The Tithe – The Gift

Joshua Aaron – Shalom (Official Music Video) the “Shabbat Shalom Song” שבת שלום – Sabbath begins on Friday evening at sunset, and continues through Saturday evening at sunset. Please enjoy the video of Jewish families and friends in Jerusalem, Israel, sharing a meal and honoring the Sabbath . It will be nice to honor a Jew with the greeting, “Shabbat Shalom,” which means, “Sabbath of Peace.”

In this article we will discuss the differences that exist between the tithe of the Old Covenant and the gift of the New Covenant. It is important to have both discussions contained in one article for continuity purposes. You will find four related teaching videos on tithing at the bottom of this page.

The New Covenant – The Gift

The situation of the benevolent needs of the first century believers at Jerusalem is clearly stated in Apostle Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth. The “collection for the saints” (1 Cor 16:1), deals with the collection of gifts that the church at Corinth was preparing for the destitute believers in Jerusalem.

An important description of the attitude of the Corinthians toward their benevolent giving is that they were “cheerful givers,” in their response to the needs of the believers in Jerusalem (2 Cor 9:7). There is no teaching about a “cheerful tither,” or anything about tithing, in the New Testament. It is only in the context of the need for gifts to the believers in Jerusalem that we see the words, “cheerful giver.” The tithe is a requirement of the Old Covenant Law (to be discussed in this article). There is no teaching in the New Testament about any sort of offering being collected in any of the churches, weekly or otherwise, except for the purposes of benevolence. If there is a desire to keep any part of the Law, all of the Law must be kept (James 2:10), which would include animal sacrifices, and stoning. Christ fulfilled all of the Law (Matt 5:17). The tithe is more than ten per cent; we will discuss the percentage in this article.

Collection for the Jerusalem Church

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

1 Now about the collection for the saints: You should do the same as I instructed the Galatian churches. 2 On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers, so that no collections will need to be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send with letters those you recommend to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it is suitable for me to go as well, they can travel with me.

Note: “16:1 collection”. An offering for destitute believers in the overpopulated, famine stricken city of Jerusalem (v. 3; see Acts 11:28). Paul had previously solicited funds from the churches of Galatia, Macedonia, and Achaia (Rom. 15:26; cf. Luke 10:25–37; 2 Cor. 8:1–5; 9:12–15; Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:17). “16:3, 4” This matter of getting the money to Jerusalem was important enough for Paul to go, if necessary. (MacArthur Study Bible notes 1, 3, 4).

Note: “16:4”: Whomever you approve refers to the person who would accompany Paul (v. 4) to Jerusalem to deliver the gift on behalf of the Corinthian church (NKJV Study Bible note).
2 Corinthians, Chapters 8 and 9

8 Appeal to Complete the Collection; Administration of the Collection; 9 Motivations for Giving.

Note: 8:1—9:15 this section specifically deals with Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians about a particular collection for the saints in Jerusalem,…(MacArthur Study Bible note).

Note: 8:4 the gift and the fellowship. “Gift” means “grace.” The Macedonian Christians implored Paul for the special grace of being able to have fellowship and be partners in supporting the poor saints in Jerusalem. They viewed giving as a privilege, not an obligation (cf. 9:7) (MacArthur Study Bible note).

Note: 9:1 ministering to the saints. The offering they were collecting for the believers in Jerusalem (see note on 8:4) (MacArthur Study Bible note).

Note: 9:12 “supplies the needs of the saints.” The Gr. word for “supplies” is a doubly intense term that could be rendered “really, fully supplying.” This indicates the Jerusalem church had an extremely great need. (MacArthur Study Bible note).

The Old Covenant – The Tithe

Numbers 18:1-7
Numbers 18:1-7 – Duties of Priests and Levites

Numbers 18:8-20 – Offerings for Support of the Priests

Note: 18:8-20 These verses give instructions for the maintenance of the priests and their families (vs 11) by the various offerings brought by the people (MacArthur Study Bible note).

8 And the Lord spoke to Aaron: “Here, I Myself have also given you charge of My heave offerings, all the holy gifts of the children of Israel; I have given them as a portion to you and your sons, as an ordinance forever. 9 This shall be yours of the most holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons. 10 In a most holy place you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you. 11 “This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and your sons and daughters with you, as an ordinance forever. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it.

Note: 3:12 One of the ways in which all nations would be drawn to the worship of the Lord was by seeing how the people of Israel fared with the Lord as their God. a delightful land: The adjective indicates enjoyment, life that is genuinely pleasurable (see 1:10; see also the related verb in 3:1). Faithfulness to God would lead to fruitfulness in the land (NKJV Study Bible note).

12 “All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the Lord, I have given them to you. 13 Whatever first ripe fruit is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 “Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 “Everything that first opens the womb of all flesh, which they bring to the Lord, whether man or beast, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And those redeemed of the devoted things you shall redeem when one month old, according to your valuation, for five shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 18 And their flesh shall be yours, just as the wave breast and the right thigh are yours. 19 “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.” 20 Then the Lord said to Aaron: “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.

Note: 18:19 a covenant of salt forever. Salt, which does not burn, was a metaphor to speak of durability. As salt keeps its flavor, so the Lord’s covenant with the priesthood was durable. The Lord would provide through the offerings of His people for His priests forever (MacArthur Study Bible note).

Numbers 18:21-24 – Tithes for Support of the Levites

Note: 18:21–24 The Levites received the tithes from the people. This was their source of income and compensation for their tabernacle service (MacArthur Study note).

21 “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. 22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 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 18:25-32 – The Tithe of the Levites

25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. 29 Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.’ 30 Therefore you shall say to them: ‘When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress. 31 You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. 32 And you shall bear no sin because of it, when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the children of Israel, lest you die.’ ”

18:25–32 As the Levites themselves received the tithe, they were also required to present a tithe (a tenth) of what they received to the Lord (MacArthur Study Bible note).

The Tithe – 23 Percent Annually

2 Chronicles 31:6 New King James Version (NKJV) 6 And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps.

2 Chronicles 31:6 tithe. Since the priests and Levites served the nation, they were to be supported by the people through the taxation of the tithe. According to Lev. 27:30–33 and Num. 18:21, 24, the people were to give the tenth (tithe) to supply all the needs of the Levites. Malachi 3:8 says they were robbing God when they did not give the tithe. Deuteronomy 12:6, 7 called for a second tithe that was to support the nation’s devotion to the temple by being used for the national festivals at the temple in Jerusalem. This was called the festival tithe. Deuteronomy 14:28, 29 called for a third tithe every 3 years for the poor. The sum of this tax plan totaled about 23 percent annually (MacArthur Study Bible note).

Malachi – Malachi’s prophecy relates to the nation of Israel, and the lack of Israelite support for the needs of the priests and families of the Levitical priesthood. The sin of the Israelites, “not tithing,” forced the priests to find their own support for their families, which caused them to neglect their priestly duties. Malachi 3:10 has been used to state an Old Covenant teaching of the tithe as a basis for a New Covenant Tithe. However, the verse is clear in stating that a nation, “Israel,” is the object of the sin. Also, the stated benefit for tithing is that, “… all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” (Mal 3:12). However, Christianity is not a nation, and does not have a land. Also, it is untruthful to say that Christians will be called blessed by all nations, and will be a delightful land, if Christians will tithe. The prophecy of Mal 3:12 will be fulfilled in the Kingdom Age/Millennium. At present time, only a few nations have a favorable view of Israel; that will not change until Israel is living in their promised land in the Kingdom Age (Isaiah 62:4). Levites will have a place of prominence in the Millennium Temple (Ezekiel 44-45:8). It is very important to watch the four following videos that discuss the tithe.

Isaiah 62:4 New King James Version (NKJV) 4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.

62:4 Hephzibah…Beulah. The terms mean “My delight is in her” and “Married,” reflecting a full restored relationship with the Lord.

Malachi Overview – The Nation Of Israel’s Sinfulness – Neglecting The Support Of The Levites

NOTE 1:1—2:16 In the first of two major sections (cf. 2:17–4:6), Malachi delivered God’s message which denounced sin among the people of Israel (MacArthur Study Bible note).

NOTE 2:17—4:6 The denunciation of Israel’s sins was followed by a declaration of the judgment on the unrepentant and subsequent blessing on the faithful remnant. Verse 17 is the introduction to the rest of the book. These faithless, disobedient priests and people had worn out God’s patience by their skepticism and self-justification, so judgment is on the way (MacArthur Study Bible note).

Malachi 3:1-10 New King James Version (NKJV) The Coming Messenger

1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts. 2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.

NOTE 3:3 purify the sons of Levi. Since the Levitical priests were instrumental in leading the nation astray and a new group of pure priests was required for the work of the millennial temple (cf. Ezek. 44–45:8), the cleansing of the nation would begin with them (cf. Ezek. 9:6) (MacArthur Study Bible note).

4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem ll be pleasant to the Lord, As in the days of old, As in former years.

NOTE 3:4 the days of old. Only after the priesthood is purged and when the people are cleansed, will they be able to offer what pleases the Lord as in the days of Solomon (2 Chr. 7:8–10); Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30:26); Josiah (2 Chr. 35:18); and Ezra (Neh. 8:7) (MacArthur Study Bible note).

5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien— Because they do not fear Me,” Says the Lord of hosts.

NOTE 3:5 What is a refining process for the remnant of repentant Jews who acknowledge their Messiah (cf. Zech. 12–14; Rom. 11:25–27), preparing them to enter the kingdom and worship in the millennial temple, will be for others utter destruction (MacArthur Study Bible note).

NOTE 3:6–12 These verses form a parenthesis between two messages concerning God’s justice and judgment. What the Jews have labeled as God’s injustice is not God’s being unrighteous or unfair, but His being mercifully patient. A genuine call of repentance is then issued (v. 7) and the fruit of it described (v. 10) (MacArthur Study Bible note).

6 For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said,‘In what way shall we return?’ Do Not Rob God

NOTE 3:6, 7 Contrary to God’s having become unjust and thus not acting on behalf of Israel, in light of their history of rebellion, Israel’s existence was due only to the Lord’s unchanging character and unswerving commitment to His covenant promise with the patriarchs (cf. Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; James 1:17 in general; Jer. 31:35–37; 33:14–22 in particular). They may experience God’s goodness again, and be blessed—if they repent (MacArthur Study Bible note)..

NOTE 3:8–12 In answer to their query about how they have deviated from God’s way and need to return, the prophet picked an illustration of their spiritual defection that is very visible and undeniable. The Lord pointed out that they had not brought the required tithes and offerings, those used to fund the theocracy by sustaining the Levites (cf. Lev. 27:30–33; Num. 18:8–28; Deut. 12:18; Neh. 13:10), the national religious festivals (Deut. 12:6–17; 14:22–27), and the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29) MacArthur Study Bible note).

8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

NOTE 3:8 The tithes were the gifts to the Lord that the Law required. There were three: two that were annual and one that came every three years. The tithe supported the priests and Levites, and also widows, orphans, and foreigners (Deut. 14:28, 29) (NKJV Bible Study note).

9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.

My note: 3:8, 9, In the following videos you will be given sound commentary on whether Christians are “robbing God,” by not tithing.

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

My note: Notice the purpose of the storehouse

NOTE 3:10 all the tithes. See note on vv. 8–12. When tithes were unpaid, the priests were deprived and had to give up their ministry and to begin farming. The nation’s religious life was hindered and the poor and strangers suffered (cf. Neh. 13:10–11). But, the real iniquity was that such disobedience was robbing God, who was the true King of the theocracy of Israel. storehouse. A room in the temple to store the tithes of crops and animals brought by the people (cf. 2 Chr. 31:11; Neh. 10:38, 39; 12:44; 13:12). This was the temple treasury. One of Nehemiah’s tasks was to insure that the supplies needed for support of the temple ministry did not fail as it had during his absence (cf. Neh. 13:10–13) (Mac Arthur Study Bible note).

11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts;

12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts

Note: 3:12 One of the ways in which all nations would be drawn to the worship of the Lord was by seeing how the people of Israel fared with the Lord as their God. a delightful land: The adjective indicates enjoyment, life that is genuinely pleasurable (see 1:10; see also the related verb in 3:1). Faithfulness to God would lead to fruitfulness in the land. (NKJV Study Bible note).

Malachi 3:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
The People Complain Harshly – A Book of Remembrance

Malachi 4 – The Day Of The Lord – A Final Warning

The following verses tell of the Levites not having an inheritance in the promised land, and are to be paid for their services in the tabernacle by the tithe.

Deuteronomy 10:9 New King James Version (NKJV) 9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.)
Deuteronomy 12:12 New King James Version (NKJV) 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
Deuteronomy 14:27-29 New King James Version (NKJV) 27 You 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. 29 And 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.
Deuteronomy 18:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV) 18 “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. 2 Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He said to them.
Joshua 13:33 New King James Version (NKJV) 33 But to the tribe of Levi Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He had said to them.

Is Tithing Biblical? Southern Seminary Published on Sep 6, 2017 “Should christians tithe? Is tithing required in the New Testament?” Dr. Thomas Schreiner answers in Honest Answers (See credentials below).

These Pastors Are Wrong! Tithing is Not For Today (Clip #1)

These Pastors Are Wrong! Malachi 3:10 Tithing is Not For Today (Clip #2)

Is Tithing required in the New Covenant?

About Dr. Thomas Schreiner

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Things are discussed in this website that relate to God's creation, from "eternity to eternity," and all that is addressed within those paramaters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, "Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: "God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: "No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans."

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