Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws [torah]. Gen 26:5
Why is it of interest to know whether or not Adam or Abraham were aware of and kept Torah? It is important because they were not ‘Jewish’  – they represent all of mankind. If Torah was given to Adam and his early descendants, it indicates that Torah is not just for the Jews and not just for a particular time in history, but rather that Torah is for all men in all ages. It is of the utmost importance to determine the true status of Torah!
To know Torah is to know YHVH
Torah is simply Father YHVH’s personal ethical standard applied to human behavior.
Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My Torah… Isa 51:7
An infant begins understanding its parents’ ethical standards from its first day of life with them, because the parents cannot help but express their standards through their interaction with the infant. Because Father YHVH embodies righteousness, it would have been impossible for Him to interact with Adam and Eve without conveying His personal righteousness! Thus Adam and Eve inevitably began learning the Way of Righteousness from their first day with YHVH.
But was Torah presented as a formal Code of Conduct? We believe it was.
We believe that the basic principles and even many of the specific mitzvot were learned in the Garden, with others having been learned once sin entered the picture. By holding this belief, we find ourselves very much in opposition with accepted Jewish and Christian teaching. 
In this article, we will attempt to show from Scripture that YHVH gave Adam “instructions for righteousness” (Torah) in the Garden and/or immediately upon Adam’s ejection from the Garden.
It is our earnest hope that you will not just read what we present here, but that you will closely examine all of the early books of scripture and form your own opinion.
In School with Y’shua
We know that YHVH created this universe through Y’shua, the Living Word (John 1:1-3). What a beautiful image comes to mind as we imagine Y’shua enjoying His new creation while He and Adam walked together “in the cool of the day.”  During this interaction, Adam and Eve inevitably absorbed some understanding of the righteousness of the Creator. In their love for Him, they would have accepted His character as the character they wanted to express in themselves. Initially, it was natural for them to choose the Way of Righteousness, and they walked with YHVH in intimacy, sharing His viewpoint and goals.
However, we believe that Adam and Eve were also created with free will and the ability to choose. The day came when they made the decision to follow their own desires. At that point, their relationship with YHVH was deeply fractured, and they were no longer in intimate fellowship with Him. His ways were no longer their ways, and their hearts had been removed from Him. How were they to live before Him now?
It may have been at this point that YHVH gave Adam and Eve instructions (Heb: Torah) about how to live in a manner that would allow them to choose rightly and remain in His presence even after sin entered the picture.  Scripture calls this ‘the Way of Righteousness’ or, for short, ‘the Way.’ 
Torah in Genesis
In the early chapters of Genesis, there are many indications of an early awareness of Torah. The principles are not ‘labeled’ as Torah – we see them revealed only coincident to the events being related. These Torah concepts appear to have been so intrinsically woven into this early culture that they were ‘normal’ and did not need to be pointed out. They were so much a part of the fabric of life that there was not even a memory of when they had become part of the fabric! In other words, it appears that these concepts had become part of Man’s world view very early on, perhaps even before sin entered his experience. 
Abraham, who lived shortly after the Flood and long before Mount Sinai, was aware of and lived by YHVH’s formally taught commands and ordinances!
[YHVH made the Covenant with Abraham] Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5
This verse is the clearest scriptural indication that YHVH’s Torah was plainly and specifically made known to mankind prior to Moses and Mount Sinai,  and even prior to Abraham, the first acknowledged ‘Hebrew,’ thus making Torah applicable to all men at all times. These commands were not given to Abraham as part of the Covenant YHVH made with him: The Abrahamic Covenant was made because Abraham was already living according to YHVH’s commands!
In this verse, the word ‘charge’ (Heb.מִשְׁמֶרֶת mishmereth) tells us that Abraham had an obligation to guard the knowledge of the Way of Righteousness and to pass it on to his descendants and anyone else who would receive it. The use of this word in this passage tells us that at a point before the first covenant was made with Abraham, YHVH had specifically given His Torah to men and had instructed – charged – that His Torah should be observed and taught to succeeding generations. Someone else had been faithful to that charge and had passed the knowledge on to Abraham.  Because Abraham was in turn extraordinarily faithful to that charge, YHVH made a covenant with him.
The word ‘commandments’ (Heb. מִצְוָה plur. mitzvot, sing. mitzvah) denotes specific instructions or orders – this word is used every day in Jewish speech, as every faithful Jew is delighted to know YHVH’s mitzvah/mitzvot so that he can be found doing what YHVH desires. (See Glossary of Terms for further definitions).
The word ‘statutes’ (Heb. חֻקָּה chuqqah), sometimes translated ‘ordinances,’ gives the connotation of an instruction that has been written down and preserved. The statutes appear to deal primarily with ceremonial issues, such as celebration of feasts, the form of worship, etc. This word comes the closest to what we Greco-Roman thinkers would perceive as “law.” When they are first introduced in scripture (Leviticus, etc), YHVH’s statutes are rarely connected with the idea of “punishment for defiance;” however, when the prophets inform the people that they have not kept YHVH’s statutes, they simultaneously warn the people of impending discipline. 
The word translated as “law” is the same Hebrew word torah that we have previously discussed. Strong’s Concordance gives its primary meaning as ‘instruction, direction,’ which is appropriate – this word conveys the idea of a loving father’s careful instructions to His beloved child, for the purpose of protecting him and training him up to be a whole and healthy person.
The fact that this verse about Father Abraham, “the first Hebrew,” lists four types of communications from YHVH and assumes that they had been in use for multiple generations, indicates strongly that at some unknown point – most reasonably in the Garden or shortly thereafter – YHVH did indeed give Man His “instructions for righteousness,” for the purpose of protecting Man from harm and to give Man the means by which to maintain a relationship with YHVH.
It is mere conjecture and speculation to say in what form these instructions were given, but it is tempting to see the basic concepts of the Torah having been more or less ‘absorbed’ by physical association with Y’shua in the Garden, with the more formal instructions for worship, cleanliness, etc, having been communicated after sin entered in and the relationship had become distant and strained.
Some will worry that by being ‘legalistic’ and holding ourselves accountable to Torah, we are somehow invalidating the saving work of Y’shua on the cross. However, we must remember that Y’shua said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Was Abraham ‘legalistic’ because he kept YHVH’s charge, commandments, statutes and laws? If so, why does YHVH say that Abraham’s faith was accounted unto him for righteousness?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;  I have set my heart on your laws. Ps 119:30, NIV
Behold, he whose soul is not upright in him shall fail, but the just [Heb: tsaddiyq – lawful; law-abiding] shall live by his faith [Heb: emunah – firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness]. Hab 2:4
That last verse (Habakkuk 2:4), was very important to the first believers, and is quoted in the New Testament several times (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38). However, it had a slightly different meaning for them than the meaning we have been taught: This verse is not talking about a person who believes in his mind that YHVH is God and Y’shua is His Son. This verse is talking about the person who lives his life by Torah precepts, and who is faithful and consistent in so doing! Is this works? NO! We are saved by Grace through faith, but faith must stop being invisible and take on substance – and that’s what happens as the believer walks in Torah. Our walk in Torah is the demonstration of our faith!
Y’shua, the One we love and in whom we have faith, is our Authority. He has given us standards to which we are expected to adhere. We can call those standards “laws” or “instructions,” but as soon as we abide by them, we are being (biblically) legalistic. According to Y’shua, we are also actively demonstrating our love for the One in Authority! We are walking in faith!
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:24 NIV
Any follower of Y’shua must be legalistic in this biblical sense. If we genuinely love YHVH, we will adopt and live by His value system. However, we can rejoice that our legalism is not a bondage to us, but rather becomes the means by which YHVH allows us to be conformed to the mind of Messiah! (Rom 12:2) Our obedience brings us into sweet fellowship with the Father as we identify ourselves with HIS ways and HIS mind.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [recognize] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will [commands, precepts] of God. Rom 12:2
Edenic knowledge of Torah is revealed in other scriptures:
Sacred Times of Meeting
The first scriptural indication of the early knowledge of Torah is found in Genesis 1:14, which tells us that by the third day of Creation, even before He had created Man, YHVH had already set aside specific days and times at which He desired to meet with Man. Adam passed this knowledge down to his children, as evidenced by the simple fact that it has been recorded for us in Genesis.
And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years. (Gen 1:14, NIV)
YHVH calls these occasions His mo’edim (Heb:מוֹעֵד) – His set-apart (sacred) ‘appointed times’. Israel recognizes the mo’edim as appointed times of meeting. These “appointed times of meeting” are YHVH’s Sabbaths, new moons and His feasts, all of which prefigure the birth, life, death, resurrection and Kingship of Messiah. 
Knowledge of the sacred times of meeting implies knowledge of the reasons for and the ordained practices associated with those meetings – a large part of Torah instruction.
From the beginning, YHVH expected His people to meet with Him, which is why we see the mention of the mo’edim in the very earliest verses of Genesis.  Since one does not just casually approach the Holy Throne, YHVH must also have instructed them regarding the proper behavior at these meetings.
Adam and Eve were instructed to observe the Sabbath.
And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made. Gen 2:3
Notice that this first biblical mention of the sanctification of the Sabbath gives the reader no detail: the author assumes that the reader already knows what type of behavior is expected on the Sabbath in order to honor its sanctification. Sabbath observance was an ingrained part of their normal routine. This information could only have been handed down to us by Adam and Eve, who would have received it directly from YHVH in the Garden. Of course this coincides with the fourth of the Ten Commandments (Torah) given in Exodus:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8
Adam and Eve understood from the beginning that relationship with YHVH depends on adherence to HIS standards and practices, with the implication that there had to have been instructions informing them of his standards and practices.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17
This was no doubt a genuine tree, but it was also quite obviously a ‘picture lesson’ to Adam and Eve, constantly reminding them that relationship with YHVH will always be governed by our personal choices in response to His commands. Moses (Heb Moshe) put it well:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. (Deut 30:19)
By requiring this free-will choice of man, YHVH was literally telling Adam, ‘You must love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your mind.’ (Deut 6:5), which Y’shua tells us is the ‘First and Greatest Commandment’ of Torah.
I am YHVH thy Elohim, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exd 20:2
Adam had to decide to put YHVH’s desires before his own. He had to choose to value his relationship with YHVH more than he valued his own life.
‘Sin’ and ‘righteousness’ had already been defined in Adam’s day.
Cain was expected to know the difference between ‘what is right‘ and ‘sin‘. In Genesis 4, YHVH tells Cain that if he does what is right, he will be accepted. Cain could not do what is ‘right’ until he had been told what constitutes ‘right’. YHVH could not warn Cain against sin unless Cain understood what constitutes sin.
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. Gen 4:7
Once again the author gives his readers no further detail, assuming that they, too, are familiar with the definitions of sin and righteousness (Torah). YHVH does not change, so His standards do not change. John tells us (1John 3:4), …sin is the transgression of the law [Torah].
YHVH’s standards were known during the time of Enoch & Noah (prior to the Flood) and were in opposition to the world’s standards.
Gen 5:24 and Gen 6:9 tell us that Enoch and Noah ‘walked with Elohim,’ with the clear implication that other men had departed from YHVH’s Way of Righteousness. To say that Enoch and Noah ‘walked with Elohim’ is the same as saying that they were aware of YHVH’s standards and had chosen to live by them rather than by the standards of the world.
Gen 7:1 tells us that Noah (who like the rest of us was sinful by his very nature) was considered righteous before YHVH, which can only be because he was living in faith according to YHVH’s standards.
And Enoch walked with Elohim: and he was not; for Elohim took him. Gen 5:24
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just [Heb: tsaddiyq – righteous, lawful] man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with Elohim. Gen 6:9
And YHVH said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous [Heb: tsaddiyq – righteous, lawful] before me in this generation. Gen 7:1
YHVH must have communicated His standards (Torah) to Man before the Flood; otherwise, He would have been acting unjustly in destroying Man with the Flood.
Gen 6:5 tells us: YHVH saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
We have just seen that YHVH rewarded Enoch and Noah because they knew and lived by YHVH’s standard of righteousness. If the ever-just YHVH rebuked and punished other men, it must be because they, too, were aware of His standards of righteousness and had chosen to defy them.
Instruction had been given to Adam as to what constitutes a proper offering for sin.
The first family understood the Torah principle that YHVH has the right to tell us how to worship Him, and that He has the right to reject worship that does not follow His instructions. If this were not true, YHVH would have been unjust in rejecting Cain’s offering. Cain’s ‘meat’ (grain) offering (a type of ‘thank’ offering) was invalid because it was not preceded by a blood offering, acknowledging sin. Torah tells us that only blood atones for sin, because ‘life is in the blood.’ Cain was approaching the Throne without a covering for his sin.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Lev 17:11
YHVH demonstrated this truth to Adam and Eve in the Garden when He killed an animal and used its skin to cover the pair’s nakedness. When we choose to employ sin, we must pay its wages. …the wages of sin is death… (Rom 6:23) Atonement for their sin required the shedding of blood.
The eating of blood was also understood to be forbidden, as in Torah. This ruling may not have been given until the time of Noah, as it is possible that it was not until Noah’s day that men began eating meat. Nevertheless, this Torah ordinance was clearly understood long before it was written down for us by Moshe at Mt Sinai and it remains a standing instruction to Y’shua’s disciples. (Acts 15:20)
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Gen 9:4
We know in later Torah instructions regarding sacrifices that:
- Only specified ‘clean’ animals can be used for sacrifices;
- The suet (fat over the kidneys) is reserved for YHVH alone; (Lev 3:14-16) and
- The animals offered must be from ‘the firstlings’ of the flock. (Deut 12:6)
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto YHVH. Gen 4:3
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. Gen 4:4
And YHVH had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he [YHVH] had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Gen 4:5
Noah, like Abel, clearly understood that mankind is sinful, that there must be sacrificial atonement for sin, and that there is a proper form for such sin sacrifices.
In Gen 7:2, Noah is instructed to collect seven of each type of clean animal, but YHVH does not explain to him what is meant by ‘clean’. Noah already knew which animals were clean; he had already learned the basics of kashrut (kosher eating). He understood that only clean animals could be eaten or sacrificed, requiring a larger supply of clean animals to provide for those purposes.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Gen 7:2
Noah also apparently clearly understood the concept that YHVH deals with Man in Grace, and that we should live in grateful love for YHVH because of His mercy toward us. These concepts appear to be the basis for the sacrifice that Noah gratefully offered upon his safe arrival at the mountains of Ararat after the Flood.
And Noah builded an altar unto YHVH; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Gen 8:20
The term ‘burnt offering’ (`olah) is a liturgical term specifying a particular type of sacrifice requiring specific procedures. Just as in the case of Cain and Abel, Noah’s sacrifice implies understanding of the correct type and manner of sacrifice. (As we learned from Cain’s experience, YHVH does not accept just any offering.) Once again the author assumes that his readers know what is involved in a burnt offering. It was common knowledge.
Much of this knowledge was lost to the House of Israel after their long bondage in Egypt, which is why YHVH taught them Torah all over again, through Moshe. Deuteronomy and Leviticus spell out the particular provisions for sacrifices, but we find those same provisions being adhered to in the books of Genesis, Exodus, etc., long before Torah was given at Mount Sinai.
For example, firstborn sons were originally the persons appointed to physically make the offerings. This is why, although technically Moses was the leader of the Israelites, his older (firstborn) brother Aaron was appointed High Priest of the people even before the Levites were set apart as priests and before Torah was given at Mount Sinai.
… the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. Exo 22:29
Adam and Eve were aware of the Torah principles of marital faithfulness and non-covetousness.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one [Heb. echad] flesh. Gen 2:24
With the pairing of Adam and Eve, YHVH set in place His ideal for marriage: one man with one woman. He did not make several women for one man, or vice versa, or man-with-man/woman-with-woman. He clearly meant marriage to be a ‘living picture’ of His own relationship with us, which He often describes as a marriage, referring to His people as His Bride. We are to be one with YHVH. 
This one-to-one relationship implies a required faithfulness, which in turn implies that one must not covet another person’s spouse. Thus Gen 2:24 equates to the Seventh and Tenth Commandments. (None of this is spelled out for us, because once again the author assumes that his readers are already aware of these requirements.)
Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exd 20:14
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. Exd 20:17
Let thy fountain be blessed [may you have many children]: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Pro 5:18
Gen 2:24 also echoes Torah mitzvot (commands) pertaining to marriage and covetousness:
Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. Lev 18:20
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Lev 20:10
The first people understood that the killing of humans is unacceptable.
The scriptural treatment of the account of Cain and Abel is a clear indication of this. YHVH was remarkably merciful in His treatment of Cain,  but the message was loud and clear – murder is unacceptable. At the very least, had the subject not been broached in the Garden, it was certainly taught at this time, long before Mt Sinai or the ‘Noahic Covenant’. Cain also understood that the appropriate penalty for murder was execution: ‘… whoever finds me will kill me.’ (Gen 4:14)
And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; Gen 4:10-11
The account of how Noah’s sons dealt with his drunkenness and nakedness plainly indicates that the instruction to honor one’s parents had been clearly revealed and was held to be sacred. (Gen 9)
And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. Gen 9:23
This passage further indicates that the Torah instructions not to ‘view the nakedness’ of close relatives were also known.  We see additional indication of this in the narration of Lot’s experience when his own daughters seduced him – the whole event is viewed with disdain and abhorrence. (Gen 19:30-36, Lev 20)
None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am YHVH. Lev 18:6
Other Torah Concepts Found in Genesis:
Considering that the Genesis account comes from an oral tradition that was perhaps a couple of thousand years old before it was written down, the fact that it includes even a few of the additional Torah concepts is an indicator that more of those instructions for righteousness were known and taught in those ancient days – we simply do not hear of them in Genesis because that was not the purpose of the book. Even the concepts we have just discussed were so commonly accepted by the author and his readers that they are quite taken for granted and are mentioned only coincidentally and by inference.
If one scrutinizes the entire Book of Genesis, he will find other Torah concepts mentioned in passing, as well, beyond those we have discussed here:
- The patriarchal system of family structure, which is detailed in Torah (Gen 24, Gen 38:11, etc.; see Ex 24 and Num 1, where the governmental system is based on a patriarchy answerable only to YHVH, Lev 19:3, Lev 19:32, etc.)
- The understanding of set-apartness: Enoch, Abraham, Noah, etc., separated themselves from the pagan cultures around them and were viewed in a special light by YHVH. They were acknowledged for their faithful attempts to live in a special way that identified them as belonging to YHVH. (…ye shall be kadosh [holy; consecrated; set apart] for I am kadosh… Lev 11:44)
- The existence of a set-apart priesthood: Abraham himself offered his tithe to a king-priest called Melchizidek (Righteous King or King of Righteousness). (Gen 14:18) Abraham is commended for his dealings with Melchizidek, so we must infer that this priest served YHVH. This man represented what was in fact the original priesthood, now being restored in Y’shua. We are told in Psalm 110:4 that the Messiah would be of this order of priesthood; this is confirmed in Heb 5:6-10.
In ancient days, the first-born son was set apart to act as the priest of the family – it was his duty to offer the sacrifices. (Y’shua is described as the Firstborn, a legal term designating the one chosen to represent his father.) This remained the practice until the first-born shamed themselves at Sinai, and YHVH gave the privilege of priesthood to the Levites. All of this indicates a firm understanding of the correct manner of presenting sacrifices in a way acceptable to YHVH.
The concept of priesthood also implies an understanding of sin and atonement, which in turn implies an understanding of what YHVH considers to be righteous behavior.
- The ability to distinguish between YHVH’s ways vs. pagan ways: Genesis repeatedly mentions the “wickedness” and “perversity” (rebellion) of the nations, which Noah, Enoch and Abraham could discern. They would only be able to identify ‘wickedness’ if they had a standard of ‘righteousness’ in mind – YHVH’s standard – with which they could compare men’s behaviors. In other words, they had to know YHVH’s Way of Righteousness so that they could make the comparison and choose to live by YHVH’s standard rather than the world’s. In action-oriented Semitic cultures, those standards would necessarily and only be recognizable as the actions identified in YHVH’s Torah.
We believe there are other examples of Torah concepts to be found in Genesis. Take the time and study the subject for yourself to see what you can find!
There is never a specific occasion recorded in the Book of Genesis where YHVH spells out these ‘instructions for righteousness’ to anyone – their existence simply appears ‘full blown,’ already in place as the accepted behavioral parameters of early culture. Examination of early Eastern cultures shows that when these concepts are shared in common, their origins are ‘lost in the mists of time,’ indicating a common source far back in the Garden. When these concepts are foreign to a pagan culture, they are mentioned as specific to righteous followers of YHVH such as Noah or Abraham, and appear to have been adhered to only by the righteous servants of YHVH, indicating that YHVH taught them to men at some earlier time – probably in the Garden.
It seems impossible to escape the conclusion that ‘instructions for righteousness’ were either specifically taught or were at least absorbed as Adam and Eve associated with YHVH, and that Adam and Eve then taught them to their descendants. We know from Gen 26:5 that Abraham was fully cognizant of YHVH’s commandments, statutes and laws (torah) many generations before Mount Sinai. From the same verse, we know also that Abraham obeyed YHVH’s charge to pass the Way of Righteousness on down to his descendants and that someone else must have previously obeyed the charge and passed them on to Abraham. (The sages teach that Shem and Eber were Abraham’s teachers.)
YHVH is the same yesterday, today and forever – His ways never change, and humans have always had to (and continue to have to) conform to them. (Rom 8:29, Rom 12:2) YHVH will never conform Himself to us! His righteousness must be satisfied by every man in every age – and the standard has been and will remain the same – the convenient name for that standard is Torah.
So we ask again: Why is it important to know whether or not Torah was given to Adam?
It is important because Adam was not ‘Jewish’ – he represents all of mankind. If Torah was given to Adam, it indicates that Torah is not just for the Jews and not just for a particular time in history, but rather that it is for all men in all ages. If this is the case then YHVH has given His Torah to you and He invites you to share in His lifestyle.
[Messiah speaking] I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy torah is within my heart. Psalm 40:8
By John and Sue Wyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Originally posted 9 Jun 2014 at The Coming Kingdom
© John and Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog and The Coming Kingdom Blog, 2014. Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Lamb’s Servant Blog and The Coming Kingdom Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to John and Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog and The Coming Kingdom Blog, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 Abraham was a Chaldean. After he was acknowledged for his obedience to YHVH’s Torah, he was made the founder of the Israelite nation. However, it is possible that he was not even considered the ‘first’ Hebrew, per se. Jewish tradition teaches that Abraham was taught YHVH’s Way of Righteousness by Noah’s son and grandson, Shem and Eber. When Shem named his son ‘Eber’, which means ‘crossing over’, he may have been commemorating the concept of crossing over from the ways of the enemy to the ways of YHVH. It is entirely possible that Abraham and Shem’s other disciples referred to themselves as Hebrews (Eberim or Ibrim): ‘those who have crossed over.’
 Accepted Jewish and Christian doctrine is that the first ‘law’ given to Man was encompassed in the terms of the Noahic Covenant. We heartily disagree with this teaching, as we explain in our article, THE NOAHIC COVENANT (not yet posted, but available upon request).
 Y’shua calls Himself ‘the Alpha and the Omega.’ (Rev 1:8, 1:11, 21:6 and 22:13) In Hebrew, He would say, I am the Aleph and the Tav. It is thrilling to realize that in the Hebrew-language Torah scrolls, the Aleph/Tav symbol occurs consistently in passages referring to Messiah and/or His covenant! In the original Hebrew, we read (Gen 3:8) And they heard ALEPH/TAV [Messiah’s] voice of YHVH our Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day… The Aleph/Tav symbol, which appears in the Old Testament over 9,000 times, has historically not been included in any translations of the scriptures – even Hebrew language editions. Thankfully a complete English translation including correctly placed Aleph/Tav Symbols is now available: The Messianic Aleph Tav Scriptures, edited by William Sanford, published by Snowfall Press. http://www.alephtavscriptures.com/ (We have no financial interest in the site or its products.)
 We know that the first family remained aware of YHVH’s presence in their lives, and that He continued to speak to them. For example, when Cain arrogantly offered what he desired to offer rather than what YHVH had commanded, YHVH spoke directly to Cain. When YHVH marked Cain and sent him away, Cain grieved that Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid (Gen 4:14), and then we learn that Cain went out from the presence of YHVH. (Gen 4:16)
 Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Having eaten of that tree, they now definitely had knowledge of YHVH’s Good (Torah, His standard of righteousness) as compared to Man’s (and the enemy’s) evil – which YHVH calls rebellion or lawlessness.
 Just as note of interest: according to scripture, YHVH also gave laws and ordinances to His people in the wilderness following the parting of the Red Sea and before they got to Mount Sinai. Ex 15:25-26 – They arrived at Marah but couldn’t drink the water there, because it was bitter…Moshe cried to YHVH; and YHVH showed him a certain piece of wood, which, when he threw it into the water, made the water taste good. There YHVH made laws [Heb. choq] and rules of life [Heb. mishpat] for them, and there He tested them. He said, If you will listen intently to the voice of YHVH your God, do what He considers right, pay attention to His mitzvoth and observe His laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, because I am YHVH your healer. (Exodus 15: 25-26, Complete Jewish Bible)
 As mentioned, the tradition of the Jews is that Abraham was taught the Way of Righteousness (Torah) by Noah’s son and grandson, Shem and Eber. It is noteworthy that Abraham lived very long ago – we know from the scriptural account that he was born only shortly after Adam died and not comparatively long after the Flood. Here is an interesting and pretty accurate link showing the biblical timeline and demonstrating the overlap in the life spans of Abraham, Shem and Eber: Time Elapsed Since Adam. Another useful link is What is the Basic Timeline of the Old Testament.
 Nevertheless, we must remember that YHVH Himself says that the primary reason He disciplined His people was because they did not trust (Heb. ‘aman: support, confirm, be faithful to) Him even after He had proved Himself trustworthy time and time again. (Num 14:11, 22-24; Heb 4:6 and others)
 The Hebrew word translated as “faithfulness” is אֱמוּנָה (emunah). Strong’s Concordance defines the word as firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness, but the word actually means “faith,” which in the Hebrew mind is evidenced by steady, firm adherence to Torah. (The KJV translates this passage to say “I have chosen the way of Truth….” and Psalm 119:142 tells us, …thy Torah is the Truth. According to this verse, to choose the way of faith is to choose Torah.
 Please see our article THE FEASTS OF YHVH (still in process of being written)
 Gen 1:14 also tells us that the lights in the heavens were given to us as ‘signs.’ This word is ‘owth’ and is defined in Strong’s Concordance as a signal, a miraculous sign, an omen, a proof, etc. We know from the ancient writings of Eastern civilizations that each of the 12 major constellations had a story attached to it that was prophetic of YHVH’s great Plan of Redemption. (Chuck Missler gives an interesting discussion of this – Signs in the Heavens – which may be found at: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=JJJCCCNU) This simply confirms to us that YHVH’s Plan of Redemption has been in existence since before the Creation of the universe, and that from the very beginning, He was giving Mankind the tools he needed in order to stay in relationship with Him – the Way of Righteousness.
 Compare this to Deut 6:4: Here O Israel, YHVH our Elohim is one [Heb. echad] YHVH. The word ‘one’ is the Hebrew word ‘echad’ which literally means “one” but is often used to convey unity! As the Father, Son and Spirit are echad, in the same way should a husband and wife be echad. What a beautiful picture! It is interesting that the first indication of Adam’s and Eve’s recognition of their sinful state was their sudden shame at being naked. Previously there had been no such awareness in their relationship – now there came a sudden awareness of sex and its ability to set humans apart or make them intimate. This awareness of sexual identity reveals their new awareness of self rather than the echad they had previously enjoyed with each other and with YHVH.
 Why was YHVH so lenient toward Cain, since His Word assigns the penalty of death for murder? A possible explanation is that perhaps the killing was accidental (ex., Abel hit his head on a rock when he fell), and that Cain’s real sin was in ignoring the death and having no remorse for having caused it. We wonder, also, if perhaps the concept of ‘death’ was still so new to the first family that they didn’t have a clear idea of what it meant to kill or murder another human. We see this with little children who strike or bite others out of frustration, but with no understanding that their action is causing pain or injury. It takes a year or so of getting hurt themselves before they are able to make the connection.
 To ‘view the nakedness’ of another also had a sexual connotation: ‘to see a father’s nakedness,’ for example, could mean that a man was having sex with his father’s wife. However, in this passage, it is apparent that Noah was simply drunk and naked, and that his children wanted to show him honor by protecting him from public view. (Tent flaps were often raised for ventilation, and it is entirely possible, in this context, that Noah was visible from outside the tent).