The Word TITHE in the Bible is described by two words, One in Hebrew for the Old Testament and one in Greek for the New Testament. These are those two words:
(Numbers with G or H are the original Hebrew or Greek word numbers of the Bible)
1. Ma‛ăśêr H4643 used 32 times in the Old Testament, it means: a tenth part.
2. Apodekatoō G586 used 4 times in the New Testament, it means: to give or receive a tenth part.
I will begin to methodically and thoroughly break down these words, when they are used, and their application in conjunction with other Bible verses for your review. I have no agenda other than to lay out plainly what the Word of God says ONLY, no other source, concerning the subject of the Tithe and the giving of it. The very first time the word Tithe pops on the scene in the Old Testament is in Genesis 14:20
Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
This is when the king of Sodom came down to speak with Abraham and the king of Salem, Melchizedek came also, who was operating as PRIEST of the Most High God before the Priests were chosen to come from the Tribe of Levi. This is before Levi was born, and when Jerusalem was called Salem.
Gen 14:18-19 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Now lets stop right here and go over what the Old Testament says a tithe, a tenth, IS and should consist of, which brings us to the second time the word TITHE appears in the Old Testament. Leviticus 27:30
Lev 27:30-32 And all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth 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 was not SILVER or GOLD, which we see plenty of use of in the Old Testament. It was the firstfruits of your land, your feilds and livestock, not MONEY.
This brings us to the THIRD time Tithe is mentioned in the Old Testament, Num18:21
Num 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi ALL the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Right here, on the 3rd application of this word TITHE in the Old Testament it shows a decree going forth from the LORD to Aaron that the Levites are to receive ALL the tithe in Israel for an inheritance. WHY? Because in verse 20 it says that Levi was given no inheritance of land to work its fields for food. The LORD was their inheritance. So the other 11 Tribes of Israel/Jacob were charged with giving a tenth/tithe from the firstfruits of their fields and flocks for their service unto the Lord.
Num 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
You will see that it is and EVERLASTING decree from the Lord, and does not cease.
Num 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons (Aaron) and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.
Men and women that call themselves Pastors or Evangelists or Prophets cannot claim the statute promised forever to Aaron and his Levite sons and daughters by their BLOODLINE. They are called of God to receive a tenth of his brothers the other 11 Tribes of Israel forever. Not men and women that have no trace of history stating that they are of the children chosen to receive this promise. Now we KNOW they are still around due to the mention of 12,000 from the Tribe of Levi being sealed by God in Rev chapter 7.
Num 18:24 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.
Num 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
This is the LORD speaking to Moses about the tithe~ The Levites were to offer a tenth of their tenth that was given to them. This is called a ‛âśar a tenth of a tenth.
Deut 12:17-19 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto. Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.
THIS is what the Tithe consisted of NOT money. Genesis 13:2 shows us that MONEY was around and it was not included in the Tithe offering to the Priests/Levites.
Gen 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
2Ch 31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all brought they in abundantly.
Neh 10:37-38 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
People that receive the Tithe under the guise of Doctrinal Teaching and NOT Biblical Truth are not only transgressing against the True chosen Priests of God stated CLEARLY in His Word, but they are transgressing WHAT the Bible says the Tithe IS by receiving MONEY as an offering of Tithe.
Even Jesus when speaking concerning the Tithe in the New Testament said “Mint, Dill and Cumin” or Rue, not money, not silver or gold.
This brings us now to the New Testament teaching on the Tithe. There is NONE, so this last part will be brief.
This word Tithe apodekatoō in the original Greek of the New Testament is only used 4 times in the entire New Testament, and the ONLY time Jesus mentions the Tithe is when He is reprimanding the hypocritical Pharisees that boasted that they tithed of their MINT, DILL and CUMIN, but forgot and neglected the weightier matters of the Law. Or one other time when He is drawing a contrast between the self righteous Pharisee that tithed once a week, and the tax collector on his knees that could not look up, but said “Father, have mercy on me a sinner.” and Jesus told them “This man went home justified before the Father”
Mat 23:23-24 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Luk 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luk 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
These are the ONLY times the word Tithe is mentioned AT ALL in all 4 Gospels, all spoken by Jesus. The last and 4th time this word Tithe is used is in the Book of Hebrews where Paul explains ONCE AGAIN that the Tithe is for the Tribe of Levi only.
Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
This is IT folks, this is all the Bible teaches us concerning the Tithe. It is an everlasting covenant of God to the sons and daughters of Levi and not for people that preach the word of God for profit like the New Testament speaks many times concerning.
2Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which *corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
This word that is translated as corrupt is kapēleuō G2585 and it means: to be a retailer, to peddle, to make money by selling anything
God Bless You! May you study to show YOURSELF approved of God, a worker that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth!
Paul remained a tent maker and Peter a fisherman the entire time they were ministering the Gospel, and whenever money was collected, it was ONLY for the poor. Paul said he offered the Gospel “Free of charge”
1 Cor 9:18-19 What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not use up my rights in preaching it. Though I am free of obligation to anyone, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible
2 Cor 4:2 Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not practice deceit, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by open proclamation of the truth, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Be Free and Set Free in Jesus Name!