Why do many not know that Adam & Eve were saved in Genesis 3:15?

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Col33, Aug 22, 2019.

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  1. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    The Belgic Confession
    beautifully explains how our merciful God saved our First Parents when He spoke the Proto-Evangelium in their hearing. Yes! God literally spoke the Gospel for the first time in Genesis 3:15.

    Article 17: Of the Recovery of Fallen Man.

    We believe that our most gracious God, in his admirable wisdom and goodness, seeing that man had thus thrown himself into temporal and eternal death, and made himself wholly miserable, was pleased to seek and comfort him, when he trembling [1] fled from his presence, promising him that he would give his Son, who should be made of a woman, to bruise the head of the serpent, and would make him happy.[2]

    [1] Genesis 3:8-9, 19; Isaiah 65:1-2
    [2] Hebrews 2:14; Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 7:14; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 7:14; Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4

    Genesis 3:15 And 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.

    How can so many Christians not know this? I have met countless "Calvinistic" Baptists (not confessional) who argue against this reformed teaching, for example.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Some people just feel as if the Bible isn't specific enough, that it doesn't spell out any act or word as evidence of saving faith from Adam. Scripture emphasizes the contrast between Adam's fall and Christ's redemption, and to some readers this means that Adam should be ever after regarded as the one who fell and continued fallen.

    For my part, I think a proper evaluation of the admittedly scant textual data should err on the side of hope and magnanimous treatment. We are obliged even to honor our first parents in the Lord. I think it took some measure of faith in the promise of Gen.3:15 to take even a single step forward after God passed his sentence. I interpret the act described in Gen.4:1, "Adam knew Eve his wife," as a statement of faith.

    Likewise, 4:25, which testifies of the same act only following the devastating murder (an act of faithlessness) of son Abel. Instead of resignation and defeat, Adam defies Satan's effort at unmaking God's good creation. I think together our first parents sought to teach Seth (and other children) the faith to be passed on. Someone taught faith in redemption promise, godly ethics, and acceptable worship to another generation (unless one thinks God just continued to make new personal revelation of his will).

    I don't think you should make your personal experience (which may be limited) respecting "countless" of this or that identity your yardstick of what such and such believe (as a group). Even if the best view (which we always think our own is) is less prevalent among others than your own tribe--and maybe there's a reason for that--some percentage of your own kind are likely to hold some variation of a contrary view based on a rival-but-sincere interpretation of the relevant data. Be careful about generalizing.

    Be strong, but also winsome and peaceable by the grace of God, in vigorously attesting of your own devotional commitment.
     
  3. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    It seems reasonable that many might not see it because the Bible contains many more conclusive examples of people "being made happy" through the gospel. The clarity of Adam's case pales in comparison to that of Lydia, for example.

    People don't often hear sermons use Gen 3 to teach things like assurance of God's, or peace of conscience, or joy in the Holy Spirit.
     
  4. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Eve's regeneration I take to be pretty explicit through Genesis 3:15, as the enmity is first described as being between the snake and Eve, "the woman." Adam's isn't necessarily explicit here, but I think the rest of chapter 3 fleshes it out not only in the fact that naming her Eve is a reference most likely to the coming Living One; but even in just the fact that he names her "Life" because she is the mother of all the living. Think of all the things Adam COULD have named her after she was duped by the snake. But Adam chooses not to opt for "gullible" or "naive" or "tempter". In naming her what he does he's bestowing dignity and honor upon her. Which I don't think could happen apart from a monumental change having taken place in Adam.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  5. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Dear Rev. Buchanan,

    Ii sincerely didn't mean it like it sounded, but now I understand how what I said can be interpreted as generalizing & stereotyping a specific group.

    Please allow me to explain.

    I actually learned this Doctrine from a "Reformed Baptist" church confessing the 1689 2LBCF

    This is why I was so surprised later when I met literally "countless" Calvinistic Baptists who are not confessional, (many are Dispensationalists, and many Pre-Millennial Eschatology), in at least 20 different Facebook Reformed Groups while participating in debates & discussions about this theology. None from those camps agreed with the "Reformed".

    In fact, those Non-Confessional Calvinistic "5 Pointer" Baptists were not considered truly reformed by most of the other group members, by the way. Just like John MacArthur is not reformed and not confessional.

    And in those same debates and discussion the 3 Forms of Unity believers all agreed with Belgic Article 17.

    Many of the various other kinds of reformed paedobaptists including Presbyterians did also agree.

    So I don't think I am stereotyping or generalizing.

    These observations were made by many far more knowledgeable than I, and were well documented in Facebook threads.

    I think, but am not certain, that it is the pervasive influence of Pre-Millennial Eschatology & Dispensationlism among Baptists that crossed the line into Calvinistic "5 Points" Baptists, that cause such a departure from this well believed, well defended Doctrine from historical theologians.

    This is why I asked the question.

    Thank you for your time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  6. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for your insights.
     
  7. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    You have lovely insights regarding how Adam's heart must have been changed.

    and Yes! I have always been touched how Adam named Eve the mother of all living after God revealed the future, her seed, the promise, and the victory.

    Thank you.
     
  8. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Rev. Buchanan,
    Thanks, as usual for your thoughtful posts.

    Below is Author Pink's take on the fate of the fallen man Adam. It's only a portion of the section, but it is longer than some may take the time to read, so I highlighted in red the parts most to the point and also underlined what I consider most important. Understand also that I lean strongly in the salvation of Adam and Eve, but Pink did not.

    =======

    CONSEQUENCES FOR ADAM

    We have dwelt at some length on the origin of human depravity and the divine imputation of the guilt of Adam’s transgression to all his descendants. We now consider the consequences entailed by the fall. Abominable indeed is sin, fearful are the wages it earns, dreadful are the effects it has produced. In sin’s consequences we are shown the holy One’s estimate of sin, the severity of His punishment expressing His hatred of it. Conversely the terrible doom of Adam makes evident the enormity of his offense. That offense is not to be measured by the external act of eating the fruit, but by the awful affront which was made against God’s majesty. In his single sin there was a complication of many crimes. There was base ingratitude against the One who had so richly endowed him, and discontent with the good heritage allotted him. There was a disbelief of the holy veracity of God, a doubting of His word and a believing of the serpent’s lie. There was a repudiation of the infinite obligations he was under to love and serve his Maker, a preferring of his own will and way. There was a contempt of God’s high authority, a breaking of His covenant, a defiance of His solemn threat. The curse of heaven fell upon him because he deliberately and presumptuously defied the Almighty.

    Very much more was included and involved in Adam’s transgression than is commonly supposed or recognized. Three hundred years ago that profound theologian James Ussher pointed out that wrapped up in it was “the breach of the whole Law of God.” Summarizing in our own language what the Bishop of Armagh developed at length, Adam’s violation of all the Ten Commandments of the moral law may be set forth thus: He broke the first commandment by choosing another “god” when he followed the counsel of Satan. The second, in idolizing his palate, making a god of his belly by eating the forbidden fruit. The third, by not believing God’s threatening, in that way taking His name in vain. The fourth, by breaking the sinless rest in which he had been placed. The fifth, by thus dishonoring his Father in heaven. The sixth, by bringing death on himself and all his posterity. The seventh, by committing spiritual adultery, and preferring the creature above the Creator. The eighth, by laying hands upon that to which he had no right. The ninth, by accepting the serpent’s false witness against God. The tenth, by coveting that which God had not given to him.

    We by no means share the popular idea that the Lord saved Adam very soon after his fall; rather we take decided exception to that theory. We cannot find anything whatever in Holy Writ on which to base such a belief; in fact, we find much to the contrary. First it is clear that Adam’s sin was not one of infirmity, but instead a presumptuous one, pertaining to that class of willful sins and open defiance of God for which no sacrifice was provided (Exodus 21:14; Num. 15:30–31; Deut. 17:12; Heb. 10:26–29), and which was therefore an unpardonable sin. There is not the slightest sign that he ever repented of his sin, nor any record of his confessing it to God. On the contrary, when charged with it, he attempted to excuse and extenuate it. Genesis 3 closes with the awful statement “So he drove out the man.” Nothing whatever is mentioned to Adam’s credit afterward: no offering of sacrifice, no acts of faith or obedience. Instead we are merely told that he knew his wife (4:1, 25), begat a son in his own likeness, and died (5:3–5). If the reader can see in those statements any intimation or indication that Adam was a regenerated man, then he has much better eyes than the writer or possibly a more lively imagination.

    Nor is there a single word in Adam’s favor in later scriptures; rather is everything to his condemnation. Job denied that he covered his transgressions or hid his iniquity in his bosom “as Adam” did (31:33). The psalmist declared that those who judged unjustly and accepted the persons of the wicked should die like Adam (82:7), for the Hebrew word there rendered “men” is Adam. In the New Testament he is contrasted in considerable detail with Christ (Rom. 5:12, 21; 1 Cor. 15:22, 45–47); and if he were saved, then the antithesis would fail at its principal point. Moreover, such an anomaly—that the great majority of those whom he represented should eternally perish, while the responsible head should be recovered—is quite out of keeping with what is revealed of God’s justice. In 1 Timothy 2:14 specific mention is made of the fact that “Adam was not deceived,” which emphasizes the enormity of his transgression. In Hebrews 11 the Holy Spirit has cited the faith of Old Testament saints, and though He mentions that of Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others, He says nothing about Adam’s! His being omitted from that list is solemnly significant. After his being driven out of Eden, Scripture makes no mention of God having any further dealing with Adam!

    Pink, A. W. (2005). Gleanings in the Scriptures: Man’s Total Depravity (pp. 57–59). Logos Bible Software.
     
  9. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    ~
    Dear Mr. Ed Walsh,

    Thank you for your participation in this thread.

    For those who have "eyes" it is abundantly clear that God mercifully saved our "First Parents" (male and female who were One Flesh).

    I disagree with Rev. Buchanan's description of scripture testimony regarding this as "scarce".

    For example: Covenant Theology must also be brought to bear on the matter. This unilateral, unconditional Covenant of Grace is initiated by God out of His love for His elect and it is a covenant of friendship. There is so much evidence that God covenanted with Adam & Eve, and the CoG is "unbreakable".

    Also, the intricately beautiful Theology of Reformed Soteriology is so clearly evident in Genesis 3.

    Of course God spoke the Proto-Evangelium in the "hearing" of Adam & Eve because "Faith Cometh by Hearing" (Romans 10:17),

    and "The Gospel (Proto-Evangelium) is the Power of God unto Salvation" (Romans 1:16)

    Adam's heart was clearly changed, and God provided "adequate" (not scarce) evidence of this.

    Sadly, AW Pink was blind to this. Only God knows why he was blind to it.

    Again, thank you for your contribution to this thread. Lord's blessings to you.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  10. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    As a younger Christian, I loved pink and voraciously read his works--most of them, but the more I learned about God's wonderful Covenant of Grace and just kindness to even people like me. Pink tried to emulate the Puritans, but there was a certain hardness about him, and you could get the feeling of a Works--Righteousness while reading some of his work. All in all, I do still like Arthur Pink. But I find I seldom read him anymore.

    As one (of the few) who is hopeful about the future of the Kingdom of God in this present world, I believe the Covenant made with our first parents has powerful implications for the entire race as prophesied in more detail to our father Abraham's being a blessing to the whole world.

    And His abundant blessings to you too. I appreciate the gentle way that you wrote your post.

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  11. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    Marie,
    As a Reformed Baptist, I have to say that most of RB's in my acquaintance (though I haven't taken a poll), would believe that Adam and Eve were saved. I can't speak for everyone claiming to be RB (it's a broad umbrella these days), but it seems pretty standard to suppose that the line of Seth were instructed in the fear of God while the line of Cain went off the rails. Who would have instructed them? How did Abel know about God if Adam hadn't been restored to some sort of communion? How did men begin to call on the name of the Lord if no one had the least regard for Him? How would Enoch walk with God if he hadn't learned about God? It seems absurd to suppose that God would promise Grace to the race of Adam and Eve--personally promise it to them--and then abandon them to darkness.
    I think the danger of Facebook groups is that they're not very well moderated--it's a nasty Wild West environment out there, and things escalate fast. I avoid such groups--this is the only place online that I discuss theology--and I do it here only because I appreciate the climate of charity which the moderators hold us to.
     
  12. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    While I agree that it seems likely Adam and Eve were saved, I also have to acknowledge that Genesis doesn't seem very interested in telling us with certainty. And when Adam is mentioned in the rest of Scripture, it is often with the point that sin came to mankind through him. That, it seems, is the more important point for us to know.

    When we ask "who will be saved?" the opening chapters of Genesis point us instead to the account of Cain and Abel. There are two paths: the path of sin and the path of faith. And it is Abel, not Adam, who is presented as the prototypical man of faith. It is also Seth, of course. And yes, I think we can assume Abel was instructed in faith by his parents. But on this matter of faith, Abel gets the most ink—especially when we also consider Matthew 23:35, Hebrews 11:4, and Hebrews 12:24.

    So, when I teach about God's promise of salvation after the fall, I usually point to Genesis 3:15. But if I'm trying to show that there were believers who had faith after the fall, I'll typically teach about Abel, not Adam.
     
  13. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    Dear Mr. Ben Zartman, Yes! I learned this truth about Genesis 3:15 and our First Parents being saved from 1689 2LBCF Reformed Baptist bible studies at a Church some of my friends belonged to.
    Its the "5 Pointer" non-confessional baptists that have such deficient teachings, especially those who are dispensational &/or Pre-mill.
    Many of the facebook groups I was in were well moderated in my opinion, and the moderators & admins were actively participating which helped a lot. There were a lot of "Men of God" Pastors, scholars, & theologians moderating and participating which was wonderful.

    Though, I left Facebook because it was just too exhausting for me! I am an old lady!
    .
     
  14. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Perhaps it is not as 'abundantly clear' as you think if so many cannot see it.

    If Adam's salvation is 'abundantly clear', then how do you describe the salvation of someone like Abraham?
     
  15. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    Dear Mr. Jack K,

    1) Why did God spill the first blood and cover our first parents with animal skins?
    2) Why did God speak the Gospel in their "hearing"?
    3) Why did Adam name his wife Eve?
    4) How did Cain & Abel know to make offerings to God?

    In Christ, Marie
     
  16. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    Dear Mr. KMK,

    You are a Reformed Baptist, right?

    Most Reformed Baptists affirm the salvation of Adam & Eve.

    Most modern Reformed Baptist theologians affirm this like Richard Barcellos, James Renihan, Sam Renihan, Dr. James White, etc.

    Most traditionally reformed theologians and confessions affirm this.

    Martin Luther affirmed this.

    Why don't you affirm this?

    In Christ, Marie
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  17. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I think all of those points are good evidences that Adam and Eve most likely were saved. My point is that the Bible does not seem interested in addressing the question of whether or not they were saved with the same level of certainty as we see when it mentions Abel: God was pleased with Abel's offering (Genesis 4:4), Abel was the first righteous martyr (Matthew 23:35), and Abel made his offering by faith (Hebrews 11:4).

    Where the Bible is not explicit about a matter concerning God's secret decrees, I prefer to speak of likelihood rather than express certainty.

    Also, it seems to me that the real difference between Reformed and dispensational thinking on this matter is not found in asking "Was Adam saved?" but rather in asking, "If Adam was saved, how was he saved?" The Reformed answer is that, if saved, he was saved by God's grace and through faith in Christ. The fact that he had the "proto-gospel" of Christ preached to him in Genesis 3:15, and that we can see evidence to suggest he believed what was spoken there, is why we find it likely that he was indeed saved.
     
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  18. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    Dear Jack K,

    The Belgic confession does not consider this a secret decree of God.

    It speaks with certainty, not likelihood, in Article 17 "The Recovery of Man".

    These are some of the scripture references provided Genesis 3:8-9, 19; Isaiah 65:1-2 Hebrews 2:14; Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 7:14; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 7:14; Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4

    I thank you very much for discussing this with me.

    In Christ, Marie
    .
     
  19. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I'm not sure either the Belgic or the Scripture passages referenced assert with certainty that Adam, individually, was saved. But aside from that, I think you and I would be in basic agreement that the gospel was preached to Adam and he seemed to respond well.

    Perhaps you should explain to us why you feel it is important that we assert his salvation with absolute certainty. There are many people in the Bible (not to mention those we know personally) for whom God simply has not provided that insight into his decrees.
     
  20. Col33

    Col33 Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    Dear Jack K,

    Thank you for being kind.

    I am very exhausted by all of this. I left Facebook 6 months ago because that was exhausting! I have some medical conditions. I thought I could handle Puritan Board, but I can't.

    Concerning God mercifully saving our first parents (both of them), in short, Covenant Theology is brought to bear in this too. The way the PRCA teaches the Covenant of Grace is quite beautiful. God covenanted with Adam in love and friendship. The CoG is unbreakable. So when we combine everything we do know with covenant theology it becomes crystal clear.

    And then we see the GodMan rescue Adam. It is breathtaking.

    I am not articulate enough to share from everything I have been reading and learning.

    I have been praying and praying for one of the pastors or theologians from the PRCA to come into these threads and take over for me! But that hasn't happened.

    Today will be my last day here.

    Lord's blessing to you, Marie
     
  21. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Marie, if I may suggest, perhaps you just take a rest. You'll find we usually aren't out to hammer each other here on the Puritan Board, and we don't mind much if a discussion takes a break for a while and maybe comes up again later. In fact, we encourage patience. We're reasonably easygoing and are here to learn, not to win. So if you find that some of us think a bit differently about a matter than you do, please realize that we usually bring it up so that everyone can learn, not because we want to start an argument—certainly not because we want to win an argument while someone else loses. That's not the spirit of this board. So if you can, please realize it's okay to relax here.

    Anyway, you have no obligation to keep up with this thread. Take a break if it helps, or if you need to. No one will judge you for that. But you seem smart enough, and interested enough in the sort of things we are interested in, that having you around, even just occasionally, would be a treat.
     
  22. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I do not deny the salvation of Adam and Eve.

    I just question whether it is 'abundantly clear' given the relative lack of evidence in comparison to more obvious cases.
     
  23. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Rev. Buchanan, I've been puzzling over this. While I do believe it can be inferred from scripture that Adam and Eve are members of the invisible church, I'm wondering about invoking the fifth commandment. Are you understanding Shorter Catechism #64 to extend across time rather than just contemporaneously?
     
  24. Chad Hutson

    Chad Hutson Puritan Board Freshman

    For me, I think Genesis 3:20 points to Adam believing God.
    "And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living."
    NKJV Gen 3:20.
    Is this chronological? If so, then Adam named Eve in prospect of the fulfillment of the promise of God to bear children. That's faith, believing God.
    If not chronological, then why did the Holy Spirit choose to place it here? Certainly to teach us a truth, I would think. Adam, who believed the serpent before, now believes God. There is much more to consider in Genesis 3, but I think verse 20 is significant by its placement in the narrative.
    Also, as to Cain and Abel, chapter 4:25: "And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, 'For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.'" Seth was named as "another seed", implying Abel was Eve's seed as well. She never calls Cain her seed. Not all who are of Israel are Israel.
    I agree that when teaching, it is more certain to refer to Abel than to Adam. Or even to follow Seth's line (named seed) to Enosh, who from that time "people began to call upon the name of the LORD" (4:26). It helps to see the electing grace of God and the subsequent result of calling on God. :2cents:
     
  25. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member


    Lev.19:32 "You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord."

    I think the above text makes a general application of the 5C, and it is possible to find others that also indicate the duty owed the elderly by all the young, for instance Job 15:10 (spoken by Eliphaz), "Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us/ Older than your father." The implication in context is that Job may be increasing his guilt by stubbornly refusing to take the counsel of some there who are older than his father. Were it beyond duty to expect such honor from him, the charge would carry no weight.

    No one owes unqualified honor to any man, but the loss of some degree of honor due does not translate into the removal of all honor. Even convicts, ranked among the lowest of society's members, are (according to our courts' rulings) owed common human dignity. USA society honors at least one individual as "the father of his country," even though we have no record he was the biological father of anyone. Many of his peers are venerated as "founding fathers."

    In simple terms, Adam is the actual father of all mankind, not just a metaphorical one. While we may be justly ashamed of many of our forebears, we owe the worst of them a minimum of respect for our very lives. Then too, we owe others to put the best construction on their words and deeds, especially if we wish the same done for ourselves.

    For those of whom we have the smallest record, we should be willing to entertain the best possible interpretation, and not offer skepticism for that we lack data that rises to "my" burden of proof threshold. We might reluctantly conclude that a man died apart from grace not when his bad deeds outweigh his good, but when he lacked sign of repentance.

    For a whole host of OT figures, all we know of them is that they were members of the visible church. We owe every one of them the respect we'd give to the names of our triple-great-grandfathers' generation--not only our own lineal ancestors--which we know only by their names on the dustiest page of the sessional record book.

    In addition, let us recall the words of Christ, Mt.22:32, "He is not the God of the dead, but the living." Not one who has passed from this life, believing, is dead today. Dead to us, indeed, but not to God before whom they praise. We will meet them, our fathers and mothers beside the Throne, and nothing in eternity will ever erase our specific relationship to them, or to any other human being.

    If Adam is in glory now, then he is our first ancestor according to the flesh, and he lives to God. There is no honor in covering sin that God has uncovered, but by acknowledging his guilt and our own there is hope of redemption for him and us and everyone who repents. We don't owe Adam to minimize his fall, but we should not vilify him as irredeemable. He did not forego the last vestige of our due regard.

    "With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding," Job.12:12. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Prv.9:10.

    Adam's closest rival in ancient wisdom is his son, Abel. "The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father:" Prv.10:1. David's son Solomon is preferred to his father in wisdom, though not without qualificaiton.

    David's son, Jesus, is the Ancient of days (Dan.7:22; cf. Rev.1:11,14) without any qualification. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" 1Cor.1:30. "And his name shall be called... Everlasting Father." (Is.9:6)

    Honor your fathers and your mothers.
     
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  26. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you!
     
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