NoahideAccording to Jewish tradition, the Noahide Laws apply to all the people of the earth as we are all descended from Noah. They are not actually given in the Bible although we note that some form of law was present even before the Mosaic law was given at Sinai. This fact is a bit murky in places like the story of Cain and Abel but perhaps a bit clearer in the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. There clearly was a law before The Law. Jewish tradition also talks of Laws given to Adam and Eve when they left the garden. These consist of the first 6 in the list below.

Before the flood people were given only plants to eat:

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2.16, 17 ESV)

After the flood mankind is given animals to eat,  

3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. (Genesis 9.3-5 ESV)

hence the addition of the seventh commandment would follow.

We know from the Bible story that some form of covenant was established with Noah and his descendants when they left the Ark but there are not given these details only a sign.

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9"I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after 10and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." 12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.(Genesis 9.8-15 NIV)

In Acts, at the Council in Jerusalem, the apostles decide on what should be taught to the Gentile believers.  

28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. (Acts 15.28, 9)

Some see in this a reflection of the Noahide commands even though it is not a complete quotation of them.

The Noahide laws:

  1. Not to worship idols.
  2. Not to curse God.
  3. To establish courts of justice.
  4. Not to commit murder.
  5. Not to commit adultery or sexual immorality.
  6. Not to steal.
  7. Not to eat flesh torn from a living animal.

This obligation, to teach all the peoples of the earth about the laws of Noah, is incumbent upon every individual in every era. (Mishnah, Torah, Law of Kings 8:10) 5/14/05