Beth El Is the Correct, Prophesied Location for the Real Israel's Next Temple

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The author of An Eight Part Peace Proposal for Greater Jerusalem notes that the tense situation along the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a constant reminder of the urgent need for peace through better understanding rather than peace through sheer strength.

Ignorance of the Bible is behind the fevered notion of blowing up the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque and then putting in their places the next Jewish temple simply because the Temple Mount is truly the historic place where the first two temples were once located.

Furthermore, the frequently repeated assertion that the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, is the holiest place in Judaism is absolutely untrue.  Nowhere in Torah (also called the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible) is there any mention of Jerusalem let alone a temple anywhere in Jerusalem.  And to a Jew, the Torah is the Almighty's law and blueprint for all mankind's peaceful existence.

Only the plain truth can set us free:  Israel's next, prophesied temple belongs between Beth El and Hai, about 10 miles north of the old city of  Jerusalem.  This is where Abraham first called upon the Lord and made an altar to Him.  (Genesis 12:8)  And this is the place that Jacob later called "the house of God" and "the gate of heaven."  (Genesis 28:17)  This is also where the Almighty subsequently told Jacob that "Israel shall be thy name."  (Genesis 35:10)  Indeed, the Torah tells us this place called Beth El is endued with a spiritual significance so sublime that it is beyond compare!
Photo below from Google Earth shows historic site of first two temples below and the prophesied site for the next temple above.
two vying temple sites
On the other hand, the story of how David came upon and bought the Temple Mount site in Jerusalem is from the Book of Chronicles, which, strictly speaking, is not a book of the Torah and therefore has less authority than a book of the Torah such as the Book of Genesis.

Note well that it was not until after the ancient Israelites had rejected the Almighty Himself as their King (I Samuel 8) and had set a man (Saul) to be king over themselves that their jealous Lord by and by put the idea of a temple into the head of Saul's successor, King David.  (I Chronicles 17)  Shortly afterwards, David's diabolical decision to take a census of the Israelites -- a people foretold in Genesis to be numberless like the stars in the sky or the sands of the sea or the dust of the earth -- again provoked the Almighty's long lasting wrath.  Thus it was the Almighty's wrath that ultimately led David to the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite and it was the Almighty's wrath that caused David to buy this land for a temple site (I Chronicles 21), where his son Solomon was later to build the first temple.

And so the discovery by David of the Temple Mount site, previously known as the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, was part of the enactment of divine retribution against David and the Israelites.  This is an amazing but true fact recorded in Scripture.

Moreover, the entire chain of events that led David to this place, known then as the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite but now known as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was the direct result of a choice made by David at the behest of the prophet Gad (I Chronicles 21:11-13); this circumstance is not in accord with the positive command in Deuteronomy 12:5, to seek the habitation of the Almighty, a "place which the Lord your God shall choose."

Biblical scholars are naturally inclined to be skeptical about the future Beth El temple site -- if indeed they are aware of it at all -- because they are conditioned to believe that the Temple Mount site in Jerusalem is theologically as well as historically or archaeologically axiomatic and therefore any attempt to gainsay such conventional wisdom must be the work of a crackpot, an eccentric or even Satan himself; indeed, they point to II Chronicles 7:1, the dedication of Solomon's temple, to clinch their point about the Temple Mount site:

     "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house."

Moreover, II Chronicles 7:12 is even more explicit:

     "And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice."

However, a caveat concerning Solomon's temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is included at the end of the Almighty's covenant with Solomon (II Chronicles 7:19-22) and it is reproduced here with the author's own emphasis added in italics:

     "But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
     Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.
     And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?
     And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them:  therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them."

History of course shows us the doom that was prescribed not only for the first and second temples in Jerusalem, but also for the ten tribed House of Israel which was carried away and made to disappear by the Assyrians when the first temple was still standing, and for the House of Judah which the Babylonians carried away but later, by the decree of the Persian King Cyrus, was allowed to return to Jerusalem and build the second temple, the remains of which are mistakenly revered by Jews throughout the world to this day.

It is also important to understand that the Koran makes clear reference to the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and of the second temple by Titus in 70 A.D. and the revelation concludes:  "It may be that your Lord may yet show mercy unto you."  (Sura Bani Isra'il 17, Ayat 4-8)  These hopeful words of the Almighty were spoken directly to the Children of Israel through the prophet Muhammad more than five centuries after Jerusalem fell to the Romans!  Can "your Lord" be so very different from Muhammad's Lord?  Do not Christian, Jew and Muslim all believe there is one God, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings?  But if only the Children of Israel would be guided by the Torah and only the Torah and realize their full potential in Beth El!

Unfortunately, there is still no temple in Beth El, which still remains the headquarters for the military authority of what is left of the Zionist occupied West Bank.  Are these militant Zionists, whose "Iron Fist" tactics have been successfully countered by the Palestinian intifadas, really the descendants of Abraham, by whom "shall all families of the earth be blessed"?  (Genesis 12:3)

Stubborn habits and old traditions die hard.  For example, a Lubavitch Rabbi in New York City, Abraham Stone (770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11213), wrote in a newspaper article published by the Jewish Press of 19 November 1993 (page 64) that the Beth El location cited above from Genesis 28:17 is in fact the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and that this scripture proves that the Temple Mount is where the third temple should be built!  Stone acknowledges that this scripture is the authoritative source giving the right location for the temple, which is quite correct.  But he insists that Beth El is the Temple Mount location in Jerusalem, which is an assertion that is simply not supported by Scripture!

Indeed, Beth El is cited as early as Genesis 12, as pointed out above, well before any mention of Jerusalem in the Bible.  Beth El appears again and again in Genesis, whereas Jerusalem does not appear anywhere in the Torah (or first five books of the Bible)!  In I Kings 12:25-29, Jerusalem and Beth El are mentioned in the same context as two different place names, the latter being the place where the rebel King of Israel set up a golden calf so as to keep his subjects from returning to worship at the first temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the rival Kingdom of Judah.  Clearly the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and Beth El are two different places, and Genesis 28:17 tells us, as even Rabbi Stone has already affirmed, Beth El is the place that the Almighty chose for his habitation!

Rabbi Stone took a supercilious tone in a telephone conversation on this all important topic of the correct location for Israel's next temple and did not deign to reply to the author's follow-up letter on the same subject, in which he made the following additional points beyond those already expressed in his first letter to the rabbi:

First, David, in Psalm 48:2, seems to give special significance to the northern reaches of Jerusalem, where Beth El is, when he indited these words:

     "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King."

A diplomatic approach to this subject may very well be that the greater metropolitan area of Jerusalem could include Beth El in the final peace agreement between the Arabs and the Israelis.  The spiritual significance of Jerusalem the city will not be diminished a whit by recognition and acceptance of Beth El as the next temple site.

Second, in this same regard it should also be noted that Ezekiel prophesied there would be among the portions finally allotted to the twelve tribes one separate portion comprising land for the sanctuary of the Lord, for the priests of the sanctuary, for "a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs," and the remainder for the prince.  (Ezekiel 48:7-22)  Inasmuch as this extra portion contains a sacred place "for the sanctuary of the Lord" as well as "a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs," it cannot be more clear that the sanctuary is not supposed to be located inside the city!

Third, Ezekiel, upon beholding from his vantage point on a high mountain the vision of the future temple, indicates that there was "as the frame of a city on the south," which must be old Jerusalem as the center of the new Jerusalem.  (Ezekiel 40:2)  Isn't it clear that if Jerusalem appeared just to the south of Ezekiel, then Ezekiel stood just to the north of Jerusalem?  And isn't Beth El located just to the north of the old city of Jerusalem?

Is it only a coincidence that Ezekiel, in his vision of the future temple, stood in or near Beth El, the very same place that Jacob called the "House of God and the Gate of Heaven" after the Almighty had begun to communicate to Jacob in a dream the spiritual significance of the place?

Rabbi Stone later retreated somewhat from his Beth El is Mount Moriah (or his Beth El is the Temple Mount) position when, in the Jewish Press of 1 December 1995 (page 9), he quoted from Rashi, the preeminent Biblical commentator who lived in the European diaspora from 1040 to 1105 A.D., that, with reference to the account of Jacob at Beth El in Genesis 28:17, "Mt. Moriah (the Temple Mount) was uprooted and was brought to the site where Jacob was lying."  Unbeknownst to Moses himself not to mention modern day geologists and archaeologists, Stone's assertion is sheer nonsense that only compounds ignorance and promotes confusion on a truly vital question on which the peace of Jerusalem hinges and must therefore be totally rejected!

Whereas Jesus did say, "If ye have faith, and doubt not, ...if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done" (St. Matthew 21:21), so too is it true that there are none so deaf as those who will not hear.  What a pity indeed, for a rabbi to turn away from such an important message enshrined in his very own Scripture!  As Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."  (St. Matthew 5:17)

That the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is associated with Divine retribution echoes throughout history.  Beyond the aforementioned destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians and then of the second by the Romans pursuant to the Almighty's promise of punishment as expressed in chapter 26 of Leviticus and reiterated in the previously cited caveat of II Chronicles 7:19-22 right after Solomon's dedication of the first temple, the Evangelist Matthew (St. Matthew  24:1-2) records that Jesus Christ himself put a curse on the temple in Jerusalem when, shortly before his arrest, he looked at the buildings of the temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and told his apostles:  "See ye not all these things?  verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

If one were to take Jesus fully at His word as mankind fast approaches the twenty-first century and bears witness to the ever unfolding progress in the technologies of modern warfare, one must acknowledge that this prophecy of total destruction has not yet been completely fulfilled despite the best efforts of the Jews and their Roman conquerors under Titus; for the Western Wall, being part of Herod's refurbishment of the second temple, was standing when Jesus uttered his malediction against "the buildings of the temple" and it is still standing today!

Can it be that the remainder of this curse may yet prove to be causeless and therefore will not come if there is a change of hearts and people seek for and go to Beth El, the habitation of the Almighty that He Himself has chosen through his prophets?

Centuries later, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem became the objective point of numerous military expeditions from Europe, which are known as the Crusades or Holy Crusades; the blood and money and toil expended for these cruel and crazy and futile ventures can only be viewed as the product of ignorance combined with misguided fervor or religious fanaticism.  In these dark pages of history, the wrong temple site became a most worthy goal of Europe's royalty, nobility and aristocracy, and even lent its name to the religious military order called the Knights Templars; thus their acquisition of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem became one of their justifications for war; indeed, it is noteworthy that even today the putative heir to the now defunct throne of the Hapsburgs, Otto von Hapsburg, still styles himself, among many other titles listed in the European edition of Who's Who, "King of Jerusalem"!  So does King Juan Carlos of Spain have the additional title "King of Jerusalem"!  Yet neither man can show the correct, prophesied location for the real Israel's next temple!
Throughout the remainder of the Middle Ages, ignorance of the correct site for the next Israelite temple remained pervasive.  But then in the early seventeenth century, there appeared a glimmer of truth and of hope.  John Milton, in his Paradise Lost (Book I, 400-405), clearly indicates two different temple locations -- one right and one wrong -- when he composed these inspired words about the false god Moloch:

                                                 "...the wisest heart
                         Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
                         His Temple right against the Temple of God
                         On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
                         The pleasant Valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
                         And black Gehenna called, the Type of Hell."

Milton's genius clarifies the Almighty's commandment to Ezekiel, " the house to the house of Israel..." (Ezekiel 43:10);  to obey such a command, the prophet must be able to distinguish between two vying temple sites that are in close proximity to each other, as are Beth El and the Temple Mount.  Indeed, if the correct temple site were so very obvious to all, then there would be no need for a prophet to "show the house to the house of Israel"!  Likewise, were the whole world -- even the very elect -- deceived as to the correct location for the next temple, as is the case today with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, then a prophet would surely be needed to set the matter straight and to "show the house to the house of Israel."  Otherwise, the wrong choice, "the Type of Hell," would continue to be made without any warning to the Almighty's chosen people.

It must be understood that Ezekiel was among the Jewish captives when the House of Judah fell to the Babylonians along with Jerusalem and the first temple.  But the House of Israel, to whom Ezekiel was charged to "show the house," had already been made to disappear at the hands of the Assyrians more than one hundred years before the Babylonian captivity.  Ezekiel was never in direct contact with the House of Israel when he prophesied and his prophecies are therefore for the end time.

Hence, there is reason to conclude that Ezekiel's charge to "show the house to the house of Israel" is somehow related to or at least compatible with Jesus's instructions to his apostles to "...go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  (St. Matthew 10:6)

Furthermore, the Christian concept of a spiritual temple actually comprising the faithful and the elect and indeed Jesus Himself need not preclude the idea of a physical Israelite temple, just as John the Baptist's express need for baptism by Jesus did not preclude John's baptism of Jesus; for, as Jesus said, "Suffer it to be so now:  for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."  (St. Matthew 3:13-15)  Building the next temple in Israel will indeed fulfill all righteousness, but only if the right location in Beth El is chosen!

But the choice of the wrong location -- on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem -- for the next temple in Israel remains a constant threat to world peace. In this very decade right before the twenty first century we have already faced a controversy of parallel proportion with the still pending threat of Jewish extremists blowing up the Dome of the Rock so as to build in its place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem the third Jewish temple; I refer to the destruction of the Babri Mosque in the Hindu holy city of Ayodhyatoday on 6 December 1992, which resulted in brutal rioting throughout India between Hindus (82% of a total population of 844 million) and Muslims (12%).  The Babri Mosque was built in the sixteenth century and is said to stand on the site of an old Hindu temple that marks the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram.  As Hindus clamored to destroy Al-Babri the Government of India gave assurances that the mosque would be protected.  Suddenly, however, the Indian Government was faced with a fait accompli and all the promises of protection were proved to be empty words.  Will history repeat itself in another part of the world where the Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, once said just before his election victory over long time Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek:  "Do I say we have to wipe out the Dome of the Rock?  I say, on the contrary, I'll do everything to invest in the quality of life of the Arab residents, much more than Teddy did.  Teddy did nothing in this area."  Will we rise one day to find another fait accompli and proof that Mayor Olmert's words had no meaning behind them?  Or, does Mayor Olmert disguise a conviction that the third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount will be an investment in the quality of life of the Arab residents?

The stakes are very high indeed.  The source of all the strife, upon close examination, emanates from the "elephantiasis of intellect and atrophy of emotion" resulting from traditional beliefs that sometimes prevent clear understanding of Scripture and the collective wisdom of the ages.  Thus, a temple site proposed by a man (King David) is preferred to the temple site revealed by God to Jacob and Ezekiel!  This is not a good foundation for the temple or for peace!

Here it would be good to consider that the prophets foretell the advent of three rather distinct peoples to the land of Israel near the end time:  the return of the House of Judah, the return of the House of Israel and the intrusion of the people of Gog and Magog.  The choice between the right and wrong locations for the next temple represents a way to separate, so to speak, the tares from the wheat among them.

The House of Judah largely consists of those Israelites of the Babylonian captivity who kept their Sabbath-keeping identity and Hebrew language intact.  They are descended from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and Levi, which made up the Kingdom of Judah that the Babylonians took into captivity.  They are the survivors of the Babylonian exile and the Roman occupation and their descendants are known today as the Sephardic Jews.

The House of Israel consists of the ten tribes of the breakaway Kingdom of Israel, which were taken away by the Assyrians and made to disappear more than one hundred years before the more familiar Babylonian captivity described above.  (See II Kings 17)  The prophet Amos foretold that this House of Israel would be mingled among the gentiles (Amos 9:9) and it was Jesus Christ who indicated that the whereabouts of the House of Israel were unknown to the Sanhedrin when he bade his apostles to "go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  (St. Matthew 10:6)

Thus it was the House of Judah only that kept its distinctive Sabbath keeping identity and Hebrew language intact and is therefore known as the Sephardic Jewry of today.  The House of Israel, though still heir to the promises just like the House of Judah, does not for the most part have a Torah based Sabbath keeping identity or Hebrew speaking facility today because the descendants of these ten tribes of Israel lost these traits during the Assyrian captivity and subsequent assimilation into northern and western Europe.  Even so, the spirit of the prophet Ezekiel will eventually show them the house that the Lord God of Israel has chosen for Beth El.

Gog and Magog include the Khazars, who are described by the Encyclopaedia Judaica as a national group of general Turkic type whose conversion to Judaism is dated as far back as 730 C.E., when the Khazars consecrated a tabernacle on the Mosaic model over 1260 years ago.  After the fall of the Khazar Empire, these Jews moved west into eastern and central Europe.  The Encyclopaedia Judaica states:

"In spite of the negligible information of an archaeological nature, the presence of Jewish groups and the impact of Jewish ideas in Eastern Europe are considerable during the Middle Ages.  Groups have been mentioned as migrating to Central Europe from the East or have been referred to as Khazars, thus making it impossible to overlook the possibility that they originated from within the former Khazar Empire."

These Jews of the Khazar conversion are among the Turkic people of Gog and Magog and are known today as the Ashkenazi Jews of central and eastern Europe, whereas the Jews descended directly from the House of Judah are, as stated above, principally the Sephardic Jews.  The Sephardic Jews are of Semitic origin just like the Arabs and the Ashkenazi Jews are of Turkic and European origin; it is indeed ironic that the term "anti-Semitism" arose among these Turkic Khazar-derived Ashkenazi Jews in Europe.

Thus, when these identities are firmly established in one's mind, one readily understands the prophecy of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 39:2) wherein a remnant of one-sixth of Gog will survive and be brought from the north to the mountains of Israel.  This is the extermination of the Ashkenazi Jews at the hands of the Nazis and the Zionist emigration out of Europe into Palestine, which is commonly mistaken for the ingathering, or the prophesied return of the House of Judah and the House of Israel to the Holy Land.  For more information see

Thus has this militant Zionism of a decidedly Ashkenazic cast usurped in one fell swoop both the promise of a scepter to Judah and the real Jews of the House of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and the birthright promise to Joseph's sons (Genesis 48:20) and the descendants of the "lost ten tribes" of the House of Israel.  One only needs to take an objective look at Zionism today to know the import of the question that God commanded Ezekiel to ask of Gog (Ezekiel 38:14):  "Thus saith the Lord God; in that day when my people Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?"  Just turn on your television set to the world news to find out the answer to God's own reality-check for the people of Gog who have usurped the holy name of Israel and with their cruel and crazy full spectrum fraud and force have made the name of Israel to stink in the assembly of nations!

With regard to the United Nations, where both the United States (a land literally flowing with milk and honey) and the Ashkenazi dominated State of Israel (Gog) have conspired to frustrate either the passage or implementation of one Security Council resolution after another with regard to the Arab/Iranian-Zionist dispute, one should be aware of the Almighty's displeasure as expressed through Ezekiel (Ezekiel 5:7):  "...neither have done according to the judgments of the nations...."  Such haughty disregard for the decent opinion of mankind is just one reason for the Almighty to turn against the real Israel as well as Gog!  Here are all the reasons, with the author's own emphasis added in italics:

     "Because ye are multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
     Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations."  (Ezekiel 5:7-8)

But enough of this foreboding tone and concentration on the Almighty's curses and more about the blessings that were also promised as part of the bargain between the Almighty and His chosen people.  Whereas these blessings on the seed of Abraham in general as well as on the Israelites in particular are indeed racial in nature, there is also a spiritual dimension that must be given paramount importance in the foregoing consideration of identities, be they of Gog and Magog or of Israel or of Judah or of indeed most anyone else.  Thus it was said by St. John the Baptist (St. Matthew 3:9):

"And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father:  for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."

Virtually anybody is eligible to belong to the Abrahamic family and be heirs to the promises made to Abraham.  For example, even a Lubavitch Jew whose origins are from Khazaria via central and eastern Europe, and therefore fits the Ashkenazic Gog and Magog type, may nevertheless transcend the terrible prophecies made concerning Gog and Magog by living according to the Golden Rule and obeying all the commands of the God of Israel.

Likewise, it is also very important to understand that when the land of Israel is finally divided among the tribes of Israel, Ezekiel states:

     "ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel." (Ezekiel 47:22)

Surely in the vast sweep of history this end time prophecy of an ancient Hebrew prophet concerning "the strangers that sojourn among you" applies today to the indigenous Arab population of historic Palestine.  The Turkish government has preserved the Ottoman Empire records of Arab land ownership in historic Palestine, which one may consider to be the default setting before the imposition of discriminatory restrictive covenants after land sales to Jews and, later, outright ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands.
After all is said and done, the Almighty is still the Judge and the Executioner for better or for worse; those who live in His favor will be the ones who look for and find the place that the Almighty has chosen for his habitation, which is Beth El.  But the false impostors and others who do not look for and find -- or do not believe when shown -- the correct location for Israel's next temple are sowing the wind and will reap a whirlwind.

Finally, it is worth adding that the Lord of Israel's jealousy was aroused by Samuel's fulfillment of a positive command written in the Book of Deuteronomy (17:15), to set a man as King of Israel.  Being King of Israel is certainly no easy matter; perhaps being King of a truly democratic and integrated State of Jerusalem with one capital and one citizenship and a maximum range of settlement and opportunity for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike is more in keeping with the spirit of prophecy, particularly the spirit of Ezekiel, as just set forth above in Ezekiel 47:22.  At any rate, being the first to know and understand and actually expound on where the next Israelite temple really belongs is a very good beginning.  This is the only way for a Jew to perform the mitzvah of all mitzvahs.  A Christian skeptic need only remember the words of Jesus to Nicodemus:  "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"  (St. John 3:12)  And a Muslim can relax as the danger of an assault on the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque goes away.  Everybody will be happy!

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©  Stephen M. St. John 2007, 2022
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