by Elder Kharsen D. Morant
TITHING is mentioned 25 times in the O.T, 7 times in the N.T and 3 in the Apocryphal books. A Total 35 times. Is it required???
The word TITHE in Hebrew is MA’ASER meaning TENTH and in EVERY place where it is mentioned, it either pertains to food produce or livestock.
It never meant MONEY.
Interestingly enough is that there are many who argue that food and livestock was part of a bartering system that was commonplace in agrarian societies. However, take a look here: In Exodus 30 vs 11-15 EVERY numbered person in ISRAEL was commanded to “pay a ransom for his soul after being numbered” in the amount of 1 Shekel or half of a Shekel.
Also see here: Deuteronomy 2:4-6
 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore: Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.
Why are these bits of detail important? It is important because if the Most High YAH in his infinite wisdom had intended for TITHING to be money, then he would’ve commanded and instructed for ISRAEL to observe the system of TITHING in this manner.
Therefore, seeing that money had always been a part of the economic system and had it’s place, how was tithing to be understood according to the SCRIPTURES?
First, tithing was independent of any financial structure of its time. It never included money and was a form of social security for the Levitical Priesthood, the sons of Aaron, who did not have any inheritance among the children of Israel.
But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them. “
The priests of the Levitical order and of the house of Aaron were to be cared for by the remaining 11 tribes seeing they were not allowed to own any property nor work in any other occupation except the service of the priesthood. Thus, the tithes was the means by which the priests maintained their livelihoods.
But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”
See again, tithing was a form of social security as the Priest and Levites had no inheritance among the children of Israel.
Now, OFTEN IN RELIGIOUS CIRCLES WE HEAR PASTORS chide their church congregants with these dubious words….”WILL A MAN ROB GOD?? YET HAVE YE ROBBED ME IN TITHE AND OFFERING”
Go back and read that chapter of Malachi 3 again and what you’ll discover is that GOD was talking to the WICKED PRIESTS who were robbing him by offering wretched sacrifices…..sacrifices that were imperfect, blemished, sick etc. Likewise, he decried the priesthood for not only robbing him but even the whole nation of Israel was being robbed by the priesthood system. This was the problem with Eli’s sons Phinehas and Hophni. (See 1 Samuel 2 vs 34 & 35)
Let’s take a look now at the New Testament for a clearer understanding of this subject matter.
In Matthew 23 vs 23 we see YaHaWashi (JESUS CHRIST) verbally scourging the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. He says “ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin and have omitted the weightier matters of the law.”
Wait a minute….Aren’t these items mentioned spices and herbs?? Absolutely! Moreover; would not have Jesus mentioned money if in fact money was the primary form of currency for the system of TITHING?? Again, ABSOLUTELY, he would have reinforced a monetary tithing system if this was the standard precedent. However, this WAS NOT the case.
Seeing then that the Levitical Priesthood has been replaced with a better priest and a better sacrifice (see Hebrews chapter 8) how does TITHING apply to the believer?
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the ekklesia (body of believers/assembly) at Corinth…..NO WHERE IN HIS LETTER does Paul admonish the believers to give 10 percent of their earnings or TITHE??
What does he instruct……that they should give according as they have purposed in their hearts. In every place in the new testament church, we see supplies being gathered to meet the needs of other believers in other parts of the known world during this time period. Thus it is understood, that we who believe by faith in Christ and keep the commandments of GOD (Revelation chapter 14 vs 12) have a responsibility to care for the needs of the less fortunate, especially those of like faith as ourselves. Whether we choose to give 10 percent of our earnings or all of it, such gifts must be according to each individuals choice as he/she has PURPOSED in their hearts.
See here, 2 Cor 9:7: “Let every man give according as he has PURPOSED in his heart.”
In this, there is no mandate as to what an individual should give. No one should be forced, held hostage or made to “feel less than” if they’re unable to give 10 % or anything at all. That being, “grudgingly” or harboring resentment as a result of giving.
Likewise, “giving of necessity”…that is- giving out of lack and being unable to meet one’s basic financial obligations should not take priority
AIM TO OBEY