Question from a gentile:

I wish to ask, do Jews believe that Moses never called non-Jews to the worship of one God?

If Jews do believe that he did call non-Jews to one God, how did they come to the belief that one can only be Jewish through some kind of blood heritage?

  • 3
    The Mosaic covenant was with the people who became the Jewish people, but the Noachide code had already established an obligation of monotheism on ALL peoples.
    – rosends
    Jun 2, 2021 at 21:31
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    To expand on what rosends said, Jews believe that all people are obligated in the 7 Laws of Noah, which certainly at least exclude idolatry and may require belief in the One Single God, depending on who you ask. But anyone who is not born Jewish may remain non-Jewish and fulfill their obligations in life by simply following those 7 laws. Only those born Jewish and those who choose to take on Judaism voluntarily become obligated in the 613 commandments of the Torah.
    – Daniel
    Jun 2, 2021 at 22:04
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    Almost no Jews believe that one can only be Jewish through some kind of blood heritage. We accept converts and have done so for thousands of years at this point.
    – Aaron
    Jun 2, 2021 at 22:35
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    When God sends Moses to Pharaoh and says "the Israelites are my firstborn son", that implies that all of humanity are God's children -- just that there's a special relationship with the Jews.
    – Shalom
    Jun 2, 2021 at 23:52
  • The blood heritage of Jews is wholly unrelated to the Unity and Oneness of G-d and generalized non-Jewish belief of that concept.
    – Yehuda
    Jun 3, 2021 at 2:56

3 Answers 3


Grace asked:

I wish to ask, do Jews believe that Moses never called non-Jews to the worship of one God?

It's my understanding that mainstream Judaism doesn't believe this and never did. This "idea" falls under the category of "things Non-Jews think that Jews believe." One reason this idea keeps being falsely attributed to us because Judaism is a religion, culture, and ethnicity and so it's harder for other religions to conceptualize. Another reason is because Jews don't view every verse in the Bible as applying to "everyone." Jews view that most commandments are specifically commanded to the Jews and not necessarily to anyone else. In much the same way I give rules and expectations to my kids that I don't expect from other kids. But does that mean if I ever adopted a child I wouldn't treat them the same as my own children?? Or that I view other children as less holy or worthwhile than my children?? God forbid!

I use this example to explain that God has specific expectations and rules for His firstborn children the Jews, but anyone who converts also becomes a Jew and is accepted into this special relationship with God.

Grace Asked:

If Jews do believe that he did call non-Jews to one God, how did they come to the belief that one can only be Jewish through some kind of blood heritage?

Again, Jews don't believe that blood is required to be Jewish. And Jews don't believe that Moses or God excludes non Jews. These ideas fall under the category of "things non-Jews think Jews believe," and are easily disproven.

The first and biggest example to show that Moses was sent specifically to the children of Israel as their savior and redeemer BUT not excluding anyone else who wanted to join can be found in Exodus 12:37. When the Israelites are getting ready to leave Egypt we hear of the mixed multitudes who join them. These mixed multitudes are a mix of other non-Israelite people who were living in Egypt when all the plagues and miracles were happening.

Exodus 12:37-39

37 Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. And they baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had no yeast, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus+12&version=NASB

In Hebrew we call them the Erev Rav and here's a wikipedia article about it. These people are considered to have fully joined the Israelite nation after choosing Moses as their prophet and the Israelites as their people.


I'm not aware of any statements by Moses or any other later Judean/Israelite prophet in the Hebrew Bible that viewed their mission as ONLY being to the Judean/Israelite people. We've shown that Moses was inclusive in the beginning of the Bible, but even near the end of the Bible we have another example named Jonah, an Israelite prophet who was sent to save Ninveh the capital of Assyria, despite those people not believing in the Jewish faith.

But since answering your question required me to dispell some myths that other religions say about us... It's worth mentioning that the only Judeo-Christian figure that I've ever heard say that they came only for the Jews/Israelites to the exclusion of others was Rabbi Jesus the Nazarene.

Matthew 15:21-28

21 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her with even a word. And His disciples came up and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us!” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” Yet He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord; but please help, for even the dogs feed on the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+15&version=NASB

  • כִּי עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: בְּךָ בָּחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְעַם סְגֻלָּה, מִכֹּל הָעַמִּים, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. לֹא מֵרֻבְּכֶם מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, חָשַׁק יְהוָה בָּכֶם--וַיִּבְחַר בָּכֶם: כִּי-אַתֶּם הַמְעַט, מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים. כִּי מֵאַהֲבַת יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם, וּמִשָּׁמְרוֹ אֶת-הַשְּׁבֻעָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם, הוֹצִיא יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם, בְּיָד חֲזָקָה; וַיִּפְדְּךָ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים, מִיַּד פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ-מִצְרָיִם.
    – Double AA
    Jun 2, 2021 at 23:11
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    The erev rav were Moshe’s people and became part of the community of Israel at Mount Sinai and the giving of the Torah. That was part of G-d’s promise to Avraham that Moshe insisted on upholding. They passed through the sea on dry land too. You don’t need to be quoting the New Testament (in violation of the site guidelines) to provide the traditional Jewish view. Jun 2, 2021 at 23:43
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    @Yaacov quoting the new testament is not ipso facto a violation of site guidelines
    – Double AA
    Jun 3, 2021 at 0:16
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    @DoubleAA The comment has no relationship to answering the question posed. It only expresses hostility. If you want to defend that point, feel free. By all appearances, Grace is a new user (11 points acquired) with no experience. This is her first question. The “Be Kind” protocol is definitely relevant. What kind of light to the nations is that? Swing away… Jun 3, 2021 at 2:38
  • @Yaacov Deane it was never my intent to be mean to Grace. I answered her question as honestly as possible.
    – Aaron
    Jun 3, 2021 at 13:53

We don’t proselytize. Yet much of the sages, and our greatest kings were descendants of converts. The future Messiah will descend from Ruth the convert. A gentile can convert.

  • @robev, Thank you.
    – Turk Hill
    Jun 7, 2021 at 17:37

By tradition theres an obligation in the Torah [the first 5 books of the Bible, which tradition says was received by Moses from G-d at mount Sinai] for all Israelite people to force the other nations of the world to accept the 7 commandments that Noah was commanded. These commandments are not listed in scripture, but we received them by tradition. See Rambam, towards end of hilchos melachim


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