The article is interested in how land ( ) is personified in the Holiness
Code. It starts by describing the different “countries” portrayed
in the Holiness Code and then discusses all the instances
where land functions as the subject of a verb (Lev 18:25, 27, 28;
19:29; 20:22; 25:2, 19; 26:4, 20, 34, 38, 43). The land at times
seems to be close to being a human character by “becoming
defiled,” “vomiting,” “acting like a prostitute,” “observing the
Sabbath,” “giving” and “enjoying.” These verbs are all usually
associated with human actions. In the light of these texts the article
then attempts to describe the relationship between land, YHWH and
the addressees. It becomes clear that there is a closer relationship
between YHWH and the land than between YHWH and the addressees.
The article then attempts to engage with Habel’s ecojustice principles
showing that the ancient authors of the Holiness Code might
have been familiar with some of them.
This article was first read as a paper at a conference, namely “Ecological
Interpretations of Biblical Texts: Issues and Outcomes.” It took place at the Kruger
National Park in September 2014.