Tithing, Giving and the Scriptures [Part 7]

The Tithe for the Priesthood & the Poor (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)

22″You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you.

28″At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 29And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”

Here additional circumstances regarding the tithe are clarified; for those who lived a long distance from the center of the nation, so that the animals would not be up to traveling the distance, or the grain spoil en route, the Israelites could convert their tithe (grain and animals) to their value in currency (gold and silver), take the money “to the place which the LORD chooses,” and purchase there whatever is necessary to be able to celebrate the feast. Admonishment to include the Levites is repeated.

A third tithe is specified; every three years, the tithe of the year’s produce (not animals) was to be put into a community storehouse. This was to be a resource for the local Levites, and those who were in need (the stranger, orphaned and widowed). The one bringing the tithe did not partake of this tithe, neither was it dedicated to the Lord. THIS TITHE WAS SET ASIDE TO REPLENISH THE SUPPLY FOR THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE NEEDY OF THE LAND.

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