Is Noahide theology the equivalent of “Natural Laws”?

Seven Laws for a Better World

Question:

I’ve always thought that Noahic Covenant theology was the equivalent of Natural Law theory. Isn’t it why we should be united in affirming the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance, because ethical monotheism is shared ground?

Answer:

We cannot say that the Noahide Commandments were derived in an intellectual way from human observations of the functioning of the natural order, even with the understanding that the natural order was created by G-d according to His wisdom, and that G-dliness is invested within it. The first six of the Noahide Commandments were given directly by G-d to Adam in the Garden of Eden. This happened on the very day Adam was created, before he ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil! In such a state of perfection, what was the need for a set of commandments?

In the original Hebrew, the word commandment (“mitzvah”) also means “connection.” There seems to be an infinite separation between a finite human and the Unlimited G-d, but this gap is bridged when a person accepts G-d as his or her King. This is done by submitting one’s own thought, speech and actions to G-d’s infinite will and wisdom, as they have been contracted into the form of the Divine commandments that one has been given. This informs a person about how to connect with G-d by behaving in the way of the Truth-based, authentic faith in the midst of the natural order.

Thus the faith of the Seven Noahide Commandments brings the true concept of unity to the world. This means both the unity of G-d (monotheism directed toward the true Creator and Director of the universe) and the unity of mankind (a world in which all people come to the One G-d in peace and harmony). This is the meaning of the prophecy (Zechariah 14:9): “G-d will be King over the entire earth; in that day, G-d will be One and His Name will be One.”

In summary, the 7 Noahide Commandments, and their application, are not dependent on anyone’s subjective interpretation of the observed natural order.

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