These seven laws are held in Jewish tradition
to be binding on all humankind (all descended from Noah
, hence the term Noahide) as opposed to The Torah specifically which is for Jews alone.
They read like a first draft of the Ten Commandments:
- Do not worship idols.
- Do not steal.
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit sexual sin. [NOTE: Also translated as "do not engage in sexual immorality". Knowing the Bible this might extend to all things considered "perverted" in the Torah, or it could simply be an injunction against rape and bestiality.]
- Do not blaspheme God.
- Do not eat meat taken from a living animal. [NOTE: This may mean don't commit unnecessary cruelty to animals when you eat them. It sounds cool if gross when put that way.]
- Enact and uphold just laws.
One point of this is to assert both the universality of morality and the uniqueness of the Jewish people. As a by product it also allows gentiles who are fond of Judaism but find complete conversion inconvenient (conversion to Judaism being a far more lengthy and involved process than in Christianity and rarely done) to become "auxiliary Jews" so to speak. See also Wikipedia's article about Noahide laws