A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua
The Torah before Noah – A Refutation of Noachide Theology
The aim of this article is present a series of questions that refute the claim that the Noachide laws were the only Torah given to mankind before Mt. Sinai by listing the scriptural and Jewish references to the Torah existing before Mt. Sinai. If you know of other references, please reply to this post below.
Like Adam, they (Israel) have broken the covenant— they were unfaithful to me there.
Question: What Covenant did Israel break that Hosea says that Adam did too?
So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.
These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.
Gen 2:15 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
And the Lord God took the man from the mountain of worship, where he had been created, and made him dwell in the garden of Eden, to do service in the Torah, and to keep its commandments.
Gen 2:15 Jerusalem Targum
And the Lord God took the man, and made him dwell in the garden of Eden; and set him to do service in the Torah, and to keep it.
Gen 3:15 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between the seed of thy son, and the seed of her sons; and it shall be when the sons of the woman keep the commandments of the Torah, they will be prepared to smite thee upon thy head; but when they forsake the commandments of the Torah, thou wilt be ready to wound them in their heel. Nevertheless for them there shall be a medicine, but for thee there will be no medicine; and they shall make a remedy for the heel in the days of the King Meshiha.
Gen 3:15 Jerusalem Targum
And it shall be when the sons of the woman consider the Torah, and perform (its) instructions, they will be prepared to smite thee on thy head to kill thee; and when the sons of the woman forsake the commandment of the Torah, and perform not (its) instructions, thou wilt be ready to wound them in their heel, and hurt them. Nevertheless there shall be a medicine for the sons of the woman, but for thee, serpent, there shall be no medicine: but it is to be that for these there shall be a remedy for the heel in the days of the king Meshiha.
Point: “The commandment” refers to the Shema which is considered one commandment. See the article The Torah is One Commandment
Gen 3:23 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Before He had created the world, He created the Torah; He prepared the garden of Eden for the righteous, that they might eat and delight themselves with the fruit of the tree; because they would have practised in their lives the doctrine of the Torah in this world, and have maintained the commandments: (but) he prepared Gehinnam for the wicked, which is like the sharp, consuming sword of two edges; in the midst of it He hath prepared flakes of fire and burning coals for the judgment of the wicked who rebelled in their life against the doctrine of the Torah. To serve the Torah is better than (to eat of) the fruit of the tree of life, (the Torah) which the Word of the Lord prepared, that man in keeping it might continue, and walk in the paths of the way of life in the world to come.
Gen 3:23 Jerusalem Targum
Two thousand years before He had created the world, He created the Torah, and prepared Gehinnam and the garden of Eden. He prepared the garden of Eden for the righteous, that they should eat, and delight themselves with the fruit of the tree, because they had kept the commandments of the Torah in this world. For the wicked He prepared Gehinnam, which is like the sharp, consuming sword with two edges. He prepared in the depth of it flakes of fire and burning coals for the wicked, for their punishment for ever in the world to come, who have not kept the commandment of the Torah in this world. For the Torah is the tree of life; whoever keepeth it in this life liveth and subsisteth as the tree of life. The Torah is good to keep in this world, as the fruit of the tree of life in the world that cometh.
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.
4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “(G)Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Question: By what Torah does Cain know how to “do well” in regards to offering the fruit of the ground?
Question: By what Torah is Abel’s offering of the “firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions” regarded by HaShem?
Gen 4:7 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
And the Lord said to Kain, Why hast thou anger, and why are the features of thy face downcast? If thou doest thy work well, will not thy guilt be forgiven thee? But if thou doest not thy work well in this world, thy sin is retained unto the day of the great judgment, and at the doors of thy heart lieth thy sin. And into thy hand have I delivered the power over evil passion, and unto thee shall be the inclination thereof, that thou mayest have authority over it to become righteous, or to sin.
Question: By what Torah is Cain’s sin defined by?
Habel answered and said to Kain, In goodness was the world created, and according to the fruit of good works is it governed; and there is no respect of persons in judgment; but because the fruits of my works were better than thine, my oblation, before thine, hath been accepted with good will.
Question: What are these good works, and how are they defined according to the Torah?
10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.
11 “Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
Question: The last time God cursed someone is when Adam and Eve sinned. Now Cain is cursed… so does God curse when there is no sin committed?
Gen 4:11 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
The voice of the bloods of the murder of thy brother which are swallowed up in the sod, crieth before Me from the earth.
Question: The Targum calls this sin, “murder.” But where is murder defined?
And Kain said before the Lord, My sins are greater than can be borne. Nevertheless there is power before Thee to absolve and forgive me.
Question: What sins? Murder is only ONE sin. What other sin did Cain commit? Perhaps the offering? What made it a sin? According to what standard?
Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Question: How did Enoch walk with God if there was no Torah supposedly given yet?
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Question: How can man be charged with wickedness before Noah was given his commands? According to what standard did mankind engage, that is accounted as the wickedness that God saw? Where was that standard given to mankind? When?
Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
Question: How is Noah righteous before the flood? How is he called righteous before he was given the so-called Noahide laws, yet the rest of mankind is not counted as righteous? By what given standard is Noah thus set apart from the rest of that generation that perished?
Question: How is Noah blameless before the flood? By what standard? And when was that standard given?
Question: Like Enoch, how did Noah walk with God? In what way? By what standard? What did his walk of obedience look like?
“As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
Question: Which food is edible, which is not? Is there a food that is NOT edible to contrast the addition of the adjective to food “that is edible?” Where is that standard defined?
Question: What is “food for you” if not defined by Leviticus which states what is “food for you”?
2 “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;
3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.
Question: By what standard are clean animals defined?
Question: By what standard are unclean animals defined?
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Question: By what Torah does Noah know how to build an altar?
Question: By what Torah does he know what are clean animals?
Question: By what Torah does he know what are clean birds?
Question: By what Torah does he limit the offering of only clean animals? Why does he not offer an unclean animals?
Question: By what Torah does he limit the offering of only clean birds? Why does he not offer an unclean bird? By what teaching or instruction?
Question: According to what teaching or instruction does he offer a BURNT offering?
Question: Why would a man who spent years dedicated to the preservation of animals from the Flood, immediately desire to kill one of each of the clean animals? For such a righteous man, according to what Torah does he take this upon himself?
21 The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Question: If God calls the pleasing offerings of the altar sacrifices by Israel in the wilderness a “soothing aroma,” then how is it that Noah is able to offer up an offering that too is a “soothing aroma” to the LORD, without knowing the Torah’s instructions in how to do so?
According to Encyclopedia Judaica: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view. … m%20psalms
Adam’s psalms …refer to cosmogony, creation. Psalm 5, Psalm 19, Psalm 24, Psalm 92 (Yalḳut. II. 630) were said to have been written by David, though Adam was worthy to have composed them. http://www.tsel.org/torah/yalkutsh/tehilim.html#A2015
Of particular interest is Psalm 19, if attributed to Adam, says:
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Question: If, according to Noachide theologies that the Torah was unknown or not given to mankind, then why does the 14th century midrash, Yalkut Shimoni, claim that this Psalm is “worthy to have been composed by Adam” when it speaks of the Torah?
The Torah and its instructions as given to Israel at Mt. Sinai existed, was known, and is given to mankind before Noah even received the commandments from God in Genesis 9.
Next, let’s delve into Rashi, and the various sources he gleans from to prove that there was a “Torah” academy run by Shem, and Eber where the patriarchs took “years” to learn the Torah:
Noach: Bereishis/Genesis, Chapter 07 – Rashi
Excerpts: I.e., that is destined to be “clean” [and permitted] for Israel. We learn [from this] that Noach studied Torah.55
Noach: Bereishis/Genesis, Chapter 07 – Text Notes
54 The distinction between the “clean” and “unclean” animals was not made until the giving of the Torah!
This is only a rudimentary presentation. There is more yet to come, and this article will be modified with additional examples. With just a few of the questions above, it becomes apparent that holders of Noachide theology have some explaining to do in order to maintain their theology. I welcome the challenge to answer new questions from the Noachide camp, but I am more interested in finding Noachide answers to these questions already asked.