Tanakh

canon of the Hebrew Bible, written mostly in Hebrew with some Aramaic

The Tanakh (Hebrew: תָּנָ״ךְ) or Mikra or Hebrew Bible is the canonical collection of Jewish texts, which is also a textual source for the Christian Old Testament.

Front page of a 17th-century Hebrew Bible.
A Hebrew Bible manuscript from 1300.
Main article: Genesis
 
"In the beginning …" (Genesis 1:1)
 
"And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)
  • וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃
    • Genesis 1:2
    • Translation:
      • And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
 
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3)
 
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." (Genesis 1:6)
 
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night." (Genesis 1:14)
  • וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְהִ֤י מְאֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַיּ֖וֹם וּבֵ֣ין הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְהָי֤וּ לְאֹתֹת֙ וּלְמ֣וֹעֲדִ֔ים וּלְיָמִ֖ים וְשָׁנִֽים׃ וְהָי֤וּ לִמְאוֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהָאִ֖יר עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃ וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־שְׁנֵ֥י הַמְּאֹרֹ֖ת הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים אֶת־הַמָּא֤וֹר הַגָּדֹל֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַיּ֔וֹם וְאֶת־הַמָּא֤וֹר הַקָּטֹן֙ לְמֶמְשֶׁ֣לֶת הַלַּ֔יְלָה וְאֵ֖ת הַכּוֹכָבִֽים׃ וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛ם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם לְהָאִ֖יר עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ וְלִמְשֹׁל֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם וּבַלַּ֔יְלָה וּֽלְהַבְדִּ֔יל בֵּ֥ין הָא֖וֹר וּבֵ֣ין הַחֹ֑שֶׁךְ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֽוֹב׃
    • Genesis 1:14–18
    • Translation:
      • And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
 
"And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron." (Genesis 4:22)
  • וְצִלָּ֣ה גַם־הִ֗וא יָֽלְדָה֙ אֶת־תּ֣וּבַל קַ֔יִן לֹטֵ֕שׁ כׇּל־חֹרֵ֥שׁ נְחֹ֖שֶׁת וּבַרְזֶ֑ל וַֽאֲח֥וֹת תּֽוּבַל־קַ֖יִן נַֽעֲמָֽה׃
 
"It was then that יהוה began to be invoked by name." (Genesis 4:26)
  • וּלְשֵׁ֤ת גַּם־הוּא֙ יֻלַּד־בֵּ֔ן וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ אֱנ֑וֹשׁ אָ֣ז הוּחַ֔ל לִקְרֹ֖א בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה׃
  • וַאֲבָֽרְכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָֽה׃
    • Genesis 12:3
    • Translation:
      • I will bless those who bless you
        And curse the one who curses you;
        And all the families of the earth
        Shall bless themselves by you.
 
"I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous." (Genesis 17:1–2)
  • וַיְהִ֣י אַבְרָ֔ם בֶּן־תִּשְׁעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְתֵ֣שַׁע שָׁנִ֑ים וַיֵּרָ֨א יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־אַבְרָ֗ם וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ אֲנִי־–אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י הִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ לְפָנַ֖י וֶהְיֵ֥ה תָמִֽים׃ וְאֶתְּנָ֥ה בְרִיתִ֖י בֵּינִ֣י וּבֵינֶ֑ךָ וְאַרְבֶּ֥ה אוֹתְךָ֖ בִּמְאֹ֥ד מְאֹֽד׃
    • Genesis 17:1–2
    • Translations:
      • When Abram was ninety-nine years old, יהוה appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous."
      • And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
      • When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
Main article: Exodus
 
"And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you." (Exodus 3:14)
 
"I am יהוה. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make Myself known to them by My name יהוה." (Exodus 6:2–3)
 
"I יהוה am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have no other gods besides Me." (Exodus 20:2–3)
 
"You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:13)
  • וְגֵ֥ר לֹא־תוֹנֶ֖ה וְלֹ֣א תִלְחָצֶ֑נּוּ כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃
  • לֹֽא־תִהְיֶ֥ה אַחֲרֵֽי־רַבִּ֖ים לְרָעֹ֑ת
  • וְשֹׁ֖חַד לֹ֣א תִקָּ֑ח כִּ֤י הַשֹּׁ֙חַד֙ יְעַוֵּ֣ר פִּקְחִ֔ים וִֽיסַלֵּ֖ף דִּבְרֵ֥י צַדִּיקִֽים׃
    • Exodus 23:8
    • Translation:
      • Thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
  • לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָֽה׃
  • כְּאֶזְרָ֣ח מִכֶּם֩ יִהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם הַגֵּ֣ר ׀ הַגָּ֣ר אִתְּכֶ֗ם וְאָהַבְתָּ֥ לוֹ֙ כָּמ֔וֹךָ כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃
    • Leviticus 19:34
    • Translation:
      • The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Main article: Book of Deuteronomy
See also: Shema Yisrael
 
"Hear, O Israel! יהוה is our God, יהוה alone." (Deuteronomy 6:4)
 
"Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. … Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6–8)
  • וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכׇל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכׇל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכׇל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃ וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ׃ וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשׇׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ׃ וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ׃ וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזֻז֥וֹת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ׃
    • Deuteronomy 6:5–9
    • Translation:
      • You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  • כִּֽי־יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ בֵּֽרַכְךָ֔ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּר־לָ֑ךְ וְהַֽעֲבַטְתָּ֞ גּוֹיִ֣ם רַבִּ֗ים וְאַתָּה֙ לֹ֣א תַעֲבֹ֔ט וּמָֽשַׁלְתָּ֙ בְּגוֹיִ֣ם רַבִּ֔ים וּבְךָ֖ לֹ֥א יִמְשֹֽׁלוּ׃
    • Deuteronomy 15:6
    • Translation:
      • For your God יהוה will bless you as promised: you will extend loans to many nations, but require none yourself; you will dominate many nations, but they will not dominate you.
 
"The Lord deals death and gives life, casts down into Sheol and raises up." (1 Samuel 2:6)
  • לְךָ֣ יְ֠הֹוָ֠ה הַגְּדֻלָּ֨ה וְהַגְּבוּרָ֤ה וְהַתִּפְאֶ֙רֶת֙ וְהַנֵּ֣צַח וְהַה֔וֹד כִּי־כֹ֖ל בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם וּבָאָ֑רֶץ לְךָ֤ יְהֹוָה֙ הַמַּמְלָכָ֔ה וְהַמִּתְנַשֵּׂ֖א לְכֹ֥ל ׀ לְרֹֽאשׁ׃ וְהָעֹ֤שֶׁר וְהַכָּבוֹד֙ מִלְּפָנֶ֔יךָ וְאַתָּה֙ מוֹשֵׁ֣ל בַּכֹּ֔ל וּבְיָדְךָ֖ כֹּ֣חַ וּגְבוּרָ֑ה וּבְיָ֣דְךָ֔ לְגַדֵּ֥ל וּלְחַזֵּ֖ק לַכֹּֽל׃ וְעַתָּ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ מוֹדִ֥ים אֲנַ֖חְנוּ לָ֑ךְ וּֽמְהַלְלִ֖ים לְשֵׁ֥ם תִּפְאַרְתֶּֽךָ׃
    • 1 Chronicles 29:11–13
    • Translation:
      • Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
Main article: Book of Job
  • כִּ֤י רִנְנַ֣ת רְ֭שָׁעִים מִקָּר֑וֹב
 
"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living … for the price of wisdom is above rubies." (Job 28:12–18)
  • וְֽ֭הַחׇכְמָה מֵאַ֣יִן תִּמָּצֵ֑א וְאֵ֥י זֶ֝֗ה מְק֣וֹם בִּינָֽה׃ לֹא־יָדַ֣ע אֱנ֣וֹשׁ עֶרְכָּ֑הּ וְלֹ֥א תִ֝מָּצֵ֗א בְּאֶ֣רֶץ הַחַיִּֽים׃ תְּה֣וֹם אָ֭מַר לֹ֣א בִי־הִ֑יא וְיָ֥ם אָ֝מַ֗ר אֵ֣ין עִמָּדִֽי׃ לֹֽא־יֻתַּ֣ן סְג֣וֹר תַּחְתֶּ֑יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִ֝שָּׁקֵ֗ל כֶּ֣סֶף מְחִירָֽהּ׃ לֹֽא־תְ֭סֻלֶּה בְּכֶ֣תֶם אוֹפִ֑יר בְּשֹׁ֖הַם יָקָ֣ר וְסַפִּֽיר׃ לֹא־יַעַרְכֶ֣נָּה זָ֭הָב וּזְכוֹכִ֑ית וּתְמ֖וּרָתָ֣הּ כְּלִי־פָֽז׃ רָאמ֣וֹת וְ֭גָבִישׁ לֹ֣א יִזָּכֵ֑ר וּמֶ֥שֶׁךְ חׇ֝כְמָ֗ה מִפְּנִינִֽים׃
    • Job 28:12–18
    • Translation:
      • But where shall wisdom be found?
        And where is the place of understanding?
        Man knoweth not the price thereof;
        neither is it found in the land of the living.
        The depth saith, It is not in me:
        and the sea saith, It is not with me.
        It cannot be gotten for gold,
        neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
        It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
        with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
        The gold and the crystal cannot equal it:
        and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
        No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
        for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
Main article: Psalms
Main article: Book of Proverbs
  • כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא חׇכְמָ֣ה בְלִבֶּ֑ךָ וְ֝דַ֗עַת לְֽנַפְשְׁךָ֥ יִנְעָֽם׃ מְ֭זִמָּה תִּשְׁמֹ֥ר עָלֶ֗יךָ תְּבוּנָ֥ה תִנְצְרֶֽכָּה׃
  • חֶ֥סֶד וֶאֱמֶ֗ת אַֽל־יַ֫עַזְבֻ֥ךָ קׇשְׁרֵ֥ם עַל־גַּרְגְּרוֹתֶ֑יךָ כׇּ֝תְבֵ֗ם עַל־ל֥וּחַ לִבֶּֽךָ׃
 
"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." (Proverbs 3:13)
  • אַשְׁרֵ֣י אָ֭דָם מָצָ֣א חׇכְמָ֑ה וְ֝אָדָ֗ם יָפִ֥יק תְּבוּנָֽה׃ כִּ֤י ט֣וֹב סַ֭חְרָהּ מִסְּחַר־כָּ֑סֶף וּ֝מֵחָר֗וּץ תְּבוּאָתָֽהּ׃ יְקָ֣רָה הִ֭יא (מפניים) [מִפְּנִינִ֑ים] וְכׇל־חֲ֝פָצֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א יִֽשְׁווּ־בָֽהּ׃
    • Proverbs 3:13–15
    • Translation:
      • Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
  • אַל־תְּ֭קַנֵּא בְּאִ֣ישׁ חָמָ֑ס וְאַל־תִּ֝בְחַ֗ר בְּכׇל־דְּרָכָֽיו׃
 
"With all thy getting get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)
  • וּבְכׇל־קִ֝נְיָנְךָ֗ קְנֵ֣ה בִינָֽה׃
  • ט֤וֹב פַּ֣ת חֲ֭רֵבָה וְשַׁלְוָה־בָ֑הּ מִ֝בַּ֗יִת מָלֵ֥א זִבְחֵי־רִֽיב׃
  • תֵּ֣חַת גְּעָרָ֣ה בְמֵבִ֑ין מֵהַכּ֖וֹת כְּסִ֣יל מֵאָֽה׃
  • אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י מֵבִ֣ין חׇכְמָ֑ה וְעֵינֵ֥י כְ֝סִ֗יל בִּקְצֵה־אָֽרֶץ׃
    • Proverbs 17:24
    • Translations:
      • Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
      • A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
  • חוֹשֵׂ֣ךְ אֲ֭מָרָיו יוֹדֵ֣עַ דָּ֑עַת
  • גַּ֤ם אֱוִ֣יל מַ֭חֲרִישׁ חָכָ֣ם יֵחָשֵׁ֑ב אֹטֵ֖ם שְׂפָתָ֣יו נָבֽוֹן׃
    • Proverbs 17:28
    • Translation:
      • Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Main article: Ecclesiastes
  • וְאָמַ֨רְתִּֽי אֲנִ֜י בְּלִבִּ֗י כְּמִקְרֵ֤ה הַכְּסִיל֙ גַּם־אֲנִ֣י יִקְרֵ֔נִי וְלָ֧מָּה חָכַ֛מְתִּי אֲנִ֖י אָ֣ז יֹתֵ֑ר וְדִבַּ֣רְתִּי בְלִבִּ֔י שֶׁגַּם־זֶ֖ה הָֽבֶל׃
    • Ecclesiastes 2:15
    • Translation:
      • Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
Main article: Book of Isaiah
  • וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶ֣ם כַּפֵּיכֶ֗ם אַעְלִ֤ים עֵינַי֙ מִכֶּ֔ם גַּ֛ם כִּֽי־תַרְבּ֥וּ תְפִלָּ֖ה אֵינֶ֣נִּי שֹׁמֵ֑עַ יְדֵיכֶ֖ם דָּמִ֥ים מָלֵֽאוּ׃ רַֽחֲצוּ֙ הִזַּכּ֔וּ הָסִ֛ירוּ רֹ֥עַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶ֖ם מִנֶּ֣גֶד עֵינָ֑י חִדְל֖וּ הָרֵֽעַ׃ לִמְד֥וּ הֵיטֵ֛ב דִּרְשׁ֥וּ מִשְׁפָּ֖ט אַשְּׁר֣וּ חָמ֑וֹץ שִׁפְט֣וּ יָת֔וֹם רִ֖יבוּ אַלְמָנָֽה׃
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
Main article: Book of Jeremiah
  • נִצַּ֑חַת הֶחֱזִ֙יקוּ֙ בַּתַּרְמִ֔ת מֵאֲנ֖וּ לָשֽׁוּב׃ הִקְשַׁ֤בְתִּי וָֽאֶשְׁמָע֙ לוֹא־כֵ֣ן יְדַבֵּ֔רוּ אֵ֣ין אִ֗ישׁ נִחָם֙ עַל־רָ֣עָת֔וֹ לֵאמֹ֖ר מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֑יתִי כֻּלֹּ֗ה שָׁ֚ב (במרצותם) [בִּמְר֣וּצָתָ֔ם] כְּס֥וּס שׁוֹטֵ֖ף בַּמִּלְחָמָֽה׃
    • Jeremiah 8:5–6
    • Translation:
      • They cling to deceit;
        they refuse to return.
        I have listened attentively,
        but they do not say what is right.
        None of them repent of their wickedness,
        saying, "What have I done?"
        Each pursues their own course
        like a horse charging into battle.

Quotes about the Tanakh

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  • In the Old Testament stories, … the sublime influence of God here reaches so deeply into the everyday that the two realms of the sublime and the everyday are not only actually unseparated but basically inseparable.
    • Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946), p. 22
  • The Christians wrested the Old Testament out of the hands of the Jews and used it as a weapon against them. The belief in their own selection by God was turned into an expression of the absolute and exclusive position of Christianity, and Jewish Messianism was twisted into the doctrine of Christ's return.
  • Biblical scholars maintain that the vast majority of the written materials that comprise the Hebrew Bible began as traditions communicated from generation to generation by word of mouth and by the example of how people lived daily. Only gradually were these stories, ideas, and practices committed to writing in what we know as the Hebrew Bible.
  • Whenever it is a question of the eternal truths of reason, it does not say believe, but understand and know.
    • Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism (1783), as translated by Allan Arkush (1983), p. 100
  • There is scant archaeological or related textual evidence to support any of these putative episodes of genocide described in the Hebrew Bible as historical events. But more important than the historicity of the described destruction of peoples and towns is the fact that the biblical rendition of genocide reveals what men and women of antiquity believed was possible, even likely, in the relations between nations, while at the same time setting precedents, patterns, and norms for the future. The leaders of the HebrewsMoses, Samuel, Saul, David, and Joshua—implemented the will of God to commit mass murder. Sometimes, the killing was in righteous retribution for alleged acts committed against the Hebrews. But most often, peoples were attacked and eliminated because they lived in the land that God had promised to the Hebrews. Those eliminated were blamed for their own fate, a widespread phenomenon in mass killing that has repeated itself over the centuries. Sometimes, women and children were spared as slaves and concubines, or even taken as wives.

See also

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External links

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