Seven mitzvot (laws)described in the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 58b) and considered binding on Jew and Gentile alike. They can be considered ethical laws to ensure civility and peace, and served to define the legal rights of foreigners in Jewish territory in biblical times.

The first six mitzvot were given to Adam (beginning at Beresheet/Genesis 2:8,15-20, 3:1-24)

  • Do not murder.
  • Do not steal.
  • Do not worship false gods.
  • Do not be sexually immoral.
  • Do not blaspheme.
  • Set up courts and bring offenders to justice.*
With the ten generations from Adam to Noah flouting these laws, G got a little pissed and initiated the Great Flood. On its completion, (as part of the Covenant of the Rainbow) the six mitzvot were restressed to Noah and a seventh mitzvah added. The prohibition against the eating of meat was revoked - on one condition (Beresheet/Genesis 9:4):
  • Do not eat the limb of a living creature.**
Of course, these laws were also revealed on Mount Sinai, as part of the Five Books of Moses (Chumashe Torah).

Alternative names include: the Seven Noa(c)hide Laws, Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach (the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah).

* and all that that entails.
** Kill it, then remove the flesh. I take it the joke about the peg-legged pig is a little risque?

This is really fascinating but I kinda just wandered around, Laws.asp and Would someone of the faith please locate this with respect to the Ten Commandments and all 613 mitzvoh of the Torah?

Tidbit Time! On March 26, 1991 U.S. President George Bush, signed into law a congressional resolution on the Seven Laws (H.J. Resolution 104, Public Law 102-14). It states in part: "Whereas society is profoundly concerned with the recent weakening of these principles that has resulted in crises that beleaguer and threaten the fabric of civilized society;" His son seems to be taking this to heart.

Disclaimer - I am explaining the basis of the Noahide Covenant. To properly understand the beliefs behind this, it must be granted (for the sake of argument) the literal accuracy of the Old Testament story of Noah and the Flood.

The Noachide Covenant is the promise of God (symbolized by the rainbow) set forth with Adam and Noah. This can be seen in Genesis 9 and mentioned again in Acts 15 though it is mentioned throught the Bible.

Realizing that every living thing was wiped out during the flood other than what was on Noah's ark. Thus, everyone alive today is a descendant of Noah and bound by this promise:

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

Genesis 9:9-10

The Seven Laws of Noah:

  1. It is forbidden to blaspheme the name of God.
  2. It is forbidden to worship idols.
  3. It is forbidden to murder a human being.
  4. It is forbidden to steal or rob.
  5. It is forbidden to commit sexual sins.
  6. It is forbidden to eat a limb or any meat that was severed from a live animal.
  7. Practice equality, establish and promote justice.

Technically, while the B'ani Noach (Hebrew for children of Noah - alternate spellings include B'nai Noach and B'nei Noach. Furthermore, the 'ch' is gutteral) are Gentiles (non-Jewish) they are neither Christian, Islamic, nor Messianic Jews. However, any Christian or Muslim (or anyone) who abides by the Seven Laws may be considered Noahides. Furthermore, B'ani Noach could be considered the oldest branch of the Judeo-Christian family of religions.

One of the more important considerations is that there is no commandment to worship on the sabbath or keep it as a day of rest. Hence, some Jewish communities employ a Gentile to preform actions that would otherwise violate the 39 Melachot (which are part of Mosaic covenant). This person is called a shabbes goy.

These laws were the basis of early international law as set forth by Hugo Grotius in 1625.

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