Comments on Tithing

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Studying Deuteronomy 14 EDITED

Let's follow Kevin's suggestion and study Deuteronomy 14. Verses 1-21 deal with dietary ordinances. If the last half of the chapter is still mandatory, I hope it is obvious that the first half of the chapter is also. We can't pick and choose what verses we want to follow and what verses we don't. Paul said that anyone under the Law is under the whole Law.

Question #1: To whom was the Law given? To the Israelites. Paul, on several occasions, said that Gentile members of the church were not to be subjected to the Law.

Question #2: To whom was the tithe to be given, according to Deut. 14? Every third year, it was to be given to the Levites for their sustenance. But what about the other two years? Here's a real stickler for those who want Deut. 14 to support a requirement for Christian believers to give a tithe to the church. The first two years: "Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name." (verses 22 and 23) So who gets the tenth part of the produce? The person who owns the flock and the field. That's a lot different from the normal message you get regarding this chapter. Doesn't anyone actually read and study it, or do they just note the subject and come to conclusions not supported by the text?

Question #3: What was to be done if a person lived too far from the place God chose as the tithe-eating place? An interesting connection between the blessing of the Lord and the distance to the meeting place is established in verse 24. My understanding of this verse is that, especially if the Lord blessed the Israelite really well (that is, one-tenth of a lot of produce would be involved in the tithe), then it might be difficult to transport 1/10 of all of the person's income that year. In this case, the Israelite was allowed to sell the tenth, carry the money to the place of God's choosing, and then buy something for the tithe equal in value to what was sold. Verse 26 says: "You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires, and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household." How many legalist tithers want us to set aside our tithe, then convert it to money (if it is not already cash), and buy whatever edibles that we want, including allowing for wine and strong drink to be purchased and consumed by us with our tithe money?

I personally have NEVER heard a preacher or teacher tell it like God said it. NEVER!

Question #4: What about the Levites? For the first two years in each set of three, the Israelites were simply told to not neglect the Levites, who had no land inheritance by which to produce an income. The third year in each set of the three, the tithe was to be given to the Levites, orphans and widows for sustenance.

The crucial question at this point is this: Is this what you are talking about when you write about the mandate to tithe?

Submitted as a poster,

Dave S.
Senior Moderator, Volunteers for Proofreading
2 Tim. 3:16--All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.