Ezra 9
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics

I. THAT SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD IS A LAW OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. The Israelites must separate themselves from the people of the land (ver. 1). This separation is not

(1) local. The Israelites and Canaanites must live in the same world, in the same town, and often in the same house. This separation is not

(2) political. Both the Israelites and the Canaanites must act their part as citizens of the same state. This separation is not

(3) commercial. The Israelites have to do business with the Canaanites. This separation is

(4) spiritual. The good man is separate from the world by the moral dispositions and aims which are cherished by him; so that while he is in the same place, state, and business, he is of a different mind, temper, and character. Why must the good man thus separate himself from the world? True, he has sympathy with his comrades; he shares their manhood; he does not leave it in pride, or in sullenness; but -

1. That he may maintain the dignity of the Christian life. The Israelites were the followers of Jehovah, and could not place themselves on the same platform with idolaters. There is a moral dignity about religion which must not be sacrificed by undue familiarity with the common things of the world. There is a dignity in the Divine name, in the cross of Christ, in spiritual devotion, in the truth of the gospel, in the hopes of the believer, which the good man must maintain, which is likely to be forfeited in worldly companionships. The sacred things of God must not be profaned by worldly associations. The rose must not cast in its lot with the nettle.

2. That he may exemplify the purity of the Christian life. The land of the people was unclean (ver. 11). Israel must not be contaminated by its abominations. The worldly life is sinful. The Christian life must be holy. Its commandments are holy. Its Supreme Example is sinless. Its duty is to manifest the beauty of holiness, and to inculcate the pursuit of piety. In order to this it must be separate from sinners.

3. That he may insure the safety of the Christian life. The Israelites were exposed to great danger by contact with the heathen, and separation was their only safeguard. Piety has no right to endanger itself by unholy associations; separation is safety.

4. That he may conserve the purposes of the Christian life. Israel had a mission to the other nations, and only by separation could it be accomplished; separation is necessary to the moral design of the Church.

II. THAT THE LAW OF SPIRITUAL SEPARATION IS OFTEN VIOLATED BY CHRISTIAN MEN. It is difficult to separate from those amongst whom we live. It is not easy to avoid unholy contact with the people of the land who are so near to us. There are many temptations which attract the spiritual to the carnal. The people of the land have daughters to give in marriage, they have oftentimes prosperity and wealth; and these things are calculated to tempt the godly into unholy alliance (ver. 11). Great will be the condemnation of those who yield to this solicitation.

III. THAT THE LAW OF SPIRITUAL SEPARATION IS CONDUCIVE TO THE PROSPERITY or THE CHURCH. "That ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever" (ver. 12). - E.

Now when these things were done, viz., when the free-will offerings were deposited in the temple, when the sacrifices had been offered, when the king's commissions had been delivered to his lieutenants and the governors of the provinces - when all things promised well, a new cause of trouble arises. "The princes came," etc. (vers. 1, 2). Here we have -


1. The law of God was violated.

(1) The holy people had made marriages with strangers. God had separated the people of Israel to himself (Deuteronomy 14:1, 2). For them to form such affinities was against the law (Deuteronomy 7:3). The marriage union of children of God with children of Satan is monstrous. It is an outrage against the spirit of the gospel (2 Corinthians 6:14).

(2) They had in consequence been drawn into their abominations. This is just what might have been expected. This issue is constantly foreshown (Exodus 34:15-17). The effect of these unequal yokings upon Christians is most melancholy.

2. The violation of the law was general.

(1) The rulers were involved in it. The civil; the ecclesiastical. "The princes and rulers have been chief in this trespass." Being in it, this could not be otherwise. Position involves responsibilities. Those who are conspicuous for station should be conspicuous for goodness.

(2) The people were in it. Crime is contagious. Witness too often the tyranny and slavery of fashion. What absurdities are endured because prescribed by the leaders of fashion! How demoralising to a people is corruption in the court. The rulers could not reprove the people when implicated themselves.

3. The fact was incontestable.

(1) It was reported to Ezra by the princes. The representatives of David and Solomon were the princes of Judah. They had the rule over the people, and must be presumed to be well informed.

(2) But in this matter they cannot be mistaken, for they are themselves also in the transgression. They bear witness against themselves. Note here the power of conscience. Crime cannot be hidden for ever. The great day of judgment will bring all deeds of darkness to the light. Consider now -


1. He rent his clothes.

(1) In early times emotion was commonly expressed in symbolical acts. This action was expressive of deep distress of soul (Genesis 37:29, 30; Leviticus 10:6; Leviticus 11:44; Judges 11:35; Job 1:20). The rending of the heart is the idea (Joel 2:13).

(2) Ezra rent his garment. The word here rendered "garment" (בֶּגֶד behged) is the common term for clothes. His rending the vestments personal to him would express his personal grief. The honour of God should.be personal to each of us.

(3) He also rent his mantle. The term here employed (מְעִיל m'il) describes an official robe. It is used for the robe of the ephod worn by the high priest; also for the kingly robe of David, and that of Saul, the skirt of which was cut off by David (1 Samuel 24:4; 1 Chronicles 15:27). The "mantle" in which the ghost of Samuel was seen is described by the same word (1 Samuel 28:14). In Ezra's case it might be his official robe either as a priest or as a civil ruler, or both. In rending his mantle, therefore, he expressed his distress as representing the people. Religious men are the truest patriots.

2. He plucked off his hair.

(1) The hair of his head. As the head is the symbol of rule, so the hair of the head was regarded as a natural crown (1 Corinthians 11:7). Righteousness is the crown of our glory (2 Timothy 4:8). Sin plucks this crown from us, and reduces us to the deepest humiliation (Nehemiah 13:25). This humiliation was expressed by Ezra.

(2) The hair of his beard. This sign of manhood was regarded as a symbol of honour, and a greater insult could scarcely be given to an Oriental than to pluck or cut off his beard (2 Samuel 10:5). This action of Ezra set forth how he regarded the honour of his nation to be wounded in the tenderest place by this mingling of the holy seed with the people of the land.

3. He sat down astonied.

(1) The state of silent, awful desolation in which Ezra sat is not inaptly expressed by this old English word, which suggests the idea of being stunned as by thunder. He was awed by hearing as it were the rumbling of the approaching thunder of God's judgments upon a guilty people.

(2) Then were assembled to him "every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel." The sympathy of a common fear brought them together, as a terrified flock would gather when the elements become sulphurous for the thunder-storm. Good men love to meet in joy; so do they love to meet in grief. Let us admire and imitate

(a) this zeal for God. This grief for his honour being outraged by sinners.

(b) This purest patriotism which repents vicariously for our people. - J.A.M.

And now then for rest and satisfaction! now for spiritual enjoyment! now for the continuous exercise of the soul m sacred privileges in the holy place! now for the goodly sight of a holy people walking in the commandments of the Lord blameless I Such was probably Ezra's feeling as he first settled down in Jerusalem with the children of the captivity. It would have been natural and human for him to think thus; but if he did thus think he was mistaken. He was to be an instance of -

I. DISAPPOINTMENT - the lot of the Christian workman. Hardly had he established himself in the city of God when he found, with painful experience, that it was an earthly Jerusalem in which he had come to dwell. Zerubbabel was dead, and Haggai was no longer prophesying, and some of those who had the direction of public affairs - "princes" they are called (Ver. 1) - came to Ezra with a very serious complaint. They came to tell him that several of the Jews, including many of the Levites, and even of the priests, and also (and notoriously) some of the princes, had broken the clear and plain commandment of the Law by mingling and even intermarrying with the people of surrounding lands, in fact with the heathen (see Exodus 23:32, and Exodus 34:12, 15, 16; Deuteronomy 7:3). It is not quite certain that they had not gone further than this in the way of laxity and worldliness; but as far as this they had certainly gone, and the fact that the leaders, secular and spiritual, were setting the example (ver. 2) made the matter one of the greatest consequence. The soul of Ezra was filled with sadness; with extreme disappointment and dismay that there should be found so serious a blemish in the holy nation. When he was thinking that everything promised well, here was an evil in the midst of them which threatened to undo all that had been done, to bring down the wrath of God, and to demolish the good work which he and others before and beside him had so laboriously built up. He "rent his garment and his mantle;" he" sat astonied until the evening sacrifice "(vers. 3, 4). Such is the common experience of Christian workmen. When the Master himself gathered disciples, the scribes and the Pharisees sought to sow estrangement and separation in their hearts. When Paul, with untiring labour, had founded Churches in Galatia, Judaising teachers followed, undermining his influence and corrupting the truth he had preached. When we think that all is going well with the cause of God, and that we may rest in spiritual enjoyment, then we, too often, find that tares are among the wheat, that dross is mixed up with the gold, that error is falsifying and distorting truth, that sin is in the Church of Christ. We need not look out for disappointment as a thing to be certainly found, but when it comes we may remember that it has been an invariable ingredient in the Christian workman's cup, from the Master down to the humblest teacher, from apostolic clays to our own. It is trying in the last degree. It tries our patience, our trust in God, our confidence in his truth; but it leads us to him, as then it led Ezra, in humble, earnest, united prayer. The Jewish people at this period afford an instance of -

II. DISOBEDIENCE - a recurring note in the life of the Christian Church. Disobedience had seriously affected the Jews from the highest social rank to the lowest. Princes, priests, Levites, and the common people were all compromised to a greater or less degree. The wrong-doing may not seem so flagrant to us as it did to Ezra, for wide-spread intercourse, national intermingling, is a marked feature of our times. But the one special virtue the Jewish Church was bound to exemplify was purity; its principal duty was to maintain separateness from surrounding evil. It was now failing in that respect in which it was most urgently required to be steadfast and true. Hence the intensity of the feeling of Ezra and those who "trembled at the words of the God of Israel" (vers. 3, 4). How often and how sadly has the Christian Church disappointed its Lord by disobedience to his will.

(1) Sinful alliances with the secular power which have corrupted and enfeebled it;

(2) guilty conformity to the

(a) idolatrous, or

(b) licentious, or

(c) convivial, or

(d) untruthful, or

(e) dishonest practices of an unrenewed, unpurified world;

(3) culpable disregard to his will respecting the equality of his disciples, and our duty to the "little child," the lowly and helpless member of his Church;

(4) faulty negligence to evangelise the surrounding and outlying world - these are disobediences which

(a) disfigure the beauty of the Church,

(b) disappoint and displease the Master, and

(c) delay the conversion of the world. - C.

Ezra was a man not only of vigorous mind and strong will, with whom things soon took shape and form, but also of keen sensibility, into whose heart things cut deeply, and whose soul was stirred with strong emotion. Therefore he knew not only great joys, but great sorrows also.

"Dearly bought the hidden treasure
Finer feelings can bestow;
Chords that vibrate deepest pleasure
Thrill the deepest notes of woe." When he learnt how the children of Israel had gone astray in the matter of the mixed marriages, he was overwhelmed with strong and profound feeling. There was -

I. DISMAY AT THE PRESENCE OF SIN (ver. 5). He sat "astonished until the evening sacrifice" (ver. 4), having just given way to an Oriental exhibition of extreme agitation (ver. 3). This blow seems to have stunned him. He was simply dismayed, appalled. After a burst of grief he sat overwhelmed with a sense of the exceeding great folly and iniquity of the people.

II. SHAME UNDER A SENSE OF SIN (vers. 5, 6, 15). Placing himself in penitential attitude, he addressed himself to God, and said, "0 my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee "(ver. 6). He went on to identify himself (though personally guiltless) with his people: "Our iniquities," etc. (ver. 6). "We are before thee in our trespasses" (ver. 15). And he concluded by saying, "We cannot stand before thee because of this" (ver. 15). Such was his intense fellow-feeling and sympathy with those whom he was serving, that he felt overwhelmed with shame under a consciousness of their guilt. Sin, the sin of our family, of our city, of our country, of our race - quite apart from our personal share in it - is a shameful thing, something to humiliate us and cause us "confusion of face."

III. FEAR OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN. "Wouldest thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us," etc. (ver. 14). He lamented that the brief sunshine they were enjoying would probably disappear, in God's rekindled wrath, in utter darkness. God's mercy was for a space encompassing them, and now they were going to throw it, desperately and wantonly, away. No sooner were they out of bondage than they were inviting the great Disposer, in his righteousness, to send them back into captivity. Sin had ruined them before, and would surely ruin them again, and this time utterly and completely (vers. 7, 8, 9, 14). What insensate folly! We may look at sensibility in respect of sin as it relates to -

1. Our Divine Lord himself. He became man in order that he might suffer in our stead; in order that, as man, he might bear the penalty we must otherwise have borne. The Sinless One was never conscious of sin, nor yet of shame as we know it; but by becoming a member of our race, thus entering into perfect fellowship and intense sympathy with us, he could be affected, sorrowfully and sadly, by a sense of human sin. He did, in a way necessarily mysterious to us, thus suffer for us. It was to his soul a dreadful, horrible, shameful thing that mankind - to whose family he belonged, and of which he was a member - should have sinned so grievously as it had.

2. Our own souls. It is well for us indeed when we have come to feel the shamefulness of our own sin. The heart that, thus affected, can say, "O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face unto thee" (ver. 6), is in that state of contrition, of poverty of spirit, "of which is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Sin is shameful because

(1) it is the act of those who owe everything they are and have to God, and

(2) it is directed against him who has

(a) multiplied his mercies unto us in so many ways, and

(b) borne so long with us, and

(c) done and suffered, in Christ, so much to reclaim us; and because

(3) it is continued in spite of our knowledge of what is right, reasonable, and beneficial.

3. Our fellows. We may well be sympathetically affected by the sins of others - our kindred, our fellow-citizens, our fellow-men. Rivers of water should run down our eyes because men keep not his law. We may well be ashamed and appalled, and pour out our souls to God, under a sense of the guilt of the world. - C.

I. That the sight of sin AWAKENS WITHIN THE GOOD MAN A SPIRIT OF EARNEST PRAYER. "I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God" (ver. 5).

1. The humility of the prayer. Ezra fell upon his knees in deepest self-abasement; he did not stand erect like the Pharisee in the temple, but smote upon his breast like the publican (Luke 18:13). Surely the sin of God's chosen people could not but inspire humility within the patriot.

2. The earnestness of the prayer. Ezra spread out his hands in earnest entreaty before God; the solemnity of the circumstance awakened him to holy fervour. At such a time a lifeless prayer could be of no avail.

3. The direction of the prayer. Ezra directed his prayer to the Lord his God; he felt the vanity of human help, and that God only could avert the consequence of their transgression. A sense of sin should lead to God.

4. The personal claim of the prayer. "My God," "O my God."

II. THAT THE SIGHT OF SIN AWAKENS WITHIN THE GOOD MAN A SENSE OF SHAME. "I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens (ver. 6). He is ashamed -

1. Because he is morally sensitive to sin. Purity is sensitive to evil.

2. Because he understands the true nature of sin. "Our iniquities," "our trespass."

3. Because he realises the magnitude of sin. "Our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up to heaven." Sin brings shame; this the good man feels.

III. THAT THE SIGHT OF SIN AWAKENS WITHIN THE GOOD MAN MEMORIES OF SORROW. "And for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil" (ver. 7).

1. A memory of degradation. Sin will send kings and priests into degrading captivity.

2. A memory of cruelty. Sin delivers men as to the sword.

3. A memory of bondage. Sin is slavery.

4. A memory of loss. Sin spoils men of their best treasures. The history of sin is a history of sorrow, and the sight of sin calls up to the mind of the good man sad memories.


1. Its mercy. "And now for a little space grace hath been showed from the Lord our God" (vers. 8, 9).

2. Its fidelity. "Yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage" (ver. 9).

3. Its forbearance. "Seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve" (ver. 13). This life is not the scene of complete punishment.

4. Its delay. "For we remain." Sin is not immediately punished in this life.

5. Its rectitude. "O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous" (ver. 15). "Its retribution. "For we cannot stand before thee because of this" (ver. 15). Thus Ezra viewed the sin of Israel in its relation to the moral government of God. - E.

Here is a graphic scene. Behold Ezra, the chief man of his nation, and a prince of the Persian Empire, with his garment and his mantle rent, his hair and beard torn and disordered, bowed in silent grief, and surrounded by the best men of his people, all trembling at the word of God. But lo! a ray of hope from the fire of the altar kindles in his soul. "And at the evening sacrifice," etc. Here learn -


1. Ezra sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

(1) He saw the sin of his people. Its enormity. Its aggravations.

(2) He saw the gathering storm of Divine anger. The more he reflected, the blacker became the cloud.

(3) He saw no way of escape. His suspense was awful, until the fire of the altar began to light up the darkness of the gathering night.

2. Now he is encouraged to pray.

(1) God has found out a way. Sacrifice would never have occurred to the unaided reason of man; or even had it occurred to him, he could not be sure that God would accept it.

(2) God has made his ways known unto men. It was revealed soon after the fall (Genesis 3:15, 24; Genesis 4:4; Genesis 8:20, 21). More formally established in the Levitical law. This was authenticated by all the miracles of the exodus. Fulfilled in the solemnities of Calvary.


1. Ezra rent his garment and his mantle.

(1) His "garment" to express his personal grief at the dishonour done to God. At the wickedness of his people. At their consequent. liability to fearful punishment.

(2) His" mantle," which was such a robe as was worn by persons of birth and station, was rent to express his distress in his magisterial. and representative capacity. Public men should recognise a public responsibility to God.

2. This he now did the second time.

(1) In the first instance he rent his clothes to express to men his grief. It produced the desired effect. All those who "trembled at the word of God" gathered round him. We should witness for God to man against sin. We should do this in the most emphatic manner, so as to produce conviction.

(2) Now by similar acts he expresses his grief to God. This second rending of his garment and mantle was in connection with his rousing himself to pray. God expects from us a formal and full confession of sin. He does not need information, but requires it for our benefit.

3. Ezra also now fell upon his knees.

(1) Hitherto he had been sitting in his grief, bewildered and astonished, not knowing what to do to avert the looming' vengeance. To pray he knew not how until his spirit was stirred within him "at the evening- sacrifice." All true prayer is from God (Proverbs 16:1). The fire that stirs a prayerful soul is from the altar of Calvary (see Isaiah 6:6, 7).

(2) Kneeling is an appropriate attitude for prayer. It expresses submission (Philippians 2:10). We should beware of the hypocrisy of bowing the knee when there is no submission in the soul.

(3) Posture, however, is not essential to prayer. Scripture furnishes examples of various postures. The attitude of the heart is of vital importance. This is a comfort to those who are physically incapacitated for kneeling (1 Timothy 4:8).

III. THAT WE MUST DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN FAITH. Ezra "spread out his hands to the Lord his God."

1. He recognised God as his covenant friend.

(1) Note the possessive case. All that is meant in the title "God" he claims as his. What a proprietary is here!

(2) There is a glorious complement to this. If the Lord be our covenant God, then are we his covenanted people. He too has a property in us (Song of Solomon 2:16). We are his "peculiar. treasure." (Psalm 135:4).

(3) The covenant,, relationship evermore recognises Christ who is the Covenant of his people, and whose blood is the "blood of the covenant." The recognition of all this is faith, and when this recognition is raised in us by the Spirit of God the faith becomes saving.

2. Therefore he spread out his hands.

(1) The open hand is the symbol of truth. Ezra approached God with the sincerity of a genuine faith (see Psalm 24:4). The open hand of the impenitent hypocrite is bloody in the sight of God (Isaiah 1:15).

(2) The hands spread out are in the attitude of craving and receiving. Corresponding to this, the outstretched hands of God denote the offers of his mercy (Proverbs 1:24). Let us ask and receive, that our joy may be full. - J.A.M.

While the smoke of the altar rises to heaven from the evening sacrifice, lo! there is Ezra before the temple of the Lord with rent garments and disordered hair, bowed upon his knees, and with lifted hands, pouring out confession of sin in tones of plaintive grief and shame and terror. "O my God,! am ashamed," etc. In this prayer we mark -

I. THE CRIME CONFESSED (vers. 11, 12).

1. Here were open violations of the law of God.

(1) The patriarchal law was pronounced against the intermarriages of the holy race of Seth, with whom was the promise of the Holy Seed, with the profane race of Cain the excommunicate. The infraction of this law provoked the Deluge (Genesis 6:2, 3). Abraham, who, like Seth, was the depositary of the Promise, was averse to the intermarriage of his issue with the daughters of the accursed Cainan (Genesis 24:3, 4; see also Genesis 28:1, 2).

(2) This patriarchal law became incorporated in the Mosaic system (Deuteronomy 7:3).

(3) The prophets also declared against these mixed alliances. In particular, it would seem, Haggai and Zechariah (ver. 11 with 6:21).

(4) This law, in the spirit of it, is still binding upon Christians (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14).

2. The reasons given for this law are most weighty.

(1) The holiness of God's people. This reason holds in all ages.

(2) The tendency to be swayed from true worship to idolatry (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 34:16).

(3) These reasons were vividly before the mind of Ezra. So should they be ever present with Christians.

3. Nothing should induce men to commit this sin.

(1) The wealth of idolaters is dearly purchased by the imperilling of the inheritance of the saints.

(2) Peace with idolaters is costly at the sacrificing of the peace of God.

II. THE AGGRAVATIONS ACKNOWLEDGED. Ezra confessed for his people -

1. That their experiences in the captivity should have taught them differently (ver. 7).

(1) Their humiliation was deep. They suffered from the "sword," viz., of the Babylonians who in the days of Nebuchadnezzar invaded their land. From "captivity," for their Babylonish victor carried them away. Who can estimate the sufferings entailed by that deportation? From the "spoil" which they suffered from the invaders, and from those who removed them. And from "confusion of face," viz., in the remembrance that all their sufferings were on account of their sins. This shame they felt in the presence of their Babylonish lords (see Daniel 9:7, 8). Also before their Persian masters.

(2) Their calamities were sweeping. The people were involved in them. So were their "kings." What a contrast between the condition of David and Solomon and that of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7)! So were their "priests;" and in the ruin of the priests the ruin of the temple also was involved.

(3) They were also of long continuance. There were the initial sufferings from the time of the first invasion of the Babylonians. Then the interval of seventy years from the date of the captivity to the first year of Cyrus, when Zerubbabel led back the larger body of the restoration. Another period of seventy or eighty years had elapsed before this second contingent was led back by Ezra. What excuse then, after all these sufferings, could be pleaded for their sin?

2. The mercy of God should have been better requited (vers. 8, 9). That mercy was shown -

(1) In his "leaving a remnant to escape." That was mercy not only to the individuals spared, but also to the world, for the holy Seed was among them, through whom the blessings of an everlasting salvation were to come.

(2) In "giving them a nail in his holy place." The margin explains this to be "a constant and sure abode," and refers to Isaiah 22:23 in support of this interpretation. The passage in Isaiah points to Christ; so may this point to him.

(3) In this view there is the greater force in what follows, "that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage." And how the mercy of God in all this becomes increased when the spiritual blessings of the gospel are seen in it.

(4) Even in their bondage God had not forsaken them. For he gave them favour in the sight of the kings of Persia. This favour enabled them to return, "gave them a reviving," and to repair the desolations of the temple, of the holy city, and the wall. Such mercy claimed gratitude, but was requited with rebellion. Ezra is without apology (ver. 10).


1. Here he awaits the judgment of the Lord.

(1) He is ashamed to look up. Who can bear to look into the face of an injured friend when we have nothing to plead in apology? That will be the position of the sinner in the great day of judgment.

(2) He is oppressed by the growing weight of accumulating rebellion and ingratitude. He is terrified by the cloud upon the face of God.

(3) He confesses that wrath to the uttermost is deserved.

2. Here is no formal plea for mercy.

(1) There is the silent cry of misery and distress and blushing shame. But who can trust in this? It is only the consciousness of sin.

(2) There is eloquence in the evening sacrifice. The victim slain is a vicarious sufferer. It is the shadow of a better sacrifice. - J.A.M.

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