The Noachida or Noahide
‘The Constitutions of the Freemasons’, (second edition) by Rev. Bro. James Anderson, D.D.. Published by the Grand Lodge of England in 1738.
The Old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons: Charge 1 – Concerning G-d and Religion.
“A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachida*; and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine, nor act against conscience. In ancient Times, the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian usages of each country where they traveled or worked; being found in all nations, even of divers religions. They are generally charged to adhere to that religion in which all men agree (leaving each brother to his own particular opinion); that is, to be good men and true, men of honour and honesty, by whatever names, religions, or persuasions they may be distinguished; for they all agree in the three great Articles of Noah, enough to preserve the cement of the lodge. Thus Masonry is the Center of Union, and the happy means of conciliating persons that otherwise must have remained at a perpetual distance.”
*Noachidae or Sons of Noah was the first name of Masons according to old traditions.
From ‘A Lexicon of Freemasonry’, by Bro. Dr. Albert G. MacKey M. D., Published in 1845.
Noachidæ, or Noachites – The descendants of Noah. A term applied to Freemasons. Noah having alone preserved the true name and worship of God, amid a race of impious idolaters, Freemasons claim to be his descendants, because they still preserve that pure religion which distinguished this second father of the human race from the rest of the world. And even when his descendants began again, in the plains of Shinar, to forget the Almighty, and to wander from the path of purity, the principles of Noah were still perpetuated by that portion of his race whom the Freemasons of the present day regard as their early predecessors. Hence Freemasons call themselves Noachidæ, or the sons of Noah.
Noah, Precepts of. – The precepts of the patriarch Noah, which were preserved as the constitutions of our ancient brethren, are seven in number, and are as follows:
- Renounce all idols.
- Worship the only true God.
- Commit no murder.
- Be not defiled by incest.
- Do not steal.
- Be just.
- Eat no flesh with blood in it.
The “proselytes of the gate,” as the Jews termed those who lived among them without undergoing circumcision, or observing the ceremonial law, were bound to obey the seven precepts of Noah.
From ‘The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia’ by Bro. Kenneth MacKenzie. Published in 1877.
Noachidæ. – Descendants of Noah. Applied in Masonic legend to the Craft in general, as being derived from Noah, traditionally claimed as the founder and father of Masonic theology, according to some theories, because the Masons preserved the traditions of the one God amidst the corruptions of surrounding faiths. In the second edition of Anderson’s “Constitutions” we read – “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachida.”
Noah, Precepts of. – Certain commandments transmitted to our times in documents of the ancient stonemasons, of no historical value, are thus called. They are-
- Renounce all idols;
- Worship the only true God;
- Commit no murder;
- Be not defiled with incest;
- Do not steal;
- Be just;
- Eat no flesh with blood in it.
These have been preserved in the Talmud. Maimonides says that the first six precepts were enunciated by Adam, and the seventh by Noah. They are not mentioned by Onkelos, Josephus, or Philo; still, they have been adopted by the Rabbins.
People who observe the seven commandments of Noah are considered by Orthodox Rabbis to be ‘Righteous Gentiles’ and are known as “Noachides” or “Bnai Noach” in Hebrew, both these terms mean ‘descendants of Noah.’
Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim [Code of Torah Law – The Laws of Kings]