These are the Seven commandments that the descendants of Noah are commanded:

1

 Believe and trust in G-d - Do not worship idols

עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה

2

 Respect and praise G-d - Do not blaspheme

בִּרְכַּת הַשֵׁם

3

 Respect the sanctity of human life - Do not murder, assault or slander

שְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים

4

 Respect family values - Do not have illicit sexual relations

גִּלּוּי עֲרָיוֹת

5

 Respect the rights and property of others - Do not steal

גָּזֵל

6

 Respect the rights of animals - Do not eat flesh from a live animal

אֵבָר מִן הֶחָי

7

 Responsibility for society - Establish a system of Justice

דִּינִים

 

 

1. Avodah Zarah   עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה               

Literally: Strange/foreign work/service - i.e. serving an idol or false deity.

Prohibition against: Idolatry (the deification or worship of any object, creature, human being, or power other than the One True G-d.)

Commandment to: Believe and trust in G-d alone, as the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the World.

This commandment includes the belief in G-d, that He is the creator of everything and He is constantly creating everything anew, and guides everything by His Providence. Indeed the very essence of life is to recognize and believe in the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, accepting His laws with awe and love. He is aware of our deeds, and His Providence is over all of creation.

Refer to: Exodus 20:3-4

2. ‘Birchat’ (Kilelas) HaShem  בִּרְכַּת הַשֵׁם

Literally: ‘Blessing’ the Divine Name. - i.e. Cursing G-d

Prohibition against: Blasphemy

Commandment to: Respect and praise G-d and His holy Names.

This commandment forbids cursing G-d (G-d forbid) in anyway. Trust and loyalty are crucial in life. Know that G-d is just, but humans can’t comprehend our Creator, Who is infinite. One shouldn’t extend his “freedom of speech” to the extreme of blasphemy. Don’t speak against the One Who gave you speech!

Refer to: Leviticus 24:15

3. Shefichat Damim   שְׁפִיכוּת דָּמִים

Literally: Spilling blood

Prohibition against: Murder and Injury

Commandment to: Respect the sanctity of human life.

This commandment includes prohibitions of murder, abortion (except to save the mothers life), euthanasia and suicide (G-d forbid). This edict protects us from the extremes of selfishness and the violent tendencies that may lie within.

Refer to: Genesis 9:6

4. Gilui Arayot    גִּלּוּי עֲרָיוֹת

Literally: Exposure of nakedness - i.e. knowing someone in a forbidden sexual way.

Prohibition against: Sexual transgressions/forbidden relationships (i.e. incest, adultery, homosexual acts, and bestiality etc)

Commandment to: Respect traditional family values, because G-d defined marriage.

This commandment prohibits a gentile man from six immoral acts: with your mother, with your fathers wife, with a another mans wife, with your maternal sister, with an animal, and with another man. Wholesome families are a basis of healthy communities, nations and societies. Sexual transgressions lead to inner spiritual decay.

Refer to: Genesis 2:24

5. Gezel    גָּזֵל

Literally: To rob, steal or embezzle.

Prohibition against: Theft (Includes rape and abduction)

Commandment to: Respect the rights and property of others.

This commandment prohibits stealing money or goods, a person (kidnapping), or even stealing from your employer. Since our sustenance comes from G-d, we should seek to earn it with honesty and dignity, not through deceit.

Refer to: Genesis 2:17

6. Ever Min HaChai  אֵבָר מִן הֶחָי

Literally: Limb of the living.

Prohibition against: Eating a limb or any meat taken from a live animal

Commandment to: Respect all creatures and avoid cruelty.

This commandment also prohibits cruelty to animals. Humans are given dominion over the Earth, but we are also its caretakers. Although we may make use of animals, we cannot cause them undue suffering. This commandment prohibits meat taken from an animal while its heart was still beating.

Refer to: Genesis 9:3-4

7. Dinim   דִּינִים

Literally: Judgement, justice, and law etc.

Prohibition against: Injustice, Societies with no legal system and breaching Torah law.

Commandment to: Establish a Just legal system, and pursue Justice

The descendents of Noah are obligated to create a judicial system to enforce the other six commandments. A fair and effective legal system creates a society worthy of G-d’s blessings. It brings G-d’s ideals for our personal life into a formal order for society, and completes the other six commandments. Justice is the foundation of world peace.

Refer to: Genesis 34:2-4.

According to the Rambam (Maimonides) in  his Hilchos Melachim, the order the commandments were given in is as follows:

'Six precepts were commanded to Adam: prohibitions  against the worship of false gods; cursing G-d; murder; incest and adultery; theft; laws and courts of justice. To Noah, G-d added the prohibition against eating flesh from a living animal, as [Genesis 9:4] states: "Nevertheless,  you may not eat flesh with its life, which is its blood." Thus, there are Seven Commandments.'

'These matters remained the same throughout the world until Abraham. When Abraham came, he was commanded  regarding circumcision in addition to these. He also ordained the morning  prayers. Isaac separated tithes and ordained an additional prayer service in  the afternoon. Jacob was commanded the prohibition against eating the sciatic nerve. He also ordained the evening prayers. In Egypt, Amram was commanded regarding other commandments. Ultimately, Moses came and the Torah was completed by him.'

The Seven Noachide Commandments are general commandments with many details.

The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim  8:11, writes that all Bnei Noach who accept upon themselves the Seven Commandments and are careful to keep them and are precise in their observance are  termed 'Chasidei Umos ha'Olam' ('the Pious Ones of the Nations')        מֵחֲסִידֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם  and they merit a share in the World to  Come. However, they must keep these commandments specifically because HaShem (G-d) commanded them in the Torah through Moshe Rabeinu (Moses our teacher). If they keep and perform these commandments out of intellectual conviction and as logical guidelines for the survival of the world, they are not a resident alien (Ger Toshav), nor of the Pious among the Gentiles (Chasidei Umot  HaOlam), but rather, of their wise men.

When a Ben Noach fulfills a  Mitzvah of the Torah that is not prohibited to him, he receives the reward  of an 'Eino Metzuveh v'Oseh' - 'one who performs a Mitzvah in  which he was not commanded.' This reward is less than the reward of one who  performs Mitzvos in which he was commanded (Gemara Bava Kama 38a, Kidushin  31a).

Besides these seven major Mitzvos, Chazal (the Jewish Sages) received a  tradition that there are other Mitzvos and prohibitions that are incumbent  upon Bnei Noach. The Beraisa in Sanhedrin 56b, notes certain Tana'im (early Rabbis) who rule that other prohibitions are incumbent upon Bnei Noach. These prohibitions are:

 

Hebrew  Transliteration

English Translation

Talmud

7b

Dam Min ha'Chai

not to eat blood that is taken from an animal when it is alive

Rabbi Chananyah ben Gamliel said: Also not  to partake of the blood drawn from a living animal

4b

Sirus

not to perform castration/emasculation

Rabbi Chidka said, they are also forbidden  to castrate

1b

Kishuf

witchcraft

Rabbi Shimon said, also Kishuf (witchcraft  /sorcery) is forbidden to them.

Rabbi Yossi said, everything in the Parshah of Kishuf is forbidden to  them (Deut. / Devarim 18:10-11)

4c

Harba'as Behemah

mating different species of animals

Rabbi Eliezer added Kilayim (forbidden mixture) in plants and animals. They are permitted to wear  Sha'atnez - 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.

4d

Harkavas ha'Ilan

grafting trees

 

The Amora'im (later Rabbis) add two more prohibitions:

6b

Not to Keep Shabbat - choosing a day of the week on which to refrain from work (Sanhedrin 58b).

5b

Not to Learn Torah other than the parts that deal with the seven major commandments (San. 59a).

 

 

N.B. - Please note that some of these additional laws should be treated as a list of recommendations and not as the actual accepted Halacha. For further explanation of this you should consult your Local Orthodox Rabbi or the new Shulchan Aruch for Bnei Noach: ‘The Divine Code’.

Jeremiah 16:19-21

The Prophet Jeremiah said that in the end-days, the Gentiles will turn to G-d, coming from the ends of the earth to seek Him.

19. O G-d, my strength and stronghold, my refuge in times of trouble, nations will come to You from the ends of the earth, and they will say: “Our ancestors inherited falsehood,* useless nonsense.
20. Can a man make for himself gods? Such are no gods!”
21. Therefore, I will inform them this time and let them know My might and power, and they will know that My name is G-d.**

* i.e. our ancestors religions are false.

** They will learn I am omnipotent.

 

The Noachide Code: The 7 Commandments of the Covenant of Noah, the universal moral code for all mankind.

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