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When did the 7 Laws become Torah Law at Sinai?

Timeline of G-d’s re-affirming the Noahide Commandments at Mount Sinai, where He commanded them with specific details as part of the eternal Torah of Moses:

mount sinai

The order of events:

As G-d decided for reasons known to Him, some of the verses in the Torah that refer to these events are not placed in chronological order. Here they are presented according to the order of what took place:

1st day (1 Sivan 2448) / Ex. 19:1-2. The Israelite nation encamped at Mount Sinai, on the 45th day after G-d led them out in their exodus from slavery in Egypt.

2nd day / Ex. 19:3-8. Moses ascended to the top of Mt. Sinai to receive instructions from G-d, and then he descended. The Israelites agreed that they would obediently enter into the Jewish covenant, when they said, “Everything that G-d has spoken we shall do!”

3rd day / Ex. 19:8 (starting from “Moses brought back the words of the people to G-d”) to Ex. 19:9 (up to … “and they will believe in you [Moses], also forever”). Moses then ascended Mt. Sinai again, reported to G-d, received His next instructions, and then descended.

4th day / Ex. 19:9 (starting from “Moses told the words of the people to G-d”) to Ex. 19:14, and then the continuation skips to Ex. 24:1-4 (through “Moses wrote all the words of G-d”). Moses ascended Mt. Sinai again to receive instructions from G-d, and descended to tell the people all the Divine laws that had been commanded up until that time.

The recounting and recording of the 7 Noahide Laws by Moses, and their acceptance by the Israelites:

This took place at Mount Sinai on this day, two days before G-d spoke openly to the entire nation. In Ex. 24:3-4, it says “And Moses came and told the people all the words of G-d and all the laws; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words which G-d has spoken will we do.’ And Moses wrote all the words of G-d…” Here, “all the laws” refers to the Seven Noahide Commandments and a few of the Jewish Commandments, which the Israelites were commanded about after they left Egypt, but before they arrived at Mt. Sinai. (Moses told these commandments to the Israelites at Marah, after they crossed through the sea – see Exodus 15:25.)

In Ex. 24:4, “Moses wrote all the words of G-d” means that at that time, he wrote down the Book of Genesis. It contains the verses that inform us of the earlier Covenant of the Rainbow and the Noahide Commandments. He also wrote down the Book of Exodus up to that point. Thus, G-d commanded upon the Jewish people that based upon the revelation they would receive at Mount Sinai, they would have the responsibility for preserving and publicizing the Noahide Commandments. As part of the Torah, that includes all the details of those commandments, and that they are for all the Gentiles of the world for all generations.

5th day / Ex. 24:4 (from “He [Moses] arose early in the morning…”) to Ex. 24:11. This is the day that Moses built an altar, and read to the people the “Book of the Covenant” (the Book of Genesis, including the Seven Noahide Commandments, and part of Exodus up to that point).

6th day / Ex. 19:16-20:18, and Ex. 24:12-15. G-d openly spoke 10 of the 613 Jewish Commandments to the people. This is called the day of the “Giving of the Torah,” because the entire Torah is spiritually included within G-d’s speaking the 10 Commandments. Moses then ascended Mount Sinai, to learn more of the specific Jewish Commandments from G-d for 40 days and 40 nights. (Many of these Jewish commandments are recorded in Ex. 20:19 to Ex. 23:22.)

That is also the day that the Seven Noahide Commandments became obligated upon all the nations in an additional and eternal manner, as part of the eternal Torah that is united with G-d Himself. Before that, the nations were obligated from the commandments given through Noah, but those earlier commandments were not yet part of Torah, so they did not yet have a definitely eternal status.

– by Dr. Michael Schulman
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