Notes and Scriptures on Tithes:
A tithe is defined as a tenth and the term is found throughout the Bible. People
who don't want to tithe may tell you there is no definite requirement but I have found
otherwise. The following are all the references that I could find but there are probably a
few more somewhere.
Gen. 14:20 Abram gives 1/10th of everything to Melchizedek the priest.
Gen. 28:22 Jacob vows to give 1/10th to God.
Lev. 27: 30-33 "A tithe of everything from the land, weather grain from the soil or
fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord." v.33 "He must not pick
out the good from the bad or make any substitution."
Num. 18:24 Levites receive 1/10th then give 1/10th of that to the Lord.
Deut. 12:5-7 Bring to God your: 1. Burnt offerings (repentance)
3. Special gifts
4. Freewill offerings
5. Firstborn of flocks
v. 7 "There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall
eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God
has blessed you."
Deut. 14:22 Set aside 1/10th of your fields.
Deut. 14:28 Every three years the tithe goes to the Levites and the poor.
Deut. 14:29 "....so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your
Deut. 26 The whole chapter is on giving your first fruits and tithes with the
end verse 19 saying, "He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high
above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your
God, as he promised."
2 Chr. 31 Hezekiah calls for giving first fruits and tithes and so much came
in that the giving lasted for 4 months and heaps of offerings were collected.
Neh. 10:37-39 Bring a tithe to the Levites
Neh. 12:44 Contributions, first fruits and tithes are given.
Mal. 3:7-12 "Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away
from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says
the Lord Almighty.
But you ask, "How are we to return?"
Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
But you ask, "How do we rob you?"
In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because
you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in
my house. "Test me in this", says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not open the
floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough
for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will
not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed,
for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty."
[What are we waiting for? Let's do it!]
Jesus on tithes:
Mat. 22:21 "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" [Should we
tithe from gross or net? I think from gross, otherwise he would have said "then" rather
than "and". To God goes our first fruits.]
Mat. 23:23 (also Lk 11:42) "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices - mint dill and cummin. But you have
neglected the more important matters of the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness. You
should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former." [Here we are told there
are more important things than tithing but the tithe still must be done.]
In 2 Cor we are given an example of giving from the Macedonian church.
8:1 Their generosity was due to the grace of God.
8:9 "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might
become rich." [This is spiritual wealth.]
2 Cor 8:12 "For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one
has, not according to what one doesn't have." [The amount does not matter, just the
attitude of the heart.]
2 Cor 9:6-8 "But this I say, He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly; and he who
sows bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposes in his heart,
so let him give; not grudgingly, or out of necessity: for God loves a cheerfull giver. And
God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency
in all things, may abound to every good work."
Heb. 7 Paul recounts the story from Genesis about Abram and says that the tithe giver is
blessed by the receiver Melchizedek who is a pre-figuration of Christ.
I don't really see any other instruction but to give back to God. The tithe of
1/10th is not stated specifically in the New Testament but where else should we start? He
owns everything and doesn't really need it but it is a test of our faith to give and know
that we will receive much more back. If some of Israel's problems were due to a lack of
giving (Mal. 3), then how much of our present problems stem from the same source?
Give and be blessed!