Biblical Research Society
David L. Cooper, Th.M., Ph.D., Litt.D., President

Biblical Research Monthly
Installments from August, September, October, November, 1951

"They that sow in tears …"

HERE AND THERE throughout the Scriptures are found gems of special brilliance and luster. Psalm 126 is one of these. From childhood we have had our attention focused on Psalm 23 because of its great spiritual value. But Psalm 126 is just as glorious and wonderful as Psalm 23--or any other portion of the Word. When a person evaluates it properly, he comes to the conclusion that Psalm 126 has a richer, a broader, and a deeper meaning than has even Psalm 23; because it is all-comprehensive and involves the world-wide revival in which countless hundreds of millions of people will be saved. With great anticipation therefore, let us enter into the study of this poetical gem of such great price.

Who the human author of this psalm was, we do not know. But we do know that the real Author was none other than God himself. The writer lived after the return of the exiles from Babylonian captivity, for its outlook is from that point of view. Our thinking of the human author suggests a question concerning David's being the author of the entire Book of Psalms. True it is that he was the writer of some of the psalms, many of them, but not of all of them. Solomon, for instance, wrote Psalm 127. David composed Psalms 122 and 124. Moses was the author of Psalm 90, the oldest hymn in the Psalter. Ethan wrote Psalm 89; the sons of Korah, Psalm 88. We can go through the entire Psalter and see who was the human author of many of the psalms, but not of all of them. (For an exposition of forty-five of the psalms, see
Biblical Research Monthly, issues of 1944 to and including 1947; Israel's Hymnal).

As suggested above, the writer of Psalm 126 lived after the return from the Babylonian captivity, because he looks back to that event and speaks of God's providential working in history in bringing Israel back to the land of the fathers.

The psalm falls into two sections: The first deals with the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity (vss. 1-3); the second foretells Israel's return from his world wide dispersion which, as we shall see, is now in the process of being fulfilled (vss, 4-6). These two sections are built upon the principle, which is known as "the law of double reference." The prophets frequently were led to describe an event--past, present, or future--and then were shown another one in the more distant future, which was more or less foreshadowed by the first. This law of double reference is ultimately based upon the fundamental principle of typology, that of likeness of type and antitype.¹ In this connection, however, it may not be amiss to give an example or two of this principle. In Isaiah 11:1,2 we have a prediction of the first coming of Christ. Immediately after these verses there appears a prophecy of His second advent, found in verses 3-5. Between these two predictions the entire Christian Dispensation intervenes, but is here passed over in silence. The link connecting the two passages is the fact of the Messiah's comings, coming twice: first, His coming in humility, to suffer and die for humanity and to open the new and living way of approach to God by the blood of His cross; and second, His reappearing in power and glory to subject the world unto Himself and to establish a reign of righteousness from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Another excellent illustration of double reference is Zechariah 9:9,10. Verse 9 is clearly a reference to the first coming of Christ when He enters the city of Jerusalem riding upon an ass. In the next breath, the prophet spoke of His second coming when He will stop all wars and speak peace to the nations. Then "his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth." Thus between the two predictions the entire Christian Dispensation is passed over, as in Isaiah's passage; yet the two prophecies are bound together by the one thought of Jehovah's appearing upon earth. There are scores of examples of this principle of the law of double reference, but these wilt suffice.

There are but two restorations of Israel to the land of the fathers. This fact is seen in Isaiah 11:11,12; "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, that shall remain, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea ... 12 And … from the four comers of the earth." Here God declares that, when He puts forth His hand to regather Israel from the four corners of the globe in order to establish him in his own land, He is regathering His Chosen People the second time. If this final regathering is the second time He performs this benevolent act, there can be but one other. Has that other one ever occurred? Most positively. God put forth His hand in restoring the exiles from Babylonian captivity at the end of the seventy years, as foretold by Jeremiah. These two restorations of Israel to his land are clearly set forth in Psalm 126. The first one has already occurred, as has been stated above, and is described minutely in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and briefly referred to in Psalm 126:1-3, and in a few other passages. The restoration of the captivity of Israel for which the psalmist prayed in verses 4, 5, and 6 is the final one, which is now in the process of development.

With these preparatory remarks we are now ready to study the psalm, but it must be appraised and interpreted in the light of the antecedents which paved the way for and led up to that momentous and epochal event.


  1. "When Jehovah brought back those that returned to Zion,
    We were like unto them that dream.
  2. Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
    And our tongue with singing:
    Then said they among the nations,
    Jehovah hath done great things for them.
  3. Jehovah hath done great things for us,
    Whereof we are glad" (Ps. 126:1-3).

A. God's Overruling Providence

The first thing to note is the phrase, "When Jehovah brought back those that returned to Zion ..." In this temporal clause we see that Jehovah was the one who brought back the exiles from their captivity. God was the cause of their returning. This thought stands out in bold relief. Had He not been behind the movement, as we shall see, they never would have returned. Since God is said to be the one bringing them back, it is for us to accept this statement at its face value and then to interpret the historical facts lying behind that event, age-shaping for Israel.

The fundamental conception of history that the interpreter must bear in mind constantly is set forth by the Apostle Paul in his speech at Athens, Greece: "Ye men of Athens, in all things I perceive that ye are very religious. 23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you. 24 The God that made the world and all thing's therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us; 28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, "For we are also his offspring.

"29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man. 30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:22-31).

The thesis of the Apostle's message is that the One Eternal God, whom the Greeks worshiped in ignorance, is the Creator of all things and the only Sovereign of the universe, who is in control of all things, and who is the one in whom we have our very existence. In the midst of this speech he called his hearers' attention to a corollary growing out of his general proposition: "... and he [God] made of one [Adam] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined
their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek God ..." Figuratively speaking, God has a blueprint of the ages, on which is noted the time for the rise of every nation, the extent to which it may push its borders, and also the time of its decline and disappearance--or its continuance to the coming of the Lord. God the Almighty is the Sovereign of both heaven and earth, and He is directing the course of history, timing all events so that they will contribute to the unfolding of the plan of the ages, as they advance toward the dispensation of the fullness of the times when all things will be headed up under the government of Israel's Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. Our God is overruling. He permits men to exercise their free wills and make their own choices. Yet by His omniscience He overrules their free acts and makes them contribute to the advancement of His cause through the centuries and ages. Another statement of this same truth is to be found in Jeremiah 27:1-11, where God asserts that He gives the kingdom and authority to whomsoever He will, overruling in the lives of men and nations: "... I give it unto whom it seemeth right unto me" (Jer. 27:5). He has done this in the past and is still at the helm guiding all things across the tempestuous waters of human events.

B. God Uses Men, Means, Events, and the Scriptures

In steering the course of history, God always uses men, means, events, and the Scriptures, as He did when He brought Israel back from Babylonian captivity. He will do the same thing when He restores him the second time to his land and to favor with Himself. God never does anything of major importance without revealing the matter to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:1-8). Isaiah, who first mentioned the Babylonian captivity, lived in the latter half of the eighth century before Christ. To Hezekiah he made the simple revelation that "... the days are coming, when all that is in thy [Hezekiah's] house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith Jehovah" (Isa. 39:6).

The antecedents of the Babylonian captivity were Israel's continual, perpetual backslidings from God and the nation's drifting into idolatry. Sin always brings retribution. Because Israel persisted in idolatry God had to root him up out of his own land and to cast him into that of a heathen environment in order to teach him the lesson of the futility of idolatry.

At the same time Isaiah, Israel's great statesman, prophet, and poet, foretold that God would use Cyrus in restoring the captives to the land of their fathers. The special prediction dealing with this phase of the subject is found in Isaiah 44:24-45:13. In verse 24 God speaks of Himself as the God of creation; in verse 25, as the God of providence; and in verse 26, as the God of performance. Continuing this same line of thought, Jehovah, this God of creation, of providence, and of performance, speaks concerning Cyrus saying,
"He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure, even saying of Jerusalem, She, shall be built; and of the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid" (vs. 28). The prophet continues delivering a message directly from Jehovah to Cyrus, saying, "Thus saith Jehovah to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of Kings; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut: 2 I will go before thee, and make the rough places smooth; I will break in pieces the doors of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; 3 and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that it is I, Jehovah, who call thee by thy name, even the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called thee by thy name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God. I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me; 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am Jehovah, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things" (Isa. 45:1-7).

Let us remember and keep firmly in mind that Isaiah lived in the latter half of the eighth century before Christ (750-700). In this oracle he assumes that the cities of Judah will be devastated (Isa. 44:26), Jerusalem will be destroyed, and the Temple burned; but he looks into the future--yet he does not say how far--and sees a man by the name of Cyrus, who will act as Jehovah's shepherd, who will issue a decree, and who will ... "perform all my pleasure, even saying of Jerusalem, She shall be built; and of the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." Here is a clear definite prediction that Cyrus would issue this twofold decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and of the Temple of God. Whether or not it was revealed to Isaiah who Cyrus was, he does not say; but he here specifically records a message from God to Cyrus, in which He, the Almighty, promises, in going before him, to subdue nations before him and to open up the hidden treasures of darkness in order that he might be paid for his services which he unknowingly, performs for the Almighty.

Another prophecy concerning Cyrus, though his name is not mentioned in the immediate context, is Isaiah 41:1-7: "Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the peoples renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment. 2 Who hath raised up one from the east; whom he calleth in righteousness to his foot? he giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; he giveth them as the dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow. 3 He pursueth them, and passeth on safely, even by a way that he had not gone with his feet. 4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, the first, and with the last, I am he. 5 The isles have seen, and fear; the ends of the earth tremble; they draw near, and come. 6 They help every one his neighbor; and
every one saith to his brother, Be of good courage. 7 So the carpenter encourageth the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smiteth the anvil, saying of the soldering, It is good: and he fasteneth it with nails, that it should not be moved." That this prediction and the one found in verses 25-29 of this chapter refer to Cyrus is admitted by all scholars, for the delineations of all the passages are the same.

From this quotation a person can see the swift, triumphant, and irresistible march of Cyrus against his foes as he dashed from nation, to nation, conquering all and uniting the subjected lands to his rapidly expanding empire. To all contemporary observers it was apparent that Jehovah was subduing the nations under him and delivering over to him their treasures--and, as we see in the prophecy, He was doing this thing in order that Cyrus might at the proper time send the captives back to their homeland. For the Lord declared, "... I [Jehovah] will make straight all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward, saith Jehovah of hosts" (Isa. 45:13).

Having promised Cyrus divine aid, unprecedented success, and complete victory, Jehovah informed him that he would thus act in his behalf, "... that thou mayest know that it is I, Jehovah, who call thee by thy name, even the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me" (Isa. 45:3,4). According to this prediction God revealed the fact that He would raise up a man and would deliver into his hands wealth, authority, and power that he might rebuild Jerusalem and send the captives back home. All of this God does that this man might restore Israel to his land. Moreover, the Lord declared that He had called this heathen ruler by name. This He did "for Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen ..." He surnamed him Cyrus, this man whom He planned to use in Israel's behalf, in order that the people might know that he was the one chosen of God to deliver them, whenever he would appear upon the historic scene.

Did God thus delegate such unheard-of powers and authority to Cyrus, grant him such overwhelming victories, and bestow such fabulous wealth upon him simply that he might help the Jews? Was his doing good to Israel the end in view? The answer is, most emphatically, "No!" He blessed and prospered Cyrus that he in turn might assist the Jews in returning to their homeland. He sent these blessings upon them that they in turn might fit into His program of blessing the world; for to Cyrus He declared "... I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else" (Isa. 45:5,6). In this quotation we see that the ultimate object which God had in view was the blessing of all nations.

The thought of the unfolding of God's plan through the centuries, which He gave especially for the eye of Cyrus, must be kept clearly in mind as we pursue our study of this psalm. Who is this mysterious Cyrus, of whom you, Isaiah, are speaking? No answer to this question. The decades pass. A century rolls by. The question remains unanswered. The great Assyrian Empire, with its capital at Nineveh, is the dominant power, overshadowing all others in the East. Each of its kings makes annual incursions into the Westland, ruthlessly conquering peoples, treading nations under foot, and leaving death, destruction, misery, and woe in the wake of his conquest.

Undreamed-of by those living in the glamour of the royal palace at Nineveh, there lies dormant in the heart of a young man the love of his country and his people, who had been smitten down by the cruel sword of the Assyrian aggressors. Though crushed to earth, patriotism often still lingers in the hearts of a subjected people, or in the soul of one lone man. Soon this young man begins to dream of the revival of his lost and buried nation and of its resurging back into life and prominence again. Thus he dreams of a grand and glorious resurrection to independence of his native land, old Babylon. He tells his dreams to others of his countrymen. By so doing, he kindles the flame of nationalism in their breasts. Suddenly there is an insurrection against the tyranny of Assyria, young Nabopolassar causes a coup d'etat. Old Babylon is reborn under the leadership of this brave, heroic man and grows under his wise and beneficent leadership. He is succeeded by his son, Nebuchadnezzar, who receives the scepter from his father's hand and daringly extends his borders until his kingdom becomes the first of the four world empires concerning which God later made revelations through the prophet Daniel. At the time appointed in the counsels of God, He brought Nebuchadnezzar over to the Westland and subjected the little kingdom of Judah to one of the most crushing defeats ever suffered by a conquered people. The flower of the nation was carried into captivity. The land became a province of the Babylonian Empire.

But before this fateful event Jeremiah had foretold the Babylonian Exile, which would last seventy years (Jer., chaps, 25,29).

Babylon held supreme power in the Near East during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, of his successor, Nabonidus, and of Belshazzar--just as Jeremiah foretold. At the expiration of, these seventy years Babylon was overthrown by the overtowering Medo-Persian Empire under the joint leadership of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian. These reigned for two years as co-rexes. Darius the Mede, without the slightest echo of a political nature, passed off the stage, and Cyrus became sole rex.

God works from different directions and brings men, events, and groups into contact one with the other at the proper time for the advancement of His purposes. At the beginning of the Babylonian captivity He had sent Daniel, together with three other outstanding Hebrew youths, to Babylon in the first deportation of captives (Dan. chap 1). These were immediately selected for postgraduate courses in the University of Babylon and graduated with the highest honors--we may believe. God providentially uses men of parts as well as those of honor and integrity--qualified men whom He can trust. Daniel was promoted to a very high position in the diplomatic corps of Babylon, the caste of the Chaldeans, of whom the Book of Daniel speaks. When the Medes and Persians overthrew Babylon, Daniel was promoted to the position of prime minister of the victorious empire. He had the respect and confidence of the officials of the government from Cyrus on down.

At the psychological moment, when the seventy years were coming to a close--as Josephus, the Jewish historian, relates--Cyrus read in the Book of Isaiah the passage which we have examined above. How did Cyrus get the Scroll of Isaiah? We must believe that Daniel and other leading Jews of the time took it to him and had him read the prophecy. They doubtless translated the text and interpreted it to him. Cyrus saw his own name written on the pages of Eternal Truth. He was profoundly impressed with this fact and was moved to do exactly what Isaiah the prophet had foretold approximately two hundred years before this time he would do. He therefore issued the decree, as God had foretold, for the Jews to rebuild their Temple. Ezra, in 1:1-4, gives us this decree: "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and
put it also in writing, saying, 2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of earth hath Jehovah, the God of heaven, given me; and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whosoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem."

While Cyrus in this copy of the decree mentions only the rebuilding of the Temple, we must conclude that he ordered done exactly what God foretold that he would do namely, issue a decree that permitted the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem. This fact becomes apparent when we realize that the Jews, armed with this decree, went back to Jerusalem, repaired the walls, and began building the city. Then the Samaritans opposed them and went so far as to report them to the Persian authorities. In their letter to the Persian monarch these opponents of the Jews wrote, "Be it known unto the king, that the Jews that came up from thee are come to us unto Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations" (Ezra 4:12). It is clear from this message that the Jews had repaired the walls and were rebuilding the city. Beyond question, therefore, the decree which Cyrus issued relative to the building of the Temple included also the authority for the Jews to rebuild their city. Thus in doing this, Cyrus issued a twofold decree which Isaiah foretold he would authorize.

We must note the fact that Cyrus' decree, which he issued when stirred by the Almighty, required the Jews who would not return to help those who were returning with "... silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem." Thus those refusing to go had to send financial aid for the building up of the national home though they themselves did not desire to go. God is bringing about the same thing with reference to the Jews who remain here in America and is causing them to send financial aid for the building up of the national home.

We see that God, in bringing the Jews (approximately 50,000 who desired to return) back to their homeland, used men, means, events, and the Scriptures. He works all thing's together for good for those who love Him, even those who are called according to His purpose. The psalmist, in the passage we are studying, therefore was absolutely correct in saying that God brought back to Zion those who returned--those going back under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Joshua the high priest, Ezra the scribe, and Nehemiah the governor.

C. The Joy of the Returned Exiles

The inspired writer informs us that, when God brought back those returning to Zion, they "were like unto them that dream." Those captives had an intense longing to be in the land of their fathers, which they loved, seemingly, with all their hearts. From day to day they dreamed of returning. Hence when they were actually brought back, it was hard for them to realize that their dream had come true. Sometimes the Lord brings most wonderful things into our lives of which we little think, and which delight us greatly. Then we say that such a condition is too good to be true. Such was the attitude of the returned exiles.

"Then was our mouth filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing ..." The joy that was in their hearts found expression in their songs and laughter. This was undoubtedly expressed in worship and praise to God. We should always return thanks to God for everything which we enjoy and pray to Him in regard to all thing's which we do.

D. The Recognition of God's Providence

"Then said they among the nations, Jehovah hath done great things for them." Since Israel had been led captive into a foreign land, and since they had merely existed under such a tyrannical rule as that under which they had lived for seventy years in Babylon, from the human point of view there was no possibility of their returning to the land of their fathers, regardless of how greatly they desired to do so. But, in the providence of God, Babylon went down under the shattering blows of the rising Medo-Persian Empire. The condition of the captives then seemed more hopeless than ever. Every door of escape was closed against them. They had no will nor power to rise up in rebellion against their captors. No Moses with his rod of divine authority and power to throw off the galling yoke of foreign domination had appeared on the scene. No monarch of any empire up to date had voluntarily permitted captives in his domain to return to their land, to rebuild their capital city, and to begin life anew. Nevertheless, the unthinkable, the thing least expected by the natural man, occurred. "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform." Cyrus, having seen what Isaiah had foretold he would do, was stirred to the depths of his soul and issued the decree authorizing the Jews to return to the land of their fathers. The secret of this whole affair is found in Proverbs 21:1: "The king's heart is in the hands of Jehovah as the water courses: He turneth it whithersoever he will." God did this in spite of the fact that law of the Medes and Persians "altereth not" (Dan. 6:8). The Lord frequently does for His people exceeding abundantly above all that they ask or think (Eph. 3:20). Cyrus was therefore moved also to decree that "... whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem" (Ezra 1:4). Such an attitude and command had never been known in the annals of history, yet this decree was issued by King Cyrus and was carried out because the laws of the Medes and Persians altereth not. The case of the Jews' returning, being armed with a decree from Cyrus to re-establish their home in the land of their fathers, was absolute and positive proof, even to the heathen nations groping in pagan darkness, that God had worked--that is, that the God of Israel, who is the Supreme God, had worked and was continuing His providential care of and work in behalf of His people. We who know God, and who are familiar with the Scriptures, are not surprised at this; for He declares of Himself that He is a God who "worketh for him that waiteth for him," and "who meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways ..."(Isa. 64:4,5).

The Inspired writer of Psalm 126 then ends his comment by saying, "Jehovah hath done great things for us, Whereof we are glad." Thus the psalmist recognized the divine intervention in Israel's behalf. God did not bring them back contrary to their will. Those who had a longing for their homeland, and who had served God according to divine appointment were given the privilege of returning. In carrying out His schedule and the plan of the ages--or any part of it--the Lord never forces the will of His people, but always grants them the sovereign right of exercising their own choices and preferences. God is very eager to do marvelous things for His own. The only reason He does not do greater and mightier things for them is that they do not, by full surrender and trust, permit His doing so. His plea to Israel was: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and will show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not" (Jer. 33:3). This invitation is still extended to them. From various prophecies we know that Israel will yet call upon Him to work thus in his behalf. When he does, the Lord will perform those mighty acts of deliverance (Jer. 23:7,8).


¹ Yet we must be very careful, in thinking of a person, a thing, or an event as a type foreshadowing something in the future which we call its antitype. The safe rule to follow in reference to types is this: Call nothing a type unless the Scriptures so state, or very clearly imply, that it is a type of something else. An extreme typology has often been made a substitute for sound, sane, scholarly interpretation.

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