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The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today

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The women of the Bible lived timeless stories--by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people The women of the Bible lived timeless stories--by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people. The Bible contains warriors like Jael, judges like Deborah, and prophets like Miriam. The first person to witness Jesus' resurrection was Mary Magdalene, who promptly became the first Christian evangelist, eager to share the news which would change the world forever. In The Women of the Bible Speak, Shannon Bream opens up the lives of sixteen of these Biblical women, arranging them into pairs and contrasting their journeys. In pairing their stories, Shannon helps us reflect not only on the meaning of each individual's life, but on how they relate to each other and to us. From the shepherdesses of ancient Israel who helped raise the future leaders of the people of God, to the courageous early Christians, the narrative of the Bible offers us many vivid and fascinating female characters. In their lives we can see common struggles to resist bitterness, despair, and pride, and to instead find their true selves in faith, hope, and love. In studying these heroes of the faith, we can find wisdom and warnings for how to better navigate our own faith journeys. The Women of the Bible Speak outlines the lessons we can take from the valor of Esther, the hope of Hannah, the audacity of Rahab, and the faith of Mary. In broadening each woman's individual story, Shannon offers us a deeper understanding of each, and wisdom and insights that can transform our own lives today.


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The women of the Bible lived timeless stories--by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people The women of the Bible lived timeless stories--by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people. The Bible contains warriors like Jael, judges like Deborah, and prophets like Miriam. The first person to witness Jesus' resurrection was Mary Magdalene, who promptly became the first Christian evangelist, eager to share the news which would change the world forever. In The Women of the Bible Speak, Shannon Bream opens up the lives of sixteen of these Biblical women, arranging them into pairs and contrasting their journeys. In pairing their stories, Shannon helps us reflect not only on the meaning of each individual's life, but on how they relate to each other and to us. From the shepherdesses of ancient Israel who helped raise the future leaders of the people of God, to the courageous early Christians, the narrative of the Bible offers us many vivid and fascinating female characters. In their lives we can see common struggles to resist bitterness, despair, and pride, and to instead find their true selves in faith, hope, and love. In studying these heroes of the faith, we can find wisdom and warnings for how to better navigate our own faith journeys. The Women of the Bible Speak outlines the lessons we can take from the valor of Esther, the hope of Hannah, the audacity of Rahab, and the faith of Mary. In broadening each woman's individual story, Shannon offers us a deeper understanding of each, and wisdom and insights that can transform our own lives today.

30 review for The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    This new release is a timely rebuke to racism and sexism as well as a unifier--greatly needed in these times of uncertainty and division. Rooted and grounded in Scripture, the lives and times of sixteen women (Tamar, Rachel, Miriam, Hannah, Esther, Mary, Martha, and more) are examined as well as a number of nameless, notables (the woman at the well, the widow of Nain, etc). Included at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking study questions. Some might assume this would be an ideal book fo This new release is a timely rebuke to racism and sexism as well as a unifier--greatly needed in these times of uncertainty and division. Rooted and grounded in Scripture, the lives and times of sixteen women (Tamar, Rachel, Miriam, Hannah, Esther, Mary, Martha, and more) are examined as well as a number of nameless, notables (the woman at the well, the widow of Nain, etc). Included at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking study questions. Some might assume this would be an ideal book for a women's Bible study. No, I say it would be even better for couples. How many times have we as women studied the lives of men like Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, John, Paul, etc. in our meetings? God has given us the whole of Scripture to show us His story for mankind. We should be studying all of it. There is much for all of us to learn from and apply to our lives in these stories. As Jesus himself reminds us in John 5:39-40: 'These are they that speak of me.' A big thank you to Broadside Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda Galella

    Look with fresh eyes at the stories you’ve known since childhood - you’ll rejoice at the experience! Shannon Bream has compiled a collection of paired biographical sketches that span the entirety of the Holy Bible, from Genesis thru Christ’s resurrection. By taking two women and partnering them in a chapter together, we get an opportunity to compare and contrast their natures and the way they respond in a given situation. Each chapter is divided into 3 parts: one part for each of the subjects and Look with fresh eyes at the stories you’ve known since childhood - you’ll rejoice at the experience! Shannon Bream has compiled a collection of paired biographical sketches that span the entirety of the Holy Bible, from Genesis thru Christ’s resurrection. By taking two women and partnering them in a chapter together, we get an opportunity to compare and contrast their natures and the way they respond in a given situation. Each chapter is divided into 3 parts: one part for each of the subjects and the last part is 4-5 questions designed to summarize the study, propose areas for further tho’t or investigation and deepen your faith. There’s no accusation or preaching just solid biblical, inductive study principles. Shannon has an engaging style that made me want to keep reading. Facts are presented, without being dry, and the information is relative for today’s people. The chapters aren’t overly long and can be broken down into 2 or 3 parts as your schedule permits. If you’re looking for a fresh Bible study, this would make a great one and could be used for personal or group study. A breath of fresh air and encouragement for one and all📚

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is Nonfiction. I really thought I'd love this one given the title. I kind of feel bad giving this only 2 stars but it was just "okay" for me. I did like that the narration was done by the author. She sounded personal....opinionated, but personal. I am by no means a scholar, of any sort, when it comes to the bible, but this had a definite Wikipedia feel to it. Seriously...just google Mary Magdalene like I did...just to compare. Lots of facts. Maybe after many decades of Sunday school certain This is Nonfiction. I really thought I'd love this one given the title. I kind of feel bad giving this only 2 stars but it was just "okay" for me. I did like that the narration was done by the author. She sounded personal....opinionated, but personal. I am by no means a scholar, of any sort, when it comes to the bible, but this had a definite Wikipedia feel to it. Seriously...just google Mary Magdalene like I did...just to compare. Lots of facts. Maybe after many decades of Sunday school certain bible stories and biblical history actually stuck in my memory. I don't know. All I can say is that this one didn't resonate with me. I guess I was looking for more...especially after the title reeled me in. Perhaps my expectations were too high because I ended up being a little disappointed with this one, so 2 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I read “Women of the Bible” by Ann Spangler and thought it was great. I saw this book “The Women of the Bible Speak” and was hoping it would be another great read. After I got it, I realized it was a “Fox News” book which I must admit I was disappointed about (Note to self, pay better attention). Shannon offers a lot of her opinions and interpretation of the Bible stories. The layout was a little strange, as it’s not set up as a Bible Study book, yet each chapter ends with Study Questions. Glad I read “Women of the Bible” by Ann Spangler and thought it was great. I saw this book “The Women of the Bible Speak” and was hoping it would be another great read. After I got it, I realized it was a “Fox News” book which I must admit I was disappointed about (Note to self, pay better attention). Shannon offers a lot of her opinions and interpretation of the Bible stories. The layout was a little strange, as it’s not set up as a Bible Study book, yet each chapter ends with Study Questions. Glad I read it, just not my favorite.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I thought this sounded like an interesting book, but when I got the book and saw the "Fox New Books" label I almost didn't read it. But, I figured I would give it a try. Shannon Bream is a Fox News anchor and chief legal correspondent, but nowhere does she give any theological or Biblical background. Not that you have to be a Bible scholar to write a book, but there didn't seem to be any deep theological work or research here. If you grew up in church you likely know all the stories in this book I thought this sounded like an interesting book, but when I got the book and saw the "Fox New Books" label I almost didn't read it. But, I figured I would give it a try. Shannon Bream is a Fox News anchor and chief legal correspondent, but nowhere does she give any theological or Biblical background. Not that you have to be a Bible scholar to write a book, but there didn't seem to be any deep theological work or research here. If you grew up in church you likely know all the stories in this book and in my opinion there wasn't much else given other than pairing up women from the Bible with similar stories/situations. Christianity has sadly often used the Bible to subjugate women, so this could be a good resource for a new Believer to show just how valued women are by God and how Jesus really challenged the patriarchal norm of His day in how He treated women. But, for me there was no new information or insight with this book. I did like a couple quotes though: "Again and again, the Bible presents us with the struggle over infertility...For women of the Bible, fertility meant more than just the love of a child. It meant more than just a way for a woman to gain security and status in the world. Fertility was often viewed as divine favor itself. Some believed that to bear a child was to wear a mark of God's love, and to be barren was therefore a mark of God's displeasure. But it's important to note that from the moment God creates Eve, she is a person of value because she is created in His very image. In our Heavenly Father's eyes, we as women are treasured and honored wholly and apart from the gift of motherhood." (p. 17) "To us, Mary's studying at Jesus's feet might seem a natural and even touching picture. But to a first-century Jew, this would have been a deeply shocking image. Mary was doing three unconventional things: she was engaging in formal biblical learning; she was in close and intimate physical proximity to a rabbi; and she was seated in a group of men. All these were taboo in her culture. By welcoming her to sit there, Jesus was violating every cultural norm that governed how women should behave, especially in their relationship to learning and to men." (p. 155)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This was one of my favorite Christian living / Christian non-fiction books! It seems like so many Christian books these days are too focused on the self instead of on Jesus. This book is just the opposite! This book dives right into the stories of women in the Bible and focuses on their interactions with Jesus. At the end of each chapter there are study questions that help you dig deeper and takeaways to apply in our own lives. Highly recommend for a study group or just for yourself!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Payton

    This book has a funny backstory of getting into my hands but I will spare you.:) It was everything I hoped it would be. It was stocked full of stories I've heard and read my whole life. Only now, fleshed out with spiritual, biblical, and historical details I never knew of. It helped me personally and gave me new favorite Bible characters. This book made THIS woman, desire to follow God deeper. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend it. This book has a funny backstory of getting into my hands but I will spare you.:) It was everything I hoped it would be. It was stocked full of stories I've heard and read my whole life. Only now, fleshed out with spiritual, biblical, and historical details I never knew of. It helped me personally and gave me new favorite Bible characters. This book made THIS woman, desire to follow God deeper. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Twobchelm

    What a beautiful read, I could almost hear Shannon Bream’s voice as I was reading. I have read many books about women of the Bible and you learn something new each time, women have always played an important part in our history and continue to be a major player. Great reading it right before Easter...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Rainaud

    I used The Women of the Bible Speaks as a devotional. It can be used for one person or in a small group. Throughout each chapter/section of the book, two women from the Bible are compared and contrasted. Some of these women are prominent while others are often a foot note. I like how thought provoking and inspiring each woman is. At times I had the, “I hadn’t thought of it that way” moment. I also appreciate that it includes where the scriptures are found and especially how easy it was to read. I used The Women of the Bible Speaks as a devotional. It can be used for one person or in a small group. Throughout each chapter/section of the book, two women from the Bible are compared and contrasted. Some of these women are prominent while others are often a foot note. I like how thought provoking and inspiring each woman is. At times I had the, “I hadn’t thought of it that way” moment. I also appreciate that it includes where the scriptures are found and especially how easy it was to read. Regardless of how far one is along in their faith, this book will teach, build and encourage. For an added bonus, there are questions after each section that can be used personally or for small groups.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Interesting deep dive into the stories of women in the Bible. I appreciated the historical context and analysis.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I've read this slowly, savored it as part of a near daily devotional. It is accessible, contemplative and focused on what the women in the Bible have to teach us. Many of these scenarios have more depth than I anticipated, and it forced me to think of the stories and characters of the Bible in entirely new ways. Highly recommend either for Christians or those studying the Bible as literature, as this provides a more in depth character analysis of women than typically seen. I've read this slowly, savored it as part of a near daily devotional. It is accessible, contemplative and focused on what the women in the Bible have to teach us. Many of these scenarios have more depth than I anticipated, and it forced me to think of the stories and characters of the Bible in entirely new ways. Highly recommend either for Christians or those studying the Bible as literature, as this provides a more in depth character analysis of women than typically seen.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Baker

    I’m currently reading The Bible in a Year & this is an excellent companion read. Gives good & deeper insight into the women in the Bible’s stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Mahler

    Shannon Bream takes us through the stories of 16 women in the Bible to establish their equality, value and purpose in God’s kingdom. These short chapters affirm women in this life, reminding us that throughout history, God has valued women as part of His plan for salvation. There’s nothing real deep about these lessons, but it was a sweet and inspiring summer devotional.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    Very insightful! I enjoyed it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dav

    . The Women of the Bible Speak: the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today By Shannon Bream Published in 2021, about 250 pages. Shannon is the evening news anchor for Fox News @ Night in DC and her book is number 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Overview: The women of the Bible lived timeless stories—by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fac . The Women of the Bible Speak: the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today By Shannon Bream Published in 2021, about 250 pages. Shannon is the evening news anchor for Fox News @ Night in DC and her book is number 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Overview: The women of the Bible lived timeless stories—by examining them, we can understand what it means to be a woman of faith. People unfamiliar with Scripture often assume that women play a small, secondary role in the Bible. But in fact, they were central figures in numerous Biblical tales. It was Queen Esther's bravery at a vital point in history which saved her entire people. The Bible contains warriors like Jael, judges like Deborah, and prophets like Miriam. The first person to witness Jesus' resurrection was Mary Magdalene, who promptly became the first Christian evangelist... Shannon...opens up the lives of sixteen of these Biblical women, arranging them into pairs and contrasting their journeys. In pairing their stories, [she] helps us reflect not only on the meaning of each individual's life, but on how they relate to each other and to us... The Women of the Bible Speak outlines the lessons we can take from the valor of Esther, the hope of Hannah, the audacity of Rahab, and the faith of Mary. In broadening each woman's individual story, Shannon offers us a deeper understanding of each, and wisdom and insights that can transform our own lives today. . Sarah and Hagar Rachel and Leah Tamar and Ruth Deborah and Jael Hannah and Miriam Esther and Rahab Mary and Martha Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene And the last chapter: Jesus and the Women The book begins with the unnamed woman in the gospel of Mark. She is suffering from a chronic illness and was healed when she touched Jesus's cloak. Each chapter provides the Bible references (chapter and verse) where you can find the details for each women. In addition to the historical context, Shannon gives her own commentary on the lives of these women and lessons the reader could apply to their own life today. After each chapter there are study questions provided which could be answered individually or for a study group. .. .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Filed under "my Nana made me read this book." Honestly, it's not that this is a bad book. Bream's tone is conversational, her writing makes scripture super accessible. As a non-Christian, her retelling of these biblical stories was really useful. But I would say this book was 75% retelling and 25% reaching. Learning about their stories was definitely interesting. As just a retelling, it's an excellent book. But since the purpose was to dive into what their stories have for women today.. it comes u Filed under "my Nana made me read this book." Honestly, it's not that this is a bad book. Bream's tone is conversational, her writing makes scripture super accessible. As a non-Christian, her retelling of these biblical stories was really useful. But I would say this book was 75% retelling and 25% reaching. Learning about their stories was definitely interesting. As just a retelling, it's an excellent book. But since the purpose was to dive into what their stories have for women today.. it comes up a little short. And it's not for the want of trying! Bream acknowledges the lack of context we have, and how little these women truly "speak." She lists the verses that these women are mentioned in, and given how long the Bible is, it's truly telling to see all of those verses so easily condensed to one line. It must have been a task to find just the bits and pieces, and I'll commend her for that. To me, though, I don't think I really connected with what Bream was trying to say. I can't really draw a line between Hagar's cruel banishment from her home to a petty workplace fight. I really appreciated Sarah's story as it was to keeping faith for a child, and I appreciated Mary Magdalene's story of hope. Aside from that, though, I think Bream is really reaching. I couldn't really connect with the rest of them, because I think there's a lot of incongruence between those horrific circumstances and the circumstances of her audience (that of typically white, upper-middle class women). As someone who's never really done a Bible study, what was more interesting was the line that connected the women. Only one of them had true agency, and that one woman was Deborah. The rest of them were bitter rivals over a man, or used as lessons for other men. Even the story of Tamar, as far as she went, was a lesson in humility for Judah. What was far more revealing to me was the way that these women were used for storytelling purposes, and for purposes of establishing a moral point. I think when Bream is trying to point out messages of hope, resilience, and faith, she's doing exactly what the scripture is saying. But going beyond that and trying to liken the misery being the lesser-loved wife to an annoying person we have to deal with? It falls a little flat.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Tjernlund

    So, I picked up this book in Costco two Fridays ago because I was intrigued that it was a Fox News book because what does that even mean. Come to find out, the author is a lawyer and writes and researches very well. She tells two stories of women in the Bible and shines a modern day light on what they went through and how we might glean something. There are also discussion/further research topics at the end of each section. I didn’t partake, and you would definitely need your Bible for those par So, I picked up this book in Costco two Fridays ago because I was intrigued that it was a Fox News book because what does that even mean. Come to find out, the author is a lawyer and writes and researches very well. She tells two stories of women in the Bible and shines a modern day light on what they went through and how we might glean something. There are also discussion/further research topics at the end of each section. I didn’t partake, and you would definitely need your Bible for those parts. Overall a good book and well written and well executed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I read this book Easter weekend. I loved it. I learned some new stories and was comforted by the women I already loved.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brindi Michele

    I really liked the pairing and contrasting throughout this book. Some of the pairs were obvious, while others took me a minute, diving into the word and looking for the connection between the women. Most readers praise this for it's timeliness and place it in the feminist category, and I agree to a point. However, I think this book is celebrating the strength and courage of women in the feminine way, showing us we are just as valued. Raising up women and opening our eyes to see we should embrace I really liked the pairing and contrasting throughout this book. Some of the pairs were obvious, while others took me a minute, diving into the word and looking for the connection between the women. Most readers praise this for it's timeliness and place it in the feminist category, and I agree to a point. However, I think this book is celebrating the strength and courage of women in the feminine way, showing us we are just as valued. Raising up women and opening our eyes to see we should embrace our femininity, and understand we are called to do things men cannot. Man and Woman, equal but different. And wonderfully designed so. I read another review where a reader mentioned this would not only be a great women's Bible study book, but even better, a COUPLES Bible study. And I wholeheartedly agree. I think it's just as important for men, as women, to hear how precious, courageous, tough, vulnerable, and wise us females can be. Jesus loves and respects us, too. He calls us, too. I wish more male preachers would share that message.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I took my time with this book and I'm glad I did. If I could have given it 10 stars, I would have. It's a deep, honest look at the women of the bible, even those who weren't specifically given names, but figured prominently in what the Bible had to say about them. I think this would be an excellent book club read. Mine has a lot of post-it flags on the pages and I pretty much trashed the book in the process of reading it. So not really wanting to share my copy. If it comes out in paperback this ye I took my time with this book and I'm glad I did. If I could have given it 10 stars, I would have. It's a deep, honest look at the women of the bible, even those who weren't specifically given names, but figured prominently in what the Bible had to say about them. I think this would be an excellent book club read. Mine has a lot of post-it flags on the pages and I pretty much trashed the book in the process of reading it. So not really wanting to share my copy. If it comes out in paperback this year, I would LOVE to gift it to a lot of young ladies that I consider my "other" girls. And my daughters. (I'm saying paperbacks because I trashed a hardback of it, so no point in buying hardbacks. Ha ha.) Plus I think it's a book most people like me would want to keep and re-read, especially the flagged pages. It will never grow old.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Bass

    This is a great book about the women of the Bible. Facts about many women are put together in a novel form that is easy to understand. This book makes me want to read many books of the Bible in more depth, such as Judges to learn more about Deborah and other books that I have read at one time but want to read again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kieli Morris

    Some of the questions at the end of the chapters were a little difficult but I ended up loving this book. It shows the love and respect Jesus had for women. “Jesus didn’t see women as helpless. He looked at the bleeding woman and saw a woman of remarkable faith, courage, and agency.” I would highly recommend this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    We read this as part of our church book club, and it was an excellent choice for Lent. Putting these stories in narrative form with many references made some of them very memorable, and there were several cases where one of us said, "I didn't know that." We liked the format, and found some of the questions at the end of each chapter to be pretty thought-provoking. I listened to the audiobook, but also had the eBook for backup. We read this as part of our church book club, and it was an excellent choice for Lent. Putting these stories in narrative form with many references made some of them very memorable, and there were several cases where one of us said, "I didn't know that." We liked the format, and found some of the questions at the end of each chapter to be pretty thought-provoking. I listened to the audiobook, but also had the eBook for backup.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Austin

    This was a book for a group discussion in Bible study. The format, comparing two women in each chapter, makes it interesting and meaningful. Enjoyed by everyone in the group, especially because it was rich in scripture study.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    I would never normally have anything to do with any author associated with Fox News but this was required reading for a Bible Study I’m in. Surprisingly, it was well written, well researched and apolitical.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A beautiful look at several words from women of the bible and a final chapter that touches on the unnamed, unquoted women in the bible that Jesus used to further his kingdom.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Done as part of womens Bible study. Really enjoyed diving more into all the influential women of the Bible and learning things I did not know. At times the information was speculation and opinion— a good addition as it gives pause to wonder and think—but balanced well with facts. Enjoyed very much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Book was more of an overview or retelling of the stories of women in the Bible more than it was insightful or spiritual.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    I loved this book. Thanks Shannon for your i insight and courage at this time for writing this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sullivan

    I am not a woman nor a young girl. But the words used in this book are thoughtful and informative for either gender. I know this book will be more impressive for the daughters of eve, then for the masculine sex. It was written with them in mind. But I was blessed to hear wisdom as Shannon read the audiobook version. To be tired in the fight with the Enemy... and to be inspired in ones weakness...is a true gift. Truth is food for the soul and its encouragement is a soft breeze in a dry and hot lan I am not a woman nor a young girl. But the words used in this book are thoughtful and informative for either gender. I know this book will be more impressive for the daughters of eve, then for the masculine sex. It was written with them in mind. But I was blessed to hear wisdom as Shannon read the audiobook version. To be tired in the fight with the Enemy... and to be inspired in ones weakness...is a true gift. Truth is food for the soul and its encouragement is a soft breeze in a dry and hot land. If the Father gives me a daughter...someday...I'd want her to read this book.

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