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Deuteronomy 14:28  (King James Version)

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<< Deuteronomy 14:27   Deuteronomy 14:29 >>

Deuteronomy 14:28-29

God expects this tithe every third year, and He will bless us because we are obedient to Him. This tithe is not reserved for the ministry or for oneself but for the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow within our gates-'those who are needy.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)

Deuteronomy 14:28

In ancient Israel, God instructed His people to set aside a special tithe to assist those in need: orphans, widows, strangers, and Levites. Today, God's church meets its Christian duty toward its needy brethren similarly, through a third tithe fund. God's apostles teach that Christians have an obligation to help others who are truly in need. The commandments of God concerning the responsibility of those more blessed to help those truly in need continue into the New Testament era.

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: Third Tithe

Deuteronomy 14:28-29

The third tithe is an additional tithe, entirely separate from the first tithe that supports God's work of preaching the gospel and the second tithe that enables church members to attend the feasts. Like first tithe, second tithe is paid yearly. Just as the law of canceling debts is based on a cycle of seven years, the third tithe is paid only on the increase earned during the third and sixth years of a seven-year cycle. Since Christians are not spiritual Israelites (Galatians 3:29; 6:16) until converted and baptized, they do not save this third tithe until the third year after their baptism. Most members of the church count their third-tithe years from either the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles closer to the date of their baptism.

Martin G. Collins
Tithing: Third Tithe

Deuteronomy 14:28-29

Does God command three separate tithes, or one tithe merely split into three different uses? God says in Numbers 18:21, "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 tabernacles of meeting." The Hebrew term for "all," kol, means "the entire amount," "the totality," "the whole" of the tithe, not a percentage or part.

Moses uses the same word in Deuteronomy 14:22-23, regarding the festival tithe:

You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat 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.

Just a few verses later, he shows another use for ALL the tithe!

At the end of every third year you shall bring out [kol; see KJV—"all"] the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 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. (verses 28-29)

Here, a third tithe is given for a separate use. It was not to be given to maintain the Tabernacle (church) or spent on oneself at a festival. It was to be stored, implying a use over a period of time for the poor, widows, orphans, etc. Since this third tithe occurred only on the third and sixth years of the seven-year cycle, it had to be stored for the special purpose intended.

For each of the three tithes, God specifies all, or the entire tenth, should be used for the stated purposes. If on the third and sixth years we kept all the tithe for the poor, we would have no money for festival use! Yet the feasts were kept every year as a memorial (Exodus 13:10). This clarifies that all of the three tithes are referred to rather than a splitting of one tithe.

Common Tithing Questions

Deuteronomy 14:28-29

Directly following the instruction concerning second tithe is the command for third tithe. This tithe is also not given to the Levites to do the work, but stored "within your gates." Nor is it to be set aside yearly to keep the Feasts, for this tithe is set aside "every third year."

The purpose for this third tithe is found in verse 29: It is God's welfare plan for the fatherless, widows, unemployed and the truly needy. After faithfully completing our third tithe year, we are entitled to ask God for a blessing upon His people (Deuteronomy 26:12-15).

Third tithe is paid in the third and sixth years of a seven-year cycle. God gives us the seventh year as a year of release, or sabbatical, then we begin another seven-year cycle in the eighth year.

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)

What Is Third Tithe (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)?

In ancient Israel, God instructed His people to set aside a special tithe to assist those in need, such as orphans, widows, strangers, and Levites (Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 26:12-15).

Today, the church meets its Christian duty toward its needy brethren through the third-tithe program. This tithe is additional and entirely separate from the first tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:21-24), which supports God's work of preaching the gospel. Like the first tithe, the third tithe is a full ten percent of a person's increase. Yet, while the first tithe is paid year by year, the third tithe is paid only on the increase earned during the third and sixth years of a seven-year period.

A person should begin counting the third-tithe years soon after he gains the knowledge of it. Since most members of the church learn about this tithe just prior to baptism, they count their third-tithe years from either the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles closest to the date of their baptism. Some decide to count it from the actual date of their baptism. Whichever way one chooses, it should be adhered to.

In some cases, the individual may give his third tithe to a near relative. A widowed mother, sister, or daughter, for example, would qualify under the guidelines set out in Deuteronomy 14 and 26. Orphans in a similar category would also qualify.

Another option is to send the third tithe to the church office for distribution, since the ministry often knows who the truly needy are among the congregations. When sending third tithe to the church, please indicate clearly that it is third tithe so it will be used appropriately.

The third tithe is God's way of taking care of those who are in need. Many have learned by experience that God blesses those who faithfully follow His instructions (Deuteronomy 26:12-15).

Additional Reading:
Tithing: God's Financial System
Tithing: Third Tithe
Common Tithing Questions
Tithing (1995)
Ending Your Financial Worries
Why We Tithe (Part 1)

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Deuteronomy 14:28:

Leviticus 27:30-34
Leviticus 27:30-34
Deuteronomy 14:22-29


<< Deuteronomy 14:27   Deuteronomy 14:29 >>

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