Happy Heralds, Inc


by Dr. Fred Wittman


    The God’s principles never change. The God’s principle concerning man returning a portion of what he receives back to God, ‘The Giver of All Good Things’ (life and breath, strength and health, food and water) never changes. Only the details to comply with His principles observed under Old Testament law change under New Testament grace. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘‘For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou dost receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?’’ (1 Cor. 4:7).

 I. The Principle

The God claims the tithe (ten percent) of all the increase of every human to be given back to Him.

    A. Before Law

The principle of tithing is pre-law (before the law) and not legalistic or limited to people under the law. This principle is more fully developed under the law where God gave more explicit instructions to Israel. But long before Mt. Sinai, and the giving of the Law by Moses, The God’s people tithed.

         1. Abraham

We must go back to the time of Abraham (Gen. 14:18-20). Lot, Abraham’s nephew was soon found participating in the politics of Sodom after separating from his uncle. In 2087 A.C.[After Creation] (c.2059 B.C.) when war came, Lot was taken captive with the king of Sodom and four other kings. When the news of the capture reached Abraham, he armed 318 servants and his three friends and pursued them until he conquered the enemies.

Upon his return in victory, Melkhée-zehdéhk, the king of Salem brought bread and wine and met Abraham, and blessed him. In return Abraham gave this king who was also priest of the Most High God, tithes of all the spoil and booty of the battle.

         2. Jacob

In 2244 A.C. (c.1902 B.C.) 157 years later Abraham’s grandson, Jacob separated from his family to escape his brother’s wrath (Gen. 28:10-22). On the way to his relatives in Pahdáhn-Ahráhm, he camped out under the stars at Bethel that first night with stones for his pillows. God appeared to him in a dream and promised to be with him always, and bring him back to the same land. When Jacob awoke, he promised The God that if He would bring him back again to his father’s house in peace, ‘‘of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee’’ (Gen. 28:22). Thus it can easily be seen that the principle of tithing or giving ten percent to God was practiced under the age of promise before the Law was given and the bringing in of the law did not set aside the practice but enhanced the principle.

“O brothers, I speak[say] according to a human all the same, After a human’s testament has been validated not one sets |it| aside or adds a codicil. Now the promises were declared to /Abraham and to the Seed$ of his. He is not saying, And to the seeds, as upon many, but as upon One+, And to the Seed of yours$, Who is Christ. Now this I say, The law, standing come to pass four hundred and thirty years after, does not render null and void a covenant standing previously validated by The God unto Christ, so that it negates the promise. For if (and it is not true) the inheritance |were| by means of 0law, |it would be| no longer by means of promise. But The God has graciously granted |it| to /Abraham by means of promise. Why then, the law? It was added, being decreed by means of a [Deut. 5:5]mediator’s hand, through angels[Acts 7:53; Deut. 33:2] on account of the transgressions until which |time| The Seed, with reference to Whom it was promised, come” (Gal. 3:15-19APT).

    B. Under Law

Under the law God required more than ten percent. Some scholars claim that the Israelites gave between thirty-three and a third and forty percent. The first born of every animal had to be given to the Lord or redeemed. To redeem it, the priest valued the animal and then one fifth or twenty percent was added to the value. Some animals only gave birth to six or even less in a lifetime. This would be fourteen to seventeen percent. All the first fruits--that portion of the crop first gleaned from the fields belonged to the Lord as well as ten percent of the main harvest. Then there was the three year tithe (Deut. 26:12). In addition there were the sin offerings, peace offerings, and trespass offerings which were mandatory animal offerings. And above all this, there was the free will or voluntary offerings of animal sacrifices. No one was exempt. Everyone had to pay tithes to the Levites, including the priests. Then the Levites paid tithes of that which they received to the priests (for references see notes on A Study of Tithes and Offerings at the end of this study.

    C. Under Grace

The answer to the objections to tithing that some raise, claiming it is legalistic, is: It has been shown that ‘paying tithes’ is not legalistic. The practice of tithing predated the giving under the ‘law’ and was seen to be practiced under ‘promise.’ Furthermore grace does not annul the principles of God revealed in previous ages.

Tithing is the means by which: we comply with The God’s claims as to what is His; and give back to The God the portion that is His. Under grace we have so many more blessings than those under law, that we should give much more than those ‘under law’ gave. They gave between thirty and forty percent without reluctance or even one word of complaint. How can we who are under grace hold back the minimum which God requires? By holding back the minimum we show our ingratitude and lack of love for Him Who died for us on Calvary, redeemed us to God, and provided an eternal inheritance reserved in Heaven for us?

II. The Parallel

There is a parallel between the relationship and giving of Abraham to Melkhée-zehdéhk, who blessed him, and the relationship and giving of the redeemed to the Lord Jesus Christ, the priest of the Most High God, Who has richly blessed us.

    A. To whom did Abraham give?

Compare Heb. 7:1-11 with Gen. 14:18-20 (please read both passages). The name Melkhée-zehdéhk means ‘King of Righteousness.’ He was not only king of Righteousness but by position as king of Salem he was king of peace. He pictures The Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Prince of Peace. Notice that he is ‘‘without father, without mother, without descent (pedigree or genealogy), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually’’ (Heb. 7:3). In addition to all of this, he was ‘priest of the Most High God.’ A priest intercedes before God on behalf of man. The Lord Jesus Christ came to be our mediator and Great High Priest. Melkhée-zehdéhk met Abraham with bread and wine and blessed him. The Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3) and provided bread and wine for us to worship God (Lk. 22:18-20).

    B. How Much Did Abraham Give?

An investigation of these two passages (Heb. 7:1-11; Gen. 14:18-20) indicates that Abraham gave more than a single tithe.

1. The Tithe .

Firstly, Abraham (Heb. 7:2-4 cf. Gen. 14:20) gave a tenth part of all; then an additional tithe = “tithes” of all the booty taken in battle (Gen. 14:20).

“For this /Melkhée-zehdéhk, king of Sahláym, priest of The Most High /God, who met together[Gen. 14:17-20] with Abraham, while |he was| returning away from the onslaught of the kings and extolled[gave official approval to] him. To whom also Abraham divided a tenth away from all” (Heb. 7:1,2a).

The minimum Abraham gave was one tenth part of all he gained in the venture. Solomon instructed his son,

‘‘Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine’’ (Prov. 3:9,10).

The first-fruits are a little bit more than ten percent. In Genesis what Abraham gave to Melkhée-zehdéhk (Gen 14:20) was called “tithes (plural) of all.” The minimum that we should give to God is one tenth part of all our income.

2. The Best Part.

Secondly, in addition to the tithe of all, Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils (Heb. 7:4).

“Now repeatedly observe how great this+ one |is|, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth out of the choice spoils of war” (Heb. 7:4APT).

The word ‘spoils’ means ‘the top of the heap, the best of all.’ From this top of the heap of the best of the booty taken in battle, he gave another tenth. Abraham gave the best ten percent of the booty and he gave ten percent of all as well.

         3. Tithes (plural).

Now notice that Abraham payed tithes (plural = more than one tithe; Gen. 14:20 cf. Heb. 7:6,9) to Mehlkhée-seh-déhk.

“But the+ one not deriving [to reckon genealogy] orgin out of them  [sons of Levi] has received tithes |from| /Abraham and he has extolled[gave official approval to] the+ one having the promises. Now apart from all contradiction the lesser is extolled[gave official approval to] by the better. And yet here on the one hand dying humans are receiving tithes, but on the other hand there |it| is continually being testified that he continually absolutely lives. And as to state[say] an aphorism, Also Levi, the+ one receiving tithes, has paid tithes himself through Abraham. For he was yet in the loin$ of his [article as pronoun] father, when Mehl-khée-sehdék met together with him” (Heb. 7:6-10).

So, to follow Paul’s logic in this passage in Hebrews, the sons of Levi, who served The God under the order of the Aaronic priesthood and received tithes from their brethren, the people of Israel paid tithes in Abraham, while not yet born. So the priesthood of the order of Mehl-khée-sehdék is greater than the priesthood of Aaron. However, Mehl-khée-sehdék did not need the tithes from Abraham, but Abraham gave tithes in gratitude to The God for His blessings from victory. The Lord Jesus Christ does not need our tithes in order to continue to serve as our great High Priest. But we need to give freely to God in gratitude for His many blessings, far more through The Lord Jesus Christ than Abraham received.

     Note the two authorities by which tithes are received (v. 5): the authority of the Levitical priesthood, which has authority from The God to minister in the priest’s office; and authority by the commandment of the law for Levi to take tithes from all the people (Num. 18:21). But Abraham voluntarily gave tithes (or a multiple of ten percent) of that which he took in battle to Mehl-khée-sehdék, without authority revealed by God. And yet Levi paid tithes in Abraham to Mehl-khée-sehdék.

     You pay a tithe! You do not give a tithe! Because you cannot give something that is not yours. ‘‘The tithe is The LORD’S!’’ (Lev. 27:30). The LORD directed the people of Israel to pay their tithes to the Levites. But even before the Aaronic priesthood was instituted and God ordered the people to pay tithes to the Levites, they paid and gave tithes to a greater priest than Aaron, Mehl-khée-sehdék, after whose priesthood The God has ordained, appointed with an oath, and invested His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The parallel in the principle of tithing between the children of Israel, children of Abraham after the flesh and the children of God, children of Abraham by faith (Gal. 3:26, 29) is illustrated by this chart below.

 III. The Purpose for Giving Tithes

The LORD is concerned that those bondslaves who truly serve Him by faith and live of the Gospel are properly and amply cared for by His people. The purpose for which God gave the command to tithe in the Law was in order that those who minister to and for Him in His House in the Old Testament days will be adequately maintained by and through His people. The Aaronic priests and the Temple (first the Tabernacle) servants were maintained by the tithes the people of Israel paid to The God via the Levites. The priests’ livelihood came from the tithes the Levites gave out of the tithes the people paid to The God. The priests lived off the money and ate of the sacrifices the people both obligingly and willingly brought to the House of God, the place of worship. The priests needed the tithes to continue to serve as priests. That’s how their physical needs were met.

The same is true in the New Testament. The bondslave evangelists (missionaries), shepherds (pastors), and teachers of the Church under the New Covenant (Testament) are equivalent to the Levites (who lived away from the Tabernacle or Temple and taught the people the Torah and copied The Scriptures or lived near The God’s chosen place for worship and assisted the priests) and the priests. These New Testament Church bondslave ministers are to be given proper and ample care and provision of their needs by the tithes of The God’s people. When (in c. 524 B.C.) the Levites that did the work in the House of The God had not been given the portions of the tithes, they went to work in their fields. Nehemiah, the recently returned governor, recognized this and appointed treasurers to distribute unto their brethern, the Levites that did the work and the Levites that were singers. These treasurers in Nehemiah’s time correspond to the New Testament Deacons (Acts 6:1-6 cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13).

 IV. The Performance of Giving Tithes

The New Testament disciples (saints) gave sacrificially in addition to the tithe. So today we should follow their example.

    A. The Minimum.

The minimum you should render to The God is one tenth of all the increase you receive. But when you only render the tithe, you have only given The God His portion. You have not given God anything nor have you shown any gratitude for all that The Lord Jesus Christ has done for you. Solomon wrote to his son, ‘‘Honor The LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine’’ (Prov. 3:9,10). The first-fruits (plural) are a little bit more than ten per cent of each crop. In Genesis with Abraham, it was tithes (plural).

    B. Over And Above.

The tithe belongs to The God. When you pay the tithe you have given God nothing! You are rendering your tithe to The God, not giving it to Him. It is His! He claims it for His work and His servants. Whatever is over and above the tithes (plural) is a gift or an offering. The disciples in the churches of Mahkeh-dohnéeah, in the first century knew what it meant to give over and above the tithe. They gave abundantly until it hurt and that out of their poverty (2 Cor. 8:1,2).

“Now, O brothers, we make known to you& the grace of The God which has been given among the churches of /Mahkeh-dohnéeah, that in much experiential proof after examination by tribulation[affliction] the superabundance of their /joy and their /dire[down upon depth] poverty became in abundance in regard to the wealth $ of the generosity of theirs” (2 Cor. 8:1,2APT).

In the next chapter Paul encouraged the Corinthians to consider ahead of time how much he or she would give in cheerful generosity and abundance toward this contribution for the poverty stricken saints in Jerusalem. He reminded them that The God is abundantly able to fully supply bread for eating to replenish what they gave.

“Each one according as he for himself chooses beforehand in his heart, not out of grief[Deut. 15;10] or out of necessity, for The God loves a cheerfully generous [hilarious] giver. Now The God is Powerful to cause every grace to be in abundance unto you& in order that you&, having all contentment independent of circumstances in all things all the time, be in abundance unto every beneficially good work. According as it stands written, [Ps. 112:9] He scattered;[Prov. 11:24] he gave to the needy ones; the righteousness of his continually abides for /ever. Now may The One, abundantly supplying seed to the one sowing, both fully supply bread for eating and multiply your& sown seed and increase the products of the righteousness of yours&” (2 Cor. 9:7-10APT).

The God is not going to let us give Him more than He is going to give to us. The Philippians gave a gift that was very sacrificial out of the coffers of the local church. Paul knew the church had need (and no doubt many of the members) as a result of giving so sacrificially and abundantly. So he wrote to them, ‘‘Now The God of mine shall fully fulfill your& every need according to His /wealth in glory[exaltation with majestic radiant splendor] by means of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19APT). The church shall not suffer because of such a sacrificial gift (not thinking of their own need, but of the need of their missionary who did not ask for or indicate the need for funds). Only as we give sacrificially through the local church in which deaconate, sensitive to the members concerns, has been exercised by The Holy Spirit to send an offering to afflicted saints can this promise be appropriated by a local church and since the second personal pronoun is plural this promise relates to the corporate body of the local church at Philippi first, and then to such local churches who sacrificially fellowship financially. This promise can only relate to individuals who are members of such local churches who sacrificially communicate financially with their missionaries.

    C. Proportionately.

The Apostle Paul gave instructions to the churches that he established to give proportionately as God hath prospered during the week. ‘‘Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him’’ (1 Cor. 16:2). Please note the apostle Paul taught proportionate (percentage of income) giving, not faith pledges. You need to get alone before the Lord and determine how much (what proportion) of your income (increase) you  will give to The LORD each week in addition to your tithe. Then be sure you fulfil your decision. Certainly if you have not had an increase or any income during the week, you cannot give on The Lord’s day. But if The Lord has blessed you with some income, (any increase at all) no matter how small, you need to give the proportion you have determined in your heart to give above the tithe to The Lord.


Malachi 3:8-10; Deut. 12:5,6,11; Neh. 10:37b-39


The God required tithes (plural) and certain offerings of the people of Israel and gave them opportunities to present additional offerings. All of the tithes and most of the offerings went to the tribe of Levi (the Levites and the priests), the personnel that God set aside to serve Him in His house in Jerusalem and in the surrounding cities in Israel. Only the burnt offerings and the freewill offerings for the Tabernacle and later for the Temple were not for personnel, but totally for God Himself or for the construction, repair, and upkeep of His House.

 I. Tithes were given to the Levites who tithed to the priests.

A. The people must tithe the increase of all the land (includes seed, fruit, flocks, and herds) to the Levites at the place God chose year by year (Num. 18:21-24,26-28; Lev. 27:30-33; Deut. 12:5,6; 14:22,23; 2 Chron. 31:4-6).

“And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. 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. And The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto The LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof The LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest” (Num. 18:21-28).

“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 passeth 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: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed” (Lev. 27:30-33).

“But unto the place which The LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: 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” (Deut. 12:5,6).

“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 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” (Deut. 14:22,23).

“Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of The LORD. 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 things brought they in abundantly. And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto The LORD their God, and laid them by heaps” (2 Chron. 31:4-6).

However, although the people were required to bring it to the place God chose to be worshipped, yet the households (families and servants) of the Levites were to eat it in every place (Num. 18:31). Ten percent of animals (Lev. 27:32,33) plus the firstborn of each equals an additional varied percentage of 9-17% (some clean animals give birth to six or less in their lifetime (17+%); others 9-12+ (8-11%); unclean animals also vary in reproduction 10-17%. Each unclean firstborn animal must be valued by the priest and redeemed by giving the valued price plus an additional 20% for redemption (Lev. 27:31). Please reread Leviticus 27:31-33 above.

B. The Levites were scattered around the land to reside in certain (48) cities assigned to them (Josh. 21:3-42) to serve the Lord by teaching The God’s Word and the Law, the commandments, statutes, and judgments to the people (Deut. 33:8-10; 24:8).

“Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs. . . . All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs” (Josh. 21:1-3,42).

“And of Levi he said, . . . for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. . . . Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do” (Deut. 33:8-10; 24:8).

C. The Levites must tithe all the tithes of the people to the priests (Num. 18:26-31). Their households (families and servants) shall eat it in every place (Num. 18:31).

“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. And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto The LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof The LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation” (Num. 18:26-31).

D. To redeem tithes, 20% is added to the value and the total is given to the Levites (Lev. 27:31, 32, see reference under A. above), but if he should change it for another, both the first one and the change for it must be given (v. 33).

E. The three year tithe must be laid up within their gates for the Levites, the strangers , the fatherless, and the widows (Deut. 14:28,29; 26:11,12-15; Neh. 13:10-13; Amos 4:4).

“At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and 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. . . . And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which The LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; then thou shalt say before The LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them: I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me. Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey (Deut. 14:28,29; 26:11,12-15).

     Notice that treasurers were appointed by Nehemiah to distribute unto their brethern the Levites that did the work and the Levites that were singers. These treasurers in Nehemiah’s time correspond to the New Testament Deacons.

“And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the House of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren” (Neh. 13:10-13).

“Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years” (Amos 4:4).

II. Offerings were given to the priests

A. The firstborn male of humans and beasts must be sacrificed to The Lord or redeemed and given to the priests. Every firstborn unclean beast (ass, horse, camel, etc.) must be redeemed with a lamb or its neck broken (Ex. 13:13). The firstling of a cow, a sheep, or a goat must be sacrificed, but firstborn humans must be redeemed for five shekels = 20 days pay, [one shekel equals four days pay] (Num. 18:1,14-18).

“And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem”(Ex. 13:13).

“And The LORD spake unto Aaron, . . . Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto The LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto The LORD. And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine” (Num. 18:8a,15-18).

B. The firstfruits (first ripe harvest before the main harvest) are to be eaten with the priests and their households and the Levites in the place The God chose to place His name there (Deut. 14:22-27; Num. 18:11-14, see references above).

C. Portions of the meal offerings, peace offerings, trespass offerings, and sin offerings are for the priests to be eaten in the most Holy Place (Num. 18:9,10, 18,19 which see).

D. The people had to make provisions for the priests to offer daily burnt offering sacrifices (Ex. 29:38-42) in addition to special offerings at the Festivals (Leviticus 23 which see).

E. Special additional offerings for the building and maintenance of the Tabernacle and the Temple (Ex. 35:4-29; 36:5,6). None of the tithe money was used for the operation, upkeep, or repair of the Tabernacle or the Temple. The jewels of silver and gold, mirrors of brass, and raiment that they took of the Egyptians were willingly offered for the material to make the Tabernacle for worshipping The God Who redeemed them (see Ex. 12:35,36 cf. 35: 4-29).

“And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which The LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much” (Ex. 36:5-7).

F. An offering for a ransom of one’s soul in the amount of a half shekel (4 days pay) was mandatory (Ex. 30:12-16).

“When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto The LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of The LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto The LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto The LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before The LORD, to make an atonement for your souls” (Ex. 30:12-16).

n.b. With all these requirements, it can easily be seen that the total giving of the Israelites was not just a tithe (10%), but was closer to four tithes (40%). All these tithes and offerings went to people serving The LORD, the greater amount to the Levites (corresponding to the missionaries of the church) off away from the place of worship and the lesser tithe of the tithes to the priests (corresponding to the pastors and teachers of the local church) at the place of worship. The tithes were not to be used for the place of worship or services thereof. Additional freewill offerings were used to build (Ex. 35:20-29; 36:3-6; 1 Chron. 29:2-9), to repair (2 Kings 12:9-16; 2 Chron. 24:8-14), and to provide for necessities and up-keep of the sanctuary or House of The God which some equate to the church building. However, the House of The God according to The New Testament is the Church which the Lord Jesus Christ bought with His own precious blood. The Church is likened to the Christ’s Body with every redeemed, regenerated person a member (1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:21,11). The Church is also called God’s Building and Holy Temple in The Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ is The Corner-Foundation Stone and the members living stones (1 Cor. 3:9; Eph. 2:20-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-7).

III. Freewill Offerings Given to Build Solomon’s Temple (based upon February 2002 values of gold, silver, and brass).

    King David’s Contribution:                 Gold for The Holy House = $ 1,525,650,930 U.S.

                                                            Silver "     "     "         "     = $ 2,002,429,557 U.S.

    Fathers’ and Rulers’ Contribution:      Gold for The Holy House = $       2,119,232 U.S.

                                                            Silver "     "     "         "     = $       3,476,887 U.S.

                                                            Brass "     "     "         "     = $             1,755 U.S.

King Joash was minded to repair the House of The LORD and gave the priests and Levites to gather money from all the cities of Israel to repair it. But they did not do it. Then He commanded that they make a chest and set it outside the gate of the House and the people began filling the chest until they had abundance and rebuilt the House (2 Chron. 24:4-14). This is an occasion in which freewill offerings were taken to repair the House of The LORD beside the two occasions to build His House for worship. The God’s principle for providing a house or building in which to meet for worship and services is to be clearly erecterd by freewill offerings received in abundance before the work is begun. Additionally the proper use of the tithes has been examined and found to be used for people who are bondslaves serving The LORD in building (planting churches), shepherding, and discipling and teaching The God’s people to add members to His Church (Eph. 4:11-16) and not for upkeep and expenses.

“But to each one of us the grace is given according to the measure of the gratuitous gift of The Christ. . . . And He Himself gave: on the one hand with reference to the+ ones, apostles; and on the other hand with reference to the+ ones, prophets; and on another hand with reference to the+ ones, evangelists; and on still another hand with reference to the+ ones, shepherds and teachers for the purpose of: the equipping of the saints for 0work of the domestic[deacon] service; for the building up of the body of The Christ til we, the+ all, attain: unto the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge [from experience] of The Son of The God, unto a completely mature man, unto 0measure of stature of the fulness of The Christ, so that we no longer be infants, being ones vigorously+ tossed to and fro and ones being borne+ around by means of every ewind of the teaching by the sleight [gaming in magic] of humans in craftiness, with reference to the wile of the error. But while continually being truthful ones in love[sovereign preference for another over self and others], let us increase with reference to the all~ things unto Him, The Christ, Who is The Head! Out of Whom all the Body being continually fitly compacted together and being continually knit together by means of the abundant supply of every joint according to the effectual working in 0measure of each one’s part is continually making the increase of the Body unto 0building[edifcation] up of itself in love[sovereign preference for another over self and others].” (Eph. 4:7,11-16APT).


There are three other Hebrew words which pertain to tithes and offerings:

    tebuw’ah {teb-oo-aw'} (#08393) is translated increase 23 times, fruit(s) 13 times, revenue 5 times, gain 1 time = 42 occurrences in The Old Testament. It is used to describe: “product, yield, crops (of the earth usually); income, and revenue,” all of which is to be tithed (Gen. 47:24; Lev. 19:25; 25:7,12,20; Num. 18:30; Deut. 14:22,28; 16:15; 26:12).

    rabah {raw-baw'} (#07235) is translated multiply 74 times, increase 40 times, much 29 times, many 28 times, more 12 times, great 8 times, long 3 times, store 2 times, exceedingly 2 times, greater 2 times, abundance 2 times, and misc. 24 times = 226 occurrences in The Old Testament. It is used to designate: “be or become great, many, much, or become numerous (to multiply people, animals, or things), increase greatly or exceedingly” (Deut. 6:3; 7:22).

    sheger {sheh'-ger} (#07698) is translated increase 4 times and come 1 time = 5 occurrences in The Old Testament. it refers to “offspring, young or offspring of beasts” (Deut. 28:4,18,51).

To reenforce understanding of The Principle of Tithing, answer the following questions:



    1. What is The God’s Scriptural Principle of tithing?

    2. In what three ages of time did The God’s People tithe?

    3. a. To whom did Abraham tithe?

        b. What was his position in life?

        c. How much did Abraham give to him?

    4. What was The God’s purpose for having Israel tithe under Law?


5. What was The God’s purpose for having the people of the God under grace and the New Covenant (Testament) tithe?

    6. a. Who are the ones under grace who are equivalent to the Levites under the Law?

        b. Who are the ones under grace who are equivalent to the Priests?


7. What was noted as to the kind of giving the apostle Paul taught the God’s people in Scripture?


8. Because he taught this kind of giving, by omission what kind of giving did he not teach?

    9. What was the proportion and order in which the tithes were distributed in Israel?


10. What provision under the Law did The God make to care for widows, fatherless, and strangers?


| | understood   $singular    &plural   +masc.   ^fem.   ~neut.  /the    [ ]basic meaning

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