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THEOLOGY BLOG

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

 THEOLOGY

THINKING BIBLICALLY ABOUT GOD

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

 

THE THREE TITHES OF THE MOSAIC LAW

THIS IS MY UNEDITED NOTES. THIS BLOG WILL BE PROPERLY FORMATED OVER THE WEEKEND.

 

 The festival tithe

 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. Deuteronomy 14:22-23 

 

  • When the Israelites settled the land, they all had enough space to farm whatever they desired. They had other trades but they only tithed on the farm produce from their land.
  • Notice, that this is a yearly tithe and it has nothing to do with supporting the priests or religious leaders.
  • This was a yearly celebration in which the people of Israel feasted together with thankful hearts for all that God had provided them.

 

And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. Deuteronomy 14:24-27 

 

  • This is the same tithe and it’s pretty straight forward.
  • If it’s too far to carry your tithe to Jerusalem, then sell it and purchase whatever you desire in Jerusalem and consume it all during the festival.
  • It doesn’t say anything about giving money to the temple or to the priest, it say go and buy what you desire and consume it in God’s presence.
  • Don’t forget to invite the Levites because they have no land to farm and therefore they cannot bring anything to the festival.

 

 NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.

  1. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  2. We no longer celebrate this festival.

 

 

The poor tithe

 

At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. Deuteronomy 14:28 

 

  • This is the tithe referred to in Malachi 3:10.
  • It was only every 3 years and it was based upon only one of those three years.
  • Each city had a storehouse, and the tithes were for the Levites and the stranger, the fatherless and the widow within that city.

 

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. The government of the land takes care of the poor.

 

 The Levitical tithe

 

Leviticus 27:30-32  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 

 

  • The tithe is from the land, anything from the seed of the land, the fruit of the tree and anything from the herd or the flock.

 

Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.”Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Numbers 18:20-21 

 

  • The Levites get no land for themselves, therefore they can’t do any farming.
  • Their job was to perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
  • Not all Levites were priests and only 10% of the tithe went to the priests (1% of all the farm produce).

 

“Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the LORD, a tenth of the tithe. Numbers 18:26

 

  • So, the Levites set aside a tenth of the tithe, 1% of all the farm produce of the land.

 

And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. Numbers 18:27

 

  • So, because the Levites don’t do any of their own farming, they are to tithe on the produce that they receive from the people.

 

Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the LORD from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the LORD’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. Numbers 18:28 

 

  • Only Aron and his sons could be priests and they got 1% of all the farm produce of the land of Israel.
  • So, 9% of all the farm produce went to the Levites, and 1% went to the priests.

 

 What did the Levites do?

 

(Numbers 3:21-39) In the wilderness 22,300 Levites were appointed to assist the priests and to look after the tabernacle and all its components and furnishings

 

  • The daily sacrifices as well as the tabernacle maintenance required 22,300 Levites.
  • The work was manual labor, not preaching and teaching.
  • The preaching and teaching was the job of the priests.

 

And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 18:6 

 

 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. 1 Chronicles 23:1-5 

 

Work of the house of the Lord: David appointed 24,000 to build the temple. Chapter 22 is all about the preparations for the building of the temple.

 

  • There is no physical tabernacle or Temple in the New Covenant because the global body of Christ and the individual believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There are no church buildings in the New Testament either.

 

Officers and Judges: Government officials and judges spread throughout the nation of Israel. They would be very similar to the executive and judicial arms of the government today. The Levitical officers and judges were spread throughout the land of Israel administering the law and commandments of the King.

Porters: 1 Chronicles 26:1-19 seems to indicate that these were guards stationed around the Temple.

Singer & musicians: That’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

NEW COVENANT APPLICATION

 

  1. We are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
  2. Most Christians are not farming in the Promised Land.
  3. There is no temple system anymore and no religious buildings in the New Covenant.
  4. If people want to meet in buildings, that’s fine, but those who want to do that, especially the pastors and church leaders, need to pay for it.
  5. If pastors insist we all meet in a dedicated church building on Sunday then they should pay for it.
  6. Take the synagogues for example; there was no law requiring God’s people to go to or meet in a synagogue. There was no law requiring people to tithe towards the cost of a synagogue.
  7. It was all free will offerings.