The Thirty Mitzvot of the Bnei Noah

By: Rabbi L Rabinowitz

The Talmud Bavli (Chullin 92a) mentions that Bnei Noach have thirty mitzvot (laws):

‘Rav Yehuda Says: This verse (Zacharia 11:12) refers to the thirty righteous persons among the nations of the world, whose merit sustains the nations of the world.

Ulla said: This verse refers to the thirty commandments which the Noachites have accepted. But they keep only three of them. One, they do not draw up marriage contracts for homosexuals. Two, they do not merchandize (human) flesh in the marketplace. Three, they do have respect for the Torah (and for Torah scholars).’

As RASHI tells us, Chazal do not elaborate on the nature of the 30 Mitzvot, but various commentaries offer suggestions. The basic thesis with which they work is that the 30 Mitzvot are subdivisions of the seven Noachide laws.

 

Rabbi Menachem Azaria de Fano  1548-1620 (also known as the ‘REMA mi’PANU’ רמ״ע מפאנו ) in his book ספר עשרה מאמרות Asarah Ma’amaros, Ma’amar Chikur Din 3:21   מאמר חקור דין ־ חלק ג פרק כא (Amsterdam 1649), enumerates the 30 laws as follows:

The REMA Mi’Panu’s 30 laws in Romanised Hebrew And translated into English in the original Hebrew

  1. AVODAH ZARAH / Avodat Elilim IDOLATRY:
  2. Ma’avir Ba’esh  Passing a child through fire in the worship of molech מעביר באש
  3.  Kosem Stick divination קוסם
  4. Me’onen  Divining of auspicious times מעונן
  5.  Menachesh Interpreting of omens / Superstition  מנחש
  6. Mechashef  Witchcraft / Sorcery מכשף
  7. Chover Chaver  Charming / using incantations חובר חבר
  8. Ov  Consulting mediums אוב
  9. Yidoni  Consulting oracles ידעוני
  10. Doresh El ha’Mesim Necromancy דורש אל המתים
    שנית
  11. GILUY ARAYOS SEXUAL SINS: גלוי עריות
  12. Peru * Be fruitful. פרו
  13. Revu * Multiply seed. רבו
  14. Ba Al ha’Zechur Don’t draw up marriage contracts for homosexuals. אסור הזכור אפילו יחדו בכתובה
  15. Kilayei Behemah Cross-breeding of animals כלאי בהמה
  16. Sirus Castration סרוס
  17. Harkavas ha’Ilan Grafting trees הרכבת אילן
    שלישית
  18. SHEFICHUS DAMIM MURDER: שפיכות  דמים
  19. Soter Lo’o Shel Yisroel Striking a Jew סוטר לועו של ישראל
    רביעית
  20. BIRKAS HASHEM BLASPHEMY: ברכת ה׳
  21. Kavod ha’Torah * Honour the Torah (and Torah scholars). כבוד התורה
  22. la’Asok ba’Torah she’Nitnah Lahem * Studying relevant parts of the Torah. לעסוק בתורה שניתנה להם
    חמישית
  23. GEZZEL THEFT: גזל
  24. Shelo la’Asok ba’Torah Shel Yisrael No to study non-relevant parts of the Torah. שלא לעסוק בתורה מורשה אלינו
    ששית
  25. HADINIM LEYISHUVO SHEL OLOM * ESTABLISHMENT OF A SYSTEM OF JUSTICE: הדינין לישובו של עולם
  26. Velo Yishbosu No to observe the Sabbath ולא ישבותו
    שביעית
  27. EIVER MIN HACHAY  EATING ALL OR PART OF A LIVING CREATURE: אבר מן  החי
  28. Dam Min ha’Chay Blood of a living creature דם מן החי
  29. Nevelah Eating an animal that died (without slaughter). נבלה
  30. Basar Hames Human flesh. בשר המת