PART 1 - TITHING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT


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Introduction

Prerequisite #1

Genesis - Abraham

Genesis - Jacob

The Levitical Tithe - Intro

Prerequisite #2

Prerequisite #3

Levitical Tithe - Background

The Levitical Tithe - Basics

The Levites

The Levitical Tithe - Advanced

Malachi - Robbing God

The Other Tithes

Church History of Tithing

Summary

THE LEVITICAL TITHE - BASICS

Now let's review Leviticus 27:30-34 (NIV):

30 "'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it.
32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock-every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod-will be holy to the LORD.
33 He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.'"
34 These are the commands the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.

The law given to Moses for the Israelites is specific - it says that you tithe everything from the land; in other words, crops, and from the herds and flocks. Nothing else is mentioned in the command as being tithable. It's as simple as that.

God said you tithe on the crops, and the herds and flocks, NOT money or income. When I say this, there's usually someone who says they didn't have money then. That's not correct. They had money (gold and silver) even in Genesis.

The argument that tithes were always used as money in the Old Testament because money was very rare, and the bartered system required food to be used to purchase items, is not biblical. In fact, the word money occurs 32 times in the Book of Genesis alone. The word money occurs 44 times before the tithe is first mentioned in Leviticus 27.

Money paid for land. In Genesis 23:9 Abraham bought land with money, not with food. Money bought slaves. Money was used by slaves to buy their freedom. Money was required to pay judicial fines, not food. Money was required to pay sanctuary dues, poll taxes, and head taxes. Money was required in many vows that were made by the people. Alcoholic drinks were paid by money. And marriage dowries very often included money in the earliest books of the bible.

And from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, I quote: "Gold and silver were the common medium of exchange in Syria and Palestine in the earliest times of which we have any historical record. The period of mere barter had passed before Abraham." Unquote.

We even find banking laws, and laws against high interest and usury in the book of Leviticus even before tithing is mentioned. Therefore, it is wrong to say that money was not a tithable item because it was not an everyday essential item. Money was very essential, even in the book of Genesis. Therefore, the argument that money did not exist and therefore could not be included as a tithable item is wrong.

It is in the Book of Numbers, chapter 18, that we find the ordinance of tithing. To learn more, study the entire chapter. For now, we will look at Numbers chapter 18 verses 23-28 (NIV):
23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.
24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.'"
25 The LORD said to Moses,
26 "Speak to the Levites and say to them: 'When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD'S offering.
27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress.
28 In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD'S portion to Aaron the priest.

So the tithes belonged to The Lord, and The Lord gave the tithes to the Levites, who in turn, would have no inheritance, or could not own any land.

Now let's continue to The Levites by clicking here.



Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®.
Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society are used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright ©1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education
of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2009, 2012 by Gary J. Arnold. All rights reserved.

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