Oh Be Careful Little Eyes!
Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
July 29, 2002

Last Updated :
April 11, 2020

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See, Scriptural Basis For The Song, Our Eyes Are A Window To Temptation, Adam And Eve, John's Warning, Worldly Enticements, Moses' Example, Keep The Heavenly Vision, Resist Satan's Tactics, Paul's Battles With The Flesh, Flesh Versus The Spirit, Mental Battle And Controlling Our Thoughts, Fall Of The Sons Of God, Judah And Tamar, Samson And Delilah, David And Bathsheba, 51st Psalm, God's Mercy And Forgiveness Is Our One And Only Hope

Many of my Christian readers will undoubtedly be familiar with the following traditional song entitled "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes", as it has been a Sunday School favorite for many decades. While there are a number of variations to this song, this is the one with which I am familiar:

Oh be careful little eyes, what you see
Oh be careful little eyes, what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
So be careful little eyes, what you see.

Oh be careful little ears, what you hear
Oh be careful little ears, what you hear
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
So be careful little ears, what you hear.

Oh be careful little tongue, what you say
Oh be careful little tongue, what you say
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
So be careful little tongue, what you say.

Oh be careful little hands, what you do
Oh be careful little hands, what you do
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
So be careful little hands, what you do.

Oh be careful little feet, where you go
Oh be careful little feet, where you go
For the Father up above is looking down in tender love
So be careful little feet, where you go.

While I was unable to trace the origin of this song via the Internet, I would venture to say that its author was more than likely inspired to write it after reading such verses as the following:

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
Proverbs 4:25-27, KJV

"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
Proverbs 15:3, KJV

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."
James 3:5-12, KJV

While the words to "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes" are rather simple in nature, in light of the previous verses, it is easy to see that this song contains some rather profound truths, which we would all be wise to live by. Sadly, some things are more easily said than done; even such simple things as watching what we look at, being careful where we go, and guarding our tongues against speaking evil. These problems with our sinful human nature are by no means new. They have been around for millennia. In fact, they've been around since God first placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is there where we shall begin the main discourse of this series.

The eyes. Oh the eyes! How often we let them get us into trouble, and cause us to sin! Adam and Eve certainly found this out the hard way, and we have been paying for their mistakes ever since. Of course, we can't blame it all on them, because we have each done our part to further lay sin upon sin; and quite often, it begins with just a simple look, or a quick glance. Satan was obviously aware of this human weakness, and that is why in Genesis chapter three we find the following sad scene:

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Genesis 3:6, KJV

Oh yes; Satan knew how to trap the First Pair. He knew how to get to their pride and vanity; right through their eyes! That is why the Apostle John so clearly warns us to beware of the subtle tactics used by that demon of darkness when he writes the following. Please notice that one of the three big tactics that Satan uses, includes the lust of the eyes:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV

Who can possibly deny that in our modern society, the world is indeed ruled by crafty big businessmen who have relied upon Satan's "Big Three" -- that is, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- in order to entice and enslave humanity in their plastic, hedonistic, temporal, materialistic world of the flesh? From sunrise to sunset, we are all constantly being bombarded with Satan's enticements via the radio, via the television set, via books and magazines, via movies and videos, via billboards, via the Internet, and by any other means possible.

Just think about it. We are constantly being told that we can drive the best car, we can have the best-paying job, we can live in the biggest house, we can attract the prettiest girl, we can have the best looks, we can be all that we can be, if we will simply bow down, and allow ourselves to be enslaved by Satan's worldly, materialistic system.

Sadly, many people, including many Christians, have fallen for these satanic lies, and they have bitten the bullet so-to-speak. Modern Christianity has in large part become a farce, in which status quo is deemed more important than true Godly worship and living. Many Christians, beginning with their worldly leaders and shepherds, have compromised their faith, in order to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; but it was not so with Moses, as we see here:

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."
Hebrews 11:24-26, KJV

In fact, as I point out in other articles, such as in "The Heavenly Vision: Have You Got It?", all of the Patriarchs of old maintained their eyes and vision on the Heavenly Goal, and they did not allow themselves to become bogged down by the things of this current world. Again, consider this set of verses:

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV

In reading the Epistles, we discover that the Apostle Paul was by no means ignorant of Satan's subtle tactics. In his Epistle to the Corinthian brethren, and then also to the brethren at Ephesus, Paul writes as follows:

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV

"Neither give place to the devil."
Ephesians 4:27, KJV

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV

The Apostle James likewise offers us a sound admonition regarding our spiritual warfare when he writes thusly:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7, KJV

So it isn't that we don't know any better, it is just that we are so weak when it comes to resisting the temptations of the flesh; and we are not alone. The Bible is filled with examples of men of God who yielded to their fleshly desires. Even the Apostle Paul admits that fighting the old man of the flesh was not always an easy task for him. On at least one particular occasion, he was frustrated with his losing battle against sin and the weaknesses of his flesh; and thus he was prompted to write the following lines:

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Romans 7:15-25, KJV

Returning to Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthian brethren, he also wrote the following lines:

"I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
1 Corinthians 9:26-27, KJV

In writing to the brethren at Galatia, Paul again brought up this very same point, and described the continual battle which we must all fight, as our flesh wages unending warfare against the Spirit, and the Spirit wars against our flesh:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
Galatians 5:16-25, KJV

As I noted a moment ago, quite often these temptations of the flesh begin with a simple look, or a quick glance. That is all it takes for Satan to plant the seed of temptation in our hearts and minds; and as I have mentioned before, it is in our minds where the real battle is being waged. Thus, Paul was also inspired to write the following:

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV

When we fail to control our thoughts, and allow our eyes to wander, sooner or later we will fall to temptation if we are not careful. While we have already briefly examined the Fall of Adam and Eve, let us now take a look at some of the other stories which are found in the Old Testament. While Adam and Eve lusted after knowledge and power, these are not the only things which can lead us to sin. In Genesis chapter six, we discover that a desire for sex lead to a great rebellion in Heaven, and ultimately resulted in the condemnation of the Angelic Sons of God. Consider the following scene:

"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
Genesis 6:1-4, KJV

Did you notice what caused the downfall of the Sons of God? Moses tells us that they "saw the daughters of men that they were fair". So again, those Angelic Beings sinned with their eyes. They lusted with their eyes; which the Apostle John said we are simply not to do. That is what eventually led to their rebellion against God. If you would like to read more about this particular topic, please refer to articles such as "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy?", "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis", "The Judgment of Angels, Demons and Men" and "Sex, a Bowl of Soup, and the Nature of Angels". You will find all them listed at the end of this same series.

Ironically, in His Wisdom, God even knows how to use our human weaknesses of the flesh for His Glory. I have shared before the story concerning Judah and Tamar. As I point out in the series "My God Is a Shocker", the Bible tells us that Judah's son, Onan, selfishly ejaculated on the ground. That is to say, he spilled his semen on the ground, because he did not want to impregnate Tamar, who was the widowed wife of his deceased brother. According to the Levitical Law, Onan was obligated to marry Tamar, in order that the family line might continue. Consider the following group of verses:

"And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also."
Genesis 38:8-10, KJV

We are next told that Judah had one more younger son named Shelah; who by law, should have become Tamar's next husband. However, out of fear that he too might die, Judah refused to give him to Tamar when he was grown, even though Judah had given Tamar his word that she would have Shelah for her new husband. So what did persistent Tamar do? She pretended to be a prostitute in order to entice Judah -- who was her own father-in-law -- into having sex with her. Judah fell for her charm, and this resulted in the birth of Pharez and Zarah, one of whom was an ancestor of Jesus Christ, as well as an ancestor of all of the Judean kings. Following are some of the key verses from the story:

"And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him."
Genesis 38:13-18, KJV

So do you see how God went about fulfilling His purpose? He actually used Judah's own sexual urge against him. He used Judah's lust of the eyes in order to trick him into doing His Will, so that the Judean line would continue, and Jesus Christ would ultimately be born in the distant future.

Of course, we know that Judah was not the only womanizer we find in the pages of the Old Testament. It also seems that Israel's famous strongman, Samson, likewise could not keep his eyes off of those pretty women. The only problem was that those women were not Israelites. They were in fact of the camp of the enemy -- that is, the Philistines -- and Samson's lust for foreign feminine flesh caused no small consternation for his parents. Consider part of the story concerning Samson's wife who was from Timnath:

"And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel."
Judges 14:1-4, KJV

Several chapters later, following the "jawbone of an ass" episode, we again find Samson's wandering eyes getting him into trouble with his enemies. This time, the object of his passion is a harlot who lives amongst the Gazites:

"Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him. And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron."
Judges 16:1-3, KJV

In spite of the serious trouble which his lust of the eyes had already caused him, Samson just kept on yielding to the desires of his flesh; and ultimately, it led to not only his own downfall, but to the literal downfall of the Philistine temple dedicated to their false Dagon as well, in which over three thousand Philistines were celebrating at the time. As many of my readers will already know, these events came about as a result of Samson's infatuation with a woman of the Philistines by the name of Delilah, who was bribed by the lords of the Philistines, as we see here:

"And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver."
Judges 16:4-5, KJV

After much pleading, Samson eventually revealed the secret of his seven locks of hair to Delilah; and once his strength had departed from him, he was overcome by the Philistines, his eyes were plucked out, and he was taken as a prisoner to Gaza, where he worked as a slave in the prison house, as we see by the following verse:

"But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house."
Judges 16:21, KJV

While the writer of the Book of Judges tells us that all of these things occurred according to the Will of God, in order to punish the Philistines, I can't help but wonder if there might not be some deeper lesson to be learned here. I find it rather significant that Samson's greatest weakness was his lust of the eyes, and in the end, he lost both of them. While I believe that Jesus was speaking in a symbolic sense in the following verse, and was referring to the individual members of the Body of Christ, we can draw an interesting parallel between what Jesus states, and what occurred with Samson:

"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
Matthew 18:9, KJV

As we have seen, the Bible is filled with stories of men who were both great leaders, as well as great sinners. Perhaps the one with whom most people are probably familiar, is King David. We find the story of his illicit affair with the beautiful Bathsheba, and his murderous attempt to conceal his crime, in the eleventh chapter of the Second Book of Samuel:

"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also."
2 Samuel 11:2-17, KJV

As I point out in other articles, David's sins did not remain hidden, and the Lord eventually used the Prophet Nathan to expose David's folly, and to bring him to a point of repentance. Sadly, David and Bathsheba did have to pay a great price for their lustful desires. Not only did they lose the child, but as a result of David's sins, the Lord cursed David's family with war and treason until the very end.

". . . But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD . . . Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."
2 Samuel 11:27b, 12:9-14, KJV

Exactly which commandments was the Lord referring to in the previous verses? Undoubtedly, it was probably these ones:

"Thou shalt not kill . . . Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
Exodus 20:13, 17, KJV

Ironically, while David and his family suffered because of his sins, many Believers have been blessed since that time, because David's great repentance resulted in one of the most heart-felt Psalms that David ever wrote; his Psalm of repentance; Psalm 51, which I share with you below:

"[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.]

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."
Psalm 51:1-19, KJV

How many of us can identify with such a beautiful Psalm, written at a time when David had been greatly humbled, and his sins had been utterly exposed before the Lord. But, where there is great repentance, there is also great Mercy and great Forgiveness from the Lord; for as it is written:

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Isaiah 1:18, KJV

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, KJV

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."
Psalm 103:13-14, KJV

In spite of his serious sins, to this day, King David is recognized as one of the greatest kings of ancient Israel. Not only that, but God found him worthy to be an ancestor of Jesus Christ. What an honor indeed! Moreover, this example of God's Mercy and Forgiveness towards David gives us all hope, that no matter how bad we have been, no matter how many sins we have committed, we can still find forgiveness, if we will only return to the Lord with a truly repentant heart.

Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.

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