Email 2

Is there any information on tithing in the Massorah, or other Jewish books? I’m doing a study, I feel all three tithes that we were taught in WWCG should have been only one. I think that you take a tenth to the feast and what you don’t use, you leave for the priest. On the 3rd year the priest should use that for the widows & poor.

In Heb G-d changes a commandment with the order of “Melchisedec & Abraham gave a tenth to Melchisedec. I have read that we will go to the sme government tht G-d had with Abram when Christ returns. Where the word tithe is plural I think it means where you gave a tithe of five different items not 3 or 5 different tithes of the same item. I need some help with this understanding what do you have?

What does the rabbi teach? ? I think in the new covenant we should use a tithe for all? When a group of people tithe the word could be tithes (plural) for all of them tithing instead of one person tithing. What do you make of Heb 7?

The above was forwarded to me by a third party and requested my answer and also that I include a message I had delivered on the tithe in the synagogue recently. First, I will supply the message and then answer some specific questions in the above.

Thanks, Rita.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Tonight, I want to just talk to you heart to heart. First, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and financial support for the synagogue.

This I want you to know, and you know who you are, that G-d rewards those that gives out of love and especially those that have given out of need. I want to encourage you in your walk with HaShem, and confer praise upon you, all those that have been consistent in their giving and have done so in the name of G-d, even in the face of so much misunderstanding about the law of tithing. It’s praise you deserve for you have not set back and murmured or become resentful of those that do not give, even though it may feel like the entire load is on your shoulders. You deserve praise for not having become bitter or spiteful, and for that I thank you and praise you. In that you demonstrate the love and understanding that only G-d has given you, for you know some have reservations of how the money shall be administered, or have been told that tithing is an antiquated idea not pertinent to today. Or even that tithing in the Bible was in produce and goods and in this era of a monetary economy tithing is outdated and not commanded. Unfortunately, those who believe such do not understand the scriptures or ignore them because of avarice in their own souls. Tithing then and now comes from all-financial increase either from money or goods or from both for even in antiquity when a system of bartering was predominant, tithing was based on all your increase. I often think it would be nice if we could pay the electric bill with a bushel of tomatoes, but that is not our system is it? So even if you bring a bushel of tomatoes I would need to sell them to raise the money to pay the bill. But my reason here is not to explore all the reasons why people do not tithe but to thank you that can and do, and to tell you that G-d does not stand silently by and allow you to flounder into destitution or experience want because of your faithfulness in following Torah and the law of the tithe. For many of you I’m speaking into the wind because so many of you have first hand experience, and have wonderful testimonies of G-d honoring your lives and finances because you were and are faithful. My own wife has one of the best testimonies I know of. I want you to know that YOU, by honoring G-d’s covenant have heaped rewards upon yourself here temporarily, and in the world to come I can assure you of that for it is Torah. Personally, I want you to know how I appreciate your faith in me, as your rabbi for I know some stumble over tithing because they fear ministers of G-d will abuse the tithes, and surely there are some who have. In the time of Malachi there were those that abused their position and YHVH branded them as those that “despise my name.” G-d accused them of departing out of the way, and having caused many to stumble at the Torah; corrupting the covenant of Levi,” The heirs of G-d’s appointed priesthood are today’s rabbis and ministers, and many have fallen. Yet, G-d even after having exposed such a priesthood still commanded Israel to bring their entire tithe into the priest’s storehouse (Malachi 3:10.) Why, because the tithe is not dependant upon the priesthood, even if they are not what they should be, it is for the giver that the benefits accrue. Giving of the tithe is more important for the one who pays it than the one who receives it. In fact, the book of Malachi implies that by paying the tithe, G-d’s people (Israel) can eventually turn around its wayward priests/ministers, and become a “delightful land,” which all nations will call blessed (Malachi 3:12).

So, for you who have been faithful and have not fallen to rationalizations and excuses designed not to give your tithes, I want you to know that the tithe is not an avenue of relationship between you and rabbis/ministers, but between G-d and His people, you.

Although, His ministers are rightly ordained to receive and live from the tithes of Israel (the Ekklesia) it is something many believers fail to observe, and even NT only believers are instructed in Galatians 6:6 to provide for those that teach them the truth of G-d’s Torah.

I collect no salary even though biblically I have every right to use the money received to pay myself for I too must live. Instead, my rebetzin, and I, we who also tithe usually have to add above and beyond our tithes to meet the bills of the synagogue. So to help with this misunderstanding of the tithe let me say the tithe is a transaction. Melchizedek brought Abraham bread and wine (Gen 14:18) a spiritual kiddush and Abraham brought Melchizedek the tithe. Bread represent food or The word of G-d, His Torah the Living and the Written. Wine represents the Ruach haKodesh, joy and fulfillment, and in return Abraham gave his tithes. This transaction proved a wise investment when YHVH blessed the one in covenant abundantly as he did Abraham. If you remember Abraham refused riches from the kings for his service, and after his tithe to Melchizedek he not only received monetary wealth, but something far more valuable, not only to Sarah and himself, but to us: He received the promise of Isaac, something that was far greater than economic wealth. The reward of the tithe includes material reward but Abraham tithed with bigger things in mind. Sha’ul said, “Know therefore, that those which are of faith, the same are children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). We who are of the refreshed, renewed covenant are supposed to be children of Abraham. Now add that to what Yahshua said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham (John 8:39). Since Abraham tithed to Melchizedek it is absolutely necessary for anyone claiming to be a child of Abraham to do the same! How can we tithe to a priest like Melchizedek? By tithing to Yahshua! Yahshua is the “priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4) Yahshua alone is worthy of the tithe of His children He alone has brought us the bread of His body and the wine of His blood. When we tithe to the ministers and rabbis of His name, we tithe to Him, just as our father tithed to Melchizedek. So you faithful I want you to know that your struggle to tithe will be honored by G-d and just as Abraham your reward will exceed material wealth though it does not exclude it for you will receive eternal life for your faithfulness. If you can be faithful where your money is concerned I am assured you will be faithful in all of Torah. Thank you all.

Now a summary of the question:

Tithe means tenth, and the commandment is this: “I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation . . . the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto YHVH, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, among the children of Israel they shall have noinheritance”(Numbers 18:21,24).

A tithe is a tenth of every person’s increase, but even more correctly, it is a tenth of all Israel’s (the Ekklesia’s) increase. In truth, the entire tithe has been paid only when all of Israel (every person of them) has paid their tenth. The tithe belongs completely to the L-RD. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is YHVH’s. It is holy unto YHVH. And if a man will redeem any of his tithes, he shall add unto it the fifth portion thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto YHVH” (Leviticus 27:30-32).

A tithe is a tenth part, especially offered to G-d. When someone fails to or deliberately withholds their tithe for a time they are commanded to pay 1/5 more, in other words to now pay 30% of their increase. It is a penalty commanded of G-d. Tithing is an obligation and responsibility and not subject to the will of the giver. Abraham presented a tithe of war booty to the priest-king of Jerusalem, Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20). Jacob pledged to offer G-d a tithe of all his possessions upon his safe return (Gen. 28:22). The tithe was subject to a variety of legislation. Numbers 18:20-32 provides for support of the Levites and the priests through the tithe. The Deuteronomic code stipulated that the tithe of agricultural produce be used for a family feast at the sanctuary celebrating G-d’s provision (Deut. 14:22-27), but that they not forget the Levite in their celebration. The same code stipulated the third year’s tithe for care of the Levites, orphans, widows, and foreigners (Deut. 14:28-29). Some scholars think the differences in legislation reflect different uses of the tithe at various stages of Israel’s history. However, rabbis of the New Testament period, understood the laws as referring to three separate tithes: a Levitical tithe, a tithe spent celebrating in Jerusalem, and a charity tithe. Malachi 3:8 equates neglect of the tithe with robbing G-d. Yahshua, however, warned that strict tithing must accompany concern for the more important demands of the law, namely, for just and merciful living (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).

Also, through Abraham and Melchizedek, G-d demonstrates that the tithe is only properly paid to Him when it goes to an ordained representative of Him for the representative’s own sustenance. This tithing relationship is continued in the commandment to Israel to tithe to/through the Levitical Priesthood. Of course the Levitical system is now obsolete (note in Revelations they are added to the list of Tribes) and have been replaced by True Believers who trust in the faithfulness of Yahshua, and guard the commandments of HaShem. At the time of Abraham the Levites had not been born, but in Judaism they were considered to be in the lions of Abraham. Abraham paying tithes to Melchisdek in effect was the same as the Levites paying tithes through Abraham and showed Melchisdek’s priesthood’s superiority to the Levitical preisthood, therefore Yahshua our High priest has a better or superior priesthood. We the believers serve as a royal priesthood for Yahshua (see 1 Peter 2:9). The tithe never went to an institution; not even the Temple received the tithe. The tithe is always to go directly to the representatives of YHVH’s ministry, of which Melchizedek and the Levites were the forebearers, so that there “may be food in My house,” says YHVH. In this way the minister is to make his living from the tithes. Because of the tithe the Yah-ordained servants are be able to continue to provide spiritual up building to the covenant people, who are His house. In this it is their responsibility to pay the expenses necessary to do out of the tithes. Think how much better it would be if rabbis/ministers were not compromised by economics and subject to the pressure of groups within the synagogue/church who control the money. I have earlier address corrupt ministers/rabbis from Malachi. In some instances as Malachi infers ministers/rabbis have been tempted and fallen into corruption because the people have left them without adequate support. It is inexcusable and I’m not making excuses for these men/women, but from a practical point view and as an observer I know this to have happened to men I have known. My only judgment in the matter is that these men had accomplices in the persons of their congregations who blindly failed to adequately provide for the welfare of their ministers and families while spending money on non essentials like carpets, etc, for their edifices.

This has bee a rather lengthy and I’m sure I missed some concerns and may have spent too much time on others, but all questions were addressed, perhaps not in the sequence they were asked in the e-mail. Happy reading.

Shalom and Brachas, Rabbi Milchama ben David