Rev 7:4-8 describes 144,000 Israelites being sealed, listed by Israelite tribe.

Rev 7:9-17 describes a great multitude (GM) of many ethnicities. It seems that this GM may not be quite as "chosen" as the 144,000 "sealed".

Rev 14:1-5 describes 144,000 resurrected human males, standing on Mount Zion while also "before" the heavenly throne (v3), singing in unison with the Lamb.

It seems both groups participate in the "millennial kingdom" in Rev 20:4.

The "new millennial kingdom", under Christ, is to encompass both heaven and the (then-to-become paradisiacal) physical earth. This seems to be a kind of fulfillment of the Lord's Prayer...

Matt 6:10 (KJV):

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What conclusions can we draw on sound hermeneutics without getting doctrinal? Is ch14 at least a partial answer to the Lord's Prayer? Then, where do the two groups of ch7 fit in that? Who are they and where will they be during the millennial reign of 20:4?

How do heaven's kingdom, earth, heaven's kingdom coming to earth, the multi-ethnic great multitude, and the 144k sealed fit together?

Referenced Scripture

Matt 6:10 (NASB)

‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Rev 7:4-17 (NASB)

144k Israelites Sealed

4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

Multi-Ethnic Great Multitude

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. 16 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Rev 14:1-5 (NASB)

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

Rev 20:4 (NASB)

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Soldarnal
    Jul 17, 2020 at 21:30
  • 1
    IMHO, it's time to have more confidence in our ability to be curious (so to speak) :-) 3 votes are needed to re-open a closed question, and I'm casting vote number 3. It has been edited to make it more concise. We are certainly allowed to use Bible verses from different books, especially on the same story and character. (Jesus says the Lord's Prayer and Jesus is in these Rev passages).
    – Jesse
    Feb 17 at 18:12
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    @Jesse - Ok, you are nothing if not thorough!! Your last sentence before Referenced Scripture however, has one grammatical mistake and one spelling mistake. Feb 17 at 18:24
  • 1
    Teachable moment: when referencing large blocks of Scripture, it's nice to see them for fast reference. But, they don't need to be embedded in the body of the post itself. At times, we need both block quotes and separation.
    – Jesse
    Feb 17 at 18:33

3 Answers 3


In Matt, 6:10, it is implied that the kingdom, to come, will be on earth as it (already) is in heaven, by God's will. Who will be earthbound?

The Two Resurrection.

The Christians scriptures give emphasis to the first resurrection, to the gathering of the saints in Christ, the heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. (Philippians 4:21, Romans 8:15-17). The resurrection to life in heaven is called the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6) and this occurs "during Christ’s presence." ( 1 Thes.2:19)

This shows that another resurrection will follow the resurrection of dead ones to life on the earth, like that of Lazarus, thus there are two resurrections. First, there is the resurrection to heavenly life. Second, there is the resurrection "of both the righteous and the unrighteous" with the opportunity to gain everlasting life on the earth.​( John 5:28-29 Rev. 20:13).

The Earthly resurrection,

Are those " Who will be earthbound.

Jesus says that all those in the tombs will hear his voice and come out.

John 5:28-29 (NASB)

28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (Similarly, Revelation 20:13 , Acts 24:15)

Revelation 20:12-13 (NASB)

12 "And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds."13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds."

The Hebrew scriptures also speak of the earthly resurrection,( Isaiah 26:19, Job 14:13) the religious faction "Pharisees" believed in the resurrection the "Sadducees" did not. (Acts 23:8) The Jews generally believed in the earthly resurrection and this is revealed in the reply that Martha, the sister of Lazarus gave to Jesus “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”( John11:24 NASB)

The Heavenly Resurrection.

Jesus was put to death as a human, but God resurrected him as a spirit, the apostle Peter explains :

1 Peter 3:18 (NASB) Compare 1 Cor. 15:3-6)

18 "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [a]spirit;

Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus comforts His faithful disciples, that he is going to heaven to prepare a place for them. In Luke 12:32 he referred to those going to heaven as His " little flock."

John 14:1-10 (NASB)

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

Luke 12:32 (NASB)

32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

"Little Flock" means relatively few, but how many?

Revelation 14:1-4 (NASB)

The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion

14 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

In Matt, 6:10, it is implied that the kingdom to come, will be on earth.

No, it is not implied, it is an actual kingdom that God will establish to rule over the earth. Let us look at the prophecy at Daniel 2:44, it says.

Daniel 2:44 (NASB)

The Divine Kingdom

44" In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed and that kingdom will not be [a]left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever."

It tells us that in the days of those kings, that is while other kingdoms are in existence, God will establish his Kingdom, which will crush and replace all other kingdoms in the world. Humans will then enjoy paradise on earth.

Jesus said," Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. "( Mt. 5:5 NET)

Death will be no more.

Revelation 21:3-4 (NASB)

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Crime ,wickedness and violence will be no more.

Psalm 37:10-11 (NASB)

10 "Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. 11 But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity."

The earth will become a paradise.

Isaiah 65:21-24 (NET Bible)

21 "They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build a house only to have another live in it, or plant a vineyard only to have another eat its fruit, for my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will enjoy to the fullest what they have produced. 23 They will not work in vain, or give birth to children that will experience disaster. For the Lord will bless their children and their descendants. 24 Before they even call out, I will respond; while they are still speaking, I will hear."

Compare others verses. Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:21-25, Psalm 67:6, 72:6 , Rev.11:18, Acts 24:15 John 5:5-9

  • How refreshing. Of course there's the 3rd resurrection too but that's another story.
    – Steve
    Jul 20, 2020 at 2:29
  • I had started to think that I was going to have to answer my own question and then here you are and what a masterful and enlightening answer. This question (at least before I edited it) only needs/needed two more votes in order to be closed. I think you have made sure that that won't happen now. Our fellow Christians needed to be reminded/educated to the fact that it is not all just about heavenly aspirations. There will indeed be those that will aspire to immortality here on a soon to be paradisiacal earth. Thank you so much. You get my vote once again and my acceptance. Jul 20, 2020 at 6:49
  • Olde English Tks. Jul 20, 2020 at 13:45
  • user48152: Please give me the verses about the 3rd resurrection, I have never heard of it. Jul 20, 2020 at 13:49
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    Olde English: Paul gave Christians the following exhortation, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Phil. 4:4 Paul was in prison when he wrote his epistle to the Philippians, this did not prevent him from rejoicing in the Lord. So do not let the anxieties of life, such as a downvote to take the joy from your heart. even if it is closed, it still remains open for people to read my answer. I urge you to also lodge your answer as further proof to mine, there are many other verses you can use. Jul 21, 2020 at 18:49

This is a plain-text interpretation. If there is some figurative meaning, then that is a later stage for applying allegory. This is the interpretation stage of knowing the literal words, which comes before any allegorical consideration. FWIW, I have found that a thorough literal interpretation absolves any need for allegorical, for my own curiosity at least. I have also found that many allegorical interpretations tend to rush the literal evaluation stage.

This is about John's "Revelation of Jesus" (Rev 1:1).

Both the Lord's Prayer and the Book of Revelation certainly relate as an ongoing narrative about Jesus of Nazareth. We must see their connection on a self-congruent timeline, not as a systematic cross-reference. Remember in the minds of NT writers, Jesus is a real, singular person with a singular, existential, consistent, flowing, ongoing story.

  1. The "sealed" 144k group in 7:4-8 are Jews, descendants of Jacob. It is a very specific description.

  2. The great multitude (GM) in 7:9ff are likely Gentiles, but could include Jews not "sealed". The description is not specific except that they praise God and the Lamb (7:10). They also wear white (v9), which comes from Jesus (3:5), so it is fair to say the phrase "with Christ" from 20:4 already applies to them on some level here in ch7 based on ch3.

The first group re-appears on Jerusalem (via Mt Zion) in ch14 with the Lamb.

The second group seems to come back to life to reign with Christ in 20:4.

Points from the question:

It seems both groups participate in the "millennial kingdom"


It seems that this GM may not be quite as "chosen" as the 144,000 "sealed".


The two groups aren't compared at all, so we can't make any comparison between them.

To compare one to the other, we would need some kind of statement like, "but this other group had done right in the eyes of the Lord" or "these... while those..."—but there are no statements of this sort whatsoever.

In fact, both groups seem to be in a kind of "excellent standing", albeit two different kinds. It's just that the 144k sealed/faithful "follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (14:4) while the GM likely reigns with the Lamb in some other capacity, probably throughout Earth or somewhere other than Jerusalem. The GM comes from "every nation" after all. The Jews are in their land; the GM gentiles are in their land; all is as it should be. We don't see any "lessers" here.

The "new millennial kingdom", under Christ, is to encompass both heaven and the (then-to-become paradisiacal) physical earth.


Not only are both groups seen in "heaven" from ch7 on earth in chs 14, 20; ch21 describes heaven itself on earth. So, chs 14, 20 are likely an earlier stage of a process. So...

This seems to be a kind of fulfillment of the Lord's Prayer.

...yes, it does.

In the Luke 11 account of the Lord's Prayer, the disciples ask Jesus how to pray, and Jesus gets to "Thy kingdom come" more quickly than he does in Matthew 6.

Just remember that many things happen in stages, whether in answered prayer or fulfilled prophecy. We certainly see stages of "Thy kingdom come" at work.

In conclusion

We see both groups in heaven (ch7) re-appear later (14, 20) right back where they came from on Earth, but having brought a piece of heaven's kingdom with them. New Jerusalem itself from heaven follows in ch21. So, heaven comes to Earth in stages and we humans help make that happen.

So, when Jesus taught us to pray for God's kingdom to come (Luk 11:1-2), not only was Jesus teaching us to pray for what we will partake in bringing about, he also taught us that we can start bringing pieces of heaven to Earth even now because it happens in stages.

"Come!" certainly is a theme across these texts. The conclusion of all Christian Scripture itself is fact that he is coming quickly, just as we are to ask him to (Rev 22:17,20).

So, a in reconciled study of Mat 6 cf Rev 7, 14, 20, Jesus teaches us:

Don't wait. Keep praying and start bringing.

Referenced Scripture

Luk 11:1-2 (NASB)

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.

Rev 1:1 (NASB)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John

Rev 3:5 (NASB)

He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Rev 21:1-3 (NASB)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,

Rev 22:17, 20 (NASB)

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

  • I had just finished minor edits to my 2020 answer, not the least of which was to do with the new title heading, and then I spotted your answer, but my edit came in after your answer, which puts the focus back on me, whereas I'm sure you were hoping for it to be on your answer, at least for awhile, LOL. You can always edit!! Anyway, after reading your answer, I see that our two answers, while in agreement regarding two separate groups of righteous souls, are nevertheless at odds with eachother. I see the New Jerusalem as being suspended over the earth. You see it actually coming to the earth... Feb 17 at 21:57
  • ... You see the 144,000 as being made up of literal Israel. I see them made up of a kind of spiritual Israel, which could include gentiles and to be the only partakers of the heavenly kingdom, with God and Jesus in residence with them. I see the GM not only distinct from the 144,000 (which let's face it must alone makeup the "bride" of Christ), but also the only ones to be resigned to the earthly kingdom, with Jesus and the "bride" ruling over them from above. Consequently, I'm not sure where that leaves us. Despite our differences, however, you have been truly helpful. + 1. Feb 17 at 22:23
  • @OldeEnglish NJ is possibly/likely above the earth in 20, then "is coming down" in 21:2. So, both answers claim that, it's just a question of when?
    – Jesse
    Feb 18 at 1:30
  • @OldeEnglish In the text (and text is literal) the 144k are clearly Israel. If you want a spiritual/allegorical/figurative view, that comes after the literal due diligence study, but not never. Though, if you want to take a clearly per-tribe list and claim that it isn't per-tribe, you'd need a basis beyond, "I just have to believe it's figurative", when most allegorical hermeneutics don't justify themselves even that much. But, you could argue it; you'd just have to argue it. My answer comes before all that. We need to know what the text says first.
    – Jesse
    Feb 18 at 1:33
  • @OldeEnglish The only bride —according to Revelation—is New Jerusalem. So, the whole "Church or Israel is the bride" discussion doesn't really find an answer here. Those are usually figurative, with both allegories being insightful, such as with Song of Songs. John 3:29 might help bring clarity to this other work of John. Then, with NJ as the "bride", with a very per-tribe and per-disciple layout of gates and foundations, it seems that in NJ both Israel and the Church could be the bride, but only by implication, not literally. Literal comes after the due diligence in my answer. Cheers!
    – Jesse
    Feb 18 at 1:36

How do we reconcile the two groups of Rev 7 with Rev 14 and "thy kingdom come"?

PARADISE on Earth as opposed to Heaven:

While growing up in England, within the Anglican Church, I was constantly being led to believe that when you die, your soul either went to heaven or hell, with no in between. One was either blessed to live on in heaven eternally, or one was cursed to live in eternal torment in hell. My preference, indeed most anyone's preference, was of course to be heaven bound and in any case, I was assured that only the nastiest of the nastiest were deserving of eternal torment. Over time, however, I came to a different understanding and I hope to expound on this at this time.

Heaven, apparently is not for all " righteous" souls, and hell (sheol) is just the grave.

The essential issue is: Where will the righteous be rewarded? And, to a lessor extent: When? It is not necessary for one to discover what makes a person righteous in God's sight, simply where are they to be rewarded - in heaven, or on earth? Let's look at the following bible verse:

"And no one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man" John 3:13 NASB

So, subsequent to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of, Jesus Christ, John records that NO ONE HAS ASCENDED TO HEAVEN, excepting that of Jesus Christ..... Peter says this about king David, who was described by God as:

"a man after My heart, who will do all My will" Acts 13:22 NASB

Peter also said:

For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'the Lord (Jehovah), said to my lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet."' Acts 2,34,35.

So, although he was definitely righteous, David did not ascend to heaven but was (and remains) in the grave (sheol) until the resurrection of the dead, as the apostle Paul later affirms - Acts 13:26.


If people who have died are not in heaven, where are they? See Psalm 115:16, NASB:

"The heavens are the heavens of the Lord (Jehovah); but the earth He has given to the sons of men"

This is a wonderful promise; that this beautiful earth, at an appointed time, will be taken from man's misrule and, under God's control, will be given to mankind. In perfect accord with the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:


These well known words of the Lord's Prayer teach us all to pray for the time when God's kingdom (remember what it was initially like for Adam) will again be set up on earth.

See also the following:

"But the meek one's themselves will inherit the earth....." Psalm 37:11 NWT

"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth". * Matt, 5:5 NASB

"For evildoers themselves will be cut off, but those hoping in Jehovah, are the one's that will possess the earth". Psalm 37:9 NWT

"Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, and He will exalt you to take possession of the earth. When the wicked one's are cut off, you will see it". Psalm 37:34 NWT

Shout out to IMMORTALITY:

"The righteous, themselves, will possess the earth and they will reside forever upon it." Psalm 37:29 NWT

"and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first (former) things have passed away". Rev, 21:4 NASB

"He (Jehovah) will actually swallow up death forever, and the sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah Himself has spoken it". Isaiah 25:8 NWT

The characteristics of the kingdom, Isaiah 65:17-25, NASB, incorporates the following:

New heavens and new earth:- Signifies a new government, new kingdom, new people.

"The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the Ox...."

In conclusion:

It is now somewhat evident, that beside the 144,000 special - See ADDENDUM for perceived identity - souls, who are to reign with Christ in heaven for a thousand years (Rev, 20:4), presumably to help govern the now earthly paradise, we also have a great multitude of other, more than righteous souls rewarded with eternal life in heaven, to live in close proximity with God.


Why should some righteous souls be rewarded with the heavenly life and some be seemingly somewhat less rewarded with earthly life??? (144,000 aside)

There would appear to be something more to all this than meets the eye, or is it the discerning senses.

Maybe there is another enterprising soul among us, who can discern the answer, which is not to impune the already excellent answer given. It just seems that there is more to be heard here, and I, for one, would love to hear any valid discourse.


"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and (all) tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and the lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands." Rev, 7:9 NASB

On the face of the above verse, one can be forgiven for envisioning a great multitude of righteous people, other than the 144,000 of spiritual Israel (as opposed to natural Israel), talked about just prior to the above verse, standing, in heaven, before the throne and the lamb, suggesting heavenly reward also. However, the word "before" here, (e-no'pion), in the Greek, literally means "in (the) sight (of)" and is used several times of humans on earth who are "before" or "in the sight of" the Almighty. (1 Tim, 5:21; 2 Tim, 2:14; Romans 14:22; Gal, 1:20). Consequently, without expounding on the point with other clear evidence, it would seem that there may well be no heavenly reward for anyone, other than the 144,000. The great multitude of other righteous souls, along with even unrighteous souls (at least initially), who survive the tribulation, or are part of the 2nd resurrection, are to be those, in point of fact, to experience the "new" earth, as opposed to the "new" heaven.

Further more, as heaven is reserved for the 144,000 only, it stands to reason, that any hope of a so called "Rapture", must pertain only to the remaining ones of these, still on earth, at the time of the "2nd Advent", who will then have to experience "transfiguration" before taking on spiritual form, in order to be able to enter the heavenly realm.

  • Olde English: An excellent answer, very well said +1 , What is your view of the spirit? Jul 24, 2020 at 8:07
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    Ozzie Ozzie: Thank you.... With regard to the spirit: Being a non Trinitarian, I don't believe in there being a 3rd Personage in the Godhead in the guise of, a nameless, Holy Spirit. To me one has the Almighty God, Jehovah, then one has the only begotten Son of God, namely Jesus, 2 distinctive spiritual personages, both with divinity. Then, simply put, one has "their" active force, spirit, breath (ruach), which is then infused into all "true believers" of God and Jesus, and in particular his (Jesus') sacrifice, in order that Mankind can be forgiven and have "Salvation". Jul 24, 2020 at 11:49
  • Olde English: I do not believe in the trinity either, it is a fourth-century invention by the pagans Jul 24, 2020 at 15:32

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