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 Old Testament Law

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Dr. HipopĆ³tamo
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:28 pm

I'm not saying we should lighly dismiss any passage or section of scripture. I'm saying that there were two distinct differences between Israel's government and a government today.

A) All Israelites were collectively God's people.
B) Israel was under the Old Covanent and all laws were designed to point to Christ.

We should not dismiss any part of Scripture, but for each law given to Israel, we need to look at its purpose and how it related to Israels situation. Then we need to compare it to God's purpose for government today and how that relates to our situation.
Christians today are not called to convert people by force. In Israel, the government was supposed to punish worship of other gods and failure to worship the Lord. But now, that is not our job. We are called to love sinners and point them to Christ, not to kill them.

Don't forget John 8:1-11
John 8
1Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


Jesus didn't say, "There aren't enough witnesses," or "You need to take this before the civil magistrate." He told her, "Go, and sin no more." We are no longer called to punish, but to love sinners, as Jesus did.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:46 am

Dr. HipopĆ³tamo wrote:

Jesus didn't say, "There aren't enough witnesses," or "You need to take this before the civil magistrate." He told her, "Go, and sin no more." We are no longer called to punish, but to love sinners, as Jesus did.

You need to take this passage into context with passages like Romans 12:17-21, John 18:36, Luke 12:13-14, John 6:15, Romans 13:4, and 1 Peter 2:14.

Romans 12:17-21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Luke 12:13-14 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.

1 Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.


These all make it clear that it is not the role of people who are not civil magistrates to execute justice. They also make it clear that it is the duty of civil magistrates to execute justice. Even Jesus refused to take up the role of a king and civil magistrate, since He was not coming in that role, but in the role of the Savior of the Church. He utterly refused to become a civil magistrate, even when they tried to make Him one.

Notice also the meaning of the word "condemn" when He used it in your quoted passage. Jesus asked the woman if "no man condemned" her, then stated that "neither do I condemn thee." The word "condemn" in this place means "to judge against, i.e. sentence." A Civil Magistrate's job is to sentence and judge, not ours. That is what Jesus was saying. He was not saying that it is wrong for anyone to punish sin.

That being said, you are right that there are many laws in OT Israel that were only for OT Israel. There are many obvious examples, but there are others that are not so obvious to some. In my studies (which I am still finishing up before I present them here) have revealed that punishments for idolatry, blasphemy, witchcraft, and similar OT Israel crimes, are not, and cannot be crimes in a NT civil government.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:12 am

Jay, Jay,

I can't believe you missed it!

Code:
Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Quote :
Jesus didn't say, "There aren't enough witnesses," or "You need to take this before the civil magistrate." He told her, "Go, and sin no more." We are no longer called to punish, but to love sinners, as Jesus did.

Jesus did say 'There aren't enough witnesses."! He said it like this :"where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?"

Translation: There aren't enough witnesses. It requires two, and there are... ZERO.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:24 am

Von,

Sorry, I did notice that. I just forgot to put it into my post when I was writing it. Thank you for pointing that out.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:27 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Von,

Sorry, I did notice that. I just forgot to put it into my post when I was writing it. Thank you for pointing that out.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser


Thought you were losing your touch.

Did you also notice that Jesus did pronounce the civil sentence of death against her?
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caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:45 pm

I have to agree in part to Dr. H. Israel was uniquely different from us today, and thus had some different applications to follow.
1. Israel was God's specially chosen and called out people; we are not.
2. Israel was comprised of people who were all of the same faith; we are not.
3. Many of the laws were designed to reflect certain ideas that no longer apply to modern government.
4. The Pentateuch is largely a descriptive portion of Scripture rather than a prescriptive portion (like Paul's letters).

I want to clarify this last point so there is no confusion. All Scripture is vastly important and applicable. But, all Scripture is not applicable in the same way. We cannot take a literal application to everything. Example: Song of Solomon is a descriptive book using Jewish metaphors and poetry to describe love, marriage, the bride, and the groom. If you take this book literally, the bride and groom would be the weirdest looking people that ever lived. If we see it as a descriptive, metaphoric, and poetic book, we can use proper hermeneutics to be able to apply it today.

All that to say, the Pentateuch was not written prescriptively for our exact application. It was describing the life and history of ancient Israel. The modern application is not that of setting up government and religion to be the same as that of ancient Israel. Rather the primary purpose of the Pentateuch is to demonstrate the character and attributes of God. The laws that He instituted give us a beautiful picture of God's holiness and justice. They are not necessarily to be reinstituted in modern government. We must look at the purpose of each law and contrast it with the rest of Scripture, and use the principles gained from this knowledge to apply to our modern government.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:12 pm

First of all Caleb, I am largely arguing against the negative application of the Old Testament... against the idea that because it was written for Israel, it *therefore* does not apply to us, or our civil governments.

To the extent you wish to take a specific law, examine it in the light of NT changes, and clearly show how the NT mandates a change, and what that change is, more power to you. However, the default is Gods perfect law.

Some specific replies:
Point one:
Code:
1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Point two:
There were loads of unbelievers in Israel. Does unbelief destroy the validity of Gods Law? God forbid! In fact He contradicts your statement. As it is written:
Code:
1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
3. You state:
Quote :
Many of the laws were designed to reflect certain ideas that no longer apply to modern government.
But you give no details. I am aware of laws that are ignored, but none that no longer apply.

4.
II Tim 3
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:17 pm

Quote :
Example: Anti-trust law. This law is not in the Bible, yet it is biblical.

A couple of problems here:

1) One assumes that Caleb means, 'but it represents a Biblical principle'. If it does, one wishes he would tell us which one.

2) My guess is that it doesn't represent a Biblical principle. In fact it seems to contradict a basic Biblical principle. It seems to violate the basic contract law taught by Christ Himself.

3) It represents a basic failure to understand basic economics.




But I await his Biblical principle.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:38 pm

Quote :
If you take this book literally, the bride and groom would be the weirdest looking people that ever lived. If we see it as a descriptive, metaphoric, and poetic book, we can use proper hermeneutics to be able to apply it today.

What silliness, and what does that have to do with the Old Testament? Are we to worry about people thinking Jesus was made of wood and had a handle because he says He is a door?

An actual study of Song of Solomon would probably blow your mind; given the gnostic nature of todays church.

Your point is misplaced. We need to see all of scripture as what it is.. and what much of the OT is is law. Civil law, personal law, family law.

And so the first place we need to go to, and often the only place we need to go, for law, is to... The Law.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:52 pm

For a review of some of these issues, you might want to review:

http://www.forerunner.com/theonomy/theofaq.html

I don't agree with it 100%, but it is a good review of some of these issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:20 am

caleb wrote:

1. Israel was God's specially chosen and called out people; we are not.
2. Israel was comprised of people who were all of the same faith; we are not.
3. Many of the laws were designed to reflect certain ideas that no longer apply to modern government.
4. The Pentateuch is largely a descriptive portion of Scripture rather than a prescriptive portion (like Paul's letters).

Caleb,

Before I explain why I believe that I agree with you, I would like to expound on my perceived understanding of what you mean. This way we can be sure that I understood what you were trying to say.

1) God made Israel to be a nation unlike any other before or after it. Any nation that we make cannot be made like to Israel because Israel was made to be different, not to be a pattern. There might be everything necessary for the running of a NT civil government present in Israel, but we must take care in picking it out lest we try to emulate something that was not meant to be copied.

Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 14:2 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.

Deuteronomy 26:17-19 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:
18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that [thou] shouldest keep all his commandments;
19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

Exodus 19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


2) Israel was, in effect, the Church before Christ came and made the Church open to all men, including Gentiles. So there was church functions mingled in with civil functions. Now the Church is separate from the State, we need to separate out the church functions from the Mosaic law code before we can implement any of it.

Hebrews 8
1 Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [it is] of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new [covenant,] he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

And etc.


3) There were special circumstances that applied to the civil government of Israel and which affected its civil laws, which are no longer applicable. This includes such things as inheritance (because of the separated tribes, the priest tribe of Levi, the conquering of the land of Canaan, etc.), divorce being allowed (divorce being no longer permitted, many laws which reflected that possibility must reflect that change), a future covenant change (many many laws were shadows of what was to come in Christ, these having been fulfilled, they are no longer necessary), and etc.

Matthew 19:7-9 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:4-12 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away.
5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same [matter.]
11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

And etc.


4) God did not write the accounts of the giving of the Mosaic law for everyone to follow, but for Israel to follow. The accounts were given to us as examples of many things, and to teach us many things, but not as examples of everything, and not to teach us everything. We can learn of our current covenant by seeing how it was taught about before it was made. By seeing the picture, we can understand the real thing better. But that does not mean that we need to rebuild the picture.

Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days:]
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 10:1-4 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year.
4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.


That is a cursory overview of what I perceive Caleb is saying. Please correct me if I am misrepresenting you.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:59 am

Yes, I believe you are correct on all points.

1. God actively called out the nation of Israel and put Himself directly in a position in the government system (i.e. He held office.) This was all done on God's initiative, not man's. Thus, the only way to make a government like ancient Israel's again, is that God would directly and actively call out a people, make them into a nation with Himself as holding the highest office. We do not see this as something that Scripture indicates will happen nor can we force it to happen. So we cannot just set Israel up as a model for our government. We can use principles that God enforced along with the rest of the Bible to determine how government should act, but, as you said, "we must take care in picking it out lest we try to emulate something that was not meant to be copied."

2. What I meant by this statement, though I agree with your summery, was that because the people of Israel were all of the same faith, many of God's laws that He instituted in civil government had to do with spiritual matters, not necessarily state matters. (i.e. idolatry, blasphemy, etc.) These laws also protected the holiness and honor of God, the foremost being in the government. Because everyone was of the same faith, it was not unreasonable to include these in the law. We as a nation now, (or any nation) are not all of the same faith. Therefore, it would be out of the government's jurisdiction to impose these "vertical" laws on those who do not hold to this religious belief. It's kind of hard for me to explain, so I hope I'm not be confusing. I do agree, though, with your summary of this point.

3. What I was in reference here was laws that protected God's holiness, though I completely agree to the examples you gave as well. Such laws that punished idolatry, blasphemy, dishonor, along with the inheritance, divorce, and the such, no longer apply to any form of government that exists or will exist. We can use these laws to see how holy God is and other such important issues, or to see what life would be like in ancient Israel, but they should not be applied in modern government.

4. Exactly. These laws were written to us descriptively and to the Israelites prescriptively. I hope that helps.

So, to sum it up, yes, you pretty much got my points correct. (Good Scripture verses too.)

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Jay,

I disagree with parts of each of your points:
1) You say:

Israel was made to be different, not to be a pattern. There might be everything necessary for the running of a NT civil government present in Israel, but we must take care in picking it out lest we try to emulate something that was not meant to be copied.

Your first statement "Israel was made to be different' is perfectly true. However the conclusion does not follow. Many things that are 'different' are a 'pattern'. Christ, for example. His sinlessness was 'different'... and a pattern.

The OT makes it clear that it was the laws that God gave Israel that would make the other nations jealous. Bascially, "how come they have such good laws and we don't'. IE, a pattern. A hard to follow pattern, but a pattern.

Your end statement should have two parts. "We must take care"... true enough. But we must take care *both* that we follow when we should, and that we alter when we should. But the default is to copy, not to alter.

2) You say:

Israel was, in effect, the Church before Christ came and made the Church open to all men, including Gentiles. So there was church functions mingled in with civil functions. Now the Church is separate from the State, we need to separate out the church functions from the Mosaic law code before we can implement any of it.

This is false in two ways:
a) The civil government of Israel was not 'the church'. Or else Saul would not have been punished by Samuel for usurping priestly functions.

b) Israel was open to Gentile membership. I might point out Rahab and Ruth as two examples.

You say:

There were special circumstances that applied to the civil government of Israel and which affected its civil laws, which are no longer applicable. This includes such things as inheritance (because of the separated tribes, the priest tribe of Levi, the conquering of the land of Canaan, etc.), divorce being allowed (divorce being no longer permitted, many laws which reflected that possibility must reflect that change), a future covenant change (many many laws were shadows of what was to come in Christ, these having been fulfilled, they are no longer necessary), and etc.

There may well be truth in this, and it needs to be examined case by case. However your statement about divorce is without foundation. When Christ forbad divorce he forbad it from a creation ordinance. Thus the civil state is still not called upon to forbid divorce. It is a sin, not a crime.

And I would disagree with you on inheritance, but that is indeed a complex issue with many ramifications.

You say:

God did not write the accounts of the giving of the Mosaic law for everyone to follow, but for Israel to follow. The accounts were given to us as examples of many things, and to teach us many things, but not as examples of everything, and not to teach us everything. We can learn of our current covenant by seeing how it was taught about before it was made. By seeing the picture, we can understand the real thing better. But that does not mean that we need to rebuild the picture.


Your first statement is flat out incorrect, and I would like to know where you find it in Scripture. Are we 'not to follow' Gods command 'thou shalt not kill' because He wrote it int he Mosaic law? I think you overstated.

Indeed your second statement mitigates your first... as do your others. Your last statement, I believe, confuses two things:
a) the nature of the civil law in restraining evil and
b) the sacrificial system of Israel.

the first we do indeed need to rebuild, not as a picture but as a Godly action.

More later, and I will fix my formatting when I am on a computer that works :(
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:37 am

Greetings,

I am responding simultaneously to both Von's and Caleb's responses to my post. I will take it point by point.

caleb wrote:
1. God actively called out the nation of Israel and put Himself directly in a position in the government system (i.e. He held office.) This was all done on God's initiative, not man's. Thus, the only way to make a government like ancient Israel's again, is that God would directly and actively call out a people, make them into a nation with Himself as holding the highest office. We do not see this as something that Scripture indicates will happen nor can we force it to happen. So we cannot just set Israel up as a model for our government. We can use principles that God enforced along with the rest of the Bible to determine how government should act, but, as you said, "we must take care in picking it out lest we try to emulate something that was not meant to be copied."

von wrote:

1) You say:

Israel was made to be different, not to be a pattern. There might be everything necessary for the running of a NT civil government present in Israel, but we must take care in picking it out lest we try to emulate something that was not meant to be copied.

Your first statement "Israel was made to be different' is perfectly true. However the conclusion does not follow. Many things that are 'different' are a 'pattern'. Christ, for example. His sinlessness was 'different'... and a pattern.

The OT makes it clear that it was the laws that God gave Israel that would make the other nations jealous. Bascially, "how come they have such good laws and we don't'. IE, a pattern. A hard to follow pattern, but a pattern.

Your end statement should have two parts. "We must take care"... true enough. But we must take care *both* that we follow when we should, and that we alter when we should. But the default is to copy, not to alter.

When God creates a nation from scratch, we better sit up, take notice, get our notepads out, and be ready to learn. When God does anything we ought to do this. Some things we ought to take note of in a different way than others, though. When God makes laws, we ought to make absolutely sure how those laws apply to us, lest we be found guilty. We should never set aside any portion of God's law out of hand, but only when God specifically tells us that it is not for us to follow, and only for us to learn from. All of Scripture is for us to learn from, and to mold our actions and ideas.

Deut. 4:6-8 Keep therefore and do [them;] for this [is] your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation [is] a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] God [so] nigh unto them, as the LORD our God [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for?]
8 And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


Being a God-fearing civil magistrate, striving for a nation that follows God's plans for civil government, and understanding God's desire for civil government are all good works: and thus Scripture is profitable (and deductively, sufficient) for men of God to learn how to do these things right.

Exodus 19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 14:2 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.

Deuteronomy 26:18-19 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that [thou] shouldest keep all his commandments;
19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

Psalms 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, [and] Israel for his peculiar treasure.


We can learn from the NT exactly what the civil magistrate's sole function is. (I will be showing this in another Bible study that I am working on right now.) We can take this knowledge and look at the government that God instituted over Israel and learn more of how a NT civil government ought to work. But from the above passages and several dissertations in the NT we know that there are also many things that we cannot emulate in Israel's system. These are clearly labeled, however, in both the original law code given to Moses and in the NT. So we need to examine carefully what we are about: which we all agree we ought to do.




caleb wrote:
2. What I meant by this statement, though I agree with your summery, was that because the people of Israel were all of the same faith, many of God's laws that He instituted in civil government had to do with spiritual matters, not necessarily state matters. (i.e. idolatry, blasphemy, etc.) These laws also protected the holiness and honor of God, the foremost being in the government. Because everyone was of the same faith, it was not unreasonable to include these in the law. We as a nation now, (or any nation) are not all of the same faith. Therefore, it would be out of the government's jurisdiction to impose these "vertical" laws on those who do not hold to this religious belief. It's kind of hard for me to explain, so I hope I'm not be confusing. I do agree, though, with your summary of this point.


von wrote:
2) You say:

Israel was, in effect, the Church before Christ came and made the Church open to all men, including Gentiles. So there was church functions mingled in with civil functions. Now the Church is separate from the State, we need to separate out the church functions from the Mosaic law code before we can implement any of it.

This is false in two ways:
a) The civil government of Israel was not 'the church'. Or else Saul would not have been punished by Samuel for usurping priestly functions.

b) Israel was open to Gentile membership. I might point out Rahab and Ruth as two examples.

First of all I want to explain what I believe me and Caleb mean by Israel being the Church.

Acts 7:37-39 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Deuteronomy 4:6 Keep therefore and do [them;] for this [is] your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation [is] a wise and understanding people.


The same terms are used for Israel that are used for the NT Church. Israel was a 'holy nation' and a 'kingdom of priests;' the NT Church was called a 'holy nation' and a 'royal priesthood' as well. There is a great similarity there, not only in the nature of the two kingdoms, but also in their purposes. The difference is that the NT kingdom is a heavenly kingdom, and Israel was an earthly kingdom. Thus the civil government of Israel was closely interwoven with the sacerdotal natures of its administration; whereas the spiritual, 'vertical,' sacerdotal functions of the NT Church is very separate from the NT civil government. This is contrary to what the catholic 'church' believes, but we are not catholic.

I will now, in part, deal with Von's two examples: Saul sinning by sacrificing and Rahab and Ruth becoming part of Israel.

Saul sinned because he was not a priest. Before the monarchy, the priests had a large part in the administration of Israel's civil government, but not as much during the monarchy. Kings still sought counsel of God by means of Urim and Thummim, prophets, and priests, but the 'sacerdotal caste' did not hold direct civil office anymore. In any case it was not Saul's office to offer sacrifices as he did: only priests were allowed to do what he did. The nation of Israel was still God's holy nation and still his 'Church' in the world during the monarchy, however, as is evidenced by the Psalms and the slaughter of the followers of Baal by Jehu. The 'holy nation' became the NT Church when Christ came and died and began the new covenant.

Rahab and Ruth became part of Israel and part of the church by faith, just as Abraham was justified by faith. But they became a part of the nation of Israel as well, and so there seems to be no contradiction between their joining and Israel being the church.




caleb wrote:
3. What I was in reference here was laws that protected God's holiness, though I completely agree to the examples you gave as well. Such laws that punished idolatry, blasphemy, dishonor, along with the inheritance, divorce, and the such, no longer apply to any form of government that exists or will exist. We can use these laws to see how holy God is and other such important issues, or to see what life would be like in ancient Israel, but they should not be applied in modern government.

von wrote:
You say:

There were special circumstances that applied to the civil government of Israel and which affected its civil laws, which are no longer applicable. This includes such things as inheritance (because of the separated tribes, the priest tribe of Levi, the conquering of the land of Canaan, etc.), divorce being allowed (divorce being no longer permitted, many laws which reflected that possibility must reflect that change), a future covenant change (many many laws were shadows of what was to come in Christ, these having been fulfilled, they are no longer necessary), and etc.

There may well be truth in this, and it needs to be examined case by case. However your statement about divorce is without foundation. When Christ forbad divorce he forbad it from a creation ordinance. Thus the civil state is still not called upon to forbid divorce. It is a sin, not a crime.

And I would disagree with you on inheritance, but that is indeed a complex issue with many ramifications.

I agree that we need to examine the Law of God given to Israel case by case: no other method will suffice to give it due diligence in our studies. I am in process of a Bible study which will include just such a study in it.

Divorce was a part of the civil law codes of Israel because it was not a sin in its dispensation. Many laws reflect this, such as the laws of concubines, multiple wives and their rights (what was their right treatment and liberties), 'selling' daughters, adultery, and etc. But if Christ Himself said that marrying after divorce and marrying a divorced person are both adultery, and we consider adultery to be a crime, how can we say that divorce has no place in civil law?

Inheritance is indeed a complex thing, but what I was referring to was the assignment of land by lot to the several tribes for their inheritance. Since in our nation we do not have tribes per se, it would be difficult to implement this and the related laws.




caleb wrote:
4. Exactly. These laws were written to us descriptively and to the Israelites prescriptively. I hope that helps.

von wrote:
You say:

God did not write the accounts of the giving of the Mosaic law for everyone to follow, but for Israel to follow. The accounts were given to us as examples of many things, and to teach us many things, but not as examples of everything, and not to teach us everything. We can learn of our current covenant by seeing how it was taught about before it was made. By seeing the picture, we can understand the real thing better. But that does not mean that we need to rebuild the picture.


Your first statement is flat out incorrect, and I would like to know where you find it in Scripture. Are we 'not to follow' Gods command 'thou shalt not kill' because He wrote it int he Mosaic law? I think you overstated.

Indeed your second statement mitigates your first... as do your others. Your last statement, I believe, confuses two things:
a) the nature of the civil law in restraining evil and
b) the sacrificial system of Israel.

the first we do indeed need to rebuild, not as a picture but as a Godly action.

I am sorry if I was unclear in my statement, it was entirely my fault. As I tried to point out earlier in this post, we do indeed need to study the law of OT Israel to discover how God designed it to fulfill the civil magisterial functions that are still valid in the NT. What I was trying to point out in this last point was that what does not apply to a NT civil government is still very valuable by seeing it as a picture, which is what it is for. I am not saying that all of OT Israel's laws are just pictures. I am saying that much of it (mostly sacrifices, tabernacle building code, holidays, and etc.) are pictures. What does apply to us, although descriptive of what God gave to Israel, is an object lesson for us in how to do it in the NT.

I hope that this helps to clear up the muddied waters a little. Smile

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:49 am

A good post. Much I can agree with.

However you missed one of my points. You said:

Quote :
Israel was, in effect, the Church before Christ came and made the Church open to all men, including Gentiles.


I pointed out that Israel, too, was open to Gentiles. They were baptized into being Jews.

Sound familiar Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:51 am

Quote :
I hope that this helps to clear up the muddied waters a little

I think that you and I agree on most of this, and these statements are, by and large, much clearer.

We will, no doubt, differ as to which portions of the OT law continue and why.

Now... as for Caleb and his theories about the theocracy :(

Von
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:58 am

Quote :
Divorce was a part of the civil law codes of Israel because it was not a sin in its dispensation. Many laws reflect this, such as the laws of concubines, multiple wives and their rights (what was their right treatment and liberties), 'selling' daughters, adultery, and etc. But if Christ Himself said that marrying after divorce and marrying a divorced person are both adultery, and we consider adultery to be a crime, how can we say that divorce has no place in civil law?

Ooops.

Read the words of Christ again. It WAS sin in that time, as well as ours. Christs admonition stated 'from the beginning it was not so'.

Code:
Mar 10:2  And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
Mar 10:3  And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
Mar 10:4  And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
Mar 10:5  And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
Mar 10:6  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar 10:8  And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.


The civil law regulating (not commanding) divorce was written 'because of the hardness of their hearts'. God forced them, if they wished to divorce, to make it official (write a bill). The civil code did not, and should not, force a man to 'keep' a wife he hates... even tho that is a sin! (Hating your wife)

The civil code is just that... a civil code. It does not deal with sin, but with 'crime' (to use your phrase). It regulates what the civil magistrate must do, not what individuals should do.

As for your other subjects (polygyny, etc.) those will become interesting subjects of discussion. I believe that, except where Gods law gives the civil magistrate power over such things, they should not be in his control.

And it will be extremely odd if you say that the civil magistrate must forbid divorce (which God didn't in his civil code) but must not forbid adultery (which God did).
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:28 am

von wrote:
A good post. Much I can agree with.

However you missed one of my points. You said:

Quote :
Israel was, in effect, the Church before Christ came and made the Church open to all men, including Gentiles.


I pointed out that Israel, too, was open to Gentiles. They were baptized into being Jews.

Sound familiar Smile

von wrote:
Quote :
I hope that this helps to clear up the muddied waters a little

I think that you and I agree on most of this, and these statements are, by and large, much clearer.

We will, no doubt, differ as to which portions of the OT law continue and why.

Now... as for Caleb and his theories about the theocracy :(

Von

Von,

I figured out how to use the new multi-quote feature: hit the multi-quote buttons on all the posts you want to quote, then hit post reply. Smile

I am glad that my last post was clearer and that we agree for the most part now...so far.

Your point about Gentiles joining Israel like unbelievers joining Christianity (that was what you were saying, right?) was duly noted. It seems to strengthen our position.

We will probably differ on which portions of OT Mosaic law continue: that is why I am currently doing a very large Bible study on it.

Theocracy...that should be settled in the forms of government thread. Caleb got busy and isn't able to do his Bible study on that right now, so I just might pick up the ball. I differ some with him, so we might agree more.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:32 am

Cool about the multi-quote.

Quote :
Theocracy...that should be settled in the forms of government thread. Caleb got busy and isn't able to do his Bible study on that right now, so I just might pick up the ball. I differ some with him, so we might agree more.

Ummm, you missed the point. Caleb is arguing that Israel was a theocracy until the reign of Saul, and that the Law has been invalid since that point.

So very much a OT law discussion.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:58 am

von wrote:
Cool about the multi-quote.

Quote :
Theocracy...that should be settled in the forms of government thread. Caleb got busy and isn't able to do his Bible study on that right now, so I just might pick up the ball. I differ some with him, so we might agree more.

Ummm, you missed the point. Caleb is arguing that Israel was a theocracy until the reign of Saul, and that the Law has been invalid since that point.

So very much a OT law discussion.

I want to correct one thing here. I don't believe the entire Mosaic law was made invalid at the coronation of Saul. As Jay and I have been saying, there are some of these laws that still apply even in modern government. These laws would have remained intact with Israel's monarchy period. The vertical laws are the ones that were made void with the rise of Israel as a monarchy. We probably disagree on this point, but that is what I mean by the laws becoming "invalid". I will hopefully be able to devote much more time to research in these areas in about 3 or 4 weeks.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:15 am

Quote :
Your point about Gentiles joining Israel like unbelievers joining Christianity (that was what you were saying, right?) was duly noted. It seems to strengthen our position.

Not sure what position you are strengthening, but yes. Converts to Judaism are baptized (mikveh), as are other classes of persons.

Remember what is written:

Code:
1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

The civil law, and indeed all of the law, was not written to righteous, Godly men, but to the lawless. It is a force for restraining lawlessness. Thus to say that the law only appliles if everyone is a believer is to contradict what God Himself said.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:08 pm

von wrote:
Remember what is written:

Code:
1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

The civil law, and indeed all of the law, was not written to righteous, Godly men, but to the lawless. It is a force for restraining lawlessness. Thus to say that the law only appliles if everyone is a believer is to contradict what God Himself said.

Right. I agree. Crime is crime and sin is sin no matter what the individual believes. Certain things more might be expected in certain situations, though. Such as: something similar to outlawing happened in Israel if you mingled the Holy ointment.

Speaking of which...what have you discerned from your theonomy studies about the phrase "cut off" used in a manner like a punishment in OT Israel's law?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:12 pm

von wrote:
Cool about the multi-quote.

Quote :
Theocracy...that should be settled in the forms of government thread. Caleb got busy and isn't able to do his Bible study on that right now, so I just might pick up the ball. I differ some with him, so we might agree more.

Ummm, you missed the point. Caleb is arguing that Israel was a theocracy until the reign of Saul, and that the Law has been invalid since that point.

So very much a OT law discussion.

Ah, I see the problem. I am very sorry that we misstated our case. We are not by any means saying that the Law in its entirety is invalid under a monarchy. This is very blatantly contrary to Scripture, and I do not blame you for disagreeing.

What we were trying to say, and which we will try to elaborate upon later when we have studied it more, is that God's special position in Israel's government prior to the monarchy did have an effect on the laws of Israel. And since we cannot replicate that state of affairs, we need to see how that has affected the law for us.

Does that help to make things clearer?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:30 am

von wrote:
The civil law regulating (not commanding) divorce was written 'because of the hardness of their hearts'. God forced them, if they wished to divorce, to make it official (write a bill). The civil code did not, and should not, force a man to 'keep' a wife he hates... even tho that is a sin! (Hating your wife)

The civil code is just that... a civil code. It does not deal with sin, but with 'crime' (to use your phrase). It regulates what the civil magistrate must do, not what individuals should do.

As for your other subjects (polygyny, etc.) those will become interesting subjects of discussion. I believe that, except where Gods law gives the civil magistrate power over such things, they should not be in his control.

And it will be extremely odd if you say that the civil magistrate must forbid divorce (which God didn't in his civil code) but must not forbid adultery (which God did).

Von,

Do you say that adultery should be inside the Civil Magistrate's jurisdiction in a NT civil government?

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:04 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
von wrote:
The civil law regulating (not commanding) divorce was written 'because of the hardness of their hearts'. God forced them, if they wished to divorce, to make it official (write a bill). The civil code did not, and should not, force a man to 'keep' a wife he hates... even tho that is a sin! (Hating your wife)

The civil code is just that... a civil code. It does not deal with sin, but with 'crime' (to use your phrase). It regulates what the civil magistrate must do, not what individuals should do.

As for your other subjects (polygyny, etc.) those will become interesting subjects of discussion. I believe that, except where Gods law gives the civil magistrate power over such things, they should not be in his control.

And it will be extremely odd if you say that the civil magistrate must forbid divorce (which God didn't in his civil code) but must not forbid adultery (which God did).

Von,

Do you say that adultery should be inside the Civil Magistrate's jurisdiction in a NT civil government?

Actually even in the OT civil government adultery was not 'within' his jurisdiction in the way we might think nowadays. Indeed that is one major switch that we need to make in our thinking.

Adultery was, as I understand it, a family jurisdiction matter that *could* be brought before the civil magistrate if the offended party (husband, wife) so wished.

What I was pointing out in my above paragraph was that you seemed to be switching the two around... seeming to insist that divorce should now be a civilly punishable crime, and that adultery not be. Contrary to the law.

I stand on the law on this point. Indeed, if you were going to punish divorce, according to Jesus it would be because it was... adultery Smile
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