, we are all first blotted out of God’s book, because we have all sinned.

Exo 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Who would that be?

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

So when we read here in Rev 17:8 “… and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is”, what we are actually being told is that God knew in advance those whose deadly wound is healed would be reinstated, while yet in these vessels of clay. What we are being told, is that God knew all of His elect before the world began, and had reinstated their names in His book “before the world began”.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

So once again, that which the natural man understands as so very cataclysmic is seen by the eyes of the spirit to be a “great and marvelous work… to the children of men” (Psa 107:8, 15, 21, and 31; and Rev 15:1).

Psa 107:8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

After all “the things written therein” are “the revelation of Jesus Christ” to his servants (Rev 1:1 and 1:3). After all “there is one event to all”.

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

The only thing this verse adds to the first verse of Rev 13 is the woman who sits upon this beast. “The mind that has wisdom” is the mind which is given to understand the symbols of this revelation of Jesus Christ, and who is given to understand that “the time is at hand… to keep the things which are written therein”.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

So this is two symbols for the same thing. Just as with the beast and the harlot which sits on the beast, once again “the dream [ or vision] is one, and the seven heads and the seven mountains are one and the same thing, as understood by “the mind that has wisdom”. They both symbolize a complete and mature beast, whose perdition as an “eighth beast” is eminent.

Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

“Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space”, is just another way of telling us where we are in our spiritual development when we look behind us to see this revelation. Until we begin to see these spiritual truths, we are hopelessly lost in the darkness of our own ignorance. We are a beast who is ruled by a harlot, and we aren’t even aware of our own spiritual darkness. But when that darkness is finally shattered by “the brightness of His coming”, then that which restrains and withheld is removed and destroyed. Here is Rev 17:19 in the book of 2nd Thessalonians.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the [ eighth beast, the] son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [“Know ye not that you are the temple of God” 1Co 3:16-17]
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [ Same Greek word translated ‘withhold in verse 6] will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [“he must continue a short space”].

Once we are given to see how we have been serving ourselves instead of our Lord, our old man’s days are numbered, and he is soon destroyed by the bright light of the Truth who our Lord is.

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

As He is, so are we in this world:

Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

It is by being in us that Christ is still “in the world [ as] the light of the world”, and those are His own words.

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Next week, Lord willing, we will see what is the spiritual significance of the ten horns of this beast.

Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [ are] called, and chosen, and faithful.
Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

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