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Constructing Identity in 1 Samuel 17

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image of Biblical Interpretation

The actual battle between David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 takes a mere three verses to narrate, thereby raising the question of why this chapter is fifty-eight verses long. By drawing on H. White's work on historiography and the mimetic aspects of historical narratives, and informed by M. Foucault's notions of discourses and discursive strategies, this essay considers how issues of identity construction are addressed in 1 Samuel 17. A suggestion is then made as to why the construction of identity would have been an important issue in exilic and postexilic Israel and how 1 Samuel 17 addresses that issue.

Affiliations: 1: Iliff School of Theology


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