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Ezekiel receives the


roll of prophecy.


B. C. 595.


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This chapter contains more particular instructions to the prophet. It begins with repeating his appointment

to his office, 1-3. "Ezekiel is then informed that his commission is, at this time, to the house of Israel
exclusively, 4-6; that his countrymen would pay little regard to him, 7; that he must persevere in his
duty notwithstanding such great discouragement; and he is endued with extraordinary courage and intre-
pidity to enable him fearlessly to declare to a disobedient and gainsaying people the whole counsel of God,
8-11. The prophet is afterwards carried by the spirit that animated the cherubim and wheels, and by
which he received the gift of prophecy, to a colony of his brethren in the neighbourhood, where he remained
seven days overwhelmed with astonishment, 12-15. He is then warned of the awful importance of being
faithful in his office, 16-21; commanded to go forth into the plain that he may have a visible manifesta-
tion of the Divine Presence, 22 ; and is again favoured with a vision of that most magnificent set of sym-
bols described in the first chapter, by which the glorious majesty of the God of Israel was in some measure
represented, 23. · See also Ișa. vi. 1–18; Dan. x. 5-19; and Rev. i. 10–16; iv. l-11, for other mani-
festations of the Divine glory, in all of which some of the imagery is very similar. The prophet receives
directions relative to his future conduct, 24-27.
A. M. 3409.

But the house of Israel will

A. M. 3409.
MOREOVER he said unto

B. C. 595.
OL. XLVI. 2. me, Son of man, eat that not hearken unto thee; ” for they ol. XLVI. 2.
Tarquinii Prisci, thou findest ; à eat this roll, and will not hearken unto me: i for Tarquinii Prisci,
R. Roman., 22.
go speak unto the house of Israel. all the house of Israel are kim-

R. Roman., 22. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me pudent and hard-hearted. : to eat that roll.

8 Behold, I have made thy face strong 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause against their faces, and thy forehead strong thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this against their foreheads. roll that I give thee. Then did I beat it ; and 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I It was in


mouth c as honey for sweetness. made thy forehead: m fear them not, neither 4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get be dismayed at their looks, though they be a thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with rebellious house. my words unto them.

10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, 5 For thou art not sent to a people d of a all my words that I shall speak unto thee, strange speech and of a hard language, but to receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. the house of Israel;

11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, 6 Not to many people of a strange speech unto the children of thy people, and speak and of a hard language, whose words thou unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the canst not understand. Surely, & had I sent Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether thee to them, they would have hearkened they will forbear. unto thee.

12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard a Chap. ii. 8, 9. -b Rev. x. 9; see Jer. xv. 16. Psa, xix. & Matt. xi. 21, 23.—John xv. 20.- i Chap. ij. 4. Heb. 10; cxix. 103.

Heb. deep of lip, and heavy of tongue ; and stiff of forehead, and hard of heart.- -1 Isa. 1.7; Jer. i. 18; Iv.

e Heb. deep of lip and heavy of language. — Or, 20; Mic. iii. 8. m Jer. 1. 8, 17; chap. ii. 6. Chap, . 5, If I had sent thee, C., would they not have hearkened unto

- Ver. 14; chap. viii. 3; see 1 Kings xviii. 12; thee?

2 Kings ii. 16; Acts viii. 39. NOTES ON CHAP. III.

matter contained in God's word against sinners, which Verse 1. Eat this roll, and go speak] This must multitudes of them will turn to their endless confusion, have passed in vision ; but the meaning is plain. Re- must deeply afflict those who know any thing of the ceive my word —let it enter into thy soul; digest it-worth of an immortal spirit. let it be thy nourishment; and let it be thy meat and Verse 5. Thou art not sent to a people of a strange drink to do the will of thy Father who is in heaven. speech] I neither send thee to thy adversaries, the

Verse 3. It was in my mouth as honey] It was Chaldeans, nor to the Medes and Persians, their enejoyous to me to receive the Divine message, to be thus mies. Even these would more likely have hearkened let into the secrets of the Divine counsel, and I pro- unto thee than thy own countrymen. mised myself much comfort in that intimate acquaint- Verse 7. Impudent and hard-hearted.] “Stiff of ance with which I was favoured by the Supreme Be- forehead, and hard of heart.”—Margin. The maring. In Rev. x. 10 we find St. John receiving a lit-ginal readings on several verses here are very nervous tle book, which he ate, and found it sweet as honey in and very correct. his mouth, but after he had eaten it, it made his belly Verse 12. Then the Spirit took me up] This, as bitter, signifying that a deep consideration of the awful | Calmet remarks, has been variously understood. 1.

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so ver. 6. e

7; ver. 27.

He is carried by the


Spirit to Tel-abib. A. M. 3409. behind me a voice of a great | days, that the word of the LORD

A. M. 3409. B. C. 595.

B. C. 595. 01. XLVI. 2. rushing, saying, Blessed became unto me, saying,

Ol. XLVI. 2.

Anno Tarquinu Prisci, the glory of the Lord from bis 17 Son of man, I have made : Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 22. place.

thee a "watchman unto the house R. Roman., 22. 13 I heard also the noise of the wings of of Israel : therefore hear the word at my the living creatures that touched one another, mouth, and give them warning from me. and the noise of the wheels over against them, 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou and a noise of a great rushing.

shalt surely die; and thou givest him not 14 So 9 the spirit lifted me up and took me 'warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked away, and I went 'in bitterness, in the heat from his wicked way, to save his life; the of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was same wicked man * shall die in his iniquity; strong upon me.

but his blood will I require at thine 15 Then I came to them of the captivity at hand. Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, 19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn and "I sat where they sat, and remained not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked there astonished among them seven days. way, he shall die in his iniquity; y but thou 16 And it came to pass at the end of seven hast delivered thy soul.

Heb. kissed. Ver. 12; chap. viii. 3.—Heb. bilter. Chap. xxxiii. 7, 8, 9.- -w Isa. lii. 8; Ivi. 10; Ixii. 6; Jer. • Heb. hot anger.

-12 Kings iii. 15; chap. i. 3; vii. 1 ; xxxvii. vi. 17. -* Chap. xxxiii. 6; John vii. 21, 24. —y Isa. xlix. 4, 1.- Job ü. 13; Psa, exxxvii. l.

5; Acts xx. 26. An impetuous wind carried him to the place where his bably been employed in his work as soon as he had brethren sojourned. 2. The Holy Spirit, which filled gained the place of labour. his heart, transported him in a moment to the place Verse 17. I have made thee a watchman] The where the captives were. 3. Or, he was so trans- care and welfare of all this people I have laid on thee. ported with heavenly ardour in his mind, that he ran Thou must watch for their safety, preach for their ediimmediately off, and seemed to fly to the place where fication, and pray for their eternal welfare. And that God commanded him to go. The promptitude and im- thou mayest be successful, receive the word at my. petuosity of his spirit seemed to furnish him with wings mouth, and warn them from me. on the occasion. However this may be understood, God is particularly jealous lest any words but his the going to the captives was real.

own be taught for Divine doctrines. He will not have · A voice of a great rushing] This was the noise human creeds, no more than TRADITIONS, taught instead made by the wings of the living creatures that formed of his own word. No word can be successful in the the chariot of Jehovah. See the notes on chap. i. salvation of sinners but that which comes from God. and x.

Every minister of the Gospel should be familiar with Blessed be the glory of the Lord] Probably the his Maker by faith and prayer; God will then hold acclamation of the living creatures : “Let God be communion with his spirit ; otherwise, what he preaches blessed from the throne of his glory! He deserves will be destitute of spirit and life, and his hackneyed the praises of his creatures in all the dispensations of texts and sermons, instead of being the bread from his mercy and justice, of his providence and grace.” heaven, will be like the dry mouldy Gibeonitish crusts.

Verse 13. A great rushing.) All the living creatures Verse 18. Thou shall surely die] That is, If he and the wheels being then in motion.

turn not from his wickedness, and thou givest him not Verse 14. I went in bitterness) Being filled with warning, as above, he shall die in his iniquity, which indignation at the wickedness and obstinacy of my peo- he should not have committed; but his blood will I ple, I went, determining to speak the word of God require at thy hand—I will visit thy soul for the loss without disguise, and to reprove them sharply for their of his. O how awful is this! Hear it, ye priests, rebellion; and yet I was greatly distressed because of ye preachers, ye ministers of the Gospel; ye, espethe heavy message which I was commanded to deliver. cially, who have entered into the ministry for a living ;

Verse 15. I came to them of the captivity] Because ye who gather a congregation to yourselves that ye. the hand of the Lord was strong upon him and sup- may feed upon their fat, and clothe yourselves with ported him, he soon reached the place.

their wool ; in whose parishes and in whose congreTel-abib] 338 58 “a heap of corn." So the Vul- gations souls are dying unconverted from day to day, gate : acervum novarum frugum, “a heap of new who have never been solemnly warned by you, and to fruits." sa isas letola chib, “ to the hill Chib,” whom you have never shown the way of salvation, or the hill of grief:-Syriac.

probably because ye know nothing of it yourselves ! Seven days.) Perhaps God kept him all this time what a perdition awaits you! To have the blood without an immediate revelation, that the bitterness and of every soul that has died in your parishes or in your heat of spirit of which he speaks above might be sub-congregations unconverted laid at your door! To dued, and that he might speak God's words in God's suffer a common damnation for every soul that perishes own Spirit. Had he gone in a better spirit he had pro- through your neglect! How many loads of endless




Ezekiel receives directions


from the Lord. A. M. 3409. 20 Again, When a 2 righteous stood there, as the glory which

A. M. 3409. B. C. 595.

B. C. 595. Ol. XLVI. 2. man doth turn from his a righte- I e saw by the river of Chebar : Ol. XLVI. 2.

Tarquinii Prisci, ousness, and commit iniquity, * and I fell on my face.

Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 22. and I lay a stumbling-block be- 24 Then

the spirit entered R. Roman., 22. fore him, he shall die : because thou hast not into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake given him warning, he shall die in his sin, with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself and his righteousness which he hath done within thine house. shall not be remembered; but his blood will 25 But thou, O son of man, behold, h they I require at thine hand.

shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous thee with them, and thou shalt not go out man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth among them : not sin, he shall surely live, because he 26 And i I will make thy tongue cleave to is warned; also thou hast delivered thy the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be soul.

dumb, and shalt not be to them

reprover: 22 b And the hand of the LORD was there ? for they are a rebellious house: upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go 27 m But when I speak with thee, I will open forth into the plain, and I will there lalk thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, with thee.

n Thus saith the Lord God; he that heareth, 23 Then I arose, and went forth into the let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him plain : and, behold, d the glory of the LORD forbear: for they are a rebellious house. 2 Chap. xviii. 24; xxxiii. 12, 13.- - Heb. righteousnesses. h Chap. iv. 8.- Li Chap. xxiv. 27; Luke i. 20, 22.

—Heb. b Ver. 14; chap. i. 3.-0 Chap. viii. 4. -d Chap. i. 28. a man reproving.- 1 Chap. ii. 5, 6, 7. m Chap. xxiv. 27; • Chap. i. 1.- * Chap. i. 28. - Chap. ii. 2.

xxxiii. 22.- Ver. 11. Ver. 9, 26; chap. xii. 2, 3. wo must such have to bear! Ye take your tilhes, surd; for self-righteousness is a fall itself, and the your stipends, or your rents, to the last grain, and the sooner a man falls from it the better for himself. last penny; while the souls over whom you made Real, genuine righteousness of heart and life is that yourselves watchmen have perished, and are perishing, which is meant. Let him that standeth take heed lest through your neglect. O worthless and hapless men ! he fall. better for you had ye never been born! Vain is your And I lay a stumbling-block before him] That is, I boast of apostolical authority, while ye do not the permit him to be tried, and he fall in the trial. God work of apostles! Vain your boast of orthodoxy, is repeatedly represented as doing things which he while ye neither show nor know the way of salvation ! only permits to be done. He lays a stumbling-block, Vain your pretensions to a Divine call, when ye do not i. e., he permits one to be laid. the work of evangelists! The state of the most Verse 22. Arise, go forth into the plain] wretched of the human race is enviable to that of such place remote from observation and noise; a place ministers, pastors, teachers, and preachers.

where the glory of God might have sufficient room to But let not this discourage the faithful minister who manifest itself, that the prophet might see all its moveteaches every man, and warns every man, in all wis- ments distinctly. dom, that he may present every man perfect in Christ Verse 24. The spiritsaid unto me, Go, shut thyJesus. If after such teaching and warning they will self within thine house.) Hide thyself for the present. sin on, and die in their sins, their blood will be upon The reason is immediately subjoined. themselves; but thou, O man of God, hast delivered Verse 25. They shall put bands upon thee) Thy thine own soul.

countrymen will rise up against thee; and, to prevent Verse 20. When a righteous man doth turn from thy prophesying, will confine thee. his righteousness) Which these words plainly state Verse 26. I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof he may do, and commit iniquity, and die in his sin ; of thy mouth] I will not give thee any message to and consequently die eternally, which is also here deliver to them. They are so rebellious, it is useless granted ; if he have not been warned, though he die to give them farther warning. in his sin, the blood—the life and salvation, of this per- Verse 27. I will open thy mouth] When it is neson also will God require at the watchman's hand. cessary to address them again, thou shalt sum up what Pastor hunc occidit, quia eum tacendo morti tradidit. thou hast said in this one ,speech : Thus saith the " This' man the pastor kills ; for in being silent, he de-Lord, “ He that heareth, let him hear; and he that livers him over to death."-GREGORY. From these forb eth, let him forbear." Let him who feels obepassages we see that a righteous man may fall from dience to the voice of God his interest, be steadfast. grace, and perish everlastingly. Should it be said Let him who disregards the Divine monition go in his that it means the self-righteous, I reply, this is ab- own way, and abide the consequences. 434

( 38 )

Into a

The siege of Jerusalem


pourtrayed on a tile.



Ezekiel delineates Jerusalem, and lays siege to it, as a type of the manner in which the Chaldean army

should surround that city, 1-3. The prophet commanded to lie on his left side three hundred and ninety days, and on his right side forty days, with the significațion, 4-8. The scanty and coarse provision allowed the prophet during his symbolical siege, consisting chiefly of the worst kinds of grain, and likewise ill-prepared, as he had only cow's dung for fuel, tended all to denote the scarcity of provision, fuel, and every necessary of life, which the Jews should experience during the siege of Jerusalem, 9–17. A. M. 3409.

A. M. 3409. B. C. 595. THOU also, son of man, take 3 Moreover-take thou unto thee

B. C. 595. Ol. XLVI. 2. thee a tile, and lay it before an iron pan, and set it for a Ol. XLVI. 2. Tarquinii Prisci, thee, and pourtray upon it the wall of iron between thee and Tarquinin Prisci, R. Roman., city, even Jerusalem :

the city: and set thy face against R. Roman., 22. 2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort it

, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay against it, and cast a mount against it; set siege against it. , . This shall be a sign to the the camp also against it, and set a battering house of Israel: rams against it round about.

4 Lię thou also upon thy left side, and lay * Or, chief leaders ; chap. xxi. 22.- Or, a flat plate, or slice.

« Chap. xii. 6, 11 ; xiv. 24, 27. NOTES ON CHAP. IV.

suddenly letting it loose, it struck with great force Verse 1. Take thee a tile). A tile, such as we use against the wall which it was intended to batter and in covering houses, will give us but a very inadequate bring down. This machine was not known in the notion of those used anciently; and also appear very time of Homer, as in the siege of Troy there is not insufficient for the figures which the prophet was com- the slightest mention of such. And the first notice manded to pourtray on it. A brick is most undoubt, we have of it is here, where we see that it was emedly meant; yet, even the larger dimensions here, as ployed by Nebuchadnezzar in the siege of Jerusalem, to thickness, will not help us through the difficulty, A. M. 3416. It was afterwards used by the Carthaunless we have recourse to the ancients, who have ginians at the siege of Gades, as Vitruvius notes, lib. spoken of the dimensions of the bricks commonly used X. c. 19, in which he gives a circumstantial account in-building. Palladius, De Re Rustica, lib. vi. c. 12, of the invention, fabrication, use, and improvement of is very particular on this subject :- Sint vero lateres this machine. It was for the want of a machine of longitudine pedum duorum, latitudine unius, altitudine this kind, that the ancient sieges lasted so long; they quatuor unciarum. “Let the bricks be two feet long, had nothing with which to beat down or undermine one foot broad, and four inches thick.” Edit. Gesner, the walls. vol. iii. p. 144. On such a surface as this the whole Verse 3. Take thou unto thee an iron pan] nano siege might be easily pourtrayed. There are some machabath, a flat plate or slice, as the margin properly brick-bats before me which were brought from the renders it : such as are used in some countries to bake ruins of ancient Babylon, which have been made of bread on, called a griddle or girdle, being suspended clay and straw kneaded together and baked in the sun; above the fire, and kept in a proper degree of heat for one has been more than four inches thick, and on one the purpose. A plate like this, stuck perpendicularly side it is deeply impressed with characters; others are in the earth, would show the nature of a wall much smaller, well made, and finely impressed on one side better than any pan could do. The Chaldeans threw with Persepolitan characters. These have been for such a wall round Jerusalem, to prevent the besieged inside or ornamental work; to such bricks the prophet from receiving any succours, and from escaping from most probably alludes.

the But the tempered clay out of which the bricks were This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.] This made might be meant here; of this substance he shall be an emblematical representation of what shall might spread out a sufficient quantity to receive all actually take place. his figures. The figures were, 1. Jerusalem. 2. A Verse 4. Lie thou also upon thy left side] It apfort. 3. A mount. 4. The camp of the enemy. 5. pears that all that is mentioned here and in the folBattering rams, and such like engines, round about. lowing verses was done, not in idea, but in fact. The 6. A wall round about the city, between it and the prophet lay down on his left side upon a couch to besieging army.

which he was chained, ver. 5, for three hundred and Verse 2. Battering rams] Din carim. This is ninety days; and afterwards he lay in the same manthe earliest account we have of this military engine. ner, upon his right side, for forty days. And thus was It was a long beam with a head of brass, like the head signified the state of the Jews, and the punishment and horns of a ram, whence its name. It was hung that was coming upon them. 1. The prophet himself by chains or ropes, between two beams, or three legs, represents the Jews. 2. His lying, their state of deso that it could admit of being drawn backward and pression. 3. His being bound, their helplessness and forward some yards. Several stout men, by means of captivity. 4. The days signify years, a day for a ropes, pulled it as far back as it could go; and then, / year; during which they were to bear their iniquity,

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Great scarcity of


provisions foretold A. M. 3409.

the iniquity of the house of Israel to another, till thou hast ended A. M. 3409. B. C. 595.

B. C. 595. Ol. XLVI. 2. upon it: according to the num- the days of thy siege.

Ol. XLVI. 2. Anno

Anno Tarquinii Prisci, ber of the days that thou shalt 9 Take thou also unto thee Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 22. lie upon it thou shalt bear their wheat, and barley, and beans,

R. Rornan., 22. iniquity.

and lentiles, and millet, and h fitches, and 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of put them in one vessel, and make thee bread their iniquity, according to the number of the thereof, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days : dso days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat Israel.

thereof. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, 10 And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear be by weight, twenty shekels a day : from the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: time to time shalt thou eat it. I have appointed thee e each day for a year.

11 Thou shalt drink also water by measure, 9 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the sixth part of a hin : from time to time the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be shalt thou drink.

it. 12
8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out
and thou shalt not turn thee & from one side of man, in their sight.

d Num. xiv. 34. Heb. a day for a year, a day for a year. r Chap. iii. 25. Heb. from thy side to thy side.- Or, spell.
or the temporal punishment due to their sins. 5. The months in that of Jehoahaz, eleven years in that of
three hundred and ninety days, during which he was Jehoiakim, three months and ten days in that of Je-
to lie on his left side, and bear the iniquity of the house hoiachin, and eleven years in that of Zedekiah ; and
of Israel, point out two things: the first, The duration there arises a period of forty years, during which
of the siege of Jerusalem. Secondly, The duration gross idolatry was practised in the kingdom of Judah.
of the captivity of the ten tribes, and that of Judah. Forty days may have been employed in spoiling and
6. The prophet lay three hundred and ninety days desolating the city and the temple.
upon his left side, and forty days upon his right side, Verse 9. Take thou also unto thee wheat] In times
in all four hundred and thirty days. Now Jerusalem of scarcity, it is customary in all countries to mix se-
was besieged the ninth year of the reign of Zedekiah, veral kinds of coarser grain with the finer, to make it
2 Kings xxv. 1, 2, and was not taken till the eleventh last the longer. This mashlin, which the prophet is
year of the same priñce, 2 Kings xxv. 2. But pro- commanded to take, of wheat, barley, beans, lentiles,
perly speaking, the siege did not continue the whole millet, and fitches, was intended to show how scarce
of that time; it was interrupted; for Nebuchadnezzar the necessaries of life should be during the siege.
was obliged to raise it, and go and meet the Egyptians, Verse 10. Twenty shekels a day] The whole of
who were coming to its succour. This consumed a the above grain, being ground, was to be formed into
considerable portion of time. After he had defeated one mass, out of which he was to make three hundred
the Egyptians, he returned and recommenced the siege, and ninety loaves ; one loaf for each day; and this loaf
and did not leave it till the city was taken. We may, was to be of twenty shekels in weight. Now a shekel,
therefore, conclude that the four hundred and thirty being in weight about half an ounce, this would be ten
days only comprise the time in which the city was ounces of bread for each day; and with this waler to
actually besieged, when the city was encompassed with the amount of one sixth part of a hin, which is about
walls of circumvallation, so that the besieged were re- a pint and a half of our measure. All this shows that
duced to a state of the utmost distress. The siege so reduced should provisions be during the siege, that
commenced the tenth day of the tenth month of the they should be obliged to eat the meanest sort of ali-
ninth year of Zedekiah ; and it was taken on the ninth ment, and that by weight, and their water by measure;
day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of the each man's allowance being scarcely a pint and a half,
same king. Thus the siege had lasted, in the whole, and ten ounces, a little more than half a pound of bread,
eighteen months, or five hundred and ten days., Sub- for each day's support.
tract for the time that Nebuchadnezzar was obliged to Verse 12. Thou shalt bake it with dung] Dried ox
interrupt the siege, in order to go against the Egyp- and cow dung is a common fuel in the east ; and with
tians, four months and twenty days, or one hundred and this, for want of wood and coals, they are obliged to
forly days, and there will remain four hundred and prepare their food. Indeed, dried excrement of every
thirty days, composed of 390+40=430. See Calmet kind is gathered. Here, the prophet is to prepare his
on this place. See also at the end of this chapter. bread with dry human ercrement. And when we know

Verse 6. Forty days] Reckon, says Archbishop that this did not come in contact with the bread, and Newcome, near fifteeri years and six months in the was only used to warm the plate, (see ver. 3,) on reign of Manasseh, two years in that of Amon, three which the bread was laid over the fire, it removes all

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