The Presence of Bnei Noah During the Temple Period

The Presence of Bnei Noah During the Temple Period

Some sources reveal the presence of non-Jews who observed the Seven Laws of Noah, during the Temple period in Jerusalem. These individuals, called Ger Toshav, lived peacefully alongside the Jewish community and upheld these 7 universal principles.

The term Ger Toshav is established by the story of King David purchasing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24). Further confirmation comes from the Babylonian Talmud (Avoda Zara 24b), where Rav Nachman identifies Araunah as a Ger Toshav. This signifies Araunah’s adherence to the Seven Laws of Noah while residing in the Land of Israel during King David’s reign.

Another example comes from Sanhedrin 96a, where the Talmud designates Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, as a Ger Toshav. The Talmud underlines his observance of the Seven Laws of Noah. Naaman’s high position demonstrates the acceptance and practice of these universal ethical principles by prominent non-Jewish figures during the Temple period.

While we do not know the number of Bnei Noah at that time, the presence of such respected high-ranking Noahides as Naaman and Araunah suggests that others likely followed their path. These references from both the Bible and the Talmud testify to the existence of Bnei Noah, particularly Ger Toshav, living in the Land of Israel and adhering to the Seven Laws of Noah during the Temple period.

As our generation is promised to be the generation of redemption, soon many nations will likely come to see the third Holy Temple in Jerusalem, as mentioned in Isaiah 56:7, “For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

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