PART 1 - TITHING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT


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Introduction

Prerequisite #1

Genesis - Abraham

Genesis - Jacob

The Levitical Tithe - Intro

Prerequisite #2

Prerequisite #3

Levitical Tithe - Background

The Levitical Tithe - Basics

The Levites

The Levitical Tithe - Advanced

Malachi - Robbing God

The Other Tithes

Church History of Tithing

Summary

MALACHI - ROBBING GOD

Many tithing teachers say that if you don't bring a tithe of your gross income to the church you are robbing God. Let's take a close look at the scripture.

Malachi chapter 3 verses 8-10 (KJV):
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Who is being addressed in Malachi 3:8-10? Is it the people as the tithing teachers say, or is it the priests?

We need to study the entire Book of Malachi rather than take a few verses out of context. By the time we get to verse 6 in chapter 1, we see it is the priests that are being addressed at that point.

Malachi 1:6 (KJV)
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

In both chapters 1 and 2 of Malachi there is a conversation going on between God and the priests. Every time the word "you" is used, it is referring to the priests. Chapter 3 continues with this conversation. In verse 5 God says "And I will come near to you to judgment….."

In the Old Testament, during this period of time and generally speaking, only the priests could get near to God. It is only in the New Testament that born again believers, you and I, can get close to God. So up to chapter 3 verse 5, God is speaking to the priests. The word "you" is still referring to the priests. There is nothing in the scripture to indicate this changes when you get to verse 8. But that's not all.

Malachi chapter 1 verse 14 (NIV) reads:
14 "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.

Remember we learned that in Numbers chapter 18, God said one tenth of the tithe was to be given to the priests for an offering to The Lord. Malachi 1:14 shows that the priests gave the worst of the tithe to God instead of the best. Thus we have the robbing God of offerings mentioned in Malachi chapter 3 verse 8.

Now let's look at Nehemiah chapter 13 verse 10 (NIV):
10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields.

This verse is telling us that the priests stole the Levites portion of the tithe; therefore, they had no food to eat at the temple, and they went back to their own fields. We must interpret this verse in this way because nowhere does it say that the priests had also left the temple. The priests had the food. Read chapter 13 of Nehemiah to get the complete picture.

So Malachi 1:14 shows the priests robbed God of the offerings, and Nehemiah 13:10 shows the priests robbed God of the tithes.

Next, in Malachi 3:10 God says to bring all the tithes to the storehouse. The people took the tithes to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities, not to the temple. The Levites took the required food from the tithes to the temple when it was their turn to serve. Only those tithes ever made it to the temple. The priests then took those tithes to the storehouse. It only makes sense if God is speaking to the priests in this verse.

Therefore, we believe that the evidence shows that Malachi 3:8-10 is being addressed to the priests, not the people.

Click here to go to The Three Tithes.



Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®.
Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society are used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright ©1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education
of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2009, 2012 by Gary J. Arnold. All rights reserved.

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