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Uncommon Ground - Genesis Part 2 - Chapters 6 through 10

Updated on October 14, 2014
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Introduction

This is the second installment of a hub series where an Atheist (myself) and a Christian (Sed-Me) will be journeying through the Bible together: reading, commenting and discussing the issues that each other brings up.

While there is a lot we will probably disagree on, the purpose of this journey is to discuss opposing opinions with respect and without becoming argumentative or aggressive. We believe different things, and those differences are going to become more and more pronounced as we continue - but disagreements do not have to be contentious. I'm hoping that, on this journey, we can find examples of commonality as well as highlighting areas of disagreement so that we can come to a reasonable understanding between two people with very different perspectives.

Source

Initial Observations: Christian

CH6
vs 5-7
Are so sad to me. The thought strikes me that if I were to create a human. Not... I had sex, Im missing my period and "HEY, whatdaya know! We're gonna be parents!" But if I had a laboratory and I painstakingly thought through how to make a head, a brain, fingers, the digestive system, a heart... then gave it a personality and set it free on the earth... and it started killing things... raping and lying and torturing its siblings... I would surely regret having created it. Knowing that God had the ability to install a chip that would control our actions like robots, but he refused. He refused to control us...

vs8
"But Noah..." Once again, God is just looking for ONE good man! Surely there is ONE good man... and He found him. This gives me hope that living a righteous life is not impossible (not sinless, but pleasing to God.)

CH7
vs2
(I didn't know which were the clean from the unclean animals were so I looked it up, here's a link if you're interested.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4408-clean-and-unclean-animals

vs11
again, this sounds like the expanse that God had separated at the beginning of time and had reserved in the skies.

CH8
vs13
I really kind of like this verse a lot. It is a reminder to me that no matter what I might face, whether it is the normal difficulties of life that we all face, or a discipline sent from the hand of God, there is an end to the hardship... there is a day and an hour when the trial is over... much like life itself, when I finally stand before God and He says, "Welcome home, faithful servant."

vs22
There are a lot of promises in the OT. The fact that He promised seasons without fail here, is interesting to me.

CH9
vs1
And the men all said, "Do we *have* to?!"
vs4
God would not allow man to eat a live animal... which seems obvious, but I guess everything was new back then. He would have to teach them mercy and civility.
vs6
He tells them basically that if they live by the sword they will die by the sword. He makes it clear that death will come to all things.
vs11
Another promise.
vs13
The reminder of the promise.

Im pretty sure you'll have issues with Noah's son.

CH10
Genealogy... no comment. :)

Mount Ararat, Turkey

A markerMount Ararat -
Mount Ararat, Iğdır Province, Turkey
get directions

Initial Observations: Atheist

Chapter 6: Who were the creatures identified as the "sons of God"? Are they separate entities from the Nephillim? How were they able to breed with human women? If angels are sexless, it can't be an angelic being. Lifespan numbered - why now? How were ordinary human women able to give birth to Giants? How was every intent of the thoughts of man's heart only evil continually? There were no laws given by God to disobey, and no consistent communication with God, so how were humans evil? How can an all-knowing God regret? Why punish the animals along with the human beings? If all people are imbued with a sinful nature from the fall, how could Noah (or anyone else) be considered blameless? Since he had to sin, how did he gain forgiveness when others did not? How did he singularly find favor?

Chapter 7: What made Noah alone righteous, out of all humanity? Repeat of the orders for the ark with variations, similar to the 2 creation stories in Genesis 1&2. If the flood waters came from above and below, no salt and fresh water could be separated, meaning all water on earth would be brackish, killing all underwater life as well. If violence was the ultimate cause of life's downfall, how were animals to blame for their nature?

Chapter 8: How could sprouting trees grow so quickly after a flood of that magnitude, when all of the trees and seeds had been submerged and drowned out? Why is the smell of burning flesh soothing to God, and what did God need to be soothed from, since all of life on earth was killed? If God now recognized that evil intent is inherent from childhood, why is He only recognizing that after the flood, not before it? Why would he make a promise to not destroy every living thing again? Wouldn't that be considered justice?

Chapter 9: Not all beasts of the earth are terrified of humankind - why would they be after the flood, since they outnumber the people and can reproduce and become mature much quicker than human beings can? God gives all creatures as well as all plants for food, contrary to the specifics after the Garden of Eden. Life is considered to be in the blood. God created a covenant not only with Noah and his descendants, but with the animals as well (vs. 10). Vs 11 seems to contradict vs. 21 by specifying a flood as opposed to wiping out all life again. Vs. 25, why was Ham's son Canaan punished in place of his father due to his father's actions? Ham's descendants were cursed to serve the descendants of Ham's brothers. If Noah was blameless, how would he allow himself to get drunk and have this happen in the first place? Vs. 28 - if lifespans were limited in Gen. 6:3, how did Noah live to be 950 years old?

Chapter 10: the nations were separated into their lands according to their language.

Source

Christian Response:

CH6
Sons of God... 3 possibilities.
1) Sons of Kings, daughters of men = daughters of commoners
2) Fallen Angels
3) Nephilim (sons of angels and human women.)

Why do you assume angels are sexless? I don't find that... many say if they were only spirits, they could take the form of man, but I don't think that is the case as much as the angels were capable of sleeping with humans.

When the bible speaks of giants, do you picture Jack and the beanstalk? I have always pictured 8 ft men. There are women today who give birth to babies who have grown that tall.

Evil thoughts continually? I don't have an issue with this either. I think it just means they dwelt on evil all the time. Did they have moments of thinking good? If so, it was obviously not often. Visit a prison, they will tell you it is a dark, dark place.

Of course there was law before Moses, otherwise how would there be "clean" and 'unclean" animals to take on the ark. Think of the warning God gave Cain about sin crouching at his door. The laws were simply not written down. They were handed down verbally from generation to generation. And Paul in Romans 2 that the law of God is written on our hearts. Man, inherently know good from evil.

I knew at times when my older children were in hi school that they were going to disobey, but I gave them permission/freedom to make the mistake. Sometimes I regretted giving them so much leeway, but I did what had to be done.

The animals were not being punished, they were simply not valued equally with man. They were given as food and sometimes beasts of burden, sometimes as a sacrifice. But although they were not equal with man, God did not want them treated without mercy. There was honor to be given at the time of death. Many rules like not eating them alive, not boiling a baby animal in its mother's milk, treating it mercifully.

Noah was not sinless, he was righteous. His focus was on following God, pleasing Him... walking with Him and doing His will. This pleased God.

CH7
You and I will always have a different perspective on one thing over all else. God is all knowing, the Alpha and Omega. If sea life did perish, He had reason for it. They could have fished and eaten that sea life, either way, sea life dies. God created it, He can destroy it. With all of mankind being wiped out, sea life being wiped out isn't an issue I dwell on.

CH8
The trees were most surely on a mountain top. The trees were submerged, it doesn't say they were ripped from the soil and the land was barren. When the waters receded, the leaves begin to sprout. As I live thru the winter, it never fails to surprise me that the trees bud and leaf within days. This isn't strange to me at all.

Why is the smell of the burnt offering sweet to God? Why does musk smell good to a woman and flowery perfume to a man? It is within us. We are not God so we are not expected to think and react like him. However it isn't hard to imagine that if animals are food, which they had to hunt, slaughter and cook... at that point, they could have eaten them and enjoyed the fruit of their labor, but instead, they burnt it. It could no longer be eaten by them. It was given as a gift, a sacrifice, an offering of love to their creator. It is quite easy for me to imagine why this smells sweet to God... He is being told He is loved when He smells this aroma.

CH9
We have dominance over animals. We need weapons to do this, but we have the ability to fashion these tools, they do not. Who is to say that even the shark does not fear man and attack? Were we to have a harpoon, we would be the victor. There have been ppl who have warded off sharks by simply punching them or poking them in the eye.

Ham's sin was real though the whole story wasn't given. Did he know his dad had been drinking and followed him to see him in his weakness? Did he dishonor his dad by snickering at him and telling his brothers in hopes that they would come and look and scoff too?
Why does God punish future generations? I guess b/c there is a heavy price to be paid for our sins. Look at alcoholism... if God did not punish future generations, would we not do it to ourselves? I don't know. God makes the rules, we are called to live by them.

Atheist Response

Atheist Response:
Chapter 6: I’m not sure where I got the idea that Angels were sexless. I know that they can appear in the form of men, but I guess that I assumed that appearing in the shape of men and having that ability does not necessarily mean that they ARE men. I’ve also had the understanding that since there is no marriage of heaven and the purpose of gender and/or sexual organs would be to reproduce (under the covenant of marriage, inferred) that Angels would have no need of sexual reproduction – especially since they were created prior to human beings, and existed by the time that the first humans were first placed in the Garden of Eden.

My idea of the Giants referenced in Genesis 6 comes from knowledge of the Anakins mentioned later throughout the old-testament. Perhaps the Israelite spies exaggerated when they said that the Anakins made the Israelite soldiers look like Grasshoppers in comparison, or perhaps Goliath was not that much bigger than David as the stories propose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anak

From my reading, animals were not given to humans as food until AFTER the flood, and it wasn’t so much a decree to not eat a living animal (and eww) rather than an animal that you DID eat had to be drained of blood, as later recognized in the Mosaic law handed down to the people of Israel after their exodus from Egypt.

Chapter 7:
My point is simply that if all sea/lake/river life died, it makes no mention of being recreated. So how did we get it up through this day? For the most part, salt water life cannot live in fresh or brackish water. Fresh water life cannot live in salty or brackish water. How were the fish saved, if not recreated? What about the marine life that HAD the breath of life, all of which God purported to wipe out of existence like dolphins and whales? My question wasn’t necessarily on the morality of its extinction, but simply the mechanics of its survival.

Chapter 8:
My only issue is that when trees and their seeds, etc. are submerged for that period of time, it drowns the seeds and seedlings. Trees simply cannot survive being underwater for that long, so the question was where did they come from? How did they grow long enough to sprout a branch that quickly after the flood was over?

The text specifically said that it was a soothing aroma to God. As much as I like barbeque, I wouldn’t imagine that the smell of deliberately burning flesh is pleasing to me. I usually squeal and try to put out the fire. I understand that I’m not God, and the importance of the sacrifice itself. I’m simply curious as to what was left to appease God for.

Chapter 9:
Some animals (albeit a small number) can indeed fashion tools. Weapons, not so much, although apes can throw stones as weapons – and they throw poop as I have discovered quite by accident. Yes, humanity is dominant over the animal world, but this did not occur immediately after the flood. In fact, in most parts of the world, it did not occur with any regularity until the invention of hunting weapons like bows, crossbows and guns. Anyone can get lucky with a harpoon or a bow or a shotgun. Animals don’t necessarily have to be lucky – they simply have to be themselves. In a one-on-one match between a lion and a human being without a firearm, the lion will win 99% of the time – and that seems to be the natural order of things.

I don’t disagree that Ham’s actions were disrespectful, but I don’t see justice in cursing his son to be a servant to his uncles for all time into the future. His son did not commit the sin, and I’ve never understood the concept of justice that involves punishing someone not guilty of the crime for the crimes of another. For example, I would not consider it justice for one person to willingly go to jail for a crime that their child or parent committed. That would not be justice, regardless of how willingly they did it. What lesson does that teach to the guilty party? Seemingly the lesson is that they can get away with negative behavior and someone else can take the blame.

Source

Final Thoughts: Christian

I think one thing we will have to come to terms with is that being a god is altogether different from being a man. Of course I only believe in one god, but you get you get my gist? We cannot begin to think like the creator of the universe. We cannot fit him into our mold. Speaking of Ham, how serious an offense this was is not for us to determine. This will seem silly to you, but my thought is, we grew up watching Three's Company and the Love Boat... our times are outrageously different from theirs.

Investigate Further

Final Thoughts: Atheist

I agree that we live in a much different time period than these people did, and that’s part of the reason why context is so important. Not just scriptural context, but understanding Jewish context of these passages, that often differs significantly from Christian context in the 4th century through today. These were Jewish scriptures long before they were incorporated into the Christian Bible, and many Christians today (not necessarily referring to the present conversation) I think could benefit greatly from studying Jewish understanding of this and other books in the Jewish Torah, as well as cultural and climate influences, influences from other groups of people that the Jews were in conflict and collaboration with, etc.

© 2014 Julie McFarland

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  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    The bible was not meant for argument ,yet people who are not perfect argue about it 's pages , it is like you write your own book, is their an argument with yourself on what you wrote. You know exactly what you mean, and you do not have to change one word. It is up to your readers to understand what you are trying to say. And people will not like it !

    And some will love it ! And some will never understand because they do not speak the language at all like Latin ,the bible is a living power that is by invitation that is granted by his living spirit to understand with accurate knowledge . Without that key to unlock you will never understand. So we have today as proof argument of what people think it says. And yet it is very simple to many.

  • JMcFarland profile image
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    Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

    Yeah, I'm not sure what you're saying - especially since no one here is arguing.

  • Sed-me profile image

    Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

    Kiss and Tales, if I might submit to you these verses.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%...

    Paul was an avid participant in discussing/debating the teachings of the word.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    Sed-me thank you for directing me in your faith in the scriptures, because that is the where we will find all truth . I did look at your scripture and I did notice a problem the bible you used does not respect the name of the most high !or supreme being of the universe. As an example if you wrote a famous book that people would read all over the world would you have your name on that Book, God's name is in Hebrew and Greek over 7000 times, he want his name recognized, from the many others as satan has confused many not to recognize or treat his name as important or holy.

    King James translation did great harm by dropping his name and replacing it with' Lord ' now people are confused rather he is talking or his son.

    A name is how you identify who you are talking to. It is a signature of your work.

    The reason I bring this up is your bible does not give any glory to the Author .

    So how can any translation be Authentic as the Hebrew and Greek

    When not recognizing the Author. So that makes me question other verses not intact.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    American Standard Version Ps 83:18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.

    Byington Isa 6:3 and this one called to that one “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of Armies; there is a whole worldful of his glory,”

    American Standard Version Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

    Now we turn to King James and he replace Jehovah with Lord or a title .

    I believe in all the bible even the scripture you posted. I just notice more then the verse.

  • Sed-me profile image

    Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

    Jehovah's Witness?

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    If you look at any Hebrew and Greek writings you will find the name Jehovah! Over 7000 times, even though King James admits to the name a few times,

    Ex 6:3 And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but with regard to my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.

    Ps 68:4 Sing to God; sing praises to his name. Sing to the One riding through the desert plains. Jah is his name! Rejoice before him!

    Isa 42:8 I am Jehovah. That is my name; I give my glory to no one else, Nor my praise to graven images.

    Isa 54:5 “For your Grand Maker is as your husband, Jehovah of armies is his name, And the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser. He will be called the God of the whole earth.

    The name Jehovah is known by others as well, even King James acknowledge that ,and other bibles.

    What I am saying what is wrong with the Authors name being avoided.

  • JMcFarland profile image
    Author

    Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

    You didn't answer my question. Do you read Greek, Hebrew and Latin, Kiss?

  • Sed-me profile image

    Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

    KandT, I understand your pov, I have heard it before. What you might look at and see 'man trying to glorify himself', I see as translators making themselves accountable for their efforts. I personally have never read the name of one person who has contributed any part of translating or making commentary to any Bible. You'd have to make quite an effort to figure out who did what, but if you wondered about their credentials, it would be possible to check them. I prefer that to just blindly trusting someone's commentary that I can't link to anywhere I would consider trustworthy.

    All that aside, you just said you didn't want to debate and now you have started one that has absolutely nothing with the discussion Julie and I are participating in.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    Your questions are based on the bible, in turn that would include the Authors information.

    Just like you writing a hub, as example , could I really understand your position in mind or thought if I was to just avoid important information about you.

    That would first include your name. If I were to name you a title of a great hub you had written would that give you due credit just calling you a lady. You post your name as to be referred to your work.

    You ask me am I a Jehovah witness ,what is a Jehovah witness ? Then I will understand your question.

    You ask me about Hebrew and Greek, I am familure with bible translation of words changed over to our language and have access to it.

    It is very important where your source of information comes from ,and who we do rely on to represent the most high personage of the universe.

    But starting off with information omitted is not a good start.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    You use debate, the truth is never a debate. Only people who will not accept the words and message will make others think it is debate.

    The bible says we die, no debate, the bible says we bear children, no debate, the bible says there is good and bad, no debate, what people want to call a debate is a challenge of God's right to take care of his own creations the way he see's fit . that will lead to true happiness.

    Look around the world today and every thing man can do he has done without God 's interference for thousands of years. Satan has ruled Reference Bible 1Jo 5:19 We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the [power of the] wicked one.

    American Standard Version Lu 4:6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

    These two scriptures are a witness that the worlds system we are living in today belongs to satan. God's own Government is not earthy.

    Time has ran out for him.

    What that means for us today

    Reference Bible 1Ti 2:8 Therefore I desire that in every place the men carry on prayer, lifting up loyal hands, apart from wrath and debates.

  • JMcFarland profile image
    Author

    Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

    K &T, I am allowing your comments for now, even though I can't make any sense out of the majority of what you're saying, but please be respectful of the fact that you ate visiting my hubs and leaving multiple comments at a time that amount to little more than preaching your own interpretations and attempting to turn this series into an argument when that's not its purpose. If you would like to comment on the topics raised in the hub itself, that's fine, but this random, all over the place sermonizing doesn't really belong here.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    With all respect the subject you post is about the bible to the community Of hubbers , you ask questions ,now You say I am preaching. Maybe you should decide what you are asking when you post a subject the questions of the bible. You can do what you wish as to my replies, But if you are a christain your actions are in view as well.

  • JMcFarland profile image
    Author

    Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

    But I'm not a Christian, and your comments may have something to do with the Bible (which is a vast and complicated subject) but they have nothing to do with Genesis chapters six through ten, which is what this hub is discussing. You didn't want a debate, and didn't think the Bible should be debated, but you created one that was not on topic and derailed the actual conversation that this hub was on. Talking about translations and interpretations and the name of god vs what it was translated on is not on topic here, and you've never actually answered my question. So I'm not really sure what your purpose in commenting on this particular hub is.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    I am speaking to Sed-me ,I am aware of your position JMFarland, your post is left for reply by the community hubbers here. I was referring that if you write a book or hub, the first thing to know is the Authors name ,that includes the Bible. That includes all here who may be professional writers. As example how can you go in a book an know so little about the Author and his name? How can you even begin to know why he wrote the information,the book as the bible has a theme as well, how can you help anyone understand if you can not address those important facts of the Bible if you are avoiding who and what he is, his name has to do with his power of action his name is really a verb.

    You will not get accurate knowledge by leaving important information out .

    My purpose was to address that information , there is no debate about that.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    My purpose is to tell the truth. You have many opinions and interpretations of what the bible is saying .But the truth will always stand.

    If some one writes a story or book on you ,you and your family would really know the truth. When you would have many others guessing and drawing conclusions that may be far from the truth.

    First we start with your name ! That is important it identifies you as JMcFarland. How can I begin to have any interest in your future writings if that information is missing. What I simply saying people need to get the process right then if you are truly interest in what the bible is saying then you will understand the book!

  • JMcFarland profile image
    Author

    Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

    Can you please limit yourself to one comment at a time, as you are a guest on my hubs, and replying to multiple things at once is not feasible and aims to monopolize the conversation. It's like you're talking to yourself, which is fine, but my hub on the second five chapters of Genesis is not the correct venue for it. God is not the author of the Bible. No one thinks that literally. Different denominations have different views of the Bible from being inspired, etc, but no one from the orthodox jew to the staunch Catholic and everybody in between think that God wrote the Bible himself or faxed it down, completed, from heaven. I'm sorry, but that's absurd. There is tradition as to who wrote certain books, others are unknown and some, biblical scholars would argue, that are forgeries (they were written under a name that is blatantly not the actual author). None of those traditional, literal authors is God. The only person who seems to literally think that is you. Christians believe that it is the word of god, yes, but that doesn't mean that God authored it.

    Now that the authorship question had been discussed, can you limit your comments to the actual topics that the hub raises (ie NOT the Bible as a whole, which is by far too broad a topic for a single hub) but the actual contents of the hub itself? Otherwise, your comments t that are off topic may no longer be approved.

    Thank you.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    I have no problem with your request. I do understand . And I will read your postings,

    But from a standpoint of truth I will reply, if there is an opening for that truth to be spoken and welcomed.

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 2 years ago

    This is my reply to your conclusions as agreed to limit commit .As an answer to your subject and I do understand what you are saying and I am much older then you by what you have stated, I also have experience aging in many departments.

    But please consider these known facts.

    As an example.

    If you see a fine car with an ugly dent, do you conclude that it is part of the design? Of course not! You no doubt reason, ‘This is not how the car was meant to be. It must have been well made, but afterward someone damaged it.’ Similarly, when we contemplate our awesome heritage of human life, we can only conclude that it is not now as it was meant to be. Our short life span and tendency to act badly are like tragic dents. Evidently someone wrecked mankind’s heritage.

    Let's look at this from science .

    How Fast Do Cells Reproduce? -Eric Lai

    essclass.tripod.com/howfastdocellsreproduce

    Cells reproduction rate is pretty fast. ... Skin cells reproduce about one million cells per second. That is how your skin heals fast.

    Other parts of your body are renewed more often. Some cells in your skin, liver, and intestines may be replaced almost daily. Every second, your body produces about 25 million new cells as replacements. If this did not happen and all the parts of your body were not constantly repaired or replaced, you would grow old during childhood.

    consider what would happen if you used a photocopier to copy a document and then used the new copy to make the next copy. If you did this repeatedly, the quality of the copies would deteriorate and eventually become unreadable. Happily, the quality of our DNA does not deteriorate or wear out when our cells repeatedly divide. Why? Because our cells have many ways of repairing DNA copy errors. If that were not true, mankind would long ago have become a pile of dust!

    Also how long can people live today!

    A centenarian is a person who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years. Because average global life expectancies are less than 100, the term is invariably associated with longevity. A supercentenarian is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more, something only achieved by about one in 1,000 centenarians. Even rarer is a person who has lived to age 115 – there are only 34 people in recorded history who have indisputably reached this age, of whom only Misao Okawa, Gertrude Weaver, Jeralean Talley, Susannah Mushatt Jones, and Bernice Madigan are still living.[1][2][3] In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.[4]

    Also consider the worlds oldest people.

    We as humans were not meant to die

    But the bible does explain why!

    Reference Bible Ro 5:12 That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned—.

    Genes are marked in all humans to die.

    But soon this will end.

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