The METAPHOR of Judah "Daggerman"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Bismarck

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    Mar 4, 2006
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    I would like to build a case, and to do so I must go step by step:

    The nickname "Iscariot" means "one who is a Sicarii".

    Let us start with the ENDING, "-iot". That is a Greek suffix, meaning "one who is". For example, someone from Cyprus is a "Cypriote".

    Next, the ROOT comes "Sicarii". As Josephus tells us, the Sicarii were violent dagger-wielding radicals who publically murdered suspected Roman collaborators. Like "Simon the Zealot" and "Matthew the Toll Taker", many of Yeshua the Messiah's closest followers were indeed roughnecks from hinterlands who were accustomed to violence. Please note, for example, that the powerful message of Matthew himself is that the Messiah turned him from a TOLL TAKER who PREYED UPON his fellow countrymen (Luke 3:12-13), literally twisting their arms and WRINGING THEM for all they were worth... all with the blessing of the ROMAN OCCUPIERS, into a Rightwise man and one of the Messiah's most steadfast followers. (Note that the Roman Empire actually tolerated crime explicitly BECAUSE crime bled its subjects of money and strength, making them EASIER TO RULE... all without ROME being directly responsible and taking the blame for it in the eyes of the people... for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the HISTORY LESSONS of Scripture are TIMELESS, fyi.)

    Furthermore, "Sicarii" comes from a Greek word meaning "Dagger". (For those who care, the root "Sec" also appears in the word "Section", as in you CUT something into SECTIONS with your SICarii dagger.)

    SO, at the end of the day, like Matthew "Toll Taker", Simon "The Rock", and Simon "The Zealot", Judah "DAGGERMAN" was a violent roughneck prone to the use of FORCE.

    2) The Messiah's SPIRITUAL Message non-plussed the Judeans (the Jews)

    I talked with a Presbyterian pastor, and he told me that one likely reason why the Jews were not receptive to Yeshua as the TRUE MESSIAH was because they were expecting an Arnold Schwarzenegger "Terminator" type to come in guns blazing, drive the heathen gentiles into the sea, and conquer the world in the name of David and God. (He didn't use those exact words.)

    Therefore, after the initial excitement of THE MESSIAH triumphally entering Jerusalem had died down, the Judeans quickly came to realize that all this guy was doing was preaching and talking. He was "all talk and no walk" you might say. So, to make a long story short, the Judeans got disillusioned and disappointed and they turned on him, thinking this couldn't possibly be THE Messiah because THE Messiah would lead them -- as in the "Star Prophecy" -- to CONQUER the whole frigging world.

    So, they said, "nah, this ain't him" and turned on him, to avoid further Roman pressure perhaps, or because Annanias and Caiaphas opened up the Temple Treasury and bought out the poor, and now disillusioned, masses who had thought Yeshua the Messiah was their ticket to world conquest by force of arms.

    3) This sounds allot like Judah "Daggerman's" reaction

    After the Presbyterian pastor told me this (in his own words), I got to thinking. And I said, "you know, Judah "Daggerman" was a Sicarii... so he was a violent radical who wanted to kill off the Romans through any means... and here's Judah "Daggerman" in Jerusalem for a few days, and he finally gets it that Yeshua "the Messiah" ain't no Ghengis Khan who will pound the gentile heathens into rubble and dust and cast their ashes beneath his throne...

    maybe THAT'S why Judah "Sicarii-man" sold out the Messiah! He was thinking, 'Hey, I thought this guy was going to make me one of his chief officers and put me in charge of 1/12th the world... well, that ain't going to happen... I gotta at least get SOMETHING out of all this hooplah I've been going thru!"

    So, that was my logic.

    And then it occurred to me further, that there's allot of similarities between "Judah the GUY"...

    and "Judah the NATION"...

    Could it be that the Gospel writers are very, ah, "gently" TELLING US EXACTLY WHY the Jews did not support the Messiah?

    Could it be that Judah THE GUY is a METAPHOR for Judah THE NATION / Kinsfolk?

    Could it be that what we're supposed to realize is that -- just as Josephus tells us when he points to the RAMPANT POPULARITY of the Sicarii and the huge problems they caused (recall, Josephus loved Rome) -- the Judeans were largely hoping for a VIOLENT WAR-LEADER type Messiah... a GHENGIS KHAN to lead them to WORLD CONQUEST in the name of DAVID and GOD...

    And so when Yeshua the Messiah came along, preaching not a PHYSICAL WAR but a SPIRITUAL WAR, along the lines of "LOVE the SINNER, hate the SIN"...

    That they got fed up and disillusioned and chagrinned and they turned on him, just as Judah the GUY did in the Gospels?

  2. standingfirminChrist

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    Dec 25, 2005
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    is-kar'-i-ot (Ioudas Iskariotes, i.e. 'ish qeriyoth, "Judas, man of Kerioth"): One of the twelve apostles and the betrayer of Jesus; for etymology, etc., see JUDAS .

    I. Life.

    Judas was, as his second name indicates, a native of Kerioth or Karioth. The exact locality of Kerioth (compare Jos 15:25) is doubtful, but it lay probably to the South of Judea, being identified with the ruins of el Karjetein (compare A. Plummer, article "Judas Iscariot" in HDB).

    1. Name and Early History:

    He was the son of Simon (Joh 13:2) or Simon Iscariot (Joh 6:71; 13:26), the meaning of Iscariot explaining why it was applied to his father also. The first Scriptural reference to Judas is his election to the apostleship (compare Mt 10:4; Mr 3:19; Lu 6:16). He may have been present at the preaching of John the Baptist at Bethany beyond Jordan (compare Joh 1:28), but more probably he first met Jesus during the return of the latter through Judea with His followers (compare Joh 3:22). According to the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles (see SIMON THE CANAANITE ), Judas was among those who received the call at the Sea of Tiberias (compare Mt 4:18-22).

    2. Before the Betrayal:

    For any definite allusion to Judas during the interval lying between his call and the events immediately preceding the betrayal, we are indebted to John alone. These allusions are made with the manifest purpose of showing forth the nefarious character of Judas from the beginning; and in their sequence there is a gradual development and growing clearness in the manner in which Jesus makes prophecy regarding his future betrayer. Thus, after the discourse on the Bread of Life in the synagogue of Capernaum (Joh 6:26-59), when many of the disciples deserted Jesus (Joh 6:66) and Peter protested the allegiance of the apostles (Joh 6:69), Jesus answered, "Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil" (Joh 6:70). Then follows John's commentary, "Now he spake of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve" (Joh 6:71), implying that Judas was already known to Jesus as being in spirit one of those who "went back, arid walked no more with him" (Joh 6:66). But the situation, however disquieting it must have been to the ambitious designs which probably actuated Judas in his acceptance of the apostleship (compare below), was not sufficiently critical to call for immediate desertion on his part. Instead, he lulled his fears of exposure by the fact that he was not mentioned by name, and continued ostensibly one of the faithful. Personal motives of a sordid nature had also influence in causing him to remain. Appointed keeper of the purse, he disregarded the warnings of Jesus concerning greed and hypocrisy (compare Mt 6:20; Lu 12:1-3) and appropriated the funds to his own use. As a cloak to his avarice, he pretended to be zealous in their administration, and therefore, at the anointing of Jesus' feet by Mary, he asked "Why was not this ointment sold for 300 shillings, and given to the poor? Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein" (Joh 12:5-6; compare also Mt 26:7-13; Mr 14:3-8).

    3. The Betrayal:

    Yet, although by this craftiness Judas concealed for a time his true nature from the rest of the disciples, and fomented any discontent that might arise among them (compare Mr 14:4), he now felt that his present source of income could not long remain secure. The pregnant words of his Master regarding the day of his burial (compare Mt 26:12; Mr 14:8; Joh 12:7) revealed to His betrayer that Jesus already knew well the evil powers that were at work against Him; and it is significant that, according to Mt and Mk, who alone of the synoptists mention the anointing, Judas departed immediately afterward and made his compact with the chief priests (compare Mt 26:14-15; Mr 14:10-11; compare also Lu 22:3-6). But his absence was only temporary. He was present at the washing of the disciples' feet, there to be differentiated once more by Jesus from the rest of the Twelve (compare "Ye are clean, but not all" and "He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me," Joh 13:10,18), but again without being named. It seemed as if Jesus wished to give Judas every opportunity, even at this late hour, of repenting and making his confession. For the last time, when they had sat down to eat, Jesus appealed him thus with the words, "One of you shall betray me" (Mt 26:21; Mr 14:18; Lu 22:21; Joh 13:21). And at the end, in answer to the anxious queries of His disciples, "Is it I?" He indicated his betrayer, not by name, but by a sign: "He it is, for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him" (Joh 13:26). Immediately upon its reception, Judas left the supper room; the opportunity which he sought for was come (compare Joh 13:30; Mt 26:16). There is some doubt as to whether he actually received the eucharistic bread and wine previous to his departure or not, but most modern commentators hold that he did not. On his departure, Judas made his way to the high priests and their followers, and coming upon Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he betrayed his Master with a kiss (Mt 26:47-50; Mr 14:43-44; Lu 22:47; Joh 18:2-5).

    4. His Death:

    After the betrayal, Mk, Lk and Jn are silent as regards Judas, and the accounts given in Mt and Acts of his remorse and death vary in detail. According to Mt, the actual condemnation of Jesus awakened Judas' sense of guilt, and becoming still more despondent at his repulse by the chief priests and elders, "he cast down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed; and he went away and hanged himself." With the money the chief priests purchased the potter's field, afterward called "the field of blood," and in this way was fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah (11:12-14) ascribed by Matthew to Jeremiah (Mt 27:3-10). The account given in Ac 1:16-20 is much shorter. It mentions neither Judas' repentance nor the chief priests, but simply states that Judas "obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out" (Ac 1:18). The author of Acts finds in this the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ps 69:25. The Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) rendering, "When he had hanged himself, he burst asunder," suggests a means of reconciling the two accounts.

    According to a legendary account mentioned by Papias, the death of Judas was due to elephantiasis (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 5). A so-called "Gospel of Judas" was in use among the Gnostic sect of the Cainites.

    II. Character and Theories.

    1. Joined the Apostles to Betray Jesus:

    Much discussion and controversy have centered, not only around the discrepancies of the Gospel narratives of Judas, but also around his character and the problems connected with it. That the betrayer of Jesus should also be one of the chosen Twelve has given opportunity for the attacks of the foes of Christianity from the earliest times (compare Orig., Con. Cel., ii.12); and the difficulty of finding any proper solution has proved so great that some have been induced to regard Judas as merely a personification of the spirit of Judaism. The acceptance of this view would, however, invalidate the historical value of much of the Scriptural writings. Other theories are put forward in explanation, namely, that Judas joined the apostolic band with the definite intention of betraying Jesus. The aim of this intention has again received two different interpretations, both of which seek to elevate the character of Judas and to free him from the charge of sordid motives and cowardly treachery. According to one, Judas was a strong patriot, who saw in Jesus the foe of his race and its ancient creed, and therefore betrayed Him in the interests of his country. This view is, however, irreconcilable with the rejection of Judas by the chief priests (compare Mt 27:3-10). According to the other, Judas regarded himself as a true servant of Christianity, who assumed the role of traitor to precipitate the action of the Messiah and induce Him to manifest His miraculous powers by calling down the angels of God from heaven to help Him (compare Mt 26:53). His suicide was further due to his disappointment at the failure of Jesus to fulfill his expectations. This theory found favor in ancient times with the Cainites (compare above), and in modern days with De Quincey and Bishop Whately. But the terms and manner of denunciation employed by Jesus in regard to Judas (compare also Joh 17:12) render this view also untenable.

    2. Foreordained to Be a Traitor:

    Another view is that Judas was foreordained to be the traitor: that Jesus was conscious from the first that He was to suffer death on the cross, and chose Judas because He knew that he should betray Him and thus fulfill the Divine decrees (compare Mt 26:54). Those holding this view base their arguments on the omniscience of Jesus implied in Joh 2:24, Jesus "knew all men"; Joh 6:64, "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray him," and Joh 18:4, "knowing all the things that were coming upon him." Yet to take those texts literally would mean too rigid application of the doctrine of predestination. It would treat Judas as a mere instrument, as a means and not an end in the hands of a higher power: it would render meaningless the appeals and reproaches made to him by Jesus and deny any real existence of that personal responsibility and sense of guilt which it was our Lord's very purpose to awaken and stimulate in the hearts of His hearers. John himself wrote after the event, but in the words of our Lord there was, as we have seen, a growing clearness in the manner in which He foretold His betrayal. The omniscience of Jesus was greater than that of a mere clairvoyant who claimed to foretell the exact course of future events. It was the omniscience of one who knew on the one hand the ways of His Eternal Father among men, and who, on the other, penetrated into the deepest recesses of human character and beheld there all its secret feelings and motives and tendencies.

    3. Betrayal the Result of Gradual Development:

    Although a full discussion of the character of Judas would of necessity involve those ultimate problems of Free Will and Original Sin (Westcott) which no theology can adequately solve, theory which regards the betrayal as the result of a gradual development within the soul of Judas seems the most practical. It is significant that Judas alone among the disciples was of southern extraction; and the differences in temperament and social outlook, together with the petty prejudices to which these generally give rise, may explain in part, though they do not justify, his after treachery--that lack of inner sympathy which existed between Judas and the rest of the apostles. He undoubtedly possessed certain business ability, and was therefore appointed keeper of the purse. But his heart could not have been clean, even from the first, as he administered even his primary charge dishonestly. The cancer of this greed spread from the material to the spiritual. To none of the disciples did the fading of the dream of an earthly kingdom of pomp and glory bring greater disappointment than to Judas. The cords of love by which Jesus gradually drew the hearts of the other disciples to Himself, the teaching by which He uplifted their souls above all earthly things, were as chafing bonds to the selfishness of Judas. And from his fettered greed and disappointed ambition sprang jealousy and spite and hatred. It was the hatred, not of a strong, but of an essentially weak man. Instead of making an open breach with his Lord, he remained ostensibly one of His followers: and this continued contact with a goodness to which he would not yield (compare Swete on Mr 14:10), and his brooding over the rebukes of his Master, gave ready entrance for "Satan into his soul." But if he "knew the good and did not do it" (compare Joh 13:17), so also he was weak in the carrying out of his nefarious designs. It was this hesitancy, rather than a fiendish cunning, which induced him to remain till the last moment in the supper room, and which prompted the remark of Jesus "What thou doest, do quickly" (Joh 13:27). Of piece with this weak-mindedness was his attempt to cast the blame upon the chief priests and elders (compare Mt 27:3-4). He sought to set himself right, not with the innocent Jesus whom he had betrayed, but with the accomplices in his crime; and because that world which his selfishness had made his god failed him at the last, he went and hanged himself. It was the tragic end of one who espoused a great cause in the spirit of speculation and selfish ambition, and who weighed not the dread consequences to which those impure motives might lead him (compare also Bruce, Training of the Twelve; Latham, Pastor Pastorum; Stalker, Trial and Death of Jesus Christ).

    C. M. Kerr
  3. Bismarck

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    Mar 4, 2006
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    I REJECT THIS. Judah was a "Sicarii" radical, just as Simon Kenan was a "Zealot", and not merely a "Canaanite". "Smith's Bible Dictionary" acknowledges uncertainity in the meaning of "Iscariot", saying:

    *The name Iscariot has received many interpretations more of less conjectural. The most probable is from Ish Kerioth, i.e. "man of Kerioth," a town in the tribe of Judah

    Christianity has for some reason seen fit to mute the rougher aspects of the Messiah's followers. True Christians must be rough and tough if they are truly to remain steadfast in their Belief. But by softening "Sicarii" and "Zealot" into "Man from Kerioth" and "Canaanite", the Messiah's message is CASTRATED of its applicability to raucous menfolk. This served the purposes of the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages when it tried to PACIFY Europe by holding up Jesus as the 'Ideal Suffering Slave' who meekly went through life and accepted his lot -- exactly what Rome wanted all of Europe's peasantry to do, and which they did.

    For the record, there are more SATANISTS in America today than Protestants BECAUSE of this very fact. Americans today want to be TOUGH... and you cannot both follow "Jesus the Panzy" (God Help Us) and be tough. FYI. So, I say, "judge a tree by its fruits". The CASTRATION of Christianity by the muting of all references to violence, as with hammering "Zealot" into "Canaanite" and "Sicarii" into "Keriothite", is HARMING CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

    The daggerman theory is the SECOND MOST widely accepted etymology in Christendom, and can only be considered mainstream, albeit minority. CERTAINLY, it cannot be DEFINITIVELY excluded. See Wikipedia's entry on "Judas Iscariot".

    THIS IS WHAT I'M SAYING. I would like an explanation of the author's inference here.

    THIS IS WHAT I AM SAYING, BUT I REJECT THE ENSUING 'LOGIC.' Please do recall that the Temple Priests were viewed as corrupt Roman puppet collaborators by EVERYONE, including even the PHARISEES. The Temple Priests were installed by, and served at the whim of, the Roman Caesars. Therefore, if Judah WAS a Jewish patriot -- albeit one who interpreted the Messianic Star Prophecy in violent terms (like most other Judeans) -- he would STILL be at odds with the PRO-ROMAN Sadducean Priests, whose Roman master wanted NO MESSIANIC LEADER of ANY KIND, spiritual or physical.

    Have I been clear? Your author says, IN EFFECT, "Judah was in conflict with the High Priests; the High Priests were Jewish Patriots; therefore, Judah was not a Jewish Patriot".

    But I say, "Judah was a Jewish Patriot; the High Priests were Jewish TRAITORS (who were selling Judea to Rome); therefore, conflict between Judah the Patriot and the Sadducean Traitors is to BE EXPECTED".

    Have I been clear? I see a 3-WAY battle here:

    1) Yeshua the Messiah, preaching a SPIRITUAL WAR vs. SIN
    2) Judah the Betrayer, wanting a PHYSICAL WAR vs. ROME
    3) The Sadducean Priests, SINFULLY selling out to ROME

    In other words, the conflict between Yeshua the Messiah and Judah the Betrayer was an INTRA-MESSIANIC MOVEMENT conflict. It was a conflict between a LITTERAL and VIOLENT interpretation of the Star Prophecies (Judah) and a SPIRITUAL and HEALING interpretation of those same prophecies (Yeshua the Messiah).

    This would be like a conflict within the HUSSITES between the radical TABORITES of Jan Zizka and the moderate UTRAQUISTS who sold out to Rome under pressure (just like Judah).

    But ROME hated BOTH groups of Hussites as heretics, just like the Roman-installed Sadducees.

    Have I succeeded in being clear?


    I AGREE WITH THIS TOO. Judah's inner craving for a violent war of conquest was OBVIOUS to Yeshua the Messiah, I would say. Have you seen the movie, "Master & Commander"? There is a scene where the Captain dresses down one of his officers. The Captain TRIES to boost the confidence of his underling and show him how to be a good and strong leader. But the WEAKNESS of that officer is CLEAR, and the Captain shakes his head, knowing that the PRESSURES of DUTY will very likely cause this one to BUCKLE and BEND.

    This is what I am sensing. Judah the Betrayer is a METAPHOR for all of Judah, for all Judeans (ie, Jews). Judah, and all Judeans, were expecting a VIOLENT VICTORY over ROME and the GENTILE WORLD...

    But Yeshua the Messiah was preaching a SPIRITUAL WAR to CLEANSE ROME and the GENTILE WORLD of its SIN...

    And Judah the Betrayer, along with most of the Judeans, were non-plussed by this, because "they wanted something more", as it were, than what Almighty God had on the table for them...

    And so, in angry disillusionment, Judah the Betrayer, and the Judeans generally, sold out the Messiah...

    because they wanted a MILITARY VICTORY over all NON-JEWISH GENTILES...

    and Almighty God wanted a SPIRITUAL VICTORY over all UN-BELIEF_...

    I feel that my argument is exactly ONE, albeit of many, that your author presents.

    Do I over-state your author's support for my case?

    The only place where I FLATLY REJECT your author is his preference for the "majority etymology" of Iscariot, meaning "of Kerioth", whereas I favor the "minority etymology", of "Sicarri-ote" or "Dagger Man", that is, "Assassin".

    Thank you for the reply, it is a good solid reference.
  4. standingfirminChrist

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    Dec 25, 2005
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    I would think if Judas was such a violent man as you state, the Bible would have identified Him as carrying a knife and being some kind of protestor. It does mention Simon the Zealot, Matthew the tax collector, it identifies many with the traits that carried. Yet for Judas Iscariot, all that is told is that he carried the money purse only so that he could steal from it. Judas was a thief. There is no indication that he was a knife weilding barbarian.
  5. Bismarck

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    Mar 4, 2006
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    From Wikipedia:

    Please follow me here. I think you are right in DETAIL, but I am still right in my GENERALITIES.

    Let us say that "Sicariot" does indeed come from "Sicarii" and carries the sense of "Assassin".

    An assassin in someone who is PAID to kill someone important.

    I have read that the Temple Priests opened up their vast coffers and PAID large numbers of Judeans in Jerusalem to rabble-rouse for Yeshua the Messiah's crucifiction. Please acknowledge that this is a WELL-KNOWN tradition. The Roman Catholics often did the very same, paying mobs to do their bidding. One example: for Napoleon's Papal Coronation in 1804, they paid the Paris poor to dance in the streets for apparent joy. See also the 1964 movie BECKET.

    So, if "Iscariot" is a general term of approbrium meaning "Assassin", and Judah the man is by extension Judah the nation, then this is a veiled reference to the Temple paying the Judeans to sacrifice Yeshua the Messiah, whom they hated for making them look bad, and because they were the Snake's thralls.

    Certainly, I think it would IMPOSSIBLE to argue that the Temple COULDN'T afford to pay mobs to rabble-rouse Pilate...

    nor would it be possible to claim the Temple WOULD'T have motive (and opportunity) to go along with those means...

    By LOGIC, we have ALL THE NECESSARY COMPONENTS of crime...

    But to actually pull the trigger and say, "Yes they did", might require either 'reading in between the lines' (which is fraught with danger) or some mainstream scholar I am not aware of.

    But I think it makes sense:
    1) The Temple paid mobs
    2) The Judeans were expecting a much more militant Messiah, and were chagrinned by what God gave them, "wanting more" (in their mortal eyes)

    Also, a Presbyterian pastor told me #2 is true, and he probably does know more than me.

    And the books "Intrigue in the High Court" (Parks) and "Letters of Caiaphas to Annas" (Martin) claim the Temple paid mobs.

    And I just don't think that it's coincidence that "Judah" betrayed the Messiah...

    even as the people Judah betrayed the Messiah...

    I think the Gospel writers are telling us something.

    (Note how terrible it would be if the Temple DID pay mobs. Recall, from Mark 7:10-13, how the Temple Priests were horribly taxing the Judean peasants, to the point of watching them starve their own mothers and fathers (violating the "5th Bidding (Commandment) of God") to pay up.

    So, the Temple on the one hand blasphemously TAXES the Judeans into poverty...

    and then dribbles some of THEIR OWN MONEY BACK TO THEM to kill off their OWN MESSIAH!

    Terrible ironies of terrible ironies.)

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