The Noachide Covenant and the Seven Laws of Noah
James Scott Trimm
In Genesis we read of the Noachide Covenant
 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
 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.
 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
(Gen. 9:1-17 KJV)
This general covenant was made between YHWH and all mankind, i.e. the B'nai Noah (children of Noah).
Later we read of a more specific covenant made with the seed of Abraham thru IIsaac, and not all of the children of Noah:
 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.
(Gen. 17:1-27 KJV)
Later additional specific "Mosaic" covenant (Ex. 19:1-31:18 & 34) was made with Israel at Sinai, but not with all mankind (Ex. 19:5; 24:7; Deut. 4:6-8; 5:1-3; Ps. 147:19-20; Rom. 9:4) and renewed at Moab (Deut. 29-30; Lev. 26)
So the Noachide covenant applies to all mankind, while the Arahamic and Mosaic Covenants apply to Am-Yisrael "The People of Israel" who are "not to be reckoned among the Gentiles" (Num. 23:9)
Circumcision is first mentioned in the Torah in Genesis 17 where it is introduced to Avraham as an eternal token of the Abrahanmic Covenant:
9 And Elohim said unto Avraham: And as for you, you shall keep My covenant you,
and your seed after you throughout their generations.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after
you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
11 And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a token of a
covenant between Me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old, shall be circumcised among you--every male
throughout your generations--he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
foreigner, that is not of your seed.
13 He that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money, must needs be
circumcised. And My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that
soul shall be cut off from his people: he has broken My covenant.
(Gen. 17:9-14 HRV)
Later in the Torah we read:
And YHWH said unto Moshe and Aharon: 'This is the ordinance of the Pesach: there shall no alien eat thereof;
but every man's servant that is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat thereof.
In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you
break a bone thereof.
All the assembly of Yisra’el shall keep it.
And when a stranger shall sojourn with you, and will keep the Pesach to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
One Torah shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourns among you.'
(Ex. 12:43-49 HRV)
Now there are a number of things we can learn from this passage:
1. All the "Assembly" of Israel must eat the Passover.
2. No uncircumcised male can eat the Passover.
From these two facts we may conclude that:
If all the Assembly eat the Passover,
and if no uncircumcised males eat the Passover,
then no uncircumcised males are part of the Assembly of Israel.
This is an inescapable categorical proposition drawn from the plain statements in Exodus 12:43-49.
Now from Acts 15 we also know that one does not have to be circumcised to be saved. Thus we can add another fact to our reasoning:
3. Some uncircumcised males are saved.
Now if no uncircumcised males are part of the Assembly of Israel, and if some uncircumcised males are saved, Then some saved persons are not part of the Assembly of Israel.
Again this is an inescapable categorical proposition draws from the facts plainly laid out in Ex. 12:43-49 and Acts 15.
There are in fact some saved persons who are not part of the Assembly of Israel.
Acts 15 tells us of these saved uncircumcised individuals who are not part of the Assembly of Israel:
 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
(Acts 15:19-21 KJV)
So these Gentiles seeking were expected to keep certain basic requirements incumbent on all mankind, while going to synagogue each Sabbath to learn the rest.
UNDERSTANDING ACTS 15
Many have wrongly cited Acts 15 as proof that circumcision has been abolished:
1. And men came down from Y'hudah and were teaching the brothers,
Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of the Torah, you are not able to have life [eternal].
In Acts 15 we have a halachic issue being settled by the Rosh Beit Din. In order to understand the proceedings of that meeting and its ruling we must know what the issue was that was before it. In this case Paul's position is not clearly spelled out in the pashat only his opponents' position is clearly spelled out in the pashat.
Pauls opponents' position is:
"Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of the Torah,
you are not able to have life [eternal]."
Now we must ask ourselves: "What are the implications or ramifications of this position?"
We have a good model to work from. A similar position is held today by a group called the "Church of Christ" also known as "Campbelites". These teach that a person must be baptized in order to be saved. This has resulted in a debate between them and other protestants (especially Baptists). The Baptists often pose the situation of a man who becomes a believer while across the street from a Church of Christ Church. He immediately runs across the street to get baptized and is hit by a truck and killed. the baptists point out that this man according to the Church of Christ position would not be saved. Many Church of Christ evangelists run around with keys to their church so that at any time they can go get that baptism immediately, perchance the person dies before an more opportune time comes.
This would also be the mindset of Paul's opponents of Acts 15:1. They would believe that that person should become circumcised immediately upon becoming a believer perchance they die before doing so.
The more traditional view in Judaism differs. The more traditional view is that since circumcision and immersion mark the point at which a person becomes a Jew, that they must learn the Torah first. This is because if they are circumcised and become a Jew before learning the 613 commandments of the Torah then they will immediately be violating commandments that they do not know, bringing judgement down upon our whole people (Deut. 28-29 & Lev. 26) . The traditional Jewish approach is therefore to teach the new believer the Torah first.
Now we can see from the remez what Paul's position is. The opponents are teaching that a person must be circumcised immediately to be saved and then taught the Torah. Paul was teaching that they should first learn the Torah.
2. And Paul and Bar Nabba had much strife and dispute with them. And it happened that they sent up Paul and Bar Nabba, and others with them, to the emissaries and elders who were in Yerushalayim, because of this dispute.
So they took the matter to the beit din.
3. And the assembly escorted [and] all of Phenicia and also among the
Samaritans while recounting concerning the conversion of the Gentiles, and causing great joy to all the brothers.
COMMENTS: Notice that Paul has been converting Gentiles !?!?!?!
4. And when they came to Yerushalayim, they were received by the
assembly and by the emissaries and by the elders, and they recounted to them all that Eloah had done with them.
5. And men stood up, those from the teaching of the Parushim who had believed, and were saying, It is necessary for you to circumcise them and you should command them to observe the Torah of Moshe.
Here the opponents argument is only abbreviated. Here it is stated as:
"It is necessary for you to circumcise them
and you should command them to observe the Torah of Moshe."
Why does it say this? This on the surface does not even look like the same argument they were making in Acst 15:1. However if we recall our remez it makes perfect sense. This is a statement of chronology:
[first] It is necessary for you to circumcise them
and [second] you should command them to observe the Torah of Moshe.
Now we can see that they are still making the same argument as in 15:1.
6. And the emissaries and elders were gathered to look into this matter.
7. And when there had been much debate, Shimon stood up and said to
them, Men, our brothers, you know that from the first days from my mouth, Eloah chose that the Gentiles should hear the word of the b'sorah and trust.
8. And Eloah, who knows what is in hearts, gave testimony concerning
them and gave to them the Ruach HaKodesh as [he did] to us.
9. And he made no distinction between us and them, because he
purified their hearts by trust.
COMMENTS: Kefa addresses the opponent's position as fully stated in Acts 15:1. He points to evidence (from Acts 10-11) that salvation precedes circumcision.
10. And now, why do you tempt Eloah so that you place a yoke upon the necks of the talmidim which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11. But by the favor of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah we believe to have life, like them.
COMMENTS: The "yoke" her in context is NOT the Torah (although often the Torah is likened to a yoke). The context here is clear. Kefa is calling the argument of Paul' opponents a "yoke". Thus the "Yoke" in this passage involves earning salvation by works such as circumcision.
Kefa appeals to the patriarchs as an example. Abraham for example was saved by trust first in Gen. 15:6 and was circumcised LATER in Gen. 17.
Now Kefa has given two case examples:
1. Cornelius and his house (Acts 10-11)
2. The patriarch (especially Abraham) (Gen. 15:6 & Gen. 17)
In both cases Kefa points out that salvation preceded circumcision. (although in at least one of them circumcision still came later).
12. And all the assembly was silent and listened to Paul and Bar Nabba
who were recounting everything Eloah had done by their hands: signs and mighty deeds among the Gentiles.
COMMENTS: This parallels verse 3 where Paul is recounting conversions. Paul is likening these cases to the two case examples that Kefa has presented.
13. And after they were quiet, Ya'akov stood up and said, Men, our
brothers, hear me.
14. Shimon recounted to you how Eloah began to choose from the Gentiles
a people for his name.
15. And to this the words of the prophets agree, like that which is
16. After these [things] I will return and set up the tabernacle of
David which has fallen, and I will rebuild that which has fallen of it
and I will raise it up,
17. So that the remnant of men might seek YHWH, and all the Gentiles,
on whom my name is called, says YHWH who made all these [things].
18. The works of Eloah are known from old.
19. Because of this I say, They should not trouble those who from the
Gentiles have turned toward Eloah.
20. But let it be sent to them that they should separate [themselves]
from the uncleanness of that which is sacrificed [to idols] and from sexual immorality and from that which is strangled and from blood.
21. For Moshe, from the first generations, had proclaimers in every
city in the synagogues, who read him on every shabbat.
COMMENTS: A fuller version of the ruling is given below where verse 20 is expanded so I will comment upon it there.
However it is significant that Ya'akov presumes that these gentiles will be hearing [the Torah] of Moshe proclaimed in the synagogues on Shabbat.
Ya'akov seems to say here that the gentiles would need to maintain a minimum standard of purity and learn the Torah BEFORE becoming circumcised. Remember the issue being heard involves chronology of three things:
1. Becoming circumcised
2. Obtaining salvation/eternal life
3. Instruction in the Torah of Moshe
The above chronology is that of Paul's opponents. The beit din is determining if this is true or if another chronology should be followed, namely:
1. Obtaining salvation/eternal life
2. Instruction in the Torah of Moshe
3. Becoming circumcised
Paul's opponents placed circumcision first in the chronology, while Paul placed it last.
The beit-din agrees with Paul.
22. Then the Emissaries and elders, with all the assembly, chose men
from them and sent to Antioch, with Paul and Bar Nabba, Y'hudah who was called Bar Sabba, and Sila, men who were chiefs among the brothers.
23. And they wrote a letter by their hands [saying] thus: The
emissaries and elders and brothers, to those who are in Antioch and in
Syria and in Cilicia, brothers who are from the Gentiles, shalom.
24. It has been heard by us that men from us have gone out and
disturbed you with words and have upset your nefeshim while saying that you must be circumcised and observe the Torah, which we did not command them.
COMMENT: Again note the chronology of Paul's opponents:
 you must be circumcised
 and observe the Torah
Each of the three times their position is stated it is abbreviated more (15:1, 5 & 24)
If we put them altogether to get the fullest form of their argument we get:
"Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of the Torah,
you are not able to have life [eternal]."
[therefore] It is necessary for you to circumcise them [first]
and [second] you should command them to observe the Torah of Moshe.
25. Because of this, all of us, while gathered together, purposed and
chose men and sent to you, with our beloved Paul and Bar Nabba,
26. Men who have committed themselves on behalf of the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
27. And we have sent with them Y'hudah and Sila who will tell you these same [things] by speech.
28. For it was the will of the Ruach HaKodesh and also of us that a
greater burden should not be placed on you, outside of those [things] that are necessary,
29. That you should abstain from that which is sacrificed [to idols]
and from blood and from[that which] is strangled and from sexual
immorality, that as you keep your nefeshim from these, you will do well. Be steadfast in our Lord.
COMMENTS: Note the phrase "a greater burden" this is not an exhaustive list but the furthest parameters. The questionable areas made clear. There was no doubt as to whether gentiles could murder or steal so these are not listed. Thus the furthest limits of idolatry would extend to include eating meat offered to idols etc. With this in mind these closely parallel the seven laws of Noach. Also thse would set purity rules which would allow these gentiles to interact with the Torah observant community while learning the Torah.
Must the Goyim be circumcised according to the custom of the Torah to be saved?
Shim'on said: Men, our brothers, you know that from the first days from my mouth, Eloah chose that the Goyim should hear the Word of the Good News and Trust. And Eloah, who knows what is in hearts, gave testimony concerning them, and gave to them the Ruach HaKodesh as [he did] to us. And he made no distinction between them and us, because he purified their hearts by trust. And now, why do you tempt Eloah so that you place a yoke upon the necks of the talmidim, which neither our fathers, nor we, were able to bear? But by the favor of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah, we believe to have Life, like them.
Paul and Bar Nabba, recounted everything that Eloah had done by their hands: signs, and mighty deeds, among the Goyim.
Ya'akov said, Men, our brothers: hear me. Shim'on recounted to you how Eloah began to choose, from the Goyim, a people for His Name. And to this the words of the prophets agree, like that which is written: After these things I will return and set up the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I will rebuild that which has fallen of it and I will raise it up, So that the remnant of men might seek YHWH, and, all the Goyim, on whom My Name is called, says YHWH who made all
these things. The works of Eloah are known from old. (Amos 9:11-12)
Because of this I say, They should not trouble those, who from the Goyim, have turned toward Eloah. But let it be sent to them, that they should separate [themselves] from the uncleanness of that which is sacrificed [to idols], and from sexual immorality, and from that which is strangled, from blood. And that what is undesirable to yourself, you do not do to others.> For Moshe, from the first generations, had proclaimers in every city; in the synagogues, who read him on every Sabbath.
And they wrote a letter by their hands [saying] thus:
The emissaries, and elders, and brothers, to those who are in Antioch, and in Syria, and in Cilicia; brothers who are from the Goyim: shalom.
It has been heard by us, that men from us, have gone out: and, disturbed you with words and have upset your nefeshot, while saying that you must be circumcised and observe the Torah, which we did not command them. Because of this, all of us while gathered together purposed, and chose men and sent to you with our beloved Paul and Bar Nabba, Men who have committed themselves, on behalf of the Name of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah. And we have sent with them Y'hudah, and Sila, who will tell you these same [things] by speech.
It is the will of the Ruach HaKodesh and also of us that a greater
burden should not be placed on you, outside of those things that are
necessary. That you should abstain from:
1. That which is sacrificed to idols,
2. And from blood
3. And from that which is strangled
4. And from sexual immorality.
<5. And that what is undesirable to yourself, you do not do to others.>
That as you keep yourself from these, you will do well.
Be steadfast in our Adon.
(Acts 15:1-29) <> portion found only in the Western text type.
Must Gentiles be Circumcised to be Saved?
(From the International Nazarene Beit Din)
How are we to understand "Goyim" here?
Here the reference is to the Ger Toshav, a repentant Gentile.
And who is a Ger Toshav?
Rabbi Meir says:
"Any [Gentile] who takes upon himself in the presence of three haberim not to worship idols." (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
The Pharisaic Sages declare:
"Any [Gentile] who takes upon himself the seven precepts which the sons of Noah undertook; and still others maintain: These do not come within the category of a Ger Toshav; but who is a Ger Toshav? A proselyte who eats of animals not ritually slaughtered, i.e., he took upon himself to observe all the precepts mentioned in the Torah apart from the prohibition of [eating the flesh of] animals not ritually slaughtered. We may leave such a man alone with wine, but
we may not deposit wine in his charge even in a city where the majority of residents are Israelites. We may, however, leave him alone with wine even in a city where the majority of residents are heathens; and his oil is like his wine.' How can it enter your mind to say that his oil is like his wine; can oil become nesek! [The wording must be amended to] his wine is like his oil, but in every other respect he is like a heathen." (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
Rabban Simeon says:
"His wine is yen nesek. Another version [of Rabban Simeon's statement] is: `It is allowed to be drunk [by Israelites].' At all events it teaches that `in every other respect he is like a heathen.' For what practical purpose [is this mentioned]? Is it not that he can annul an idol in the same manner as an idolater?" (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
R. Nahman b. Isaac said:
"No; it is in connection with his power to transfer or renounce ownership; as it has been taught: An apostate Israelite who publicly observes the Sabbath may renounce his ownership, but if he does not observe the Sabbath publicly he may not renounce his ownership because [the Rabbis] said: An Israelite may transfer or renounce his ownership, whereas with a heathen this can only be done by
renting [his property]. In what way? — [One Israelite] can say to [another Israelite], `My ownership is acquired by you; my ownership is renounced in your favour,' and the latter has thereby acquired [the property] without the necessity of a formal assignment. (b.Avodah Zarah 64b)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
"Any from the Goyim who takes upon himself the seven precepts of Noach."
What is signified by the phrase "a greater burden should not be placed
upon you"? Why not simply "no other burden should be placed upon you"?
It is because the pronouncement (of Acts 15) only outlined the greatest limits of the obligations of a Gentile, but it was not intended as an exhaustive list. Else why not include that they must abstain from murder? Was this ruling permitting Gentiles to murder? May it never be. Instead we are to understand this ruling as an abbreviation of the obligations Gentiles have under the Noachide Covenant as Sons of Noah.
The Pharisaic Rabbis taught:
"Seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded:
justice; to bless the name, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal." (b.Sanhedrin 56b)
R. Hanania b. Gamaliel said:
"Also not to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal.
R. Hidka added emasculation.
R. Simeon added sorcery.
R. Jose said:
"The heathens were prohibited everything that is mentioned in the section on sorcery. viz., There shall not be found among you any one, that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto
the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them [sc. the heathens in Canaan] out from before thee. Now, [the Almighty] does not punish without first prohibiting.
R. Eleazar added the forbidden mixture [in plants and animals]: now, they are permitted to wear garments of mixed fabrics [of wool and linen] and sow diverse seeds together; they are forbidden only to hybridize heterogeneous animals and graft trees of different kinds." (b.Sanhedrin 56b)
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
These are the Seven Precepts of Noah:
1. Justice – That which is hateful to yourself, do not do to others.
2. Blessing the Name
3. Against Idolatry – This law is clarified so as to even exclude
partaking of that which is sacrificed [to idols].
4. Against Sexual Immorality
5. Against Shedding Blood (murder)
6. Against Theft
7. Against Eating the Limb of a Living Animal and eating Blood
Whence do we know the seven precepts of Noah? —
R. Johanan answered: The Scripture says: `And the Adonai YHWH commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat.' (Gen. 2:16) And [He] commanded, refers to [the observance of] justice, and thus it is written, `For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.'(Gen. 18:19)
Adonai-is [a prohibition against] blasphemy, and thus it is written, and he that blasphemeth the name of YHWH, he shall surely be put to death.(Lev. 24:16) YHWH-is [an injunction against] idolatry, and thus it is written, Thou shall have no other gods before Me. (Ex. 20:3) The man-refers to bloodshed [murder], and thus it is written, Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. (Gen. 9:6) `Saying'-refers to adultery, and thus it is written, They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and became another man's.(Jer. 3:1)
Of every tree of the garden-but not of robbery. You maye freely eat-but not flesh cut from a living animal.
When R. Isaac came, he taught a reversed interpretation. And He commanded-refers to idolatry; ELOHIM to social law. Now `ELOHIM' may rightly refer to social laws, as it is written, And the master of the house shall be brought unto elohim [i.e., the judges]. (Ex. 22:7) But how can `and He commanded' connote a prohibition of idolatry? —
R. Hisda and R. Isaac b. Abdimi-one cited the verse, They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, etc.(Ex. 32:8) And the other cited, Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.(Hosea 5:11) Wherein do they differ? — In respect of a heathen who made an idol but did not worship it: On the view [that the prohibition of idolatry is derived from] they have made them a molten calf, guilt is incurred as soon as the idol is made [even
before it is worshipped]; but according to the opinion that it is from, because he willingly walked after the commandment, there is no liability until the heathen actually follows and worships it.
Raba objected: Does any scholar maintain that a heathen is liable to punishment for making an idol even if he did not worship it? Surely it has been taught: With respect to idolatry, such acts for which a Jewish Court decrees sentence of death [on Jewish delinquents] are forbidden to the heathen; but those for which a Jewish Court inflicts no capital penalty on Jewish delinquents are not forbidden to him. Now what does this exclude? Presumably the case of a heathen who made an idol without worshipping it? R. Papa answered: No. It excludes the
embracing and kissing of idols. Of which idols do you say this? Is it of those whose normal worship is in this manner; but in that case he is surely liable to death? — Hence it excludes the embracing and kissing of idols which are not usually worshipped thus.
`Justice.' Were then the children of Noah bidden to observe these? Surely it has been taught: The Israelites were given ten precepts at Marah, seven of which had already been accepted by the children of Noah, to which were added at Marah Justice ,the Sabbath, and honoring one's parents; `Justice,' for it is written, There [sc. at Marah] he made for them a statute and a MISHPAT (judgment) (Ex. 15:25); `the Sabbath and honoring one's parents'. for it is written, As the YHWH your Elohim commanded you! (Deut. 5:16) —
R. Nahman replied in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: The addition at Marah was only in respect of an assembly, witnesses, and formal admonition. If so, why say `to which were added Justice'? —
But Raba replied thus: The addition was only in respect of the laws of fines. (Deut. 22:19,29) But even so, should it not have been said, `additions were made in Justice'? —
But R. Aha b. Jacob answered thus: The Baraita informs us that they were commanded to set up law courts in every district and town. But were not the sons of Noah likewise commanded to do this? Surely it has been taught: Just as the Israelites were ordered to set up law courts in every district and town, so were the sons of Noah likewise enjoined to set up law courts in every district and town! —
But Raba answered thus: The author of this Baraita [which states that Justice were added at Marah] is a Tanna of the School of Manasseh, who omitted Justice and blasphemy [from the list of Noachian precepts] and substituted emasculation and the forbidden mixture [in plants, ploughing. etc.]. For a Tanna of the School of Manasseh taught: The sons of Noah were given seven precepts. viz., [prohibition of] idolatry, adultery, murder, robbery, flesh cut from a living animal, emasculation and forbidden mixtures.
R. Judah said: Adam was prohibited idolatry only, for it is written, And the Adonai YHWH commanded Adam.
R. Judah b. Batyra maintained: He was forbidden blasphemy too. Some add Justice. With whom does the following statement of Rab Judah in the name of Rab agree: viz., [Elohim said to Adam,] I am Elohim, do not curse Me; l am Elohim, do not exchange Me for another; I am Elohim, let My fear be upon you? — This agrees
with the last mentioned [who adds Justice to the list]. (b.San. 56b)
Now, what is the standpoint of the Tanna of the School of Manasseh? If he interprets the verse, And Adonai YHWH commanded etc. [as interpreted above], he should include these two [Justice and blasphemy] also, and if he does not, whence does he derive the prohibition of the rest? — In truth, he does not accept the interpretation of the verse, `And the Adonai YHWH commanded etc., but maintains that each of these [which he includes] is separately stated: Idolatry and adultery for it is written, The earth also was corrupt before Elohim (Gen. 6:2); and a Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael taught: Wherever corruption is mentioned, it must refer to immorality and idolatry.
`Immorality.' as it is written, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. (Prov. 30:19) `Idolatry,' for it is written, Lest ye corrupt yourselves and make you a graven image, etc. (Deut. 4:16) And the other teacher [who deduces this from the verse, and Adonai YHWH commanded etc.]? He maintains that this verse [sc. the earth also etc.] merely describes their way of living.
`Bloodshed', as it is written, Whoso sheddeth man's blood, etc.(Gen. 9:6) And the other? — This verse [he will maintain] merely teaches the manner of execution.
Theft, for it is written, As the wild herbs have I given you all things; upon which R. Levi commented: as the wild herbs, but not as the cultivated herbs. And the other? — He will hold that this verse is written to permit animal flesh, [but not to prohibit robbery].
Flesh cut from the living animal, as it is written, But flesh with the life
thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Gen. 9:4) And the other? — He may hold that this verse teaches that flesh cut from live reptiles is permitted.
Emasculation, for it is written, Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and
multiply therein. And the other? — He may regard this merely as a blessing.
Forbidden mixture, as it is said, Of fowls after their kind. (Gen. 6:20) And the other? — He will maintain that this was merely for the sake of mating. (b.San. 56b-57a)
Zakan Ingalls said:
"Noach and his sons knew the difference between clean and unclean animals. Since only one male and one female of each unclean animal were in the Ark (Gen. 7:2), if we hold that Genesis 9:2 would have allowed Noach and his sons to eat unclean meat, then eating one of the unclean animals destroys that animal type forever and negates YHWH's own purpose in preserving that animal type from the flood.
Further, if Adam is made in the image of Elohim (Genesis 1:27, 9:6, Ya'aqov 3:9), Noach's offering of only clean animals (Genesis 8:20) indicates that only clean animals should be on the tables of a Noachide."
But the International Nazarene Beit Din said:
"In the days of Noach the clean animals were those suitable for offering to YHWH, for at the time YHWH referred to these as "clean" and "unclean" (Gen. 7:2; 8:20) only vegetable matter was kosher (Gen. 1:29) and only after this time did any animals at all become kosher (Gen. 9:3).
The International Nazarene Beit Din Says:
"From where do we derive the Seven precepts of Noach"?
Justice – For we read "Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed…" (Gen. 9:6)
Blessing the Name- For the serpent blasphemed YHWH by questioning his word when he said "has Elohim said…?" (Gen. 3:1) Also we read "Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohim, made He man." (Gen. 9:6) murder is forbidden because it destroys an Image of Elohim.
Idolatry- For we read in the Torah that man sought to make himself Elohim when the Serpent told him "you shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:5)
Sexual Immorality – For we read that man was to be joined "male and female" that the woman was told "your desire shall be to your husband" (Gen. 3:16) and that man's sexual relations were to be fruitful and result in reproduction as we read "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 9:1,7). Moreover we read of the fallen angels who came to man, "the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men, that they were fair. And they took them wives, whomsoever they chose…. the sons of Elohim
came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. …And YHWH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,…" (Gen. 6:1-5).
Against Shedding of Blood. – For we read that YHWH judged Cain for killing Able (Gen. 4) also we read "Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohim, made He man." (Gen. 9:6)
Against Theft – For we read in the Torah "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it." (Gen. 2:17) and again we read "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat. And she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. (Gen. 3:6) thus man's first sin was an act of theft.
Against Eating the Limb of a Living Animal and eating Blood – For we read "Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you; as the green herb have I given you all. Only flesh with the life thereof--which is the blood thereof--shall you not eat." (Gen. 9:3-4)
How are we to understand "you will do well"?
Our sages presupposed that these Gentiles would be going to synagogue on Sabbath and learning the Torah of Moses (Acts 15:21). The Ger Toshav, by definition, dwells among us, thus they are attending Synagogue and learning the Torah on the Sabbath. The issue before the Beit Din was only whether or not Gentiles need to be circumcised to be saved, not whether they should eventually be circumcised. Yeshua commissioned his Talmidim as follows:
Go you therefore, and teach all the Goyim,
and immerse them in the name of the Father,
and the Son, and the Ruach HaKodesh.
and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you,
and here I am with you all the days, to the end of the world.
Yehsua was instructing his Jewish Talmidim to make converts of the
goyim and to teach the goyim to observe all that Yeshua had commanded his Jewish talmidim to observe. Our sage Yochanan writes to us concerning Messiah "He who says, I am in him, out to conduct himself according to his conduct." (1Jn. 2:6) that is, as a Jew, not as a Noachide.
The Noachide covenant is a betrothal to YHWH as the Mosaic Covenant is a marriage to YHWH. A betrothal by definition is a prelude to a marriage.
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