The first 5 books of the Bible are called the Torah. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers. The entire Old Testament is called the Tanakh and consists of the law(Torah), the prophets(Neviim), and the writings(Ketuvim). The Tanakh was the ONLY Scripture used by Jesus(Yeshua) and his disciples. By reading the Torah as relevant in our eyes today it gives a deeper understanding of Yeshua’s life and teachings, not to mention clearer understanding of Paul’s teachings. When you take the Torah to heart you start to understand that Yeshua and the apostles were always upholding the law. You understand that not a single Jew could have become a follower of Yeshua if he didn’t uphold the law. The law wouldn’t allow it(Deut 13:3). Yeshua knew the law, taught men to keep the intent of the law in addition to the letter of it. He was the master teacher of The Word of God. He restored all understanding that had been lost. The Word of God is perfect and does not contradict itself. So if we find a contradiction then we need to search out truth because it’s our understanding that is flawed and not the Word of God.
So when did the law start? Most people would say it started with Moses. God gave Moses the law and he wrote it down and gave it to the people. Many even argue that the law was only for the people of Moses and not relevant for us. But the Word of God would not agree with you. The Word of God was in the beginning. John 1:1 describes this and tells us that Yeshua is Logos. He is the word, he is the instrument for the execution of God’s will. Just like the law of “Moses”, which is the law of Adonai, is the instrument for the execution of God’s will and was established from the beginning of the world. So we are going to start in Genesis and see the evidence of the law according to the Word of God.
These 45 instances in Genesis are the ones that stood out to me as referring to a set of standards that have been established from the beginning of creation. I probably missed several as I read over Genesis but there is enough here to prove the point. These are all established in the Law of God and are proof of it’s existence prior to when it was given to Moses. Moses reestablished the law that already existed. A law from the beginning that will last until a new heaven and a new earth are created. Matt 5:18
1:28 On day six of creation man is given their first law, their first commandment. Be fruitful and multiply.
1:28 Next we are told to rule over the fish, birds, and all animals. And we are told that all seed bearing plants and all trees bearing seed bearing fruit are for our food. Lev 11
2:3 God blesses and sanctifies the seventh day. Ex 20:8
2:17 Adam was commanded not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.
2:24 A man and wife become one.
3:4-7 Cain and Abel bring sacrifices before God. Cain brought produce from his crops. And Abel brought the firstlings of his flocks with their fat. God speaks to Cain and explains that if he does the sacrifice wrong then it will lead to sin. Ex 20:24, Lev
4:11 After Cain killed Abel, God curses Cain. We also see God warn that he will avenge x7 Cain’s death. Ex 20:13
In Genesis 6:9 We see that Noah was righteous, blameless, and walked with God. This also shows us that there were a set of expectations, laws, that the rest of humankind did not follow. Only Noah was righteous enough to save.
In Genesis 7:2 we see that there is already a distinction between clean and unclean animals. This distinction is made by the law of God. So although Noah couldn’t eat of these animals yet, we can assume that sacrifice laws were kept correctly from the beginning of time. Lev 11
8:20 we see specifically Noah offering a burnt offering. Ex 20:24
9:3 Then God expands man’s food to include meat but commands that blood not be consumed. Lev 11, Lev 3:17
9:6 Then clearly in Scripture we see the commandment not to kill, not to shed human blood. Ex 20:13
At the end of chapter 9 we see Noah cursing Canaan because Ham uncovered his father’s nakedness. And we see Shem and Japheth acting righteously and being praised. So we again see an established rule alluded to. Lev 18:6, Duet 22:30
In 12:17 Adonai punishes Pharaoh for taking Abram’s wife. Clearly an indication of the sin of adultery. And Pharaoh says he wouldn’t have done it if he had known. Ex 20:14
In 14:20 we see Abram give the priest of God a tenth of everything he recovered. Another section alluding to an established way of doing things consistent with the Law of God. Lev 27:32, Num 18:21 & 26
Then in 15:6 we see faith working. Abram believes in the unseen and trusts God to keep his word. Through faith and obedience to God we see Righteousness for the first time in Scripture. Here we see a New Testament concept that was actually established in the Old Testament. We see that faith was the key ingredient of Righteousness. Obedience alone was not enough. Both are required for Righteousness. The people of God walk in faith of the Word of God AND obey the Word of God. Just as today we walk in faith of the Word of God(Jesus) AND need to obey the Word of God(law/commandments/statutes).
In Chapter 17 we see God creating the terms of the covenant with the seed of Abraham. Walk with God and be blameless. Or in other words have faith, and don’t transgress his law. God will choose them to be his people and they are to circumcise their flesh throughout their generations. Including the slave or child of the foreigner that is among them. All details that line up with the law latter given to Moses. Lev 12:3
In 17:21 God refers to the set time the following year. Referring to one of his feast days and working his miracles on the set days on his calendar. Ex 12:14
In 18:19 Adonai talks about Abraham and his seed keeping the way of Adonai by doing righteousness and justice. So again alluding to a set of standards that already was established.
In 19 we see that Lot is the only righteous man in Sodom. Again there is a set of standards established that results in blessings and destruction.
In 19:3 we see that Lot offers the angels unleavened bread. We know that the angels literally just left Abraham, where he was told that in a year, at the appointed time to meet with God, Sarah would have a baby. So now with this unleavened bread clue it narrows down our feast day possibilities. Ex 12:17
In 20 we again see adultery is against the law when the king takes Sarah but this time it doesn’t get as far. God himself intervenes to prevent the sin. Sin is the breaking of the law. So we see it firmly established that there is a law for adultery. Ex 20:14
In 22 God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. And because of his obedience God blesses Abrahams seed. Duet 13:4
In 24 we see the lengthens that Abraham goes to follow the law and get a wife for his son. According to the law he is not allowed to get a wife from the ungodly people so he sends his servant back to his own family to get a wife. Num 36:8
In 24:24 we see Rebekah take the traveler home to give him rest. Ex 22:21, 23:9
In 24:65 we see that as soon as Rebekah sees Isaac she took a veil and covered herself. As there is no law in Torah that directly refers to head coverings for women this is quite interesting. We also see head coverings mentioned in translation in the adultery law.
In 26:10 we again see that adultery will bring guilt. Ex 20:14
26:25 Isaac builds an altar Ex 20:24-26
28 We see that the son who is to be blessed by God, Jacob, is sent to find a wife among the family. When his brother sees this he tries to comply and takes a wife from a distant relative. Num 36:8
28:22 We see Jacob accepting God as his God and promising to give a 10th of everything. Lev 27:32, Num 18:21 & 26
31:54 Jacob offers a sacrifice Lev 11
33:20 another alter built Ex 20:24-26
34:7 We see a virgin daughter violated and the uproar from her brothers Deut 22
34:14 They say they can’t give a daughter of Israel to an uncircumcised man. Deut 7:3
35:1-2 We see God command Jacob to build an alter to him and Jacob tell all his men to cleanse and prepare themselves. Here for the first time we see similar instructions as those who entered into the Tabernacle later when the law is written for us. We see God change Jacob’s name and give him a blessing after Jacob takes him as him God officially. Num 8:6
37:22 Don’t shed blood Ex 20:13
38:8 Duty of a brother-in-law to marry brother’s widow Deut 25:5
38:9 Evil to spill seed and not procreate for brother’s posterity Deut 25:7
38:24 Prostitution not acceptable. Punishment is burning. Deut 22:21, 23:17
38:26 We see that passing on the seed supersedes the law of not sleeping with your daughter-in-law. Duet 25:5
39:9 Adultery is a sin against Adonai Ex 20:14
39:14 The women screams out against Joseph as in commanded a women in threat of rape. Duet 22:27
41:42 Pharaoh puts linen on Joseph and makes him over all egypt. Lev 16:32
44:4 Stealing is evil Ex 20:15
47:22 We see that the priest have land allotted to them and they receive a portion from Pharaoh. Lev 27:32, Num 18:21 & 26