How do ascertain what tithing is? The answer is simple. Go to the Bible and look up every verse that references tithe, tithes or tenth. No matter what verse you pull out of the Scripture, you will not find one that demonstrates the tithe as money. When I looked up every verse, I found only eatable items. My standard response to tithe proponents is that they must show me the money; otherwise, the only thing I bring as a tithe according to the Bible is crops and livestock.
In this video, I share more information about eating your tithe in Israel. The Festival Tithe or as some call it, the second Tithe. Remember the tithe in Israel was based on an economic system where assets were tithed on and not Israel’s income. I had to dig into the history of Jewish tithing practices to find out that God never asked for money as a tithe. He always asked for a tithe from the increase (God’s miracle, not man’s effort from pay). God wanted a tithe from Israel’s assets. The tithe came from crops, cattle, grain, herds, flocks are all items God increased. Increase in Scripture is yield from the field (crops) and offspring from livestock (herds and flocks).
Never assume anything about tithing until you study the land, the language and the literature of the Israelite people. Seeking the truth starts with consulting orthodox Jews from all different sects to get a firm understanding of the tithe. When you do, you will see that tithe teachers in today’s churches are guessing about Israel’s tithe economy. Here is a list of how tithes were used in the Bible. The slide below gives you an overview of tithe uses. I also want to make a point that my slides are snippets of the tithe information. My book will go into more detail. In all of my posts about tithing, I will share all of my research materials for you to consider as you journey into the unknown and go where no Bible study has gone before in learning about the cultural practices of tithing among the Hebrew people of Yahweh.
If you look to the New Testament for an example of money being tithed, you will not find one. Even Jesus knew what tithing was when he spoke the Pharisees about tithing mint, rue, and all manner of herbs…proving the tithe was eatable items. The tithe is still food in the Gospels and is food in the epistles and remained food until the temple was destroyed. This video will go into some aspects of the different tithe uses.
One book that I read during my research addressed tithing in great detail. In the book, Debunking the Tithe of Isreal, Alvin Bates makes this observation about Luke 11:37-44, “We must remember that to tithe was for the Jew to give from their tenths of food, which was stored up for their three festivals each year and not a tenth of all their food or a tenth of money at all. Jesus said that it is good to give to the temple as Moses commanded, and the food given to the temple was called “tithes” because this was of the 10 percent stored up for the festival each family would store for going to the feasts three times per year. Ten percent of foodstuffs stored up would be eaten by the family itself and likewise shared with the widows, poor of the land, and “yes” the temple priests” (Levites).
One of the main purposes Yahweh had for the tithe was that it belonged to the Levites in service to the temple. The tithe belonged to the Levites only when they served the temple so that means they were not full-time in the temple like full-time pastors today. Take into account that when a permanent temple was built, it was not large enough to house thousands of Levites at one time. That’s the Bible points out that Levites worked rotational duty. I cover this extensively in my book, Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway? I want to make this point that in slide 32, it states that the Levites were disinherited at one point, but Yahweh choose them to serve the temple after Isreal worshipped the golden calf and disqualified Israel’s firstborn from serving in that capacity to serve the temple.
Duet 8:5-8 explains what happens when a Levite came to the temple from his home to serve. Whether you choose to accept it or not Levites were expected to work for a living like like the rest of the community in addition to serving the temple. That is a shocking truth to many in the ministry, and many will scoff at this and dismiss it as financial suicide if they embrace full-time ministry as the sole source of survival and financial security. But let me put those worries to rest and calm down those would snatch out my beard if they think losing the tithe means losing everything. One of my next posts will share information about the professional careers of the Levites. Sorry pastors, Levites worked outside of their duties at the tabernacle and later the permanent temple to support themselves.
Give these gifts to the priests, because the LORD has chosen them and their descendants out of all the tribes of Israel to be his special servants at the place of worship. Any Levite can leave his hometown, and go to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped, and then be a special servant of the LORD there, just like all the other Levites. Some Levites may have money from selling family possessions, and others may not. But all Levites serving at the place of worship will receive the same amount of food from the sacrifices and gifts brought by the people (CEV).
The food the Levites received in the verse came from the tithes, including the gifts God’s people brought them when they were on duty. In a book, Why Christians Should Not Tithe, author James D. Quiggle offers this analysis on page 37:
In exchange for his service to God, the Levite and priest were denied land inheritance in Israel. This truth was repeated six times in seven verses in Numbers 18:20-26! The “no inheritance” rule for those who received tithes is also repeated in Deuteronomy 12:12; 14:27, 29; 18:1-2; Joshua 13:14, 33; 14:3; 18:7; and Ezekiel 44:28. Take a moment now and read all of the above verses! Evidently, God wanted it abundantly clear why Levites and priests received tithes from Israel. Whenever the reason for them receiving the tithe was mentioned, God also mentioned that they were not allowed any inheritance or land ownership. The Levite and the Aaronic priest were always to be counted among, and included among, the poor of the land. They were not to become wealthy, but were to live day-by-day in the expectation that Israel would bring in the tithe to sustain them and for them to re-distribute to the other poor of the land.
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