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These seven laws are implicit in God’s commandment to Adam and Eve in Gen. 2:16-17, “And the Lord
God commanded the man saying ‘From all the trees of the garden you may freely eat’.”
In the Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan explains:
1. The word “commanded” (VaYetzav) is a reference to laws of justice for it says in Gen. 18:19,
“For I have known him so he will COMMAND (Yitzaveh) his children after him to keep the way of
the Lord and righteousness and justice.”
2. “And the Lord” (HaShem) implies the prohibition of blasphemy. As it says in Lev. 24:16, “He who
blasphemes the name of THE LORD (Hashem) shall die.”
3. “God” (Elokim) is a reference to idolatry for it says in Ex. 20:3 “You shall have no other Elokim
before me”.
4. “The Man” (Ha Adam) is the prohibition of murder. God explicitly commands Noah (Gen. 9:6), “If
     one sheds the blood of THE MAN (Ha Adam), by man shall his own blood be shed.”
5. “Saying” (Laymor) refers to sexual misconduct or adultery, as the prophet Jeremiah (3:1) says,
“Saying (laymor), if a man divorces his wife…”
6. “From all the trees of the Garden” is an implicit prohibition of theft. It shows that permission is
needed to take something that is not explicitly yours.
7. Likewise, “you may eat” implies that there are things which may not be eaten (the limbs of a live


1. against stealing
2. against committing robbery
3. against shifting a landmark
4. against cheating
5. against repudiating a claim of money owed
6. against overcharging
7. against coveting
8. against desiring
9. a laborer shall be allowed to eat of the fruits among which he works (under certain
10. against a laborer eating of such fruit (when certain conditions are not met)
11. against a laborer taking of such fruit home
12. against kidnapping
13. against the use of false weights and measures
14. against the possession of false weights and measures
15. that one shall be exact in the use of weights and measures
16. that the robber shall return (or pay for) the stolen object
1. to appoint judges and officers in each and every community
2. to treat the litigants equally before the law
3. to inquire diligently into the testimony of a witness
4. against the wanton miscarriage of justice by the court
5. against the judge accepting a bribe or gift from a litigant
6. against the judge showing marks of honor to but one litigant
7. against the judge acting in fear of a litigant’s threats
8. against the judge, out of compassion, favoring a poor litigant
9. against the judge discriminating against the litigant because he is a sinner
10. against the judge, out of softness, putting aside the penalty of a mauler or killer
11. against the judge discriminating against a stranger or an orphan
12. against the judge hearing one litigant in the absence of the other
13. against appointing a judge who lacks knowledge of the Law
14. against the court killing an innocent man
15. against incrimination by circumstantial evidence
16. against punishing for a crime committed under duress
17. that the court is to administer the death penalty by the sword
18. against anyone taking the law into his own hands to kill the perpetrator of a capital

19. to testify in court
20. against testifying falsely* This point is disagreed upon by different writers: “The
     Noahites are not restricted in this way but may judge singly and at once.”
1. against anyone murdering anyone
1. against (a man) having union with his mother
2. against (a man) having union with his sister
3. against (a man) having union with the wife of his father
4. against (a man) having union with another man’s wife
5. against (a man) copulating with a beast
6. against a woman copulating with a beast
7. against (a man) lying carnally with a male
8. against (a man) lying carnally with his father
9. against (a man) lying carnally with his father’s brother
10. against engaging in erotic conduct that may lead to a prohibited union
1. against eating a limb severed from a living animal, beast, or fowl
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

1. against entertaining the thought that there exists a deity except the Lord
2. against making any graven image (and against having anyone else make one for us)
3. against making idols for use by others
4. against making any forbidden statues (even when they are for ornamental purposes)
5. against bowing to any idol (and 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
6. against worshipping idols in any of their customary manners of worship
7. against causing our children to pass (through the fire) in the worship of Molech.

8. against practicing Ov
9. against the practice of Yiddoni
10. against turning to idolatry (in word, in thought, in deed, or by any observance that may
    draw us to its worship)

1. to acknowledge the presence of God
2. to fear God
3. to pray to Him
4. to sanctify God’s name (in face of death, where appropriate)
5. against desecrating God’s name (even in face of death, when appropriate)
6. to study the Torah
7. to honor the scholars, and to revere one’s teacher
8. against blaspheming

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