Recent scholarship debates whether the rabbinic concept of Noahide law conforms to a doctrine of natural law. Drawing on Robert Cover's insights about the relationship between law and narrative, this article argues that the talmudic discussion of Noahide commandments is best understood within the context of the rabbis' retellings of Genesis stories. A close reading of Bavli Sanhedrin 56a-57a highlights the passage's engagement with biblical narrative and uncovers an ancient debate about the ties that bind and the lines that divide Jews and others. The Talmudic discussion offers a foundation for an expanded universalism that embraces Jews, non-Jews, and non-human animals as well.

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