Roles and Relations in Biblical Law: A Study of Participant Tracking, Semantic Roles, and Social Networks in Leviticus 17-26 - cover image

Book Series


Christian Canu Højgaard

Published On





  • English

Print Length

462 pages (x+452)


Paperback156 x 33 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.3" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 35 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.38" x 9.21")


Paperback871g (30.72oz)
Hardback1054g (37.18oz)



OCLC Number



  • QRAX
  • JBSR
  • QRAC
  • QRAM1


  • HRAM
  • HRCG
  • HRCM
  • HRCR
  • HR


  • REL006030
  • SOC039000
  • REL017000
  • REL028000
  • REL033000


  • Leviticus 17–26
  • Holiness Code
  • Law text
  • Ethical roles
  • Social network analysis
  • Hebrew textual interactions

Roles and Relations in Biblical Law

A Study of Participant Tracking, Semantic Roles, and Social Networks in Leviticus 17-26

Leviticus 17–26, an ancient law text known as the Holiness Code, prescribes how particular persons are to behave in concrete, everyday situations. The addressees of the law text must revere their parents, respect the elderly, fear God, take care of their fellow, provide for the sojourner, and so on. The sojourner has his own obligations, as do the priests. Even God is said to behave in various ways towards various persons. Thus, the law text forms an intricate web of persons and interactions.

There is a growing awareness that ancient law texts were not arbitrary collections of legal paragraphs but articulations of certain world views. The laws were rational in their own respect and were based on the lawgiver’s ethos. However, since the ethical values of the lawgiver rarely—if ever—surface in the text itself, it has proven difficult to grasp with traditional, exegetical methods. This study offers a novel approach to mapping out the ethos of an ancient law text like Leviticus 17–26. By employing social network analysis, the participants and their interactions are mapped to scrutinize the ethical roles embodied by the persons of the law.

To accomplish this, the study undertakes meticulous research into both the participants and the interactions of Leviticus 17–26. The book investigates a semi-automatic approach to extracting participant information from a text and offers new methods for analysing Hebrew interactions (realised as verbal predicates) in terms of dynamicity, causation, and agency.


  • Christian Canu Højgaard
  • Christian Canu Højgaard
  • Christian Canu Højgaard
  • Christian Canu Højgaard
  • Christian Canu Højgaard


Christian Canu Højgaard

Assistant professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug Internasjonale Høgskole

Christian Canu Højgaard (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2021, awarded cum laude) is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Fjellhaug International University College Copenhagen. His main interests include Biblical Hebrew language (in particular verbal syntax and semantics), social readings of Biblical law, and digitalization of ancient texts. He is the general editor of Hiphil Novum, a journal for Biblical linguistics. He is currently involved in Creating Annotated Corpora of Classical Hebrew Text, a cross-institutional research project for the digitalization and annotation of ancient texts, and A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew led by Professor Geoffrey Khan.