(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).
At the beginning when God created mankind, he gave to man an entirely vegetarian diet. The original man was to eat only fruits, nuts, herbs and roots, all plant products. Man was not permitted to eat meat of any kind. The strict vegan diet at the beginning was not only for man, but for all other animals as well. This herbivorous diet for man continued until after the flood, when God made a new covenant with mankind through Noah. In the Noahic Covenant, man was permitted to eat certain animals considered ceremonially clean, but was forbidden to eat their blood. The animals permitted to be eaten under this covenant were to be killed and their blood poured out before they were to be eaten. Man was forbidden to eat blood because the life of any being is in the blood. To eat an animal with the blood, or to eat blood, means to eat the very life of an animal! The Noahic Covenant thus moved man from being a strict vegetarian to an omnivore. Man could now eat meat, in addition to plants, under this covenant.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground —everything that has the breath of life in it —I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the earth.
Genesis 9:2 All of the animals on the earth will fear you and dread you—all the birds in the skies, everything crawling on the ground, and all of the sea’s fish. They are in your power.
Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be your food. Just as I gave you the green grasses, I now give you everything.
Genesis 9:4 However, you must not eat meat with its life, its blood, in it (CEB).
Under the Mosaic Covenant God made with Israel, the portion of the Noahic covenant with respect to man’s diet was upheld. An elaborate list of clean and unclean animals was provided for God’s people, to make clear what animal could or could not be eaten. In the Mosaic Covenant, man was still forbidden to eat the blood of any animal. Whatever clean animal that was permitted to be eaten must be properly killed and the blood poured out, before the animal could be considered fit for human consumption. Of course, no animal could be eaten raw, and killed animals had to be prepared either by boiling, roasting or frying, before they could be eaten. Animals that died on their own, even if among the clean ones, were not to be eaten, just as the eating of strangled animals was forbidden. In addition, the Law forbade the eating of the fat of animals. The fat of each slain animal was to be burnt as part of the offering to God, and could not be lawfully eaten by God’s people. To eat the fat and blood of even clean animals was a taboo and an abomination under the Law!
Leviticus 11:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
Leviticus 11:2 “Say to the Israelites: ’Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:
Leviticus 11:3 You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.
Leviticus 11:4 “’There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:5 The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:6 The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:9 “’Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales.
Leviticus 11:10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales —whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water —you are to regard as unclean.
Leviticus 11:11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.
Leviticus 11:12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.
Leviticus 11:13 “’These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
Leviticus 11:14 the red kite, any kind of black kite,
Leviticus 11:15 any kind of raven,
Leviticus 11:16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
Leviticus 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
Leviticus 11:18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
Leviticus 11:20 “’All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.
Leviticus 11:21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.
Leviticus 11:22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.
Leviticus 11:23 But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.
Leviticus 11:24 “’You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:26 “’Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean.
Leviticus 11:27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. These animals are unclean for you.
Leviticus 11:29 “’Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
Leviticus 11:30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon.
Leviticus 11:31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:39 “’If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:40 Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.
Leviticus 11:41 “’Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten.
Leviticus 11:42 You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean.
Leviticus 11:43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
Leviticus 11:44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.
Leviticus 11:45 I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
Leviticus 11:46 “’These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground.
Leviticus 11:47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”
Leviticus 3:17 “’This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”
With the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the abolishing of the Mosaic Covenant, some significant changes were made to man’s diet under the new Covenant of Grace. The division of animals into clean and unclean was abolished, with all animals now considered clean and fit for human consumption! Jesus Christ declared all foods clean, by teaching that nothing that a person eats can defile him spiritually, since all foods eaten pass through the digestive tract to be processed, with waste products eliminated from the body through faeces. No food eaten gets to the spiritual part of man (his heart) to defile him. What defiles a man instead is what comes out from his heart, not what enters into his mouth! It’s out of a man’s heart that evil thoughts and sin proceed, and these are the things that defile him! This message was brought home to Peter in a very personal way, when in a series of visions, God made him realise that all foods have now been sanctified by him, and no food should be called unclean anymore, or rejected on spiritual grounds. Thus, while sending out the disciples on evangelism, the Lord Jesus instructed them to eat anything they were offered, wherever they went, because all foods were now clean and lawful for human consumption!
St. Mark 7:1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus
St. Mark 7:2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.
St. Mark 7:3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.
St. Mark 7:4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. )
St. Mark 7:5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”
St. Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
St. Mark 7:7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’
St. Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
St. Mark 7:9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
St. Mark 7:10 For Moses said, ’Honor your father and mother,’ and, ’Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’
St. Mark 7:11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God) —
St. Mark 7:12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.
St. Mark 7:13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
St. Mark 7:14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
St. Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
St. Mark 7:17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
St. Mark 7:18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?
St. Mark 7:19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
St. Mark 7:20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.
St. Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come —sexual immorality, theft, murder,
St. Mark 7:22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.
St. Mark 7:23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
St. Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
St. Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
St. Luke 10:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
St. Luke 10:4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
St. Luke 10:5 “When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.’
St. Luke 10:6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
St. Luke 10:7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
St. Luke 10:8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
St. Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
The Acts 10:9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.
The Acts 10:10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
The Acts 10:11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.
The Acts 10:12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.
The Acts 10:13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
The Acts 10:14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
The Acts 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
In the first Church Council convened at Jerusalem to consider whether or not born-again Gentiles should observe the Mosaic Law before they could be saved, it was unanimously agreed by the Apostles that Gentile believers were not under the Law of Moses, including its dietary restrictions. The only foods Gentiles were mandated to abstain from were those offered in sacrifice to idols, as well as the eating of blood and of strangled animals, for the same reason given to Noah- that life is in the blood, and thus animals should not be eaten with their blood in them. A strangled animal still has its blood in it, and should not be eaten, otherwise one would eat blood thereby! An animal must be killed and its blood poured out before it’s considered safe to be cooked and eaten. Note that the eating of fat, hitherto forbidden under the Mosaic Covenant, is now permitted. Paul further taught that no animal was now unclean, but those who still consider them unclean and eat them with that knowledge have defiled their conscience, by going contrary to their weak conscience. Thus, though all foods are clean and all can be lawfully eaten now, to eat what one’s unenlightened conscience still considers as unclean and sinful is to eat without faith, and whatever is done without faith is sin!
The Acts 15:1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”
The Acts 15:2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
The Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
The Acts 15:5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
The Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
The Acts 15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers.
The Acts 15:23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.
The Acts 15:24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
The Acts 15:25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul —
The Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Acts 15:27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
The Acts 15:28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
The Acts 15:29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
Romans 14:1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
Romans 14:2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
Romans 14:3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
Romans 14:6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.
Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Romans 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
Romans 14:11 It is written: “’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ’every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Romans 14:14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
Romans 14:15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.
Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
Romans 14:18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.
Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Despite these clear-cut scriptural injunctions concerning the spiritual cleanness and fitness of all animals for food, some Christians still follow the Mosaic Covenant in refusing to eat certain animals, on religious grounds. By choosing to uphold the expired and abolished Mosaic Covenant, such people are trying to mix Law with Grace, and end up falling from Grace, by putting themselves totally under the yoke of the Law of Moses! Once you choose to observe any part of the Mosaic Law as a means of justification or pleasing God, you must go back to keeping the entire Mosaic Law! Such a person loses his place and liberty in Christ, and retrogresses to being a slave again under the Law! To insist on keeping any part of the expired Mosaic Law that Christ has delivered us from is to frustrate the grace of God! It’s the same as treading underfoot the blood of Christ that has delivered us from the curse of the Law! That is tantamount to putting oneself back under the curse of the Law!
Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”
Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Galatians 5:3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (AKJV).
Some Christians who accept and eat all meats as lawful, insist on not eating certain meats during certain ‘holy days’, such as during the Lenten season and Good Friday. These denomination-imposed dietary restrictions are not found in the Bible, but are meticulously observed by certain churches. Such human doctrines that add to the Word of God, however righteous and holy they may appear, are null and void and actually sinful! We’re not to add to the Word of God or subtract from it. The Scripture actually condemns such abstinence from meats on religious grounds, and traces its origin to demon-inspired teachings! It’s actually listed in the Scriptures as one of the signs of the falling away from the original Apostolic faith, which is predicted to happen in the endtime. We’re not to commemorate the sufferings and death of Christ by abstaining from the eating of meat on certain days. The only way the Scripture enjoins us to remember or commemorate the Lord’s death is through the observance of the Lord’s Supper! That’s how we are to remember the Lord’s death till he comes, not by abstaining from the eating of certain meats during Lent or Good Friday! Forbidding people to eat meat on the day Jesus was supposed to have died is a doctrine of devils!
Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book:
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (AKJV).
Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel —
Galatians 1:7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
Galatians 1:9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
1 Timothy 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
1 Timothy 4:3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
1 Timothy 4:4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
1 Timothy 4:5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
1 Timothy 4:6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
1 Corinthians 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
In conclusion, God’s permitted diet for man has evolved significantly from man’s creation till date. At creation, the original man was permitted to eat only food of plant origin (a strict vegetarian diet). However, after the flood, God made a new covenant with mankind through Noah, and permitted man to eat certain animals, as well as plants, in that new covenant. Man was forbidden from the eating of the blood of animals for whatever reasons, as the life of any animal is in its blood. In the Mosaic Covenant that God made later with Israel, the omnivorous diet prescribed in the Noahic Covenant was upheld, with a comprehensive list of clean and unclean animals provided for God’s people, to guide them concerning what they could or could not eat. The eating of blood (and of strangled animals) was still forbidden in the Mosaic Covenant, as well as the eating of fat. The Mosaic Covenant was abolished following the establishment of the New Covenant of Grace ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Under the New Covenant, all animals are now considered fit for human consumption. However, the eating of blood and of strangled animals are still forbidden. In contrast, the eating of fat, which was forbidden under the Mosaic Covenant, is now allowed under the New Covenant. Under all Covenants, the eating of foods sacrificed to idols is forbidden. Abstaining from the eating of certain meats on certain days (like during the Lenten season and Good Friday), for religious reasons, is condemned in the Scriptures as a doctrine of devils! We’re not to commemorate Christ’s death by abstaining from certain meats. The way the Bible enjoins us to commemorate the death of the Lord is through the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Any practice outside of this is unbilical, satanic and a heretical deviation from the original Apostolic faith.
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