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Leviticus 27:30  (King James Version)
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Commentaries:
<< Leviticus 27:29   Leviticus 27:31 >>


Leviticus 27:30-34

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (vol. 4, p. 863) lists three tithes. It is amazing to see how many commentaries and dictionaries list the same three tithes with regard to Leviticus 27:30-34 and Deuteronomy 14:22-29:

Jewish tradition and some more recent studies (e.g., Landrell, p. 36) have identified two or three different tithes in these passages. (1) A first tithe consisted of the tithe to the Levites. . .; of this, one tenth was passed on to the priest or to the house of God. (2) A second tithe (from the remaining nine tenths) was set apart and eaten by the household, presumably in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 14:22-26 . . .). Those living far from Jerusalem could change the tithe of the land into money . . . [for] food, drink, or oil. . . . Landsell refers to this tithe as the tithe for the sacred celebration. [This is exactly what it is—the tithe for the sacred celebration!] (3) The third tithe, according to Jewish tradition (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews iv.8.22 [240-243]; cf. also Landsell) was the tithe for the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28f), which occurred only in the third year. According to some of these possible scenarios, the tithing rate could run as high as thirty percent! (Emphasis added.)

Eerdmans Family Encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 147), under "Tithing":

Each year a tithe (a tenth of one's produce) was given to God for the upkeep of the priests. A second [tithe] was used for a sacrificial meal, in which the worshipper and his family shared at one of the festivals. A third [tithe] was used to help the poor.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ibid.), under "Tithing: Theological Implications":

No institution in Israel, including tithing, existed merely to carry out a political, economic, or humanitarian function. By giving the tithe, the Israelites were declaring solemnly that they were giving a portion back to the Lord who had prospered them (Deuteronomy 26:10-15). By giving the tithe they also recognized the validity of the priests' and Levites' role as God's representatives and acknowledged their right to receive support for the spiritual service they performed on the people's behalf. The tithe ritual afforded the Israelites an opportunity to remember Yahweh's blessings as He had remembered them, and to imitate their God's care for slaves, the poor, orphans, and widows. The tithe demanded that the Israelites serve their God at a significant cost to themselves. In this amazing system of tithing, Israel's economics became a channel for expressing love to God and love to neighbors the heart of the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Leviticus 19:18).

What are the greatest commandments of the law in Matthew 22:36-40? They are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says that on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. This is what God's tithing law is to do.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia adds: "[T]ithing helped to set Israel apart as Yahweh's people and His alone, a people holy to Him." This is because of their obedience to God. Of course, we know that other signs identifying God's people are keeping God's Sabbath, obeying the laws of clean and unclean meats, keeping the holy days—these are, along with simply obeying God in all He tells us to do, true signs of God's people.

John O. Reid
Tithing



Leviticus 27:30-34

What does "holy to the LORD" mean? The tithe is set apart for God's use. It may not be used for anything else; it is holy to the Lord. The ministry tithes; we all tithe the first tithe. Those who say that tithing has been done away are causing God's people to steal! The first tenth of one's increase is to be set aside and not to do that is to rob God of His tithe.

John O. Reid
Tithing



Leviticus 27:30-33

God's Word reveals we are to tithe on the increase (profit) we receive as a result of our productive effort (Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22). Therefore, a person working for wages—the vast majority of us—would tithe one tenth of the total amount of his pay before income tax, Social Security, or other deductions are removed. Other tithable income would include capital gains from investments, dividends from stock, and interest from bank accounts. The value of products used out of the garden or field should be included in figuring total income also (Matthew 23:23).

Income that is not tithable include Social Security benefits, welfare, gifts, unemployment or disability compensation, and loans that must be repaid. A general rule of thumb is that any income not earned is not tithable.

A farmer or person in business for himself should tithe on the income from his crops or business after operating expenses but before deducting personal living expenses or taxes.

John O. Reid
Tithing: God's Financial System



Leviticus 27:30

The first tithe is holy to God and must be used to support the commission God has given His ministry in a way similar to that of the Levitical priesthood (I Corinthians 9:11-14). Jesus confirms that tithing continues, but now God through Christ has made a better covenant with His people, who are no longer limited to the physical nation of Israel. He is now working through His church, the spiritual "Israel of God." Through tithing, God provides abundance for every good work.

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: First Tithe



Leviticus 27:30

Israelites gave tithes to the Levites to perform the work of the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Because they were involved in God's work and had no significant land of their own, the Levites had to be supported by the rest of the congregation of Israel.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Tithing



Leviticus 27:30-33

God has always used giving as a means to carry out whatever commission He gives to His people. The Bible first mentions tithing when Abraham gives tithes to Melchizedek, a priesthood that predates even the patriarchs (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-10). By the time of the Exodus, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had grown from a small patriarchal family to a great multitude of upwards of two million people. The size of the population dictated the need for a written code of law, yet the principles of giving remained the same. Numbers 18 records that God turned His tithe over to the Levitical priesthood for their use in the administration and conduct of His work (Numbers 18:20-24). By the time God formally instituted Israel's civil code, tithing had long been an ongoing financial law.

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: First Tithe



Leviticus 27:30-33

When we give God His tithe, it is a sign that we trust and believe in Him. Abel brought the best of his flock as an offering (Genesis 4:4). Abraham, the father of the faithful, gave Melchizedek a tenth of all his goods (Genesis 14:18-20). Jacob acknowledged God in His life by promising to give Him a tenth of all. Tithing demonstrates that a person worships God (Genesis 28:20-22). It is an act of faith, a spiritual act like prayer, and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:4, 6).

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: First Tithe



How Should Tithes Be Figured (Leviticus 27:30)?

The Bible reveals that we are to tithe on the increase we receive, that is, the result of our productive effort (Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22). Therefore, a person working for wages would tithe one tenth of the total amount of his pay—before income tax, social security, or other deductions are removed.

Tithable income also includes such sources as capital gains from investment property, dividends from stocks, and interest from bank accounts. It does not include social security benefits, welfare pensions, gifts, or loans that must be repaid.

A farmer or a person in business should tithe on the income from his business or crops after operating expenses (but not personal living expenses or personal taxes) are deducted. Also, the value of products used out of the garden or field should be included in figuring total income, because we must not omit paying tithes on that part (Matthew 23:23). The value of garden produce should be figured according to the wholesale price, the price one would receive if he sold it.

Additional Reading:
Tithing (1995)
Tithing
Tithing: First Tithe
Tithing: Second Tithe
Tithing: Third Tithe
Tithing: God's Financial System
Common Tithing Questions
Ending Your Financial Worries




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Leviticus 27:30:

Leviticus 27:30-33
Leviticus 27:30-34

 

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