I want to know the biblical reason for tithe. Did God command it, what was its intended use, and where it was mentioned in the Bible?
Hebrews 7:8 - 9
ESV - 8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham.
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The basic principle behind the tithe, in my opinion, was as a recognition of God being the ultimate source of all blessings that people received, and of the wealth or material goods they possessed, and involved therefore a giving back to God (through His appointed ministers) a portion of it (one-tenth) in thanksgiving to Him, and to be used for His purposes. The first mention of the principle of tithing (to my knowledge) is in Genesis 14. Lot, the nephew of Abram (Abraham) had been taken captive in a raid on Sodom (where Lot lived). Abram pursued Lot's captors, saved Lot, and recovered all of Lot's possessions. Upon returning from this rescue, Abram was greeted by Melchizedek, whom the Bible describes as the king of Salem (now Jerusalem), and as the priest of God Most High. Melchizedek blessed Abram, and Abram gave him a tenth of all that he had. Similarly, Jacob (in Genesis 28:22) vowed to give God a tenth of everything he acquired if God would provide for him and allow him to one day return to his home, which he had left to escape the anger of his brother Esau (Genesis 27:41-45). The tithe was later formalized for all Israel in the Law that God gave to Israel through Moses, in passages such as Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:20-32, Deuteronomy 14:22-29, and Deuteronomy 26:12-15. One of the specific purposes for which the tithe was to be used was the support of the priestly tribe of Levi, which (unlike the other eleven tribes of Israel) did not receive an allocated portion of the land of Canaan for its possession.
My opinion is that of Deuteronomy 14:23 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. The tithe is for Old Testament Jewish believers (Deuteronomy 14:23) to learn to fear the LORD thy God always. This does not carry over to the New Testament believer. We are exhorted by God in II Corinthians 9:7... Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (No mention of a percentage of earnings in the age of grace.)
In my humble personal opinion, the meaning of tithing has to go beyond that of the old testament as we are in the new age of Jesus, who asks us to lay down everything worldly if we are following him. Perhaps in the old times it was to instill fear and awe for God in the minds of early Israelites, hence the percentage was quite specific. I believe tithing or your giving goes even beyond the church that you attend as the funds are managed according to man made planning. I truly believe whatever you give, whether it's 10-20-50 percent, it must be a cheerful giving even if less. The amount must be used for care of the poor, needy & sick and for preaching the gospel, including care for the preachers & missionaries.
Hello everyone, I would like to point out that the bible is a complete book. We don't look at one part and leave out the rest. Remember the New Testament is a fulfillment of the old. Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law.... Mal 3:10-12 says, "Bring me all the tithes and offerings into my store house that there maybe meat in my house......and prove me herewith if i would not open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that you would not have room enough to contain...." That is the word of God. The tithe is for the house of God. In the old days, the Levites never worked jobs and all; they were paid from the church and that is the use of tithes and offerings. Now the Bible also says give and it will be given unto you. It doesn't stop the commandment of tithing. Proverbs 3:10 says, "Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first fruit of all thy increase. Verse 11 has the promises attached. In Mal 3, God said, "You have robbed me and you ask how?" And the answer was in tithes and in offerings. So when we don't pay out tithes, we rob God. All of these commands are for us to consciously acknowledge that our increase and ability to get wealth comes from God who is our source and so giving back to Him shouldn't be so difficult. David said, "I wouldn't give God that which cost me nothing." God bless us all and give us greater understanding of His word continuously.
If we search for the Word "Tithe" in the whole Bible it is counted totally to around 37 times only. If we go through all these passages and study about it we can definitely reach to proper understanding of the "Tithing". To find and answer to "What is the tithe used for according to the Bible?" let us look in to the verses of Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 11,12, 17-19 also. Initially Abraham, Jacob decided or pledged to give the tithe, whether God commanded them or not that is not clear, or it could be a personal decision out of devotion too. Later it was made a law for the people of Israel through Moses where the main concern of it was to take care of the Levites, the temple, poor, orphans, widows and the foreigners or sojourners, etc... among the people of Israel. I think now such temple systems do not exist even among Israel, the tribe of Levites or such priesthood do not exist in present day Christian believers. Instead of Israel God has chosen a second Israel from all the people of the world and from all the tribes and languages through his beloved Son, Lord Jesus Christ via his sacrificial death on the Cross, victorious resurrection and his intercession for us. To be a peculiar people for the GOD, to serve him, to worship and glorify him in spirit and truth continuously. Oh! let us thank God for that. In the Jerusalem Council where there was a dispute among believers on circumcision, what the council decided for the believers from a gentile background can be seen in Acts 15. Apart from that, the Epistle of Romans and Galatians, etc... very strongly say that the works of the law are not required to be fulfilled for the salvation through Lord Jesus Christ, only by faith. But the epistle of James says faith without works are not at all beneficial. So a believer has the responsibility of doing good works according to the precious faith we have in Lord Jesus Christ. For the New Testament believers the New Testament is applicable and as such we do not see any compulsive rules given on the part of the tithe in the New Testament. The believers are a Royal Priesthood. We have to take care of one another when they are in need, especially we have to take care of the widows, orphans, poor and needy fellow priests, as well as those who sincerely labor for the Lord. As part of the members of a Royal Priesthood, we are called to serve the Lord in different positions and with different talents and abilities with the God-given gifts without aiming for personal benefits or gaining amazing wealth and lavish life styles. With our money and wealth we have to honor GOD by taking care of his works and one another as discussed above; this is what the New Testaments Epistles confirm. The best principle applicable to New Testament believers shall be based on 1st Corinthians 16:1, 2nd Corinthians 9:7, etc... God bless us by sharing of these thoughts based on the scriptures.
Matthew 23:23 bridges the gap between old testament and new testament views of tithe. Lord Jesus Christ said judgment, mercy and faith from the law are more important than tithing, but advised that tithe should be paid too. The payment is to honour God, bless the house of God, lend a helping hand to ministers of God and create further opportunity to be blessed by God Mal 3:10-12.
Hebrews 7:1-10 is talking about one tenth being given before Levitical priesthood by Abraham and then required by God for Levitical provision. Actually, every Jew was required to pay 3 tithes of his property  one-tenth for the Levites;  one for use of the temple and great feasts; and  one for the poor of the land Deuteronomy 14:22-27, so it seems God has special meaning for tenths in the act of giving or sharing with others. If broken down we see that these 3 tithes accounted for Gods servants, then for their own enjoyment and finally for the poor and needy. All of this still left someone with 70 percent of their blessings of produce. Whether 10 percent or 30 percent or more, I think we should all see giving is Biblical and pleases God, as God gave all by giving His only-begotten Son. We should try to give as much as we can with joyful and cheerful hearts, and be thankful for the opportunity. Speaking of one tenth, in another instance when Abraham was interceding for righteous in Sodom, he asked if one tenth of 50 could be found would God spare Sodom. God agreed, then Abraham pleaded for more mercy and God agreed. Then in Luke 17:11-19, only one out of ten lepers thanked Jesus for healing them, or a tenth. In summation, if 10 is the whole than 1 out of ten is a very small amount compared to what is left over.
My personal opinion is this: Because in Gen. 3:17, the ground has been cursed because of man's sin; every substance or produce that we can get out of the ground is also cursed. Since all our sources of living are coming from the ground, our wealth, money and treasures are also cursed. In Mal. 3:11, there is a devourer that destroys the fruit of the ground. And the Lord Jesus also considered them as treasures on earth, Mat. 6:19. Vulnerable to destruction (by moth and rust) and robbery - the devourer. Since the Tithe is holy, as mentioned in Lev. 27:30, the fruit of our labours will also become holy when we give our tithe (the 10%) back to God. Moreover, it will protect our 90% from the devourer as stated in Mal. 3:10-11 and will open the gates of heaven to pour out to us much more blessings from God.
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