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What does the bible say about tithing?

Are we bound to give a certain percentage of our earnings to the church?

Tithing is not required under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. We find no instruction to tithe in the New Testament. Tithing was a requirement under the Old Covenant made with the nation of Israel at Sinai. It was necessary to support the tribe of Levi because they received no inheritance.

Numbers 18:21 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.

The tithe was not one tenth of income, it was one tenth of the increase from agriculture – oil, wine and grain, and the increase in livestock – sheep goats and cattle.

Leviticus 27:30-34 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… 32 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. 33 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. 34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

It was for the maintenance of the tribe of Levi who officiated as priests and had no inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

It was also for the poor, the fatherless, the widow and the foreigner. The tithe was to be taken to a specific location and shared as a communal meal.

Deuteronomy 12:22-27 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23 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. 24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, 27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

In addition, a tithe every third year was to be stored where they lived to provide food for the Levite, foreigner, fatherless and widow.

Deuteronomy 12:28,29 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: 29 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.

This Old Covenant with Israel was done away in Christ, who introduced a New Covenant.

Hebrews 8:8-13 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Under the New Covenant in Christ there is no separate priesthood to be supported. All who are baptised into Christ are called to be priests.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Those churches which split the congregation into ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’ and tithe the ‘laity’ to support the ‘clergy’ have no support for the practice under the New Covenant. By this method pastors make merchandise of their flock. This evil is prophesied by Peter.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Tithing is not commanded in the New Testament.

When money is required by a Christian congregation for charitable or other purposes the instruction is to give what we can afford.

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,
Glenn

 
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