There are 613 mitzvot [commands by God] in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament). They are divided into the “Thou shalts”–248 positive commandments that correspond in number to the parts of the human body–and the “Thou shalt nots”–365 negative commandments that correspond in number to the days of the solar year. They are also divided into three types of commandments. The first type is called hukim or statutes. Hukim are given by God, and their purposes are often difficult to understand. For example, it is prohibited to combine wool with linen in a garment (Deuteronomy 22:11). The second type is called mishpatim, which are judgments. These commands should be followed, even if the command from God did not exist. They consist of such things as honoring one’s parents, not stealing, or not murdering. The third division of laws, called edot, relates to being a visible witness to others, such as keeping Passover or wearing the tallit (prayer shawl).
…Surprisingly, Judaism teaches seven mitzvot that should be observed by Gentiles. These were given to Noah after the flood to be passed down through his sons. They are as follows: Believe in the one true God; do not blaspheme; do not kill; do not steal; do not be sexually immoral; set up courts of law; do not eat the flesh of an animal that was cut from it while it was still alive.1
Jewish Christians have the best of both worlds: the rich heritage, “the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and…the promises” (Romans 9:4), and the fulfillment of those promises, the Messiah Himself, Jesus our Lord.2
1 Herzig, Steve. “The Jewish Life Cycle.” Jewish Culture and Customs: A Sampler of Jewish Life. Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1997. 46. Print.
2 Ibid. “The Jewish People.” 28.