Do I Have to Tithe?

Question

Do I have to tithe? What does the Bible say about tithing?

Answer

Tithing in the Old Testament was to be a recognition and celebration of what God had provided and a giving-back to Him in thanksgiving. Old Testament tithing is defined by some in three categories: the Levitical tithe (also called the Lord's tithe), the poor and widows tithe, and the Feast tithe. The Lord's tithe was given to do God's work. The other two tithes were given above and beyond the Lord's tithe and were to show generosity to those in need (the poor and widows tithe) and thankfulness for God's provision (the Feast tithe). While the concept of three tithes is accepted by some, others will claim they are not biblically supported. For the sake of this question, we will address the Lord's tithe which is understood by all to be a command of the Lord. We'll look at what the Bible tells us about tithing and what it means in relation to giving during the time in which we live.

Tithing is defined as giving 1/10 of something as a contribution. The biblical definition comes from Levitical Law in the Old Testament that required Israel to give 1/10 of their harvest and livestock to the Lord.

"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 to the LORD" (Leviticus 27:30).

"And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD" (Leviticus 27:32).

The 1/10 tithe that was given to the Lord, was then given by the Lord to support the Levites, the priestly order.

"Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting" (Numbers 18:21). "For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, 'Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance'" (Numbers 18:24).

When the Levites received the tithe, they were to give 1/10 of the tithe they received to the Lord, and then give it to the High Priest.

[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Click here.]