That is the Question

TITHE - This word in the English language versions of the Scripture quite literally means, "a tenth part." In fact, there are two words in the Ibriy (Hebrew) portion of scripture that are translated as tithe and both of them have the same meaning. The Ibriy words rendered in English as some form of tithe are asar (H6240) and its feminine form ma`asra (H4643). In the Greek language portion of the Scripture, three words are translated as some form of tithe. They all mean to pay, give, or take, a tenth part. These Greek words are apodekatoo (G586), dekate (G1181), and dekatoo (G1183).

It's pretty obvious from the above, that what the Law of Mosheh (Moses) meant when the word tithe appeared, was that a tenth part of whatever was being discussed was required of the person that had it and that ownership had been transferred to Yahuwah (the true name of our Creator). Now we realize today that WE never owned it to start with. It always was and always will be Yahuwah's and that is His Name which we are to praise.

Some pertinent scriptural passages that deal with this transference of possession are: Wayiqra (Leviticus) 27:30, 32; Bemidbar (Numbers) 18:21-26; Dabariym (Deuteronomy) 12:17, 14:22, 23; NechemYahuw (Nehemiah) 13:5; and Mal'akiy (Malachi) 3:8-11.

The collectors of all these tithes were the ministers of the Lawiym (Levites). They were authorized this tithe because they had no possession in the Promised Land by which they could make a living. Their heritage was Yahuwah and so He required the rest of the people to support His ministers. Notice that the Lawiym also were required to offer tithes of the tithes that they collected. They offered their tithes to Yahuwah Himself.

Of those initial tithes, another tithe, or 10% of what had been tithed, was subtracted and offered to Yahuwah. This "tithe" was offered as "heave offerings" and given to Aharown (Aaron) and his sons as their portion of support because they were the designated officials of the tent of meeting and later the temple. (Bemidbar 18:28).

Take note with the exception of the part that went to the Lewiyiy, the people ATE of their tithes themselves and also gave portions to the Lawiym, guests, the fatherless, and widows, so that they were all filled. Note also what AzarYahuw told ChizqiYahuw when he questioned concerning the piles of sheaves (2 Chronicles 31:8-10).

The question still remains. Do we tithe (give a tenth of our income, etc.) to Yahuwah or not?

In order to answer this question, the reader must first understand that ALL of the tithes mentioned under the law of Mosheh (Moses) were of the INCREASE of honey, grain, wine, oil, cattle, etc., that accrued to the individual over a period of time. That period of time was THREE years, not every "Sunday." So it was foodstuffs that comprised what was given in tithing and NOT money or other durable goods. So if the examples that preachers who are paid a salary from the "tithes" given by "their" congregation love to use to "prove" that they must tithe really mean that, then Yahuwah must have changed His mind about they only had to tithe foodstuffs and to give that to the Lawiym, but there is no evidence of that happening anywhere in scripture.

Those two examples are Abraham giving a tenth of all his war booty to Melekiy-Tsedeq (Melchizedek - B'ereshiyth [Genesis] 4:18) and Ya'aqob (Jacob - B'ereshiyth 28:20-22) making a vow to give Yahuwah a tenth of all his increase.

First off, there is nothing to connect Abraham's giving as anything else but a picture from the past to prove to the Ibriym (Hebrews) (name of the book) that Yahushua is the Son of Yahuwah as seen in Ibriym chapter 7. Note in that chapter it is still the Lawiym who are receiving the tithes and not the preacher down the street or any other organization. Note also that this chapter is further proof of the change of the system of the law of Yahuwah from the old to the new.

Secondly, the tenth part that Ya'aqob vowed (promised) to give was a deal that he made with Yahuwah for His blessing. Ya'aqob's vow does not bind us, and if it did, does that mean we have to tithe in order to get the blessings of Yahuwah?

The answer is NO!

If we are still under the Law of Mosheh as some seem to think we are, then you would have to tithe if you thought of yourself as a child of Yahuwah and an inheritor of His kingdom. But in order to tithe in the manner prescribed in scripture you have to find a kohen (temple official - usually translated as priest) of the tribe of Lawiy to give it to. No one else was authorized to collect it. More likely than not, you are a Gentile and you never were under that Law of Mosheh to start with.

Thank Yahuwah, our Father and the Father of our Master Yahushua the Anointed, that when He died at Calvary He relieved us of the law of Mosheh. Whether we are Yahudiy (Jew) or Gentile we now operate under the New Testament (Law of Grace) as is shown below.

    Ibriym 8:6 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant (the law of grace), which was established upon better promises. {7} For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

    Ibriym 8:13 In that he said, A new covenant (the Law of Grace), he has made the first old (the Ten Words AND the Law of Mosheh). Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.

    Ibriym 9:11-18 But the Anointed being come an high official of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the clean place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh (see Exodus 24:8 & Bemidbar 19:2-9): How much more shall the blood of the Anointed, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to Yahuwah, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohiym? And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament (the law of Mosheh), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament (the law of Mosheh), they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Can you now see that it is safe to say that the Law of Grace (New Testament) has supplanted the Law of Mosheh (Old Testament)? Remember that the testaments, both old and new, are NOT the collection of books of scripture separated by language, but systems of Yahuwah's law.

Looks pretty safe doesn't it? Not only do the above scriptures tell us that the Old Law and the Law of Mosheh have been superseded, they also tell us, how, why, when, and by whom. It is highly recommended that you go to the Scripture and study the entire sections mentioned above. All that is shown here is some of the scripture that illustrates the point under discussion.

(As a matter of fact, you should always look up the given references in any discussion, read them for yourself, with the prayer in your heart that Yahuwah will lead you to the truth.)

Well, if we're not supposed to tithe, what are we supposed to do?

Remember that everything in this universe was created by Yahuwah, and is His to start with, to end with, and any other with that you can think of. We cannot "give" what we don't own. All we can do is give back to Yahuwah something we had on loan from Him to begin with.

    2 Korinthios (Corinthians) 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. {7} Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for Yahuwah loves a cheerful giver.

Now anything that is given is called a freewill offering. That is the only kind of offering that Yahuwah will accept from us today. If it is NOT freewill, He does NOT want it.

    1 Korinthios 16:2-3 Upon the first of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as he has been prospered that there are no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whoever you shall approve by letters I will send to bring your liberality unto Yeruwshalom.

Preachers love to shout this one out as proof that we have to tithe, but it says no such thing. It says to put your gain aside so that when Sha'uwl (Paul) or his designee gets there he can take charge of it for delivery to the poor saints in Yeruwshalom. Keep in mind that the first day of the week is the day AFTER the shabbath when it is okay to perform manual labor. Ergo: do this "work" of putting aside on the first day. If this is the "Sunday" collection, do you suppose that Sha'uwl is going to come get it? Or that it will make its way to Yeruwshalom instead of to the preacher's pocket?

You are supposed to share with other children of Yahuwah the bounty that Yahuwah has provided you as they have need and you have the ability. This is the means of offering that we have. You can do this in many ways including loving contributions to the poor and other disadvantaged people, whether they are children of Yahuwah or not, donations of food and clothing to shelter and redistribution centers, etc., or even cash if you feel so inclined. One thing of which you must be mindful, however. If you donate cash or goods, get receipts, and then deduct the donations from your taxes, you have all of the recognition for those acts that you are going to get. Yahuwah will not give you recognition for something that was done for tax deductible reasons.

You are NOT required to give cash in the amount of ten per cent of your income to a local "church" to support a hired preacher in his lifestyle or living arrangements, pension plans, automobiles, etc., give to a building fund to build, improve, or otherwise maintain a structure that has nothing to do with the House of Yahuwah, to TV evangelists, or to any other so-called "religious" organizations. Look at all of the money that has gone into "church" buildings around the world. Every one of them is supposed to be for the "glory" of Yahuwah and He wants none of them. Total waste of time and money. Do something meaningful with your assets.

There's not much more to say now. Based on the scripture passages that are shown above, the answer to the question of whether to tithe or not to tithe is a resounding NO. If you choose to share your prosperity with someone and the amount you give just happens to be ten per cent, don't worry about it. That's okay. Just don't give ten per cent because you think Yahuwah requires you to give ten per cent. He doesn't!

C.F. Castleberry