Reading: Matthew 23:23
In my previous post I wrote my personal reasons on why I tithe. After that, I thought I wanted to know what the Bible really says about tithing. Thanks to the Internet, I can always access an online Bible and type “tithe”, and then “tenth”. Below is a summary of the results. Study with me, brothers and sisters, let’s not leave any stone un-turned!
Based on what I’ve read, I note that:
- Tithes are for the upkeep of the priests and Levites and the temple (in modern context, I’d say they’re the equivalent of church leaders and other church workers, and the house of worship;
- The sojourner, the fatherless and the widow are also supposed to benefit from the tithe;
- The tithe is also for fellowship, together with one’s household and with the servants of God, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow;
- Prior to the law, Abraham and Jacob tithed—not to the Levites and priests who would be their descendants more than 400 years after. Abraham tithed to a forerunner of the Messiah, a king of peace and righteousness and a priest forever. And Jacob burned his tithes on the altar. (Genesis 33:20; 35:6-7).
I will leave it to you, my friends to make your own conclusion, and to decide how you apply it in your life.
God bless! 💗🎁🌱🌾🍆🍅🍏🍑🍓🍍🍎🍒🍇🐮☀☁❄🌟💝
Genesis 14:20 – Abram (not yet Abraham) gave a tenth of ‘everything’ to Melchizedek, priest of God Most High
Genesis 28:22 – Jacob promised to give to the Lord a full tenth of what the Lord gives him
Leviticus 27:30-32 – The Lord commanded that every tithe (i.e., tenth) of the land is His. This includes seeds, fruits, herds and flocks. Should anyone wishes to redeem some of the tithe, a fifth shall be added to it (I understand this as–if someone wishes to convert the tithe into money, then it should be topped up with 20% more of the value of the good).
Numbers 18:21-24 – the tithes were for the Levites as their inheritance (remember they did not get land specifically for their tribe, although ‘pockets’ of land were allocated to them among the other tribes), for their service in the tent of meeting (doing the work of the Lord).
Numbers 18:25-32 – the Levites themselves need to tithe from the tithe that they receive from the people of Israel—it is their contribution to the Lord, from which they were to give to Aaron (the High Priest) his share. The tithe of the tithe should be the best part of the tithe from the people.
Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 11, 17-19 – this talked about the place that the Lord will choose (eventually Jerusalem) where the people of Israel can bring their tithes. Verse 19 is an iteration not to neglect the Levites.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 – the same as what’s in Leviticus 27 and Deuteronomy 12
Deuteronomy 14:23-27 – this also mentions “eating” the tithe of one’s produce in the place chosen by the Lord, together with one’s household. If the tithe is too heavy to carry, one can convert it to money, and then in the chosen place, one can buy the equivalent oxen or sheep or wine—whatever one’s appetite craves (!). The Levites who live in one’s town are again mentioned not to be neglected.
Deuteronomy 14:28 – At the end of every 3 years, the tithes for that year will be laid up within the people’s respective towns. And the Levites, the sojourner, the fatherless and the widow—they shall eat of the tithes and be filled. And the Lord promises a blessing on the people’s livelihoods.
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 – this talks about the ‘ritual’ of bringing the tithes to the place that God chooses. Verse 11 says “And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you”—I understand this as ‘partaking’ of the produce.
Deuteronomy 26:12-15 – this is similar to Deuteronomy 14:28
2 Chronicles 31:4-13 – The story is when King Hezekiah commanded the people in Jerusalem to hand their tithes. And the people who lived in the cities of Israel and Judah did the same. They were piling them in heaps—for four months! The priests and Levites had their fill, and there was still a large amount left! King Hezekiah had chambers in the house of the Lord prepared, and that’s where they housed what remained of the contributions. This didn’t even include yet the freewill offerings which are discussed in verses 14-21.
Nehemiah 10:37-38 – the passage is part of the renewed oath by those who returned from exile in Babylon, to bring to the Levites the tithes of their grounds. It also mentioned that it was the Levites who collected the tithes in the towns—and the priest was to be with them during collection. The Levites will then bring the tithes to the chambers of the storehouse, in the house of God. Continuing on to verse 39, we read that all contributions are for the upkeep of the house of God, to include the priests, and even the gatekeepers and the singers.
Nehemiah 12:44; 47 – Men were appointed to oversee the storerooms that housed the contributions, the firstfruits and the tithes; and to apportion those which were for the Levites and for the priests, according to the Law. Verse 47 also mentioned daily portion for the singers and gatekeepers; and again, the portion set apart for the Levites, and what the Levites set apart for the sons of Aaron (i.e., priests).
Nehemiah 13:4-14 – Nehemiah was not in Judah and Eliashib the priest converted the chamber for contributions into a personal chamber for Tobiah, an extended relation. The portions for the Levites, as well as for the singers had also not been given to them so they were not around and were working in their fields instead. Then all Judah brought again their tithes, and treasurers were appointed over the storehouses.
Amos 4:4 – this verse and the surrounding verses were about the people from the house of Israel, who, although they ‘outwardly’ sacrificed and tithed, were actually transgressing in their hearts.
Malachi 3:8-11 – the Lord says that a man/nation robs God by withholding tithes. The tithes are for the upkeep of the house of God and its workers. The Lord challenges to put Him to the test—if He doesn’t pour down a blessing that will cover all needs.
Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:11-12 – Tithing is not everything. One should not forget justice, mercy and faithfulness. But tithing should still not be neglected, and it should be practiced for what God intended it for; it is not for show, or to make one’s self feel good. These were the words of Jesus.
Hebrews 7:1-10 – the writer of Hebrews re-tells the story of Abraham (then still called Abram) giving a tithe to Melchizedek (King of Salem and priest of God Most High). The passage continues to make an argument of Abraham giving a tithe to someone who is not a Levite or an Aaronic priest (both descendants of Abraham), but to a king of peace and righteousness and who continues to be a priest forever. Jesus is the priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek (vv. 17, 21).