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Chapter Summary

Causation is a fundamental element of historiography that distinguishes it from annals and other lists of events or people in the past. This chapter proposes that the text explores multiple types of causation but these often differ sharply from modern ideas about what motivates history. Divine causation in Samuel is the most evident of these differences; but two other tensions also exist: the impact of public versus private causes; and the agency of the group versus the individual. These differences arise due to the ideology involved when the historian selects which causes he/she considers to be most important. The chapter examines how narrative techniques and folktale elements are used to create a plausible causation for this important change in the politics of Israel. Crucially for our understanding of causation in Samuel, it provides an example of how private, personal and divine causes lead to political change.

Keywords: causation; historiography; ideology; Israel; Samuel



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