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What Is Second Tithe (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)?

The second tithe is an additional tithe of one's income saved by the individual each year for use in observing God's holy days. Instruction concerning this tithe is found in Deuteronomy 14:22-26:

You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat [of the tithe] 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 firstlings of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. But 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 choses to put His name is too far from you, when the LORD your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. And 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.

God's holy days are outlined in Leviticus 23. The modern church of God observes these feast days somewhat differently than the ancient Israelites kept them because additional meaning has been revealed through the New Testament. For instance, the Israelite economy was primarily agrarian, so tithes often took the form of food: grain, wine, oil, sheep, oxen, etc. Today, most people are paid a salary, and their tithes are in the form of currency. Another difference is the emphasis on spiritual "feasting" (that is, biblical instruction) rather than food and drink. Nevertheless, physical feasting on the holy days is not left out!

The Feast of Tabernacles is held in the fall for eight days at various locations throughout the United States and around the world. This is the one Festival during which the whole church comes together to worship and rejoice before God. The other annual holy days are observed in the local church areas. Most people save the majority of their second tithe to cover their expenses while attending this festival.

Brethren who have more second tithe than they will use for their own expenses at the feasts may wish to give the excess to others who are in need. Or, they may send it to the church office for distribution (it should be clearly labeled as second tithe so that it will be used as intended).


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