In Parshah Noach, we read:
Now the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth became full of violence.Bereishit (Genesis) 6:11
Many translations render this as “…and the earth became full of robbery.” But, the Hebrew uses the word חָמָֽס (Hamas / violence), not “robbery”.
Why the odd translation? This primarily comes from Rashi, who comments on the verse: “Robbery” (1)Rashi on Bereishit 6:11 – https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Genesis.6.11?lang=bi.
So, what’s bothering Rashi? The text singles out “violence” as the cause of the flood – or, at the very least, the final straw that sealed that generation’s fate (2)See the discussion in the Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108a – https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.108a?lang=bi. And, the sages teach us the principle that “there is no punishment without there first being a warning.”
But, where in the 7 Laws is there a warning against “violence”? We have a clear prohibition against murder – but that doesn’t preclude merely injuring another person.
And, I believe that’s the question Rashi is answering here – “Robbery.”
We can learn from this 2 things:
- Violence is robbery.
Injuring another person is forbidden under the Noahide prohibition against robbery.
- Robbery is violence.
All acts of robbery are inherently acts of violence against another. Or, they at least contain the threat of such violence.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||Rashi on Bereishit 6:11 – https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Genesis.6.11?lang=bi|
|2.||↑||See the discussion in the Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108a – https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.108a?lang=bi|