What Is The Original Sin? A Bible Study

by Jack Wellman on July 4, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

What is original sin?  Did it start with Adam and Eve?  What does the Bible say is the origin of sin?  What does this mean to us today?

The First Sin of All

Before the foundation of the earth, angels existed and there was no sin in the entire universe, including heaven.  The angels were created in perfection but one angel wanted more.  The first sin in the entire universe was pride and it came from Satan, who may have been named Lucifer and he committed cosmic treason.  Isaiah 14:12 says of him How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!  This phrase sounds very similar to Jesus when He said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18).  Remember that before Jesus came to earth as a babe, in His humanity, He was first in heaven and with the Father (John 1) so Jesus was surely an eye witness to when the Devil tried to overtake the very throne of God.  This may be what is written in Isaiah 14:13-14, when the prophet wrote, You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”  He not only wanted to be “like the Most High” but he wanted to be the Most High. He wanted to sit on the throne of God in place of God.

We can not say with certainty but it appears that the Devil wanted to take over the throne of God and he seemed to have taken 1/3rd of the angels with him after his fall.  Revelation 12:3-4 speaks of a great red dragon, none other than Satan himself, writing thata great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. Then there arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Revelation 12:7-9).  It seems clear that the first sin in all of God’s creation was that of Satan and pride was the root of it, but this was not what is meant by original sin.  For that, we must go to the Garden.

In the Garden of Eden

Romans 5:12-14 seems to give us a clue as to what may be the origin or the original sin that spread thoroughly throughout all of mankind saying, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given [and] reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam. But how did this come from Adam?  Wasn’t it Eve that sinned first?  Let’s recount the story in the Garden.

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it" Genesis 2:17

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it” Genesis 2:17

We read in Genesis 3: 1a that the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.” The first thing Satan does is to question whether God actually knows what is best for them, sayingDid God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’ (Genesis 3:1b)?  Wait!  Satan, you are a liar!  God did not say that they could not eat of any tree in the Garden. He said that they could eat of any tree, any tree except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  See how crafty the deceiver is?  Eve overreacted by saying that they could not even touch it (Genesis 3:3), because God did not say that either!  Here is where the unholy trifecta hits humanity; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  First Eve looked at the fruit and saw that it was good for food (Genesis 3:6) and that is the lust of the eyes.  Then she took of its fruit” (Genesis 3:6) and there was the lust of the flesh.  She did all of this with the intent to make her wise and be like God (Genesis 3:5-6) and that’s the pride of life.  What about Adam?  He was not deceived.  Eve was deceived but Adam went into sin with his eyes wide open!  He was not off somewhere tending the Garden, no, because Eve also gave some to her husband who was with her (Genesis 3:6).  Did you get that?  Adam was with her when this happened.  He didn’t speak up, he didn’t correct Satan, he didn’t believe God either, so don’t put all the blame on Eve.

After this, their eyes were opened and shame and guilt (and sin) entered a perfect world in the perfect Garden (Genesis 3:7) and thus the Tree of Life was cut off from mankind and they were banished from the Garden…and really, lost the opportunity for eternal life.  Don’t worry, God was prepared. He knew this would happen.  How do we know this?  Because from before the foundation of the world…the Lamb who was slain (Revelation 13:8). In fact,He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake (1 Peter 1:20).

Original Sin

This may be why Paul wrote in Romans 5:12-14 that just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given [and] reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam.”   Further, Paul writes that one trespass [Adam‘s] led to condemnation for all men…For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:18-21).

This seems clear to be the original sin that infected the rest of humanity.  Adam represents the federal head of all humans born since then and has continued to spread through the birth of every one that has ever been born.  Everyone that is except Jesus Christ who was not born of a human father but conceived by the Spirit of God, therefore He was born without sin and lived a sinless life.  This was the only way that He could pay for our sins.  Or as Paul wrote, as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19).  So we see that “by one man’s disobedience (Adam’s) the many (that would be all of humanity) were made sinners, [but] by one man’s obedience (Jesus Christ) the many (all that trust in Him) will be made righteous.”  Notice that Paul said “the many” and not all because sadly, not everyone will trust in Christ and receive eternal life.

Conclusion

We have no right to blame Adam or Eve because it is in our nature to sin.  We don’t have to teach children to steal cookies from the cookie jar, we don’t need to train them in how to lie and it is not necessary to show them how they are not to share.  No, sinning comes naturally but we can’t blame anyone but ourselves.  There is no Adam and Eve whispering into our ear to lie, cheat, steal, lust, or covet.  No, we don’t need any help in those areas.  We all have 3 enemies; the world, the flesh, and the Devil (and his dominions).  There may be more than 3, but that is enough to make it seem like an uphill battle for sure.  The good news is…well, the “good news!”

Before we had put our trust in Christ, we were separated from a holy God by our sins.  He cannot even look upon sin for He is that holy.  Until we see the bad news of our sin, we can never appreciate the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  While we were still enemies, He died for us and He became sin for us Who knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).  If you have not yet repented, confessed your sins, and placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you are still a son of Adam or more precisely, a child of the Devil, however there is a new family into which you can be born.  If you are born twice, you’ll die once but if you’re only born once, you’ll die twice.  What I mean is that you must be born again, or “born from above” which is the literal translation of John 3:3. Some day all creation will sing a new song, You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9).  Yes, Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise (Revelation 5:12). Will you be there singing with those who are saved by the blood of this perfect Lamb of God?  My prayer is that you will.

Take a look at this related article all about Adam and Eve:

Adam and Eve Bible Story Summary

Reference – New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide, YouTube video “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Onyejiekwe Wisdom Arinze July 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty, who was and He is and He is to come. Let the world praise His holy name. I LOVE YOU ALL WHO LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.

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Jack Wellman July 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

Amen my friend….indeed He is Holy, Holy, Holy, and worthy and deserving of our praise and adoration. Thank you for your wonderful comment my friend.

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Derek Hill July 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

Great job as always Jack. This helped me understand things so much better. I had not realized that Adam was with Eve while she took the forbidden fruit. That puts things into a different perspective for me. Also, I really enjoyed the verses you mentioned from Revelation, as it is so full of symbolism. I love Revelation, but it is confusing to read sometimes. Thank you for clearing some things up for me brother! Your knowledge is a gift and I am thankful for you, brother! God bless you!

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Jack Wellman July 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

Thank you Derek my brother. You are always the encourager and like Barnabas, (which was only his nickname), you have those same propensities my brother.

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Messenger July 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Derek,

I enjoy reading your articles and comments as well!! :)

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Andrea July 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Well written, amen!

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Jack Wellman July 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Thank you Andrea for your encouragement my friend.

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Messenger July 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

Hi Jack,

Great article and I enjoyed reading it so much!

One thing that has always puzzled me is that, why do we always say that Jesus has been punished for our sins? What does it mean and symbolize exactly? Who has punished Jesus and put him to death? Is it God himself? Why did God send Jesus down to be punished for OUR sins? When Jesus died, were our sins expelled? Why do they still continue then? And is God satisfied by this sending down and uplifting action endowed upon Jesus? I find this whole story pretty meaningless. I think it’s less of who had been punished for whom rather than this symbol of presenting a man in flesh who could be modeled after thereafter from Jesus’ birth, so that people would have someone to turn to and “blame on” when things go rough. Don’t you agree?

It’s just like presenting God to earth. But humans are still humans no matter who has died for them. God bless and this is how I think and feel.

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

Best regards,
Messenger

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Hachimenum July 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

Beloved. I appreciate the Holy Spirit rendition of the answer to this difficult Biblical question through you. I think all my doubts are now gone. May God bless you bountifully.

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Kevin October 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Hello and good day :-)

Are you saying that Eve sinned first? you did not come out and say it but it looks that way?

If you are saying Eve sinned first, how is it that you also say sin entered the world “when” Adam ate….

So how could she of sinned first, when sin was not in the world until Adam ate…..yes? no?

1 Tim 2:14 say she “became” a sinner, not she “was” a sinner….meaning she “became” a sinner, after Adam ate….yes? no?

no other verse in the bible says sin and Eve in the same verse, no other verse in the bible says “became a sinner” either for man or woman….so then this one verse, which seems to be used by everyone to say Eve sinned first, really reads “became” a sinner, after Adam ate, and sin then entered the world…..yes? no? smile :-)

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Jack Wellman October 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

Thank you Kevin for your comment and question. Yes, Eve became a sinner but Adam was also responsible. He was right there with her and also took of the forbidden fruit. God made Adam the head of the family and should have stepped in and stopped Eve. I see your point sir but let me say that the Bible says that we are born into sin and that the original sin happened in the Garden of Eden and we have all reaped the consequences since. I do agree that she “did” become a sinner and was not a sinner to begin with, if that is your point. If I misunderstood sir, please forgive me and again thank you for your insightful comment. Nicely done.

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Kevin October 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Hi Jack

since she was not a sinner until he ate, then sin was not in her in any form at all until he ate correct?

since sin was not in her at all until he ate, then it was Adam only who disobeyed God, as it says in Romans chapter 5, correct? for nowhere in the bible does it say the woman/Eve also disobeyed, but it does Adam, correct?

God told Adam the command not to eat before God made the woman

God told Adam “Who told you, you were naked? did you eat of the tree I commanded you not to eat?

God told Adam, because you listened to your wife and ate of the tree I commanded —y—o—-u not to eat.

I understand this is hard to read, as thousands of years of man’s writings have pointed to the woman/Eve who started it all and made the man sin, its her fault….so this is why it is believed so today with all the major religions.

Satan has deceived all of the world into thinking the woman/Eve sinned first and got the man to sin, why would Satan do this? to get all of our eyes of what really happened in the garden, that man/Adam alone disobeyed God and that alone apart from woman is what man’s problem is “””even today”””

Adam and Eve being “one” in the garden and both responsible is a lie from Satan that everyone believes. if its true they were both one and both responsible why then does God go after the man? why does God say “behold lest the man eat the tree of life, so he drove out the “””M a n’””…..

Christianity is in a big mess because of this, Christianity can’t even get what happened in the garden right, so how can the rest of the bible make any sense? thus, lots of different denominations…..it’s all coming from the confusion of the garden of eden…..Satan deceives the world, yes sir, indeed…..

take care, Kevin

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Jack Wellman October 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Adam is referring to mankind in general and when it refers to Adam it also refers to Eve and all of their descendants. 1 Cor 15:22 I believe says as much “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Why would a misunderstanding of the origin of sin thwart God’s plan of salvation which is easy to understand. Are we not all sinners? Do we not ALL need forgiveness? Are you saying that Eve didn’t sin? She took of the fruit FIRST! Then Adam also took. They BOTH sinned. Have you no sin? Are we to let Eve and all women off the hook? What is your point sir?

I take it that you don’t belong to a church. Is that right? Are you judging all churches to be wrong because of our beliefs about the garden? What about John 3:16? Acts 4:12. Romans 10:9-13. 1 John 1:9. 2 Cor 5:21. Are these useless just because we don’t have everything perfectly understood while understanding all we do need to know understandable (John 3:16)? Are people condemned by this imperfect knowledge of the garden? Are you saying that ALL churches are a mess? Do you believe in the church that Jesus Christ said that He would build and that not even the gates of hell would prevail (or stop) against it? Please answer these questions to me sir.

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Kevin October 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Jack Jack now now :-) ……no scriptures are in the bible that says Eve sinned first, zero…..they say she was deceived, that is not the same as sinned first…..

Jack, it is not your fault that you think she sinned first, writers for thousands of years have been saying this, thus this is why everybody thinks so today….despite what the scriptures say it was all on Adam the man…..

lets try this, if Adam and Eve were one unit, and Eve sinned first, how does one explain the scriptures below???

“Hint”” see any “she”? “her”?

The Lord God and Adam the man

Genesis 2:5 there was not a man to till the ground.

Genesis 2:15-17 And the Lord God took —the man—, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. the Lord God —-commanded the man—- saying, Thou shalt not eat of it

Genesis 3:9-11 the Lord called to —-Adam—-, Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I —-commanded thee—- that thou shouldest not eat?

Genesis 3:17 unto —-Adam—- he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which —-I commanded thee—-, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake

Genesis 3:22-24 And the Lord God said, Behold, —–the man—- is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest ——he—– put forth ——his—– hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent —–him—– forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence —–he—- was taken.
So he drove out —the man—

okay? now what…smile

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Jack Wellman October 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

Okay, now your turn. Answer me these things which you ignored or apparently are far less important.

Why would a misunderstanding of the origin of sin thwart God’s plan of salvation which is easy to understand. Are we not all sinners? Do we not ALL need forgiveness? Are you saying that Eve didn’t sin? She took of the fruit FIRST! Then Adam also took. They BOTH sinned. Have you no sin? Are we to let Eve and all women off the hook? What is your point sir?

I take it that you don’t belong to a church. Is that right? Are you judging all churches to be wrong because of our beliefs about the garden? What about John 3:16? Acts 4:12. Romans 10:9-13. 1 John 1:9. 2 Cor 5:21. Are these useless just because we don’t have everything perfectly understood while understanding all we do need to know understandable (John 3:16)? Are people condemned by this imperfect knowledge of the garden? Are you saying that ALL churches are a mess? Do you believe in the church that Jesus Christ said that He would build and that not even the gates of hell would prevail (or stop) against it? Please answer these questions to me sir.

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Bruce October 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Mr. Wellman Great article once again. Your understanding on this topic is great like your understanding of many others. This is another chapter from the Book of Mormon which adds a second testimony with the Bible to confound those who many pervert the Gospel of Christ and the important doctrine of the fall of man.
2 Nephi:1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.
4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
9 Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
19 And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.
21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.

Once again I am interested your thoughts on the doctrine expressed in this chapter.
God Bless
Bruce

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