TORAH existed since Adam!
One concept that we often discuss in our Torah study group is that the Torah existed in the garden. תורה (Torah) translated in the English versions of scripture often uses the word law. Many in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement would not agree with this and often state that this is a poor translation. A more accurate translation would be ‘instructions’.
These instructions were recorded and given through Moses in the book of Exodus chapter 20 onwards. This would mean that the Torah was created only at or after chapter 20 of Exodus, right? I believe not. Here are some of the examples to prove my point:
I’m sure most of us are familiar with the Noah’s Ark story. Time for a quiz. How many of each animal did Noah take into the ark? If your answer is a pair, you are wrong. The answer is found in Genesis 7:2;
“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.” ( Genesis 7:2 )
So the answer is 2 of each unclean animal and 7 of each clean animal. Wait! Did you notice that? 2 of each UNCLEAN ANIMAL and 7 of each CLEAN ANIMAL! But the law was only given after Exodus 20. How did Noah know what is clean and unclean? Now, we can explain this away saying, “if God asked him to take them into the ark, I’m sure He would have told him what was clean and unclean.” That’s an assumption that most might make. The text doesn’t say anything about Noah asking for clarification on what God meant by clean and unclean. Hence, I’d much prefer another viewpoint which says; Noah already knew what clean and unclean was.
In Genesis 8:20 we read;
“And Noah builded an ALTAR unto the Lord; and took of every CLEAN BEAST, and of every CLEAN FOWL, and offered BURNT OFFERINGS on the altar.”
Okay, assuming that God told Noah about the clean and unclean. How did Noah know about building an altar and offering burnt offerings? Remember, the commandment of burnt offerings only appear after Exodus 20.
Now when we read this story in the bible, the highlight is usually about Cain killing Abel. O, how much do we miss when we glance through verses that are loaded with heavy information. One such example is Genesis 4:4;
“And Abel, he also brought of the FIRSTLINGS OF HIS FLOCK and of the FAT thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:” ( Genesis 4:4; )
This offering that Abel made is known as the first fruit offering which is found in Numbers 18:17;
“But the firstling of a cow, or the FIRSTLING OF A SHEEP, OR THE FIRSTLING OF A GOAT, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt BURN THEIR FAT for an OFFERING MADE BY FIRE, for a sweet savour unto the Lord.” ( Numbers 18:17 )
Think about this. How did Abel know that the firstling of the flock has to be sacrificed. Presuming that he had a heart to give the best to His creator and this was happenstance, how did he know that he should burn the fat? What are the odds that he got burning and the fat right after choosing the first of the flock by chance? I think you’d agree that it would be slim to none.
Jacob’s drink offering
“And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured A DRINK OFFERING thereon, and he poured oil thereon.”
In Genesis 35, we read that Jacob builds an altar. He then pours out a drink offering. Let’s assume that he learned how to build an altar from his father. After all, Abraham built and altar and was about to sacrifice Isaac when an angel of God stopped him. So it really isn’t farfetched to think that Isaac would have taught Jacob how to build and altar. But to pour a drink offering? The earliest record of this commandment is in Exodus 29. Where did Jacob get this idea of pouring a drink offering? Was it a concept Jacob came up with himself? I don’t think so.
I believe the Torah had always existed. Consider Genesis 26:5;
“Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept MY CHARGE, MY COMMANDMENTS, MY STATUTES, AND MY LAWS.” ( Genesis 26:5 )
So maybe the laws started with Abraham. Was it? What about Abel then? How did he know about the first fruit offerings? This must mean the Torah existed even before Abel. Is there biblical proof?
Consider the following:
” Thy word is true from the BEGINNING: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”
When is the beginning? In the English version of the bible, the first book is Genesis. This is not a direct translation from the Hebrew. In Hebrew, the book is called בראשית (Bereshit) which means ‘ in beginning’. Does this mean Psalms 119:160 is saying that the Torah existed since the beginning (Genesis)?
More reading :
Article from :
How Did the Torah Exist Before it Happened?
Could you explain to me how Jacobcould study Torah “in the tents” if Torah was given to Moses centuries later? And could you explain how Jacob could study the Torah in which he, too, is a character?
No rabbi so far has provided me a satisfactory explanation.
This is discussed in many places inTalmud and Midrash. Not onlyAbraham, Isaac and Jacob, but also Noah and even Adam knew the Torah. Concerning Noah, the Torah itself writes clearly that G-d told him to take onto his ark “of the animal which is ritually pure (tahor), seven, seven.” Apparently, he was expected to know for himself that pigs are not ritually pure and cows are.
What was the Torah before it was given to us? The Torah is G-d’s wisdom, as He considers Himself, as He considers us and as He considers His world. It contains the wisdom with which He creates the world and manages it. Think of a concept paper that a producer might write before developing a video game or some other such product. The Torah contains exactly that (and much more1). Each of the lofty souls we mentioned was able to attain insight into this wisdom and thereby know the hiddenmost secrets of the universe.
Moses was special in several regards. First of all, Moses was able to see all of the Torah with perfect vision, crystal clear.
Secondly, Moses was empowered to bring this Torah to all the people, so that each person could receive the entire Torah, as he had, each on his own level, for all generations.
Thirdly, at Mt. Sinai the Torah was no longer just a wisdom, but a command. Until then, it was up to the individual whether he wished to practice it or not. From then on, every adult Jew became responsible to fulfill all the Torah.
So let’s get back to your question: Does this mean that all these enlightened individuals saw their whole lives mapped out before them? Did Jacob, for example, see in the Torah the entire story of Joseph being thrown in a pit and sold as a slave by his brothers? Did Isaac see that Esau would try to kill Jacob?
Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz (1560?-1630, known as “The Shelah“) discusses this in his classic work, Shnei Luchot HaBrit.2 He gives the following answer, based on the words of Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (“Nachmanides,” 1194-1270):
As the Torah exists in the spiritual realms, it has more than one application. After all, the Torah is not just G-d’s knowledge and wisdom — it is His will and inner desire. How that desire meets this world depends on many things. If, for example, the Jewish people would not have tolerated worship of a golden calf in their midst forty days after having heard the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need for a Tabernacle. Each one of us would have been a perfect temple for the Shechinah (Divine presence) and G-dliness would have dwelt on earth in a much simpler way.
If, for another example, the spies had have come back from their tour ofCanaan and discussed matters with Moses and let him make the report, we would have walked into the land with Moses himself at the lead and the Era o fMoshiach would have begun right then and there — with Moses starring as the final redeemer.
But the Jewish people chose a different way to channel the Divine Will. And so it is with every situation of free choice we are given: We choose then and there how the Divine Will is to be channeled into our world.
So what Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. knew, contemplated and studied was the Divine Will and Wisdom. They knew it, they taught it and they conducted their lives accordingly. What they didn’t know — and Moses did — was how that Divine Will and Wisdom would be actualized in the material plane. Because that hadn’t happened yet.
Rabbi Horowitz does not write this, but it would seem from what he and many others have written that the ultimate application of the Torah is that which we have here in our world. In other words, how things ended up in the end is just how He had them planned. Only that it had to be brought into reality this way through our free will.3
For example: The Midrash of Rabbi Tanchuma4 contains a poignant description of how Adam, as he is banished from the Garden of Eden, accuses G-d of having planned the whole thing from the beginning. His evidence? The Torah contains all the rules of ritual impurity pertaining to a dead human body. “So it is in Your plan that there be death in the world,” Adam accuses G-d. “Only that you wished to wipe Your hands on me!”
The question is, didn’t Adam realize this before, when he originally learned this concept in the Torah? So we must answer that, yes, he knew there would be death. But it could have come about in many different ways. Now he discovered what was the hidden Divine Plan — that it come about through his own free choice. At this point, Adam reached deeper into the Torah.
So the ultimate Torah is the Torah that Moses wrote over the period of forty years in the wilderness5: the actual implementation of Torah in our world. This Torah was distinct from the Torah known by the forefathers, because this Torah actually happened. And this is the Torah that is connected to the very essence of G-d’s wisdom that is one with Him.
As the master Kabbalists often say, “the highest finds its ultimate expression in the lowest.”