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The Jews (Israelites) were God's chosen people for nearly all of Biblical history. But, they reject Christ as the Messiah.

If the only path to the Father is through the Son, and Jews reject the Son, how do they still reach the Father? If they never accept Christ as their savior, how are they saved?

Are they "grandfathered" in because they were chosen before the arrival of Christ?

Lets say from the protestant denominations. It's really just a general question and I'd be interested in reading several perspectives

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    Christians have major disagreements over this question. You'll have to edit this to specify which denomination's answer you are interested in.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 15, 2023 at 6:13
  • Lets say from the protestant denominations. It's really just a general question and I'd be interested in reading several perspectives.
    – mikem
    Oct 15, 2023 at 6:15
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    Unfortunately there's no consensus even amongst just the Protestant denominations. This could be asked as an overview question (where each answer must cover all the denominations, in this case it could be limited to all the Protestant denominations), but historically overview questions rarely get answered because few people have the expertise and it's a lot of work to write a comprehensive answer. That's why we generally recommend scoping questions to single denominations.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 15, 2023 at 6:18
  • How about Presbyterian?
    – mikem
    Oct 15, 2023 at 6:20
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    @mikem From a Biblical standpoint God keeps His promises. He said at Genesis 17:7 to Abraham, "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an EVERLASTING covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. God also confirms this at Genesis 17:13, 19. God will never abandon Israel despite even what's going on today and through the fulfillment of the end of the age/world, period.
    – Mr. Bond
    Oct 15, 2023 at 14:03

5 Answers 5

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Are Jews still God's chosen people?

Possibly, we can not know for certain. Myself, I believe they are. In any case, St. Paul hoped for the conversion of the Jews before the end of times.

According to the Israel Democracy Institute, approximately two thirds of Israeli Jews believe that Jews are the "chosen people".

As far as Christians go, some believe that the Jews remain the chosen people, while others do not.

Some Christians believe that the Jews were God's chosen people, but because of Jewish Rejection of Jesus, the Christians in turn received that special status. This doctrine is known as Supersessionism.

Other Christians, such as the Christadelphians, believe that God has not rejected Israel as his chosen people and that the Jews will in fact accept Jesus as their Messiah at his Second Coming, resulting in their salvation.

Augustine criticized Jewish chosenness as "carnal." He reasoned that Israel was chosen "according to the flesh."

Whether or not the Jews are still God's chosen people, is a hotly debated subject. What is sure is that they still have a mission to fulfill in the end times and the recent events in Israel may yet have something to do with apocalyptic times, especially seeing that the two thousand anniversary of Christ’s sacred mission is to soon upon us. Estote Parati

Are the Jews still God's chosen people?

Cardinal Ratzinger: That is, especially just recently, a hotly disputed question. It is quite obvious that the Jews have something to do with God and that God has not abandoned them. And that is how the New Testament sees it, too. Paul says to us in the Letter to the Romans: In the end all of Israel will be brought home. It is another question, how far, with the rise of the Church — the people of God called from all peoples — and with the coming of the new covenant, life under the old covenant, a life that remains closed to the new covenant that comes from Christ, is still a valid way of life. …

Israel still has a mission to accomplish today. We are in fact waiting for the moment when Israel, too, will say Yes to Christ, but we also know that while history still runs its course even this standing at the door fulfills a mission, one that is important for the world. In that way this people still has a special place in God's plans.

God has not, then, retracted his word that Israel is the chosen people?

No, because he is faithful. Of course, we can see that Israel still has some way to go. As Christians, we believe that they will in the end be together with us in Christ. But they are not simply done with and left out of God's plans; rather they still stand within the faithful covenant of God.

Does that mean that Jews will have to recognize the Messiah, or ought to do so?

That is what we believe. That does not mean that we have to force Christ upon them but that we should share in the patience of God. We also have to try to live our life together in Christ in such a way that it no longer stands in opposition to them or would be unacceptable to them but so that it facilitates their own approach to it. It is in fact still our belief as Christians that Christ is the Messiah of Israel. It is in God's hands, of course, just in what way, when and how the reuniting of Jews and Gentiles, the reunification of God's people, will be achieved.

“I, too, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, member of the tribe of Benjamin,” says Paul in his Letter to the Romans, although one part of Israel has been afflicted with “hardness of heart.” And, further: “From the point of view of the Gospel they are enemies of God …, from the point of view of their being chosen people, they are beloved of God.” Strong words.

This is another of the paradoxes that the New Testament sets before us. On one hand, their No to Christ brings the Israelites into conflict with the subsequent acts of God, but at the same time we know they are assured of the faithfulness of God. They are not excluded from salvation, but they serve salvation in a particular way, and thereby they stand within the patience of God, in which we, too, place our trust.

The following may be of interest:

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The question and the current answers seem to be using terms like "Jews", "Israel", and "Chosen" very ambiguously, and their meanings are confused and conflated.

Before one can discuss "Chosen People", one really needs to understand the background details.

  • God promised various conditional and unconditional blessings to Abraham. These blessings were inherited by his son Isaac, and then by his son Jacob.

  • God gave the name Israel to Jacob, and his descendants are known as Israelites.

  • Jacob's twelve sons each became one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • His son Judah inherited the royal line (including the "sceptre" promise of the ultimate king, the Messiah).

  • His son Joseph inherited the physical blessings and name.

  • Later, his son Levi's tribe was given the priesthood.

Following King Solomon's reign, the tribes separated into two nations. The northern part retained the name "Israel" and the birthright blessings because it included Joseph. The southern part was called "Judah" because it was mostly the tribe of Judah, along with the remnant of Benjamin and some of Levi, and it retained the royal line.

The people of Judah became known as Jews. That name is first used in 2 Kings 16:5, where Syria and Israel are fighting a war against the Jews, clearly demonstrating the separation of Judah from Israel.


In the 20th century, a nation known as "Israel" was created, its citizens being known as Israelis (not Israelites). These people are mostly from the tribe of Judah (Jews), and are not the full twelve tribes of Israel.


History is written by the winners, and so most ancient documents tend to reflect only the great deeds of the people that wrote them. As a historic document, the Bible is unique in that it records everything, warts and all, from the glory of David and Solomon's empire through the atrocities of various decadent kings, and the eventual captivity of Judah and Israel.

The Bible records that whenever Israel or Judah had a good king, one that respected God's laws, the nation followed his example and the nation prospered. And whenever it had a king that disrespected God's laws, practicing idolatry, the people followed his example and the nation suffered.

The Pharisees, as mentioned in the Greek scriptures 2000 years ago, were well aware of this historical relationship and made it their mission to ensure that the people of Judah follow God's laws, thereby making the nation worthy of God's blessing. They expanded God's laws to make it much more obvious whether one was following them or not (it was these expanded laws that Jesus was frequently accused of breaking).

A modern example of one of these rabbinical fences is how traffic intersections are regulated. Yield-signs are installed to indicate that the crossing road has right-of-way so that cars don't collide (God's law). Stop-signs serve the same purpose, but force drivers to make it obvious that they are going to yield, even when there is no other traffic (Pharisee's law).


Finally, we can answer the question: "Are Jews still God's chosen people?".

No, they never were, so can't still be.

The Jews were chosen to carry the royal line and the Messiah (as described in the link at the end of Ken Graham's answer), but that isn't what is meant by chosen people.

God chose Israel (not just Judah) to be his chosen people. They were not chosen to be his favoured people, but to set an example to the world.

The pattern that the Pharisees noticed was not a coincidence. God wanted the whole world to see what happens when people follow his laws and what happens when they disobey them.

As Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 10:11:

(KJV) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

(NLT) These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

For the ancient Israelites, behaviour directly resulted in physical blessings and cursings.

For "spiritual Israel" (i.e. God's Church today, at the end of the age), behaviour results in spiritual blessings and curses. And just as physical Israel was chosen to be a physical example to the world, God's people today are chosen (individually) to serve as spiritual examples to the world.

Galatians 3:28–29:

(KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(NLT) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.


As for the secondary question: "If the only path to the Father is through the Son, and Jews reject the Son, how do they still reach the Father? If they never accept Christ as their savior, how are they saved?", that really should have been asked as a separate submission.

The quick answer is that it is the same situation as for all the people throughout history that were born and died without ever being offered spiritual salvation. That is the vast majority of mankind, and 1 Timothy 2:3–4 tells us:

(KJV) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

(NLT) This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

God has chosen only a small flock of people to be saved during this current age, those that will rule with Christ in the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. If God wants everyone to be saved, then those that were not offered salvation in this age will be given their opportunity in the Kingdom of God when they are part of the second resurrection at the end of the Millennium.

For more details, see my answer to What is the Order of the Resurrection of the Dead?.

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    Re: "[Israelis] are mostly from the tribe of Judah (Jews), and are not the full twelve tribes of Israel." I'd love to learn more about this claim and any support for it if you have it. Thanks!
    – Katechonic
    Oct 15, 2023 at 16:47
  • @Katechonic. Josephus wrote: "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated in numbers". In Jesus's time the location of the lost tribes was still known. They later became lost to mainstream history. ¶ There are many theories about what happened to them based on various clues. Many Danes consider themselves the tribe of Dan, Scots traditionally don't eat pork or eels, "British" could be Hebrew for "covenant man", "Saxons" could be "Isaac's sons", Druid priests dress like Levitical priests, Ulster banner, etc. Oct 15, 2023 at 17:41
  • @Katechonic. A 1320 document, "The ancestors of the Scots" describes where some of those "beyond the Euphrates" people "journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea [Mediterranean] and the Pillars of Hercules [Gibraltar], and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain [Iberia=Hebrew] […]. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today." — The Avalon Project : The Declaration of Arbroath; April 6, 1320 Oct 15, 2023 at 17:41
  • @Katechonic. I'm not claiming it is doctrinal, but see my two answers: Is there any historical evidence that would indicate where exactly the ark of the covenant is now located? and Is the USA mentioned in the Bible?, and the links at the end of the second one. Oct 15, 2023 at 17:42
  • That's a truly fascinating bounty of information for me to read, and I'll be sure to pore over it as time permits, however, does any of it pertain to the quote I pulled from your answer claiming that most Israeli's are from the tribe of Judah?
    – Katechonic
    Oct 17, 2023 at 23:01
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No, because God has a new format for identifying his chosen, the new format requires those people to accept Jesus Christ and to believe in his name then those people can regard themselves as God's people or nation according to Saint John

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

God tells the world that anyone from any nation has a right to be part of God's chosen if they accept Jesus Christ and believe in his name.

Israel was God's chose nation in the old testament but in the new testament, God's chosen nation on earth is the new Israel which is the Church. Many Jews still don't believe in Jesus or reject him as the promised Messiah and hence being Jewish in the modern context does not qualify a person to be part of God's nation instead your relationship with Jesus determines that.

Jesus also warned the Jews about thinking that they will automatically inherit the kingdom of God because they are Jewish or descended from Abraham

Mathew 3:9

And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

That being said, Israel is not God's chosen in the new covenant, The Church is and you can see that Christians are the salt of the earth without which the earth would lose its relevance to God.

Mathew 5:13-20

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world

To answer your question, Israel is not God's chosen in the new covenant because many Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah and some still believe he has not appeared and he is yet to appear.

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Are the Jews still God's chosen people? To answer this it must first be determined what is meant by "chosen." It certainly doesn't mean these people are a special race privileged above all others because they are more righteous, smart, or handsome than others! Their history reveals human frailties and susceptibility to the carnal nature, as much as any other people groups. In fact they exhibited such wickedness that God once purposed to wipe them out!They were rebellious against the LORD from the very first (Deuteronomy9:24) And their unfaithfulness to the LORD was demonstrated throughout their subsequent history in the Old Testament. (Hosea 9:1)

But from the very foundation of the Earth, God had a plan of redemption in mind, and He needed a people group through which to work it out. Abraham and his descendants were chosen to be that means by which the whole world would be able to be saved. Their chosenness lies in their job, not their spiritual DNA. They were chosen to bring the messiah (Seed) to Earth. (Galatians 3:16-18, 24 schoolmaster) This was the purpose of the Abrahamic Covenant...period.

The Best Commentators The best people to answer this posted question are Jesus and the New Testament Apostle! No matter how modernists wish to interpret the Old Testament statements of the prophets, they do not take president over the clear teaching of the Master:

He came unto His own, and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Sons of God...who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13)

Think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father, for I say unto you, that God is able to raise up children unto Abraham. And now the ax is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which brings `not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire! (Matthew 3:9-10)

Ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children that killed the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?..Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23:31-33, 38)

Then Jesus ended His speech by saying that the only way they could be accepted by God would to acknowledge that Jesus is the Blessed One who came in the Name of the LORD.

[Note that modern Israel fails to acknowledge this Deity of Christ...and that modern Orthodox Jews in Israel persecute Christians living there! This was a concern expressed by the King of Jordon a month ago.]

And so how do the Apostles of Christ answer this posted question? They left this record:

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus...for there is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male or female, for all are One in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the Promise.

The original intent of the Abrahamic Covenant was not the privilege of one race, but was a spiritual covenant in which all nations could participate...because of faith in Christ.! (Compare Hebrews 11:8-16 "a spiritual city sought")

You also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ....Unto you therefore who believe he is precious; but unto them who be disobedient, the Stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner...But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Which in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God! (1 Peter 2:5-10)

Answer It is clear from the Scriptures which recorded the teaching of Christ and the Apostles, that only those who are disciples of Jesus are the chosen people of God. Hath God cast away His people? No. Any Jew can receive Christ as savior...and many have throughout the centuries. So that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. (Romans 10:12) It is in this method alone (through calling on God with faith in Christ) that any and all Israel shall be saved (The Greek word for "so" is an adv. of 'manner' or 'method' Romans 11:26; it does not mean a totality, neither does it refer to a future time.)

So only those Jews who are Christ disciples (Christians)---and who are willing to share this title with Gentiles---are God's chosen people.

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If God has forsaken his chosen people by breaking his promises and double-crossing the holy nation, then nobody is to say that he betray the new covenant people as well by choosing another group such as Muhammadans of Islam.

There are actually two separate questions: First, If they are still chosen people? Second, how are they saved? It is important to recognise this distinction. The Bible makes it clear that the national election of Israel is independent and unconditional (Rom 11:29), it has nothing to do with the personal/individual election that decides a man's conditional salvation or justification. The justice of God has never changed, see Romans 2:6-16 The doers of the law are justified, not the hearer, that is to say religion or faith doesn't matter. Paul strongly warns those who have envy and hatred towards the unbelieving Jews in Romans 11. In this case, whoever does righteousness knows God (1 John 3, 5).

The following are the 3 categories of the popular views called Supersessionism or replacement theology listed by Michael Vlach (it usurps the promises to Israel claiming the Church to be "real Israel").

  1. Structural: Israel expires at the coming of Christ, after fulfilling its purpose.
  2. Economic: Israel forsake God, therefore God in return forsake Israel.
  3. Punitive: God forsake Israel and ordained church to kill and persecute Israel.

There maybe a fourth category which may not even fit the traditional convention. This nuanced deceptive view says, Israel was never a chosen nation to begin with; they would object to the label of replacement-theology, this is why the term supersessionism is more suitable.

It is important to remember, the inclusion of Gentiles in the Church does not mean exclusion of Israelites from hope of renewal. Romans 9-11 discusses the unbelieving Israel and their continued hope for final restoration. He mentions only some of the natural branches have been broken off, and they will be grafted back in if they discontinue disbelief, and their national election and calling is irrevocable. This should be sufficient to answer your question that the whole nation remains the best and superior in God's eye, they are still chosen.

God had made a unilateral unconditional promise with Abraham for national Israel Gen 15; Exo 6:4-8 The Abrahamic covenant is reiterated many times as being eternal Ps 89; Ps 105:10; Isa 54:10; Isa 61:8 ; Jer 31:35-37; 33:23-26. Paul reiterates the promises by warning believers of not to be conceited and arrogant or hateful towards the natural children of God. Paul often mentions the salvation and gospel belongs first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles (Rom 1:16, 2:9-10). See Romans 11:1, 11, 25-29.

Jesus affirmed his promises of restoring all things concerning Israel spoken through prophets and that he will return to his holy nation (Acts 1:5-6; 3:18-22). A common passage misused by the supersessionists is Ephesians 2. The key point is to notice that Eph 2:11-22 does not state that the Gentile believers become part of Israel, rather they join the church or the household of God uniting with Israel in Christ, spiritually. They do not become or replace Israel in any way. Israel the nation cannot be confused with the Church or believing righteous body within Israel, that is also called "Israel of God" in Gal 6:16.

Israel's national election however has always been independent with personal salvation. Michael Brown's article on "Has God forsaken his people?" states,

His covenant with Israel was reiterated through Moses, repeated by the prophets and rehearsed by the psalmists. Jesus Himself affirmed it (Matt. 19:28), Paul articulated it (Rom. 9-11) and the gates of the New Jerusalem announce it forever (Rev. 22:11-12). God has chosen Israel as His covenant people.

What if Israel broke the covenant? What would then happen to them? Listen to these unmistakably clear truths: “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished” (Jer. 30:11). God will completely destroy other nations, but He will not completely destroy Israel! He treats His people differently from other people; they are judged more strictly, but they will never be wiped out.

No matter what Israel does, God will never forsake them as a distinct people. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, the Lord declares that He will make a new covenant with Israel and Judah. But He doesn’t stop there. It’s as if He’s saying, “Now, don’t get me wrong! Don’t think that this new covenant means that I’m abandoning My people. No!”

This is what the LORD says, He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD Almighty is His name: “Only if these decrees vanish from My sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.” This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD (Jer. 31:35-37).

As long as there is a sun, moon, stars, earth, and sea, there will be a distinct people of Israel – no matter what they do. It’s God’s promise! It’s true!

“Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I shall remember him. Therefore My heart yearns for him, I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord (Jer. 31:20)

Look at how relevant God’s prophetic word is to our day and age. For centuries the Church, in arrogance, because of ignorance, claimed that she alone was the true Israel, that she had replaced the ancient covenant people. The Church taught that it was the Christians alone who were the true Jews. (How strange that these Christians were not claiming to be Jewish during the Holocaust!) The Church taught emphatically that the physical people of Israel (those who were ethnically Jewish and those who joined the nation through conversion to Judaism) were eternally rejected.

This is not some worn-out old doctrine. It is on the increase again in our day. Yet the Lord is not surprised. Twenty-five hundred years ago, He already addressed this issue:

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “ Have you not noticed that these people are saying, ‘The LORD has rejected the two kingdoms He chose?’ So they despise My people and no longer regard them as a nation. This is what the LORD says: ‘If I have not established My covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them’ ” (Jer. 33:23-26)

People are still murmuring against Israel and despising the people and the nation.

God’s answer is still the same: “I will never reject them!”

What exactly did God promise Abraham and his descendants? How long are His promises good? Psalm 105 has the answer for us.

He remembers His covenant forever, the word He commanded for a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham, the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit” (Ps. 105:8-11).

The answers to the key questions about Israel's chosenness and their value to mankind, and the general doctrine of individual's obligation to God depends on one's spiritual state which determines his political views. It is commonly seen that the antisemite groups would use red herring and ad hominem attacks targetting fringe American modern denominations such as dispensationism to delegitimize Israel's religious and political right to live safely in their ancient homeland. The historical facts and a realistic interpretation of the Bible refutes such objections.

As Christians, we should hope and pray for the days of refreshments and restoration of Israel, and the complete annihilation of the enemies according to Zechariah 12 and Deuteronomy 20.

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    This is contrary to justification by faith. The election of God is in Christ, not in Adam. The election of God is from before the foundation of the world, not in time. Israel was a temporary figure demonstrating an everlasting Testament, Now that Testament is in operation, the figure is redundant. Yes, Israelites may be saved, but through the same repentance and faith as Gentiles. For all are one, in Christ Jesus, partaking of the same eternal election. The view stated above is divisive : 'national election' being 'irrevocable' is contrary to the Gospel.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 15, 2023 at 13:26
  • Truth is very divisive and bitter indeed.
    – Michael16
    Oct 15, 2023 at 14:35

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