While I do not know the source, I have heard many times that Gentiles are forbidden from keeping Shabbos and must make sure to violate at least one law of the Shabbos every Shabbos. If this is the case why is it not among the 7 Mitzvos for Bnei Noach? Additionally, are there any other commandments for Gentiles not listed among the 7?

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    "Additionally, are there any other commandments for Gentiles not listed among the 7" - Years ago, I browsed a B'nai Noach blog run partially by a rabbi who was a supporting contributor to this group. An article listed about 100 mitzvot that Noachides must follow as they were all "derived" from the 7 in some way. For example, Noachides may not have homosexual relations. (I didn't know that, myself.) I'll see if I can find this site and / or article, as it has been many years since I have seen it.
    – DanF
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 1:14
  • This answer references a list by R. Sh'muel bar Hofni Gaon of 30 mitsvot of Noahides.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 4:23
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    It should be noted that there is the possibility that this is rabbinic, and if so it might not be included in the 7. The obvious question would be whether rabbis have any right to legislate gentiles' behaviour, which would relate to why they are authoritative in the first place.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 4:29
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    @mevaqesh Exactly. The jurisdiction implication of this always bothered me. Maybe in Eretz Israel under a Sanhedrin with functioning legislative power, but when else would the Rabbis ever have the right to tell Gentiles to do or not do anything?
    – Mike
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 20:35
  • @Mike This particular issue is addressed here: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1394/8775.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 20:51

2 Answers 2


Gemara in Sanhedrin 58b-59a:

ואר"ל עובד כוכבים ששבת חייב מיתה שנא' (בראשית ח, כב) ויום ולילה לא ישבותו
And Reish Lakish said, A non-Jew who observes Shabbos is obligated to be put to death, as it says, (Bereishis 8:22) "Day and night, you shall not rest."

The succeeding Gemara explains that this applies to any day of the week. It is not counted in the Sheva Mitzvos because it is strictly a Kum V'aseh - you must work. The Halacha of setting up courts, which is included, is both Kum V'aseh - do justice - and Shev v'al Ta'aseh - don't pervert justice.

This is a snippet of a larger Gemara (56a-60a) that discusses the Sheva Mitzvos. It lists several others not mentioned in the main seven:

R' Chananya Ben Gamla - Eating blood from a live animal
R' Chidka - Castration
R' Shimon and R' Yose - Magic
R' Yose - Divination
R' Eliezer - Kelayim
R' Dimi amar R' Elazar amar R' Chanina - Bi'ah with a slave who previously had bi'ah with another slave
Mishum R' Yishmael amru - Causing a miscarriage
R' Elazar amar R' Chanina - Unnatural Bi'ah
R' Yochanan - Learning Torah (other than the mitzvos that directly apply to him)

  • +1 Minor point is obligated to be put to death is a slightly strange way of translating this. If anything, it is others who have the obligation to execute him, or he, who is liable to be executed. Rambam writes that it doesn't mean that he would actually be executed (and is hence just an expression of severity).
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 0:12

A goy is assumed to be an idolater(R"Eliezer,Gittin 45b and H"Assurot Maachalot 8:11). A goy should only be involved in the sheva mitzvot bnei Noach.

Notice the different dinim between a goy and a ben Noach in H"Melachim 10:10 about tzedekah.

A better question, is what happens when a goy is no longer an idolater. Can such a non-Jew keep Shabbat(as a Jew)? Only rest on Shabbat(like a ger toshav of Krisos 9a)?

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