“These seven laws are implicit in God’s commandment to Adam and Eve in Gen. 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man saying ‘From all the trees of the garden you may freely eat’.”
In the Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan explains:
- The word “commanded” (VaYetzav) is a reference to laws of justice for it says in Gen. 18:19, “For I have known him so he will COMMAND (Yitzaveh) his children after him to keep the way of the Lord and righteousness and justice.”
- “And the Lord” (HaShem) implies the prohibition of blasphemy. As it says in Lev. 24:16, “He who blasphemes the name of THE LORD (Hashem) shall die.”
- “God” (Elokim) is a reference to idolatry for it says in Ex. 20:3 “You shall have no other Elokim before me”.
- “The Man” (Ha Adam) is the prohibition of murder. God explicitly commands Noah (Gen. 9:6), “If one sheds the blood of THE MAN (Ha Adam), by man shall his own blood be shed.”
- “Saying” (Laymor) refers to sexual misconduct or adultery, as the prophet Jeremiah (3:1) says, “Saying (laymor), if a man divorces his wife…”
- “From all the trees of the Garden” is an implicit prohibition of theft. It shows that permission is needed to take something that is not explicitly yours.
- Likewise, “you may eat” implies that there are things which may not be eaten (the limbs of a live animal).