The Coming of a Deliverer
long centuries of "trouble and darkness" and "dimness of
anguish" (Isaiah 8:22) marking the history of mankind from the day
our first parents lost their Eden home, to the time the Son of God
appeared as the Saviour of sinners, the hope of the fallen race was
centered in the coming of a Deliverer to free men and women from the
bondage of sin and the grave.
intimation of such a hope was given to Adam and Eve in the sentence
pronounced upon the serpent in Eden when the Lord declared to Satan in
their hearing, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and
between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.
As the guilty
pair listened to these words, they were inspired with hope; for in the
prophecy concerning the breaking of Satan's power they discerned a promise
from the ruin wrought through transgression. Though they must suffer from
the power of their adversary because they had fallen under his seductive
influence and had chosen to disobey the plain command of Jehovah, yet they
need not yield to utter despair. The Son of God was offering to atone with
His own lifeblood for their transgression. To them was to be granted a
period of probation, during which, through faith in the power of Christ to
save, they might become once more the children of God.
means of his success in turning man aside from the path of obedience,
became "the god of this world." 2 Corinthians 4:4. The dominion
that once was Adam's passed to the usurper. But the Son of God proposed to
come to this earth to pay the penalty of sin, and thus not only redeem
man, but recover the dominion forfeited. It is of this restoration that
Micah prophesied when he said, "O Tower of the flock, the stronghold
of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first
dominion." Micah 4:8. The apostle Paul has referred to it as
"the redemption of the purchased possession." Ephesians 1:14.
And the psalmist had in mind the same final restoration of man's original
inheritance when he declared, "The righteous shall inherit the land,
and dwell therein forever." Psalm 37:29.
This hope of
redemption through the advent of the Son of God as Saviour and King, has
never become extinct in the hearts of men. From the beginning there have
been some whose faith has reached out beyond the shadows of the present to
the realities of the future. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Shem,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--
and other worthies the Lord has preserved the precious revealings of His
will. And it was thus that to the children of Israel, the chosen people
through whom was to be given to the world the promised Messiah, God
imparted a knowledge of the requirements of His law, and of the salvation
to be accomplished through the atoning sacrifice of His beloved Son.
The hope of
Israel was embodied in the promise made at the time of the call of
Abraham, and afterward repeated again and again to his posterity, "In
thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:3. As
the purpose of God for the redemption of the race was unfolded to Abraham,
the Sun of Righteousness shone upon his heart, and his darkness was
scattered. And when, at last, the Saviour Himself walked and talked among
the sons of men, He bore witness to the Jews of the patriarch's bright
hope of deliverance through the coming of a Redeemer. "Your father
Abraham rejoiced to see My day," Christ declared; "and he saw
it, and was glad." John 8:56.
blessed hope was foreshadowed in the benediction pronounced by the dying
patriarch Jacob upon his son Judah:
thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise:
shall be in the neck of thine enemies;
children shall bow down before thee. . . .
shall not depart from Judah,
lawgiver from between his feet,
And unto Him
shall the gathering of the people be."
Again, on the
borders of the Promised Land, the coming of the world's Redeemer was
foretold in the prophecy uttered by Balaam:
see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but
come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter
out of Israel,
smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all
Moses, God's purpose to send His Son as the Redeemer of the fallen race,
was kept before Israel. On one occasion, shortly before his death, Moses
declared, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from
the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall
hearken." Plainly had Moses been instructed for Israel concerning the
work of the Messiah to come. "I will raise them up a Prophet from
among their brethren, like unto thee," was the word of Jehovah to His
servant; "and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto
them all that I shall command Him." Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.
patriarchal times the sacrificial offerings connected with divine worship
constituted a perpetual reminder of the coming of a Saviour, and thus it
was with the entire ritual of the sanctuary services throughout Israel's
history. In the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the temple that
afterward took its place, the people were taught each day, by means of
types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as
Redeemer, Priest, and King; and
year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great
controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the
universe from sin and sinners. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic
ritual were ever pointing toward a better service, even a heavenly. The
earthly sanctuary was "a figure for the time then present," in
which were offered both gifts and sacrifices; its two holy places were
"patterns of things in the heavens;" for Christ, our great High
Priest, is today "a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true
tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Hebrews 9:9, 23;
From the day
the Lord declared to the serpent in Eden, "I will put enmity between
thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed" (Genesis
3:15), Satan has known that he can never hold absolute sway over the
inhabitants of this world. When Adam and his sons began to offer the
ceremonial sacrifices ordained by God as a type of the coming Redeemer,
Satan discerned in these a symbol of communion between earth and heaven.
During the long centuries that have followed, it has been his constant
effort to intercept this communion. Untiringly has he sought to
misrepresent God and to misinterpret the rites pointing to the Saviour,
and with a great majority of the members of the human family he has been
While God has
desired to teach men that from His own love comes the Gift which
reconciles them to Himself, the archenemy of mankind has endeavored to
represent God as one who delights in their destruction. Thus the
sacrifices and the ordinances designed of Heaven to reveal divine
been perverted to serve as means whereby sinners have vainly hoped to
propitiate, with gifts and good works, the wrath of an offended God. At
the same time, Satan has sought to arouse and strengthen the evil passions
of men in order that through repeated transgression multitudes might be
led on and on, far from God, and hopelessly bound with the fetters of sin.
written word was given through the Hebrew prophets, Satan studied with
diligence the messages concerning the Messiah. Carefully he traced the
words that outlined with unmistakable clearness Christ's work among men as
a suffering sacrifice and as a conquering king. In the parchment rolls of
the Old Testament Scriptures he read that the One who was to appear was to
be "brought as a lamb to the slaughter," "His visage . . .
so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men."
Isaiah 53:7; 52:14. The promised Saviour of humanity was to be
"despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief; . . . smitten of God, and afflicted;" yet He was also to
exercise His mighty power in order to "judge the poor of the
people." He was to "save the children of the needy," and
"break in pieces the oppressor." Isaiah 53:3, 4; Psalm 72:4.
These prophecies caused Satan to fear and tremble; yet he relinquished not
his purpose to thwart, if possible, the merciful provisions of Jehovah for
the redemption of the lost race. He determined to blind the eyes of the
people, so far as might be possible, to the real significance of the
in order to
prepare the way for the rejection of Christ at His coming.
centuries immediately preceding the Flood, success had attended Satan's
efforts to bring about a worldwide prevalence of rebellion against God.
And even the lessons of the Deluge were not long held in remembrance. With
artful insinuations Satan again led the children of men step by step into
bold rebellion. Again he seemed about to triumph, but God's purpose for
fallen man was not thus to be set aside. Through the posterity of faithful
Abraham, of the line of Shem, a knowledge of Jehovah's beneficent designs
was to be preserved for the benefit of future generations. From time to
time divinely appointed messengers of truth were to be raised up to call
attention to the meaning of the sacrificial ceremonies, and especially to
the promise of Jehovah concerning the advent of the One toward whom all
the ordinances of the sacrificial system pointed. Thus the world was to be
kept from universal apostasy.
the most determined opposition was the divine purpose carried out. In
every way possible the enemy of truth and righteousness worked to cause
the descendants of Abraham to forget their high and holy calling, and to
turn aside to the worship of false gods. And often his efforts were all
but successful. For centuries preceding Christ's first advent, darkness
covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Satan was throwing his
hellish shadow athwart the pathway of men, that he might prevent them from
gaining a knowledge of God and of the future world.
were sitting in the shadow of death. Their only hope was for this gloom to
be lifted, that God might be revealed.
prophetic vision David, the anointed of God, had foreseen that the coming
of Christ should be "as the light of the morning, when the sun
riseth, even a morning without clouds." 2 Samuel 23:4. And Hosea
testified, "His going forth is prepared as the morning." Hosea
6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the
shadow of darkness and waking the earth to life. So was the Sun of
Righteousness to arise, "with healing in His wings." Malachi
4:2. The multitudes dwelling "in the land of the shadow of
death" were to see "a great light." Isaiah 9:2.
Isaiah, looking with rapture upon this glorious deliverance, exclaimed:
a Child is born,
Unto us a Son
government shall be upon His shoulder:
And His name
shall be called
Counselor, The mighty God,
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
increase of His government and peace
be no end,
throne of David,
And upon His
To order it,
and to establish it
and with justice
henceforth even forever.
The zeal of
the Lord of hosts will perform this."
In the later
centuries of Israel's history prior to the first advent it was generally
understood that the coming of the
referred to in the prophecy, "It is a light thing that Thou shouldest
be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the
preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles,
that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth."
"The glory of the Lord shall be revealed," the prophet had
foretold, "and all flesh shall see it together." Isaiah 49:6;
40:5. It was of this light of men that John the Baptist afterward
testified so boldly, when he proclaimed, "I am the voice of one
crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the
prophet Esaias." John 1:23.
It was to
Christ that the prophetic promise was given: "Thus saith the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to
Him whom the nation abhorreth, . . . thus saith the Lord, . . . I will
preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish
the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest
say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show
yourselves. . . . They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat
nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even
by the springs of water shall He guide them." Isaiah 49:7-10.
among the Jewish nation, descendants of that holy line through whom a
knowledge of God had been preserved, strengthened their faith by dwelling
on these and similar passages. With exceeding joy they read how the Lord
would anoint One "to preach good tidings unto the meek,"
"to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim
the captives," and to declare "the acceptable year of the
Lord." Isaiah 61:1, 2. Yet their hearts were filled with sadness as
they thought of the sufferings He must endure in order to fulfill the
divine purpose. With deep humiliation of soul they traced the words in the
hath believed our report?
And to whom
is the arm of the Lord revealed?
shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root
out of a dry ground:
He hath no
form nor comeliness;
And when we
shall see Him,
There is no
beauty that we should desire Him.
despised and rejected of men;
A Man of
Sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
And we hid as
it were our faces from Him;
despised, and we esteemed Him not.
He hath borne our griefs,
Yet we did
esteem Him stricken,
God, and afflicted.
was wounded for our transgressions,
bruised for our iniquities:
chastisement of our peace was upon Him;
And with His
stripes we are healed.
like sheep have gone astray;
turned everyone to his own way;
And the Lord
hath laid on Him
of us all.
oppressed, and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened
not His mouth:
He is brought
as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a
sheep before her shearers is dumb,
So He openeth
not His mouth.
taken from prison and from judgment:
And who shall
declare His generation?
For He was
cut off out of the land of the living:
transgression of My people was He stricken.
made His grave with the wicked,
And with the
rich in His death;
had done no violence,
any deceit in His mouth."
suffering Saviour Jehovah Himself declared through Zechariah, "Awake,
O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow."
Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was to
suffer under divine justice. He was to understand what justice meant. He
was to know what it means for sinners to stand before God without an
psalmist the Redeemer had prophesied of Himself:
hath broken My heart;
And I am full
And I looked
for some to take pity,
But there was
But I found
They gave Me
also gall for My meat;
And in My
thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink."
treatment He was to receive, He prophesied, "Dogs have compassed Me:
the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My
feet. I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me. They part My
garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture." Psalm 22:16-18.
portrayals of the bitter suffering and cruel death of the Promised One,
sad though they were, were rich in promise; for of Him whom "it
pleased the Lord to bruise" and to put to grief, in order that He
might become "an offering for sin," Jehovah declared:
shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see
of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied:
knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many;
For He shall
bear their iniquities.
will I divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall
divide the spoil with the strong;
hath poured out His soul unto death:
And He was
numbered with the transgressors;
And He bare
the sin of many,
intercession for the transgressors."
It was love
for sinners that led Christ to pay the price of redemption. "He saw
that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor,"
none other could ransom men and women from the power of the enemy;
"therefore His arm brought salvation unto him; and His righteousness,
it sustained him." Isaiah 59:16.
My Servant, whom I uphold;
in whom My soul delighteth;
I have put My
Spirit upon Him:
bring forth judgment to the Gentiles."
In His life
no self-assertion was to be mingled. The homage which the world gives to
position, to wealth, and to talent, was to be foreign to the Son of God.
None of the means that men employ to win allegiance or to command
the Messiah to use. His utter renunciation of self was foreshadowed in the
shall not cry,
Nor lift up,
Nor cause His
voice to be heard in the street.
reed shall He not break,
smoking flax shall He not quench."
Verses 2, 3.
contrast to the teachers of His day was the Saviour to conduct Himself
among men. In His life no noisy disputation, no ostentatious worship, no
act to gain applause, was ever to be witnessed. The Messiah was to be hid
in God, and God was to be revealed in the character of His Son. Without a
knowledge of God, humanity would be eternally lost. Without divine help,
men and women would sink lower and lower. Life and power must be imparted
by Him who made the world. Man's necessities could be met in no other way.
further prophesied of the Messiah: "He shall not fail nor be
discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall
wait for His law." The Son of God was to "magnify the law, and
make it honorable." Verses 4, 21. He was not to lessen its importance
and binding claims; He was rather to exalt it. At the same time He was to
free the divine precepts from those burdensome exactions placed upon them
by man, whereby many were brought to discouragement in their efforts to
serve God acceptably.
mission of the Saviour the word of Jehovah was: "I the Lord have
called Thee in righteousness, and will hold Thine hand, and will keep
Thee, and give Thee for
a covenant of
the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring
out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of
the prison house. I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not
give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Behold, the former
things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring
forth I tell you of them." Verses 6-9.
promised Seed, the God of Israel was to bring deliverance to Zion.
"There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch
shall grow out of his roots." "Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall
He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good."
Isaiah 11:1; 7:14, 15.
Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in
the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes,
neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness
shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the
earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with
the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall
be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His
reins." "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, which
shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek:
and His rest shall be glorious." Isaiah 11:2-5, 10.
the Man whose name is the Branch; . . . He shall build the temple of the
Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne;
and He shall be a priest upon His throne." Zechariah 6:12, 13.
was to be opened "for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13:1);
the sons of men were to hear the blessed invitation:
everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,
And he that
hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
buy wine and milk
and without price.
do ye spend money for that which is not bread?
labor for that which satisfieth not?
diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good,
And let your
soul delight itself in fatness.
your ear, and come unto Me:
your soul shall live;
And I will
make an everlasting covenant with you,
Even the sure
mercies of David."
To Israel the
promise was made: "Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the
people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a
nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run
unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for
He hath glorified thee." Verses 4, 5.
near My righteousness; it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not
tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory."
In word and
in deed the Messiah, during His earthly ministry, was to reveal to mankind
the glory of God the Father. Every act of His life, every word spoken,
every miracle wrought, was to make known to fallen humanity the infinite
love of God.
that bringest good tidings,
Get thee up
into the high mountain;
that bringest good tidings,
Lift up thy
voice with strength;
Lift it up,
be not afraid;
Say unto the
cities of Judah, Behold your God!
the Lord God will come with strong hand,
And His arm
shall rule for Him:
reward is with Him,
And His work
He shall feed
His flock like a shepherd:
gather the lambs with His arm,
them in His bosom,
gently lead those that are with young."
that day shall the deaf hear the words of the Book,
And the eyes
of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
The meek also
shall increase their joy in the Lord,
And the poor
among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of
also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,
And they that
murmured shall learn doctrine."
patriarchs and prophets, as well as through types and symbols, God spoke
to the world concerning the coming of a Deliverer from sin. A long line of
inspired prophecy pointed to the advent of "the Desire of all
nations." Haggai 2:7. Even the very place of His birth and the time
of His appearance were minutely specified.
The Son of
David must be born in David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet,
"shall He come forth ... that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings
forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2,
thou Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Art in no
wise least among the princes of Judah:
For out of
thee shall come forth a Governor,
be Shepherd of My people Israel."
The time of
the first advent and of some of the chief events clustering about the
Saviour's lifework was made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel.
"Seventy weeks," said the angel, "are determined upon thy
people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an
end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in
everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to
anoint the most holy." Daniel 9:24. A day in prophecy stands for a
year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred
and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point
for this period is given: "Know therefore and understand, that from
the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto
the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two
weeks" (Daniel 9:25), sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and
eighty-three years. The commandment to restore and build
completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, went into effect in the
autumn of 457 B.C. See Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9. From this time four hundred and
eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the
prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In
A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit
and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed,
"The time is fulfilled." Mark 1:15.
the angel, "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week
[seven years]." For seven years after the Saviour entered on His
ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews; for three
and a half years by Christ Himself, and afterward by the apostles.
"In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease." Daniel 9:27. In the spring of A.D. 31, Christ,
the true Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple
was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the
sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly
sacrifice and oblation to cease.
week--seven years--ended in A.D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the
Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were
scattered abroad by persecution "went everywhere preaching the
word" (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was
converted and became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles.
prophecies concerning the Saviour's advent led the Hebrews to live in an
attitude of constant expectancy.
Many died in
the faith, not having received the promises. But having seen them afar
off, they believed and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on
the earth. From the days of Enoch the promises repeated through patriarchs
and prophets had kept alive the hope of His appearing.
Not at first
had God revealed the exact time of the first advent; and even when the
prophecy of Daniel made this known, not all rightly interpreted the
century passed away; finally the voices of the prophets ceased. The hand
of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel. As the Jews departed from God,
faith grew dim, and hope well-nigh ceased to illuminate the future. The
words of the prophets were uncomprehended by many; and those whose faith
should have continued strong were ready to exclaim, "The days are
prolonged, and every vision faileth." Ezekiel 12:22. But in heaven's
council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined; and
"when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, . .
. to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the
adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4, 5.
be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the
covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. He, the
author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance,
which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the
plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old
Testament must be fully set before men.
Saviour finally appeared "in the likeness of men" (Philippians
2:7), and began His ministry of grace, Satan could but bruise the heel,
while by every act of humiliation or suffering Christ was bruising the
head of His adversary. The anguish that sin has brought was poured into
the bosom of the Sinless; yet while Christ endured the contradiction of
sinners against Himself, He was paying the debt for sinful man and
breaking the bondage in which humanity had been held. Every pang of
anguish, every insult, was working out the deliverance of the race.
have induced Christ to yield to a single temptation, could he have led Him
by one act or even thought to stain His perfect purity, the prince of
darkness would have triumphed over man's Surety and would have gained the
whole human family to himself. But while Satan could distress, he could
not contaminate. He could cause agony, but not defilement. He made the
life of Christ one long scene of conflict and trial, yet with every attack
he was losing his hold upon humanity.
wilderness of temptation, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross,
our Saviour measured weapons with the prince of darkness. His wounds
became the trophies of His victory in behalf of the race. When Christ hung
in agony upon the cross, while evil spirits rejoiced and evil men reviled,
then indeed His heel was bruised by Satan. But that very act was crushing
the serpent's head. Through death He destroyed "him that had the
power of death, that is, the devil." Hebrews 2:14. This act decided
the destiny of the rebel chief, and made forever sure the plan of
death He gained the victory over its power; in rising again, He opened the
gates of the grave to all His followers. In that last great contest we see
fulfilled the prophecy, "It shall bruise thy head, and thou shall
bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.
now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall
see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2. Our Redeemer has opened the way, so
that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may
find access to the Father.
Thou art my God;
I will exalt
I will praise
For Thou hast
done wonderful things;
of old are faithfulness and truth."