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The Noahides Home Page
From 7 We Get 66

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The 7 Universal Noahide Laws
From 7 We Get 66
Halakhah For Noahides
Trying To Grasp God
What About Sin and Repentance
Q & A about Noahides
Who is a Noahide?
The Experience of a Noahide
Noahides: Public Law 102-14
Views On Christianity
Noahide Links

From the 7 Universal Noahide Laws we find 66 specific commandments contained within these 7 Universal Laws.

The Seven Universal Laws, also known as the Seven Noahide Laws, are the minimal observance for non-Jews. All of these laws are derived from specific passages in the Torah (The Hebrew Bible), which G-d gave to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. By learning from the Jews and performing the mitzvos (commandments, laws or good deeds), non-Jews have a crucial role in completing the Creation.

The 66 Noahide Laws

(as per Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein; based on the Rambam)

[52 Negative, 14 Positive]

Law 1-No Idolatry

Deuteronomy 4:15-19: Deuteronomy 4:35:

WORSHIP G-D. Do not worship anything except G-d Himself.

1) "Against entertaining the thought that there exists a deity except Hashem." (Negative)

2) "Against making any graven image [& against having anyone else make one for us]." (Negative)

3) "Against making idols for use by others." (Negative)

4) "Against making any forbidden statues [even when they are for ornamental purposes]." (Negative)

5) "Against bowing to any idol [& not to sacrifice nor to pour libation nor to burn incense before any idol, even where it is not the customary manner of worship to the particular idol]." (Negative)

6) "Against worshipping idols in any of their customary manners of worship." (Negative)

7) "Against causing our children to pass [through the fire] in the worship of Molech." (Negative)

8) "Against practicing Ov." (Negative)

9) "Against practicing Yiddoni." (Negative)

10) "Against turning to idolatry [in word, in thought, in deed, or by any observance that may draw us to its worship]." (Negative)


 

Law 2-No Blasphemy

Leviticus 24:15-16: Psalms 7:18-8:2:

RESPECT G-D AND PRAISE HIM. Do not curse Him or anyone in His name.

1) "To acknowledge the existence of G-d." (Positive )

2) "To fear G-d." (Positive )

3) "To pray to Him." (Positive )

4) "To sanctify G-d's name [in face of death, where appropriate]." (Positive )

5) "Against desecrating G-d's name [even in face of death, when appropriate]." (Negative )

6) "To study the Torah." (Positive)

7) "To honor the scholars, and to revere one's teacher." (Positive )

8) "Against blaspheming." (Negative)

Law 3- No Murder

Genesis 9:6:

RESPECT HUMAN LIFE. Do not commit murder, suicide, or abortion.

1) "Against any person murdering anyone." (Negative)

Law 4- No Adultery

RESPECT THE FAMILY. Do not participate in sexual immorality.

1) "Against [a man] having union with his mother." (Negative)

2) "Against [a man] having union with his sister." (Negative)

3) "Against [a man] having union with the wife of his father." (Negative )

4) "Against [a man] having union with another man's wife." (Negative )

5) "Against [a man] copulating with a beast." (Negative )

6) "Against a woman copulating with a beast." (Negative )

7) "Against [a man] lying carnally with a male." (Negative )

8) "Against [a man] lying carnally with his father." (Negative )

9) "Against [a man] lying carnally with his father's brother." (Negative )

10) "Against engaging in erotic conduct that may lead to a prohibited union. [That is, petting by persons whose marriage would be illicit.]" (Negative )

 

Law 5- No Theft

RESPECT OTHERS' RIGHTS AND PROPERTY. Do not steal, cheat, or kidnap.

1) "Against stealing. [i.e., by stealth]" (Negative )

2) "Against committing robbery. [i.e., openly]" (Negative )

3) "Against shifting a landmark." (Negative )

4) "Against cheating." (Negative )

5) "Against repudiating a claim of money owed." (Negative)

6) "Against overcharging." (Negative )

7) "Against coveting." (Negative )

8) "Against desiring." (Negative )

9) "A laborer shall be allowed to eat of the fruits among which he works [under certain conditions]." (Positive )

10) "Against a laborer eating of such fruit [when certain conditions are not met]." (Negative )

11) "Against a laborer taking of such fruit home." (Negative )

12) "Against kidnapping." (Negative )

13) "Against the use of false weights & measures." (Negative )

14) "Against the possession of false weights & measures." (Negative )

15) "That one shall be exact in the use of weights & measures." (Positive )

16) "That the robber shall return [or pay for] the stolen object." (Positive )

 

Law 6- Eating The Limb Of A Living Creature

Genesis 9:3-4:

RESPECT ALL CREATURES. Do not eat the flesh of any animal while it is still alive.

1) "Against eating a limb severed from a living animal, beast, or fowl." (Negative )

2) "Against eating the flesh of any animal which was torn by a wild beast which, in part, prohibits the eating of such flesh as was torn off an animal while it was still alive." (Negative )


Law 7- Establish Courts Of Justice

PURSUE JUSTICE. Establish courts of law to enforce the 7 Noahide Commandments

1) "To appoint judges and officers in each and every community." (Positive )

2) "To treat the litigants equally before the law." (Positive )

3) "To inquire diligently into the testimony of a witness." (Positive )

4) "Against the wanton miscarriag of justice by the court." (Negative )

5) "Against the judge accepting a bribe or gift from a litigant." (Negative )

6) "Against the judge showing marks of honor to but one litigant." (Negative )

7) "Against the judge acting in fear of a litigant's threats." (Negative )

8) "Against the judge, out of compassion, favoring a poor litigant." (Negative )

9) "Against the judge discriminating against the litigant because he is a sinner." (Negative )

10) "Against the judge, out of softness, putting aside the penalty of a mauler or killer." (Negative )

11) "Against the judge discriminating against a stranger or an orphan." (Negative)

12) "Against the judge hearing one litigant in the absence of another." (Negative )

13) "Against appointing a judge who lacks knowledge of the Law." (Negative )

14) "Against incrimination by circumstantial evidence." (Negative )

15) "Against punishing for a crime committed under duress." (Negative )

16) "That the court is to administer the death penalty by the sword [i.e., decapitation]." (Positive )

17) "Against anyone taking the law into his own hands to kill the perpetrator of a capital crime." (Negative )

18) "To testify in court." (Positive )

19) "Against testifying falsely." (Negative )

 

The Law is Only a Minimum

In contrast to the doctrine that the Law is too difficult to follow and that everyone falls short of the Law, the Bible (Hebrew Scriptures) clearly teaches that G-d's Law is the absolute minimum that He expects everyone to follow. The Law is merely the foundation for our spiritual service to G-d; we start by obeying every detail of the Law--which is not too difficult--and then we can begin building our spiritual "house" in this world, helping to bring the revelation of G-d's kingdom into the physical world.

In other words, the purpose of life is to serve G-d with everything we have. This starts by obeying His Law completely, and on that basis we are now able to harness our energies and opportunities every single day for His goals, not ours.

The Law contains two parallel (but separate) paths for the world: 613 commandments for the Jews, and 66 commandments (contained in the 7 Noachide Laws) for gentiles. Once a Noachide is committed to keeping the 66 mitzvos, he may (and really should) take on the responsibility for additional mitzvos, with certain clear exceptions:

Non-Jews may not observe Shabbos (or holidays) in the manner of Jews (by avoiding the 39 categories of work),

nor may non-Jews put on tefillin or tzitzis, put up a mezuzah,

or be called up for a public Torah reading in a synagogue.

 There are other restrictions as well, including certain limitations on Torah study (depending partly on individual circumstances).

But many or most (not all)of the 613 mitzvos can be observed by Noachides for spiritual benefit. Indeed, some of these additional commandments are important (though technically not required) for gentiles to observe, while other commandments would also be a good idea.