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Deuteronomy 14:26  (King James Version)
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<< Deuteronomy 14:25   Deuteronomy 14:27 >>


Deuteronomy 14:26

The Israelite set aside the second tithe throughout the year and consumed it at the annual holy festivals of God for whatever his heart desired. This means that he spent the tithe on things that enhanced his glorifying of God or added joy to the feast.

The same applies to our use of second tithe today. Unlike the use of first tithe, the individual who saves second tithe should use it. God wants His people to enjoy the physical abundance He provides at the feasts as they worship Him and learn to reverence and fear Him in ways that please Him. Because of His blessing, many can also help others observe the feasts.

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: Second Tithe



Deuteronomy 14:22-27

This is the second tithe. This tithe is to be eaten, or consumed, before the LORD. It is not a tithe that goes to the priest, but it is a tithe for the individual's use at God's feasts, although he is not to forget the Levite.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Tithing



Deuteronomy 14:23-26

Verses 23-26 contains admonitions to go to the place God chooses, turn the increase into money if needed, and to spend it on whatever the heart desires, rejoicing with each other before God. However, the chapter's theme remains as a vital component of the instruction. God wants us to enjoy the fruit of our labors, as He also does when we obey Him. He also wants our relationship to be many-layered. Our focus, of course, should be off the self, centered on God, and extending outward toward others.

The rest of the chapter addresses this outward orientation with teaching to share with those who are less fortunate. It tells us to make sure that the needy are also able to rejoice and enjoy this time of fellowship and prosperity. The chapter ends by telling us that when we do these things, we give God good reason to bless us in whatever we set out to do.

Throughout these verses, we see God, very active in the lives of His people, admonishing His people to follow His lead. God is quite concerned about His people and His spiritual body. He cares what we do to ourselves both inwardly and outwardly, physically and spiritually (I Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:18-22), and He cares how we treat each other as members of "the body of Christ" (I Corinthians 12:27).

While He allows us to partake of things we desire, Deuteronomy 14 shows that God does impose limits; He wants us to exercise self-control. He expects us to be givers and not just takers. This applies to sharing our money, food, drink, activities, and fellowship with others, and we should make special effort to share ourselves with Him in prayer, study, meditation, and church services during this time of plenty. After all, one of the purposes of going to the Feast is to learn how to fear God, and we do this by spending time with Him.

Staff
Whatever Your Heart Desires



Deuteronomy 14:26

Some who read this have been to the Feast and thus look forward to eight days of experiencing many enjoyable things: food, drink, activities, spending time with friends, and of course, the spiritual meals of eating and drinking in of God's instructions. Many sermons over the years have been preached about prioritizing our time and activities throughout the Feast, keeping God first over the physical abundance and events that can often relegate Him to second place. Some may have justified a physical approach to the Feast from an immature understanding of God's command in Deuteronomy 14:26, using the time and money God provides for the Feast as a vacation with friends and family, rather than an eight-day, spiritual-information-packed, learning experience.

God wants us to experience both the spiritual and the physical abundance that foreshadows the time when we will live and reign with God during His Millennial rest and on into His eternal Kingdom. However, we need to prioritize and balance our wants and needs with God's expectations—especially so during this short period of plenty when it seems we do not need God as much as we normally do.

God notices how we treat this eight-day period and assesses our actions to see if we really feel we do not need Him as much during this time of plenty versus the rest of the year when our daily struggles require His involvement in our lives. We may see the Feast as a time of fun activities, which is partially true, but it may expose how we would live if God were to bless us financially or how we would govern if He were to give us exalted positions in His Family.

Staff
Whatever Your Heart Desires



Deuteronomy 14:22-26

God commands us to keep the Feast 1) to enjoy the fruits of our labor and His blessing and 2) to learn. This emphasis on learning is why the Feast is not a vacation, though it is a pleasant interlude in our annual calendar. Learning takes effort, and depending on our intensity, it can be wearying. At the same time, it can also be fulfilling and rewarding because accomplishment produces a sense of well-being.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast



Deuteronomy 14:22-27

Instructions for the second tithe are found in this passage. Included here is the command to "truly [fully] tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year" (verse 22). This is the tithe we are to save for ourselves for use during God's Feasts throughout the year, not the same tithe that was given to the Levites.

Note here that a full tithe is to be set aside for this purpose only. Over the years some have invested their second tithe in projects that have failed; this is a wrong use of this money. It is not to be set aside as venture capital, but as money to be used to enjoy God's festivals.

Some have erroneously thought that if they saved just enough to attend the Feast, they were fulfilling God's requirement. Again, this is not correct, for God wants us to save a full tithe to "spend on whatever your heart desires . . . before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household" (verse 26).

Also, spending second tithe for any other purpose than for keeping the Feasts is wrong. It actually harms our relationship with our Creator. We destroy character through disobedience and fail to learn the important lessons contained in the saving and use of this second tithe.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Tithing: God's Financial System



Deuteronomy 14:22-29

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 contains the tithing laws. We are to follow His tithing laws and keep His festivals for the same reason: because we are a special, holy people to Him personally. Faithfulness to Him and the covenant is primarily tied to our personal and intimate relationship with Him—and only secondarily to membership in the Israelite nation or the church of God. Trusting Him is the issue.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Priceless Gift

Related Topics: Festivals | Holy Days | Tithing | Trust in God



Deuteronomy 14:22-29

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 (1930-2016)
Tithing



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).

Additional Reading:
Tithing: God's Financial System
Tithing (1995)
Tithing
Tithing: Second Tithe
Ending Your Financial Worries
Common Tithing Questions
Are the Sabbath and Holy Days Done Away?
God's Way of Give at the Feast of Tabernacles
Why We Tithe (Part 1)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Deuteronomy 14:26:

Leviticus 23:40-43
Leviticus 27:30-34
Leviticus 27:30-34
Deuteronomy 14:22-29
Deuteronomy 14:26
Psalm 81:1-4

 

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