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Is there Resurrection of the Dead for Noahides?

Updated: Feb 6, 2023



13 Principles of Torah-based Faith that were enumerated by Rambam (Maimonides)


The 13th Principle of Faith

I fully believe there will be a revival of the dead at a time when the Creator, whose Name is praised and whose fame is so high and forever exalted, wills it.

We believe in the Vivification of the Dead (in Hebrew Techiat HaMeitim) which also applies to the pious Noahide.


For every Gentile who accepts the Seven Noahide Commandments, and observes them accurately, is truly a pious individual of the peoples of the world, and deserves an eternal share in the Future World (and with this merit, this person will be included in the Resurrection of the Dead). This only applies if he accepts and observes them, because the Holy One, blessed is He, commands him to do so in the Torah, and made it known through Moses our teacher that they were previously commanded to the children of Noah.


This will take place in the World to Come, Olam Haba, which will begin at a time after the true Messiah will come, may it be speedily in our days.


In many other faiths, a resurrection from the dead plays an important role, and much of their religious life is focused on their future after this resurrection. Many of us will know - from our previous religions - many texts that talk about a resurrection and some type of life afterwards.


In Judaism, and thus in Noahism, this plays a less important role.

However, belief in the Resurrection is, as you can read in this blog, one of the 13 Principles of Faith enumarated by Rambam.


A few texts in which we can read about the Resurrection are:


וַיִּ֩יצֶר֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה:


"And the Lord G-d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul."


Rashi on Genesis 2:7


And HaShem formed — Here [in the Hebrew word for "formed"] the letter yod is written twice to intimate that there were two formations — a formation of man for this world, and a formation of man for resurrection; in the case of animals, however, which will not stand after death for judgment before God, the word referring to their

formation in (Genesis 2:19) is not written with two yods (Midrash Tanchuma, Tazria 1).


and:


לְמַ֨עַן יִרְבּ֤וּ יְמֵיכֶם֙ וִימֵ֣י בְנֵיכֶ֔ם עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהֹוָ֛ה לַֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם כִּימֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ:


"in order that your days may increase and the days of your children, on the land which the Lord swore to your forefathers to give them, as the days of heaven above the earth."



Rashi on Deuteronomium 11:21


[THE LAND WHICH THE LORD SWORE UNTO YOUR FOREFATHERS] TO GIVE TO THEM — It is not written here “to give to you”, but “to give to them”. From this we are able to derive that the tenet of the “Resurrection of the Dead” is of Biblical origin (more lit., is from the Written Torah) (Sifrei Devarim 47:2).



Isaiah 26:19


יִֽחְי֣וּ מֵתֶ֔יךָ נְבֵלָתִ֖י יְקוּמ֑וּן הָקִ֨יצוּ וְרַנְּנ֜וּ שֹׁכְנֵ֣י עָפָ֗ר כִּ֣י טַ֤ל אוֹרֹת֙ טַלֶּ֔ךָ וָאָ֖רֶץ רְפָאִ֥ים תַּפִּֽיל׃

"Oh, let Your dead revive! Let corpses arise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust!— For Your dew [that revives] is like the dew on fresh growth; You make the land of the shades come to life"


Within Judaism and Noahism, the emphasis is on the present rather than the future. Or in other words,the connection to the future is with us now. Because a person's connection tot the World to Come is directly related to what the person does now. When a person observes what G-d has commanded in the Torah for him to do, or not to do, he makes a direct connection with the Living and Eternal G-d who issued that commandment to him. In the Olam Haba, the connection to G-d he has accomplished is revealed, and that revelation is his personal eternal reward. However, the amount of reward is directly linked to the amount of merit one has accumulated during his life in this world. And it can be offset by the person's unrepented sins.


 

Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch.


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Sources: Sefaria, The Divine Code 4e edition p. 45 With thanks to Rabbi Dr. Michael Schulman for the feedback.

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