A Noachide who inadvertently violates one of his commandments is exempt from all punishment with the exception of a person who kills inadvertently. In such an instance, the redeemer of the blood is not executed for slaying the killer, nor may the latter seek asylum in a city of refuge. However, the court will not execute him.

When does the above apply? When he inadvertently violates a command without sinful intention; for example, a person who engages in relations with his colleague's wife under the impression that she is his own wife or unmarried.

If, however, one knew that she was his colleague's wife, but did not know that she was forbidden to him or it occurred to him that this act was permitted or one killed without knowing that it is forbidden to kill, he is considered close to having sinned intentionally and is executed. This is not considered as an inadvertent violation. For he should have learned the obligations incumbent upon him and did not.


בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁשָּׁגַג בְּאַחַת מִמִּצְוֹתָיו פָּטוּר מִכְּלוּם. חוּץ מֵרוֹצֵחַ בִּשְׁגָגָה שֶׁאִם הֲרָגוֹ גּוֹאֵל הַדָּם אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג עָלָיו. וְאֵין לוֹ עִיר מִקְלָט. אֲבָל בָּתֵּי דִּינֵיהֶן אֵין מְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשָׁגַג בְּאַחַת מִמִּצְוֹת וְעָבַר בְּלֹא כַּוָּנָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁבָּעַל אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ וְדִמָּה שֶׁהִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ פְּנוּיָה. אֲבָל אִם יָדַע שֶׁהִיא אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא יָדַע שֶׁהִיא אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו. אֶלָּא עָלָה עַל לִבּוֹ שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה מֻתָּר לוֹ. וְכֵן אִם הָרַג וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע שֶׁאָסוּר לַהֲרֹג. הֲרֵי זֶה קָרוֹב לְמֵזִיד וְנֶהֱרָג. וְלֹא תֵּחָשֵׁב זוֹ לָהֶם שְׁגָגָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לִלְמֹד וְלֹא לָמַד:


A Noachide who is forced by another person to violate one of his commandments is permitted to transgress. Even if he is forced to worship false gods, he may worship them. For Noachides are not commanded to sanctify God's name.

A Noachide minor, deaf-mute, or fool is never given punishment for they are not bound by any commandments.


בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁאֲנָסוֹ אַנָּס לַעֲבֹר עַל אַחַת מִמִּצְוֹתָיו. מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲבֹר. אֲפִלּוּ נֶאֱנַס לַעֲבֹד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה עוֹבֵד. לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן מְצֻוִּין עַל קִדּוּשׁ הַשֵּׁם. וּלְעוֹלָם אֵין עוֹנְשִׁין מֵהֶן לֹא קָטָן וְלֹא חֵרֵשׁ וְלֹא שׁוֹטֶה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן בְּנֵי מִצְוֹת:


A Noachide who converted, was circumcised, and immersed in the mikveh, and, afterwards, decided to forsake God and revert to his previous status as a resident alien is not granted permission to do so. Rather, he must remain as an Israelite in all matters or be executed.

If he was a minor and immersed by the court, he may repudiate his conversion when he attains majority and assume the status of a resident alien alone. However, if he does not object as soon as he attains majority, he is no longer given the opportunity to object and his status is that of a righteous convert.

Therefore, if a Jew has relations with a girl below the age of majority who was immersed in the mikveh by a court, the money due her as payment of her ketubah or as a fine for raping her or seducing her is placed in the custody of the court until she attains majority and does not repudiate her conversion. This step is taken lest she take the money, attain majority, and then, repudiate her conversion. Thus, she would derive benefit as a Noachide from monies to which she is only entitled according to Jewish law.


בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר וּמָל וְטָבַל וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָצָה לַחְזֹר מֵאַחֲרֵי ה' וְלִהְיוֹת גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב בִּלְבַד כְּשֶׁהָיָה מִקֹּדֶם. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל דָּבָר אוֹ יֵהָרֵג. וְאִם הָיָה קָטָן כְּשֶׁהִטְבִּילוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין. יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיַּגְדִּיל וְיִהְיֶה גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב בִּלְבַד. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁלֹּא מִחָה בִּשְׁעָתוֹ שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מוֹחֶה אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הוּא גֵּר צֶדֶק. לְפִיכָךְ אִם בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל קְטַנָּה שֶׁהִטְבִּילוּהָ בֵּית דִּין. כֶּסֶף כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ קְנָס אוֹנֵס אוֹ מְפַתֶּה יִהְיֶה הַכּל תַּחַת יַד בֵּית דִּין עַד שֶׁתַּגְדִּיל וְלֹא תִּמְחֶה בַּגֵּרוּת. שֶׁמָּא תִּטּל וְתַגְדִּיל וְתִמְחֶה וְנִמְצֵאת זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת בְּגֵיוּתָהּ מָעוֹת שֶׁאֵין לָהּ זְכוּת בָּהֶן אֶלָּא בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:


A Noachide who converts after cursing God's name, worshipping false gods, engaging in relations with a colleague's wife, or killing a fellow Noachide is exempt from punishment.

In contrast, if he converted after killing a Jew or having relations with a Jew's wife, he is liable. He is decapitated for killing the Jew and strangled to death for engaging in relations with a Jew's wife. He is given the latter punishment because the laws governing him have changed.


בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ אֶת הַשֵּׁם אוֹ שֶׁעָבַד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה אוֹ שֶׁבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהָרַג חֲבֵרוֹ וְנִתְגַּיֵּר. פָּטוּר. הָרַג בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ שֶׁבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנִתְגַּיֵּר חַיָּב וְהוֹרְגִין אוֹתוֹ עַל בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְחוֹנְקִין אוֹתוֹ עַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבָּעַל שֶׁהֲרֵי נִשְׁתַּנָּה דִּינוֹ:


It has already been explained that Noachides are always executed by decapitation except in cases when one engages in relations with the wife of a Jew or a consecrated maiden. In the latter instance, he is stoned to death.

If he engaged in relations with a Jew's wife after they married, but before they ever engaged in relations, he is executed by strangulation.


כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל מִיתַת בְּנֵי נֹחַ בְּסַיִף. אֶלָּא אִם בָּעַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָסָה יִסָּקֵל. וְאִם בְּעָלָהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַחֻפָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּבָּעֵל יֵחָנֵק:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


According to the Oral Tradition, Noachides are forbidden to cross-breed animals and graft different species of trees together. However, they are not executed for violating this prohibition.

A gentile who gave a Jew a blow is liable to die for causing even the most minimal damage. Nevertheless, he is not executed.


מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה שֶׁבְּנֵי נֹחַ אֲסוּרִין בְּהַרְבָּעַת בְּהֵמָה וּבְהַרְכָּבַת אִילָן בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין נֶהֱרָגִין עֲלֵיהֶן. וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהִכָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ חָבַל בּוֹ כָּל שֶׁהוּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מִיתָה אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג:


Only Abraham and his descendants were commanded regarding circumcision as Genesis 17:9-10 states: 'Keep My covenant, you and your offspring... circumcise every male.'

The descendants of Ishmael are excluded as implied by Genesis 21:12: 'It is through Isaac, that your offspring will be called.' Esau's descendants are also excluded, for Isaac told Jacob Genesis 28:4: 'May God grant Abraham's blessing to you and your descendants,' implying that only he is the true offspring of Abraham who maintains his faith and his upright behavior. Thus, they alone are obligated in circumcision.


הַמִּילָה נִצְטַוָּה בָּהּ אַבְרָהָם וְזַרְעוֹ בִּלְבַד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יז, ט) "אַתָּה וְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ". יָצָא זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל יִשְׁמָעֵאל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית כא, יב) "כִּי בְיִצְחָק יִקָּרֵא לְךָ זָרַע". וְיָצָא עֵשָׂו שֶׁהֲרֵי יִצְחָק אָמַר לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית כח, ד) "וְיִתֶּן לְךָ אֶת בִּרְכַּת אַבְרָהָם לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ". מִכְלַל שֶׁהוּא לְבַדּוֹ זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּדָתוֹ וּבְדַרְכּוֹ הַיְשָׁרָה. וְהֵם הַמְחֻיָּבִין בְּמִילָה:


Our Sages related that the descendants of Keturah who are the offspring of Abraham that came after Isaac and Ishmael are also obligated in circumcision. Since, at present, the descendants of Ishmael have become intermingled with the descendants of Keturah, they are all obligated to be circumcised on the eighth day. However, they are not executed for failure to perform this mitzvah.


אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁבְּנֵי קְטוּרָה שֶׁהֵם זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם שֶׁבָּא אַחַר יִשְׁמָעֵאל וְיִצְחָק חַיָּבִין בְּמִילָה. וְהוֹאִיל וְנִתְעָרְבוּ הַיּוֹם בְּנֵי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בִּבְנֵי קְטוּרָה יִתְחַיְּבוּ הַכּל בְּמִילָה בַּשְּׁמִינִי. וְאֵין נֶהֱרָגִין עָלֶיהָ:


A gentile who studies the Torah is obligated to die. They should only be involved in the study of their seven mitzvot.

Similarly, a gentile who rests, even on a weekday, observing that day as a Sabbath, is obligated to die. Needless to say, he is obligated for that punishment if he creates a festival for himself.

The general principle governing these matters is: They are not to be allowed to originate a new religion or create mitzvot for themselves based on their own decisions. They may either become righteous converts and accept all the mitzvot or retain their statutes without adding or detracting from them.

If a gentile studies the Torah, makes a Sabbath, or creates a religious practice, a Jewish court should beat him, punish him, and inform him that he is obligated to die. However, he is not to be executed.


עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁעָסַק בַּתּוֹרָה חַיָּב מִיתָה. לֹא יַעֲסֹק אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן בִּלְבַד. וְכֵן עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׁבַת אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם מִימוֹת הַחל אִם עֲשָׂאָהוּ לְעַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שַׁבָּת חַיָּב מִיתָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם עָשָׂה מוֹעֵד לְעַצְמוֹ. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אֵין מְנִיחִין אוֹתָן לְחַדֵּשׁ דָּת וְלַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוֹת לְעַצְמָן מִדַּעְתָּן. אֶלָּא אוֹ יִהְיֶה גֵּר צֶדֶק וִיקַבֵּל כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. אוֹ יַעֲמֹד בְּתוֹרָתוֹ וְלֹא יוֹסִיף וְלֹא יִגְרַע. וְאִם עָסַק בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ שָׁבַת אוֹ חִדֵּשׁ דָּבָר. מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ וְעוֹנְשִׁין אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מִיתָה עַל זֶה. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג:


We should not prevent a Noachide who desires to perform one of the Torah's mitzvot in order to receive reward from doing so, provided he performs it as required. If he brings an animal to be sacrificed as a burnt offering, we should receive it.

If a Noachide who observes the seven mitzvot gives charity, we should accept it from him. It appears to me that it should be given to the Jewish poor for the Noachide may derive his sustenance from the Jews and they are commanded to support him if necessary. In contrast, if an idolater gives charity, we should accept it from him and give it to the gentile poor.


בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁרָצָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוָה מִשְּׁאָר מִצְוֹת הַתּוֹרָה כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר. אֵין מוֹנְעִין אוֹתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ כְּהִלְכָתָהּ. וְאִם הֵבִיא עוֹלָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ. נָתַן צְדָקָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין אוֹתָהּ לַעֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל. הוֹאִיל וְהוּא נִזּוֹן מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וּמִצְוָה עֲלֵיהֶם לְהַחְיוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנָּתַן צְדָקָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ וְנוֹתְנִין אוֹתָהּ לַעֲנִיֵּי עַכּוּ''ם:


The Jewish court is obligated to appoint judges for these resident aliens to judge them according to these statutes so that the world will not become decadent.

If the court sees fit to appoint the judges from the resident aliens themselves, they may. If it sees fit to appoint them from among the Jews, they may.


חַיָּבִין בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוֹפְטִים לְאֵלּוּ הַגֵּרִים הַתּוֹשָׁבִים לָדוּן לָהֶן עַל פִּי מִשְׁפָּטִים אֵלּוּ. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁחֵת הָעוֹלָם. אִם רָאוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁיַּעֲמִידוּ שׁוֹפְטֵיהֶם מֵהֶן מַעֲמִידִין. וְאִם רָאוּ שֶׁיַּעֲמִידוּ לָהֶן מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מַעֲמִידִין:


Should two idolaters come before you to have their dispute judged according to Jewish law. If they both desire to be judged according to Torah law, they should be judged accordingly. If one desires to be judged according to Torah law and the other does not, they are only forced to be judged according to their own laws.

If there is a dispute between a Jew and an idolater: If the Jew will fare better according to their laws, they are judged according to their laws. When the judgement is rendered, the judges explain: "Your law obligates this judgement." If the Jew will fare better according to our laws, they are judged according to Torah law. When the judgement is rendered, the judges explain: "Our law obligates this judgement." It appears to me that this approach is not followed in regard to a resident alien. Rather, he is always judged according to their laws.

Similarly, it appears to me that in regard to respect and honor and also, in regard to charity, a resident alien is to be treated as a Jew for behold, we are commanded to sustain them as Deuteronomy 14:21 states: "You may not eat any animal that has not been properly slaughtered... give it to the resident alien in your gates that he may eat it." Though our Sages counseled against repeating a greeting to them, that statement applies to idolaters and not resident aliens.

However, our Sages commanded us to visit the gentiles when ill, to bury their dead in addition to the Jewish dead, and support their poor in addition to the Jewish poor for the sake of peace. Behold, Psalms 145:9 states: "God is good to all and His mercies extend over all His works' and Proverbs 3:17 states: "The Torah's ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace."


שְׁנֵי עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁבָּאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ לָדוּן בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָצוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן לָדוּן דִּין תּוֹרָה דָּנִין. הָאֶחָד רוֹצֶה וְהָאֶחָד אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה אֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לָדוּן אֶלָּא בְּדִינֵיהֶן. הָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַכּוּ''ם אִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵיהֶן דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵיכֶם. וְאִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵינוּ דָּנִין לוֹ דִּין תּוֹרָה וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵינוּ. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין כֵּן לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב אֶלָּא לְעוֹלָם דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְכֵן יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין עִם גֵּרֵי תּוֹשָׁב בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁהֲרֵי אָנוּ מְצֻוִּין לְהַחֲיוֹתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד, כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ". וְזֶה שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין כּוֹפְלִין לָהֶן שָׁלוֹם בְּעַכּוּ''ם לֹא בְּגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. אֲפִלּוּ הָעַכּוּ''ם צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים לְבַקֵּר חוֹלֵיהֶם וְלִקְבֹּר מֵתֵיהֶם עִם מֵתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפַרְנֵס עֲנִיֵּיהֶם בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (תהילים קמה, ט) "טוֹב ה' לַכּל וְרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו". וְנֶאֱמַר (משלי ג, יז) "דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם":