Wed, Sep 28th - 6:34AM
II SAMUEL STUDY
The Spirit of the Lord, the God of Israel, and the Rock of Israel,
which some think is an intimation of the Trinity of persons in the Godhead—the
Father the God of Israel, the Son the Rock of Israel, and
the Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, who spoke by
the prophets, and particularly by David, and whose word was not only in his
heart, but in his tongue for the benefit of others. David here confirms his divine
inspiration, that in his psalms, and in this book The Spirit of God
spoke by him. He, and other holy men, spoke and wrote as they were moved
by the Holy Ghost. This puts an honor upon the book of Psalms, and
recommends them to our use in our devotions, that they are words which the Holy
There seems to be a distinction made between what the Spirit of God spoke
by David, which includes all his psalms, and what the Rock of Israel
spoke to David, which concerned himself and his family. Let believers
observe that those by whom God speaks to others are concerned to hear and heed
what He speaks to themselves. Those whose office it is to teach others their
duty must be sure to learn and do their own.
6: But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they
cannot be taken with hands:
7: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a
spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.
8: These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in
the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up
his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time (23:6-8).
Here is the doom of the sons of Belial. They shall be thrust away as thorns—rejected, abandoned. They are like thorns,
not to be touched with hands, so passionate and furious that they cannot be
managed or dealt with by a wise and faithful response, but must be restrained by
law and the sword of justice (Ps. 32:9). Like thorns, they shall, at length, be utterly burnt with fire in the same
place (Heb. 6:8). Now this is intended, [1.] As a direction to judges to use their power for
the punishing and suppressing of wickedness. Let them thrust away the sons of
Belial; see Psalm 101:8. Or, [2.] As a caution to judges, and
particularly to David’s sons and successors, to see that they be not themselves
sons of Belial (as too many of them were), for then neither the dignity of their
place nor their relation to David would secure them from being thrust away by
the righteous judgments of God. Though men could not deal with them, God would.
Or, [3.] As a prediction of the ruin of all the implacable enemies of Christ’s
kingdom. There are enemies without, that openly oppose it and fight against it,
and enemies within, that secretly betray it and are false to it; both are sons
of Belial, children of the wicked one, of the serpent’s seed, children of darkness; both are as
thorns, grievous and vexatious: but both shall be so thrust away as that Christ
will set up His kingdom in despite of their enmity, will go through them
(Isaiah 27:4), and will, in due time, bless His church with such peace that there
shall be no pricking brier nor grieving thorn. And those that will not
repent, to give glory to God, shall, in the judgment-day, be burnt with unquenchable fire, see Luke 19:27.
In verse eight begins a listing of the mighty military men which David had in his army. This catalogue is intended, 1. For the honor of David, who trained them up in the arts of war, and set them as an example of conduct and courage. It is the
reputation as well as the advantage of a prince to be attended and served by
such brave men as are here described. 2. For the honor of themselves, who were instrumental to bring David to the crown, settle and
protect him in the throne, and enlarge his conquests. Those that in public positions place themselves, and lay out themselves, to serve the interests of
their country, are worthy of double honor, both to be respected by those of
their own age and to be remembered by posterity. 3. To excite those that come
after to a generous respect. 4. To show how much religion contributes to the
inspiring of men with true courage. David, both by his psalms and by his
offerings for the service of the temple, greatly promoted piety among the princes of the kingdom (1 Chronicles 29:6), and, when they became famous for piety,
they became famous for bravery.
That is all for today in this study beloved. I hope to have more posts in this study in coming days so that we can conclude it in a timely fashion and focus upon the study in Matthew. May grace and peace be with you all!
Thu, Sep 22nd - 9:58PM
STUDY IN MATTHEW
33: And they that kept the swine fled, and went their ways into the city, and told everything, and what had happened to the possessed of the demons.
34: And behold, the entire city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they beseeched Him that He would depart from their region (8:33-34)."
Before moving on, I must elaborate more about demons and their influence/possession of people. As to their origin, the Bible is unclear. But they are not to be confused with the fallen angels mentioned in the New Testament. "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and
delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment (II Peter 2:4)." "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the
great day (Jude 1:6)." For quite a number of years I have believed that the fallen angels had become demons, but it clearly is not so since God has placed all of the fallen angels in bondage in hell until the final judgment arrives. So what are demons?
Demons are spirits and are Satan's
emissaries; so numerous as to make Satan's power practically everywhere. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places,
seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he
is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than
himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is
worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked
generation (Matthew 12:43-45)." It would seem that these unclean spirits become rather restless whenever they are not within a physical body. They almost require to be in a host body. They are wicked and can possess a person with more than a single spirit. "And He asked him, What is your name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion:
for we are many (Mark 5:9)." This name provides us with necessary information to surmise that we are dealing with perhaps 3000-6000 demons, or more. This is a familiar passage, one where we learned of the unclean spirits being cast out of the man and into the herd of pigs. Mark gives us this account just as Matthew has done. Demon influence and demon possession are discriminated in the New Testament, effectively being two different things entirely. The following passages all have instances of demon possession: Matthew 4:24; Matthew
8:16,28,33;9:32; 12:22; Mark
1:32; 5:15,16,18; Luke
8:35; Acts 8:7; 16:16. They are unclean, sullen, violent, and malicious spirits which exert control over a person's body and mind through the possession. "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried
out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? are You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came
out of him (Mark 1:23-26)." "And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus
rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his
father (Luke 9:42)." We see then, that these unclean spirits are able to possess a person and force them to do all sorts of fearsome things to both themselves and others. What we must also recognize is that they all are fully aware of who Jesus Christ is. They comprehend that He is the Most High God, the Holy One of God, the Son of God, and that He has the authority and power to cast them out and to torment them if He so chooses. They completely understand that their fate is one of eternal torment, and perhaps this is what motivates them into inflicting physical maladies upon humans (Matthew 12:22; 17:15-18; Luke 13:16). Mental illness is not the same as suffering from mental disorders caused by demonical control. "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (I Timothy 4:1)." The following two verses here show that demonic influence can easily lead to formalism and asceticism. Practicing strict self denial as a measure of personal spiritual discipline leads one back into bondage, not into freedom from sin. So demons attempt to influence believers into walking this path instead of strictly following the lead of Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 2:10-12 provides us with a laundry list of outward signs of those people who most likely are being influenced by demons. Long term influence by demons leads to uncleanness and debauchery. The sign of demon influence in religion is departing from the faith, i.e. the
body of revealed truth in the Scriptures. Rather than listen to the Word of God alone these people heed the whispering in the back of their minds and put forward strange interpretations of scriptural passages. They stray further and further from God's Word being their sole anchor in life. The demons especially maintain a conflict with believers who would be spiritual. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12)." Believers must never forget with whom we struggle. People may be the outward vessel of conflict but the source of conflict is Satan through the efforts of his demons who influence those people. All unbelievers are open to demon possession Ephesians
2:2. The believer's resources, prayer and bodily control Matthew
17:21 "the whole armour of God" Ephesians 6:13-18. We find that prayer and fasting are required in order to cast out certain demons. This Ephesians passage takes on a new light, one that makes becoming outfitted in God's armor essential if we are to succeed in our battles with demons, for the battles do come upon us without any warning. Exorcism in the name of Jesus Christ Acts 16:18 was
practised for demon possession. One of the awful features of the apocalyptic
judgments in which this age will end is an irruption of demons out the abyss. Revelation 9:1-11. It is not that demons will suddenly appear on earth where they have never been before. It is that they will be able to actively, openly, seek out and torment humans during the Great Tribulation. It will be part of God's great judgment upon rebellious mankind.
That is all that I wish to post about demons at this time. There are more passages in both Testaments which give accounts about demon possession which you could study. I have simply provided a few to get you started on the path to studying your enemies. To know your enemy is to be able to defend yourself against your enemy.
May the grace, love, and peace of Jesus Christ embrace you as you do your daily tasks. Walk in the light and not in the dark.
Wed, Sep 21st - 7:05AM
STUDY IN MATTHEW
I am back! Life has been hectic and demanding my attention be placed elsewhere the past couple of weeks. So let us get back Matthew's gospel account, shall we?
27: But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him! (8:27)
We have here the the question being asked that people today ought to be asking themselves once again. "What manner of man is this Jesus, that He can force the powers of nature to obey Him?" Jesus not only is able to give us the ethic by which we are to live our lives, He is also able to give us the dynamics by which we will be able to live out that ethic. We must understand that we are dealing with a Being which has both the authority and the power to fulfill that which He claims to do. Acknowledging this to ourselves will prepare us to accept everything that is said to be coming in the future of our history.
28: And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no man might pass by that way (8:28).
This region is called Gadara today, and the people living here were from the tribe of Gad. When the land was being divided up among the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Gad remained on the wrong side of the Jordan River. They ended up going into the pig business which they ought not to have done, seeing as they were Jews. Take that first step of disobedience to God and the subsequent steps become less difficult. Before very long you end up living your life out of God's will and His way for you.
So Jesus gets out of the boat, walks onto the shore, and immediately is confronted by these two men possessed by devils. The more properly translated word here should be "demons." These two men prevented anyone from passing by this area, and yet here is Jesus.
29: And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, the Son of God? Are You come here to torment us before the time (8:29)?
Clearly, the demons knew what was approaching in the distant future. They already understood that an appointed time had been set aside when all of the demons would be bound and tormented in the lake of fire. They were wanting to know here if Jesus was to torment them ahead of schedule. We also have recognition of who Jesus was. They needed no verbal identification, or for Jesus to show them any papers. They could look upon Him and clearly see Who He was. They had spiritual discernment, something which humans lack by nature.
30: And there was a good ways off from them a herd of many swine which were feeding.
31: So the devils begged Him, saying, If You cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine (8:30-31).
Evidently demons have some desire to become part of physical reality and not merely remain in the supernatural realm. Rather than be cast out of the bodies of these two men and go back to the supernatural realm, they requested to be cast into the herd of pigs. There is some concern on their part about being materialized. Perhaps they are addicted to experiencing the sensations of a physical body? I do not know. But it is intriguing to ponder the ramifications since they were agreeable to go and dwell in a herd of pigs.
32: And He said to them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and behold, the entire herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters (8:32).
Did these demons truly wish to kill the pigs? Some would point out this verse as supporting a claim that demons only wish to destroy that which God placed into His Creation. I think that it truly demonstrates that when demons possess animals the animals seek to kill themselves out of fear. Mankind is different than the animals. Many people today are demon-possessed. They are being driven insane by increments by the demon/s which possess them. They are driven to perform acts which normally would horrify them, but they are not in control of their actions and must sit quietly in the backseat of the vehicle while the demons control the steering wheel. I imagine they are forced to witness what is going on, and are held captive to the steady torture of the possession.
Of course, not everyone who commits terrible acts against others is demon-possessed. To begin claiming so would send us right back to witch-hunting, which was wrong to do. But I am certain that a significant percentage of abnormal psychology cases are a direct result of demon activity in our natural world.
Another interesting point to note in this account of demon possession is that the demons did not desire to be confined. Apparently they knew about the confinement enforced upon the other fallen angels (Jude). These demons desired to remain "free" in order to materialize themselves elsewhere in our physical world. Jesus Christ kept Himself upon the course He had already purposed to walk, veering neither left nor right of the Cross on Calgary.
That is all for this morning beloved. Hopefully I will be able to finish up this passage tomorrow. See you here then! Grace and peace be with you all.
Fri, Sep 9th - 10:05PM
STUDY IN MATTHEW
18: Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave commandment to depart to the other side.
19: And a certain scribe came, and said to Him, Master, I will follow You wherever You go.
20: And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air havenests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head (8:18-20).
Now remember that last time we opened up this Book of the Bible we were at Peter's home and that Jesus healed Peter's mother from a severe fever. Now we find Him wanting to escape from the press of the multitudes of people who had gathered to either see Him, touch Him, make supplication of Him, or to demand some sort of miracle. Jesus had already healed thousands of people, the apostle John confirms this fact in his Gospel account when he wrote, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name (John 20:30-31)."
But before all of them could sail across the sea a scribe approached Him. This man perhaps was fairly young, and had obviously struggled with some decision to follow Christ. As they all moved to board the boat and cross, this scribe jumps forward and blurts out that he will follow Jesus wherever He may choose to go. Jesus stopped and must have looked long and hard at this man. He bluntly told this man the cold, hard, truth about the type of life He was currently living: walking about from town to town with no place He could call His own home. Uncertainty appeared to be prevalent, physical duress and lack of steady meals to be a given. Jesus made certain that this man clearly would know what sort of life was ahead for him if he chose to follow. In essence Christ was pointing out that to follow Him would have associated costs; was this man willing to suffer those costs? Christ asks the very same question of each of us today. Are we willing to suffer those costs and still follow Him?
In this account we are not informed as to whether or not the scribe followed Jesus. But perhaps when that boat pulled away from shore there was a young scribe onboard, eagerly looking forward to following the Messiah.
21: And another of His disciples said to Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22: But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead (8:21-22).
What in the world kind of answer is that to give to this disciple? Couldn't Jesus wait just a couple of hours until he put his father to rest in a grave? No, He could not. In the Middle East it is customary for a son to care for his elderly father until the day that the father finally died. This man in verse 21 wanted permission to go and tend to his father until he finally died. That could have been years. Christ told him to allow someone else to care for his father. There is also the veneer of a more spiritual answer being given here. Jesus had mentioned before that those who did not accept Him would remain dead in their trespasses and sins. He therefore was clearly telling this disciple that he ought to allow some relative who did not believe in Jesus to bury the man's father when he eventually died.
Christ forced this disciple to also stop and choose. Remain caring for his father, or follow God. Which would it be? The man clearly was placed at a crossroads and must choose which path to take in his life. As do we all when Christ calls us to come and follow Him.
23: And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.
24: And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.
25: And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish (8:23-25).
What a great illustration of what Christian life can be! Jesus goes somewhere, and the disciples follow Him. That's us! But then in the midst of following where God is bent on going a vicious storm erupts all around us, threatening to take our lives. We are all going to drown! Where's God? Doesn't He even care that we are in dire peril? Oh woe is us!
What did the disciples do? They go and wake Jesus up from a sound sleep to tell Him something which He already knew. And what was Christ's incredible answer to their report?
26: And He said to them, Why are you scared, O you of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (8:26).
Jesus rebuked them. They had such little faith in Him. They hadn't gotten the message yet. They kept forgetting that He was God in the flesh. Nothing was greater than He, nothing was impossible for Him to do. Then Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea. The word used for rebuke here is "muzzle." Jesus literally throttled the winds and the sea just like we would muzzle a dangerous dog. He rendered them harmless.
The really splendid concept coming from out of this passage is the fact that many of these same men later on prayed for God to give them boldness to speak His word in the face of wicked persecution. None of them whined about the fact that they could very well be dead quite soon.
That is all for tonight beloved. Next time I shall move on to the account of Jesus casting the demons out of two Gergesenes. Until then, grace and peace be yours!
Thu, Sep 8th - 7:51PM
II SAMUEL STUDY
1: Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said.
2: The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.
3: The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God (23:1-3).
Identification is clearly made in verse one as to who is speaking here. It is David, the son of Jesse. It is David the anointed of God, who was the psalmist of Israel. We also find that the Holy Spirit spoke to David, giving him the words to speak. This is the exact same God who took conniving Jacob and made him nation Israel, a prince with God. It is the same God who took young David and aided him in defeating Goliath in battle, who put him upon the throne of all Israel. It is the exact same God who saved me and can also save you. He is the same gracious, loving, and good God.
King David wrote music, played music, and thoroughly enjoyed dancing and listening to music. We learn in these three verses that David was inspired by the Holy Spirit in writing the psalms found in the Bible. Peter has told us that that is the exact way men spoke the words of the Old Testament (II Peter 1:20-21).
It is quite obvious over the past ten to fifteen years (at least) that the decisions made in the American government have not been made "in the fear of God." They are made in the fear of the "voters." Little effort is made to please God and every effort made to please the lobbyists, special interest groups, and party leaders. America is not a Christian nation. Politicians pander to the public in order to garner enough votes to become elected and then re-elected to office. Once in office they rarely do what is right for the benefit of everyone in the nation. They also refuse to make the difficult choices if it means that they will be voted out in the next election. All because they do not fear God.
4: And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain (23:4).
If you recall, in II Samuel 7 we read the Davidic Covenant which God made with the king. The future kingdom of Jesus Christ was to be founded upon this covenant, providing for David the promise of posterity in his house, a royal throne of authority, and a kingdom on earth established forever. The divine promise was that the Messiah would come through the lineage of David. He is the same One as promised to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He is the same One promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses spoke of this same One. Joshua spoke about this One. David’s covenant concerns the Messiah.
As much as verse four speaks to us of how a “just ruler” must act, it also speaks to us of the qualities of the coming Messiah, the Prince of Peace.
5: Although my house be not so with God; yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although He make it not to grow (23:5).
King David understood that his household, his family, fell far short of being worthy of such a prestigious honor. This covenant did not become David’s because of his meriting it. He did not earn it, God chose to give it to him. And as God made an everlasting covenant with David, just so has He made an everlasting covenant with you and I. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish (John 3:16).”
God covenants with each of us when we choose to believe in Christ Jesus, that we shall not perish. God willingly does this with us. God does not wait for us to suggest that He do this, He already took the necessary steps long ago to provide us with this option. David understood that this body
covenant was his salvation, that there was no other way to achieve redemption. It was what he desired and it ought to become what we desire as well above all other things.
That is all for tonight my friends. All of you who have been forced to contend with flood waters, I wish you safety and to be strengthened by God in order to endure temporary hardships. I pray for God to enable you to reach out to those around you who are in desperate need. May the grace and peace of Christ our Lord be with you all.
Fri, Sep 2nd - 7:16PM
II SAMUEL STUDY
40: For You have girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me have You subdued under me.
41: You have also given me the necks of my enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
42: They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but He answered them not.
43: Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.
44: You also have delivered me from the strivings of my people, You have kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me (22:40-44).
God made his way perfect (v. 33), gave him success in all his undertakings, set him upon his high places (v. 34), signifying both safety and dignity. God’s gentleness, His grace and tender mercy, made him great (v. 36), gave him great wealth, and great authority, and a name like that of the great men of the earth. He was kept to be the head of the heathen (v. 44); his unique preservations showed that he was designed and reserved for something great—to rule over all Israel, notwithstanding the strivings of the people, and so that those whom he had not known should serve him, many of the nations that lay far away from Israel.
45: Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.
46: Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.
47: The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation (22:45-47).
David comprehended that God had enabled him to be militarily successful his entire life. He also understood that strangers in other, unknown lands would willingly submit themselves to his rule because of his reputation. Verse 47 reveals David's knowledge of the divine: God was his rock, his salvation. No one and nothing else could provide salvation, only Jehovah. David had already acknowledged the fact that God had preserved him from the rebellions of his own people over the years and that this protection had created quite the word of mouth reputation which preceded his name abroad in the lands of the heathen. We are to acknowledge that Christ is our rock, the rock of our salvation, and that He preserves us through the strivings of our own families, friends, and fellow believers.
48: It is God that avenges me, and that brings down the people under me,
49: And that brings me out from my enemies: You also have lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: You have delivered me from the violent man.
50:Therefore I will give thanks unto You, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Your name.
51: He is the tower of salvation for His king: and shows mercy to His anointed, unto David, and to His seed for evermore (22:48-51).
Clearly, David tells us that revenge properly belongs to God alone. Man clutches revenge to himself but fails to carry it out properly. David voices his belief, which has arisen from personal experience, that God delivers the righteous man from his enemies. God guides the footsteps of His anointed people through the minefields of life. In verse 51 is revealed reference to future events. We see a progression presented to us. God is the tower of salvation for His king (David and Christ Jesus), God shows mercy to His anointed (David and Christ Jesus), and shows mercy also to His seed for evermore. "Seed" is singular and not plural in this verse. This reveals the reference to Jesus Christ in the future who will come to be King of kings and Lord of lords by assuming the Davidic throne through the shared lineage.
Thus the Son of David "goes on conquering and to conquer, (Rev. 6:2.)" His gospel, which has been victorious, shall be more and more so. For His seed: He showed mercy to His Messiah (v. 51), not only to David himself, but to that seed of his for evermore. David was himself anointed of God, not a usurper, but duly called to the government and qualified for it; therefore he doubted not but God would show mercy to him, that mercy which he had promised not to take from him nor from his posterity (ch. 7:15, 16); on that promise he depends, with an eye to Christ, who alone is his seed for evermore, whose throne and kingdom still continue, and will to the end, whereas the seed and lineage of David are long since extinct. See Ps. 89:28, 29. Thus all his joys and all his hopes terminate, as ours should, in the great Redeemer.
That concludes chapter twenty-two beloved. The next chapter reveals to us David's last words and a listing of his mighty men of valor. That is for next time when we gather together at this site. Grace and peace be with all of you in these times of economic uncertainty, when natural disasters seemingly occur every month if not on a weekly basis.
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