This is Part II of the article on “Is Tithing a Biblical Requirement Today.” Because of the extensive Biblical research involved in the Tithe, it will be posted in 15 Parts. Although controversial, the Bible tells us to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).
Jacob didn’t tithe until God blessed him first.
Genesis 28:20-22, “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, if God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
This is the very first Scripture in the Bible that I have found that gives an account of someone giving a tenth or tithe of his personal possessions back to God, but it is surely different from the teachings of most pastors. First Jacob recognizes God as God. He then begins to proposition God. He states that “IF” God will do this and “IF’ God will do that, “THEN” Jacob says, “shall the Lord be my God.” Jacob concludes his proposition to God, should God meet all of his requirements, by saying that of all the things that God will first give to him, Jacob will give God back a tenth. Of course, God honored Jacob’s proposition and continued to honor this same principle of tithing all through Israel’s history.
One question that comes to mind is: How did Jacob actually give a tithe to God? Did he take it to the local church? There was no local church. There was no temple. There were no priests. There were no Levites. According to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, this is how Jacob gave his tithe to God.
“And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee” (Deuteronomy 12:6-7).
Even though there were no Levites in Jacob’s day, nonetheless, there were “…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 14:29).
“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 passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it…”(Leviticus 27:30-33).
The above scriptures reveal how God acknowledged the tithe from Jacob: Jacob taking a portion himself and his family in communion and thanksgiving to God, and by sharing his fortune with those who were unfortunate, poor, strangers, etc.
These scriptures teach us that: (1) tithing comes from the “land;” (2) it was the “seed” or agricultural products from the fields that was holy to God and what were to be given in a tithe; (3) products from “trees” were to be tithed including fruit, etc. and (4) of “herds or flocks” it was the “tenth” that passed under the rod that was holy and dedicated to God. Here is a big inconsistency between what is scripturally required and what the clergy teaches related to tithing. It was not the first tenth, but rather the one after the ninth that belonged to God. In addition, if a herdsman had only nine cattle, he was not required to tithe at all. Also note that God did not even require the best of the cattle, just the tenth one to pass under the rod regardless of the condition it was in. We are talking about tithing and not sacrificing, so it didn’t matter if the animal was blemished. In addition, there is no mention of tithing of money in Leviticus.
PART III TOMORROW
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