is idolatry one of the noachide laws? there is a discrepancy between websites.

wikipedia says

The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are:

Do not deny God.
Do not blaspheme God.
Do not murder.
Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
Do not steal.
Do not eat of a live animal.
Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.

Whereas another link http://www.keepingtheseven.com/seven-noahide-laws/ lists idolatry as one of them

Prohibition of Idolatry
Prohibition of Blasphemy
Prohibition of Murder
Prohibition of Theft
Prohibition of Sexual Immorality
Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
Establish courts of justice

Another link http://www.gotquestions.org/Noahide-laws.html equates "do not deny god", with no idolatry.

IIRC DoubleAA was of the view that idolatry was in the noahide laws on every or almost any link online, and I managed to find some with some without, but those comments seem to have gotten deleted, both his and mine, and i'm unable to recover that information. But the above suffices for examples.

The question though, is what is correct.. Is Idolatry in the noahide laws, or not? Please include references.

  • I must say I hadn't checked every website. I just assumed the majority would have the accurate information. Idolatry is definitely one of the 7.
    – Double AA
    Feb 15, 2016 at 15:50
  • Re: difference between idolatry and denying God, see judaism.stackexchange.com/a/48957/5083 Feb 15, 2016 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


The source for these laws is traditional from Chazal, and they explicitly list them in Sanhedrin 56a:

תנו רבנן שבע מצות נצטוו בני נח דינין וברכת השם ע"ז גילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים וגזל ואבר מן החי

Translation: Our Rabbis taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal.

So avoda zara - idolatry, is explicitly stated as one of the laws. I guess one could think of idolatry as denial of Hashem, but the specific law listed is idolatry.

By the way, even Wikipedia's source later on mentions the first law as "The prohibition of idolatry". I don't know why they changed the words.. but they too think of it as one and the same.

  • Thanks. I get the words sheva mitzvot and bnai noach, but those aside, can you translate each of those words?
    – barlop
    Feb 15, 2016 at 15:45
  • @barlop Sure, I pasted the translation from halakhah.com. The "ע"ז" part is "עבודה זרה" = idulatry.
    – Cauthon
    Feb 15, 2016 at 15:49

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