Abraham lived hundreds of years before the time when the first 5 books of the Bible, the Law of Moses, were given to
the people of Israel at Mount Sinai under Moses. What, then, where these laws that Abraham obeyed?
According to the faith of the people of Israel, only Israelites [called Jews in modern
English] are obligated to keep all 613 commandments of the "Old Testament." Those individuals who are not members
of the people of Israel are only obligated to keep the 7 Laws of Noah - with their subsections.
The following introduction to the 7 Laws of Noah is from Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon [also known as Maimonides or Rambam]'s compilation of Talmudic law known as the Mishneh Torah:
[Click on any of the 7 Laws to view the basic details of that particular Law.]
"Concerning 6 matters Adam the first man was commanded:
Eventhough we have knowledge of all of these commandments by the the oral teaching we received into
our hands from Moses our teacher, and eventhough the human mind itself is inclined to establish these, nonetheless, it is
seen in the general words of the written Torah (Law of Moses - the first 5 books of the Bible) that he (Adam) was commanded
"Nonetheless, meat with it's life-movement in it's blood do not eat." - Genesis 9:4
Therefore we now have seven commandments.
The situation remained like this with the whole world until Abraham [Ahv'ra'ahm]. Abraham was eventually
commanded more, in addition to these 7 commandments. He was additionally commanded concerning circumcision.
He also established the daily morning service of prayer.
Isaac [Yees'hhoq] set apart tithes in the manner which the Torah [Law of Moses] commands, and he established
the daily afternoon service of prayer, in addition.
Jacob [Ya'aqov] added the prohibition concerning the sciatic nerve (hinted to in Genesis 32:32-33). He established the daily evening service of prayer also.
When the children of Israel were in Egypt, Amram was commanded concerning additionial commands.
At the coming of Moses [Mosha] the Torah was made whole...."
"The Torah of the L-RD is whole, restoring the soul. The Testimony of the L-RD is steadfast, making wise
the simple..." - Psalm 19:8
"To the Torah, even to the Testimony; For if they do not speak in accordance with this Word, there is no
light of dawn to it." - Isaiah 8:20
The later commands, which are in addition to the 7 commandments, that were commanded to Abraham and his
descendents, only apply to the people to whom these commands say they apply. In short, and in general, the 7 laws
which Abraham was a faithful servant to kept, before ever being commanded to circumcise, remain the 7 catagorical laws binding
on the majority of the world. The Law of Moses as a whole is, thus, binding only on the people of Israel. The
people of Israel include anyone whose mother is a Jew, in addition to anyone who choose to join the people of Israel according
to their commandments in the taking on the observance of the Law of Moses. Such a person is no different than someone
born a Jew in regard to the Law of Moses as a whole, as it is written:
"Concerning the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the convert who joins with you, a perpetual
law throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the convert be before the L-RD. There shall
be one law and one ordinance for you and for the convert who joins with you." - Numbers 15:15-16
[I've had Christians tell me that perpetual does not mean 'forever.'
Therefore it's good to note here that the Hebrew term OLAM is translated variously as perpetual,
eternal, everlasting, forever, ever, uttermost, etc.. Therefore, if you read the words perpetual or ever
or uttermost, do not automatically assume this means something other than forever. Check what Hebrew
word is being used, because there may be a possible distinction in your English translation between 'perpetual' and
'forever,' that does not exist in the original Hebrew.]