Tithing to God In the Old Testament

There was a discussion on tithing the other day that I found interesting. Some believe that it is not commanded for New Testament believers, while others that it is. Others believe we should give sacrificially. Others believe that the church has no need for the money. Others believe that we should want to give, and if we dont want to, then we shouldn’t give. Some believe people tithe to feel proud or better than those who do not.

I have looked at this topic before, but its been years. So… I figured we’d go through it together. This post is long because I felt it necessary to present the scripture in question, so as to avoid confusion.

Let us look at the word for tithe
(ma’aser)  in the Bible, using the The NAS Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/heb.cgi?number=04643&version=nas) In this case, it is a noun.

 Strong’s Number:   4643  Browse Lexicon 
Original Word Word Origin
rX[m from (06240)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Ma`aser TWOT – 1711h
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
mah-as-ayr’    Noun Masculine
 Definition
               

  1. tithe, tenth part
    1. tenth part
    2. tithe, payment of a tenth part
 NAS Word Usage – Total: 32
tenth 4, tenth part 1, tithe 17, tithes 9, tithing 1

Now let us examine where this term is used in the Old Testament.

Ge 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all.
Le 27:30 ‘Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.
Le 27:31 ‘If, therefore, a man wishes to redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it.
Le 27:32 ‘And for every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.
Nu 18:21 “And to the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.
Nu 18:24 “For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.'”
Nu 18:26 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
Nu 18:28 ‘So you shall also present an offering to the Lord from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the Lord’s offering to Aaron the priest.
De 12:6 “And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the first-born of your herd and of your flock.
De 12:11 then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God shall choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord.
De 12:17 “You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or new wine, or oil, or the first-born of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand.
De 14:23 “And you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the first-born of your herd and your flock, in order that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.
De 14:28 “At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town.
De 26:12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied.
2Ch 31:5 And as soon as the order spread, the sons of Israel provided in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the titheof all.
2Ch 31:6 And the sons of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah, also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of sacred gifts which were consecrated to the Lord their God, and placed them in heaps.
2Ch 31:12 And they faithfully brought in the contributions and the tithes and the consecrated things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them and his brother Shimei was second.
Ne 10:37 We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns.
Ne 10:38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenthof the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse.
Ne 12:44 On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served.
Ne 13:5 had prepared a large room for him, where formerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils, and the tithes of grain, wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.
Ne 13:12 All Judah then brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses.
Eze 45:11 “The ephah and the bath shall be the same quantity, so that the bath may contain a tenth of a homer, and the ephah a tenth of a homer; their standard shall be according to the homer.
Eze 45:14 and the prescribed portion of oil (namely, the bath of oil), a tenthof a bath from each kor (which is ten baths or a homer, for ten baths are a homer);
Am 4:4 “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days
Mal 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.
Mal 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

Another term for tithe is ‘asar. Let us look at its definition in The NAS Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/heb.cgi?number=06237&version=nas):. In this case, it is a verb.

 Strong’s Number:   6237  Browse Lexicon 
Original Word Word Origin
rX[ a primitive root (ident. with (06238))
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
`asar TWOT – 1711c
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
aw-sar’   Verb
 Definition
               

  1. to tithe, take the tenth part of, give a tithe, take a tithe
    1. (Qal) to tithe
    2. (Piel) to give a tithe
    3. (Hiphil) to take a tithe
 NAS Word Usage – Total: 8
paying 1, receive the tithes 1, receive tithes 1, surely give 1, surely give a tenth 1, surely tithe 1, take a tenth 2

To summarize, tithe is used in two ways. There is the term tithe (ma’aser), which is a noun. Then there is the term tithe (‘aser), which is a verb. Basically, tithe means either 10% or to give 10%. The idea is to give 10% of one’s income to God, because He gave us what we need to make a living to begin with. We see these ideas in Leviticus 27:30-32.

Now we are going to examine the context of various verses which contain the word tithe. Let us look at the use of the word tithe BEFORE the Law of Moses.

Genesis 14:8-24 – Abraham paid a 10th to Melchizedek , a priest of God Most High.

8 And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) came out; and they arrayed for battle against them in the valley of Siddim, 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar–four kings against five. 10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them But those who survived fled to the hill country.  11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed.  12 They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom.  13 Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram.  14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.  15 He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.

17 Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).  18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.  19 He blessed him and said,  “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all.

 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.”  22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’   24 I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.”

Genesis 28:8-22 – Jacob pledged a 10th to God.

8 So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac;  9 and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.  12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.   14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.   15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”  17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top.  19  He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.  20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ” If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,  21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God.  22 “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

Now we will see the tithe as mentioned in the Mosaic Law:

Leviticus 27:30-33 – everything that helped them make a living, plants and animals, was to be tithed from.

  30 ‘Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S; it is holy to the LORD.  31 ‘If, therefore, a man wishes to redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it.  32 ‘For every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.  33 ‘He is not to be concerned whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; or if he does exchange it, then both it and its substitute shall become holy. It shall not be redeemed.'”

Numbers 18:21-32 – notice that the Levites received 10% as compensation for their work, but had to give a tithe as well. I think this is a good thing for preachers and evangelists to remember – Give to God from what you are given.

21 “To the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting. 22  The sons of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting again, or they will bear sin and die. 23 Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.'”

 25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe27 Your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat. 28 So you shall also present an offering to the LORD from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the LORD’S offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the LORD, from all the best of them, the sacred part from them.’

 30 “You shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat. 31 You may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting32 You will bear no sin by reason of it when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, or you will die.'”

Deuteronomy 12:5-19 – the things God commanded the Israelites bring had to be brought where He commanded them.

“But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.  There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you.”

 “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. 10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, 14 but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

 15 However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.

 17 You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand. 18 But you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings. 19 Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 – Part of the reason for the tithe was to help the people learn to fear God. The goods for the tithe could be substituted by money. Notice that every third year the tithe would be given to orphans and widows (the poor) and the aliens, as well as the Levites.

 22 “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. 23 You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 26 You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27 Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you.

 28 At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. 29 The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Deuteronomy 26:12-15

12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments. 14 I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the LORD my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’

Now we will see how the people came back to following the Law, and reinstituted the tithe, as written in the Law.

2 Chronicles 31:4-12

 Also he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the law of the LORDAs soon as the order spread, the sons of Israel provided in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all. The sons of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of sacred gifts which were consecrated to the LORD their God, and placed them in heaps. In the third month they began to make the heaps, and finished them by the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the rulers came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD and His people Israel.

 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok said to him, “Since the contributions began to be brought into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat with plenty left over, for the LORD has blessed His people, and this great quantity is left over.”

 11 Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the LORD, and they prepared them. 12 They faithfully brought in the contributions and the tithes and the consecrated things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them and his brother Shimei was second.

Nehemiah 10:28-39

28 Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding, 29 are joining with their kinsmen, their nobles, and are taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of GOD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes;

 30 and that we will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.

 31 As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.

 32 We also placed ourselves under obligation to contribute yearly one third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, for the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.

 34 Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people so that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers’ households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law;

 35 and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the LORD annually,

 36 and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God.

 37 We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns. 38 The priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil to the chambers; there are the utensils of the sanctuary, the priests who are ministering, the gatekeepers and the singers Thus we will not neglect the house of our God.

Nehemiah 12:43-47

43 and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar.

 44 On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served. 45 For they performed the worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God. 47 So all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah gave the portions due the singers and the gatekeepers as each day required, and set apart the consecrated portion for the Levites, and the Levites set apart the consecrated portion for the sons of Aaron.

Nehemiah 13:4-13

 Now prior to this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being related to Tobiah, had prepared a large room for him, where formerly they put the grain offerings, the frankincense, the utensils and the tithes of grain, wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, the singers and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.

 But during all this time I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had gone to the king. After some time, however, I asked leave from the king, and I came to Jerusalem and learned about the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, by preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. It was very displeasing to me, so I threw all of Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. Then I gave an order and they cleansed the rooms; and I returned there the utensils of the house of God with the grain offerings and the frankincense.

 10 I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to his own field. 11 So I reprimanded the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts.

 12 All Judah then brought the tithe of the grain, wine and oil into the storehouses. 13 In charge of the storehouses I appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and in addition to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered reliable, and it was their task to distribute to their kinsmen.

Amos 4:1-5

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!”  The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness, Behold, the days are coming upon you, When they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks.  “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon,” declares the LORD. “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.  “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known  For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord GOD.

Malachi 3:5-18 – Notice that by not giving their tithes and offerings, the people robbed God. God told them they were under a curse because they robbed Him. Then He challenged the people to trust Him by bringing the entire tithe into the storehouse, and He would bless them. God made it clear they did not give a tithe because they felt it was worthless to serve Him. But He also made it clear He would spare the ones who feared and esteemed and served Him.

 8“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offeringsYou are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. 12 All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. 13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’

 14 “You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?  15 So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.'”

 16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”

As we’ve seen, there was the idea of giving a tithe long before the Law was given to Moses. Abraham gave a tithe to God through Melchizadek (Genesis 14:8-24). His grandson, Jacob, promised God that he would give a tenth if God prospered him (Genesis 28:22). In Malachi Malachi 3, God told the people of Israel that they were under a curse because they robbed Him, and God challenged the people to trust Him by bringing the entire tithe into the storehouse, and He would bless them. The people gave tithes of livestock, crops, oil, wine. There were tithes, sacrifices, and free will offerings. Even the priests gave a tenth of the tithes they received. Certain tithes were given to the priests, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger.

So Israel had to pay a tithe, but also was free to give to God in other ways. Also, people were expected to take care of the priest, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. We will look at tithing and giving in the New Testament in the future.

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