In this frequently asked question about tithing, we are going to answer: what does it mean to eat the tithes?
“Eat the tithes” is a phrase used in the bible in relation to tithing. Since the modern-day Christian thinks that tithing means giving money, they often get confused about trying to understand how tithing relates to eating.
And for that reason, I am going to help you understand how eating relates to tithing with the following few points below:
- Bible verse about what it means to eat the tithes.
- What it means to eat the tithes.
- Tithes were also a tenth of animals used for meat.
Bible verses about what it means to eat the tithes.
Below are the 2 bible verses that relate tithing to eating.
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.
But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose.
Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.Deuteronomy 14:22-29.
“Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress. You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting.
By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”Numbers 18:30-32.
What it means to eat the tithes.
To really understand what it means to eat the tithes; we are going to review the bible verses about what it means to eat the tithes above. That is Deuteronomy 14:22-29 and Numbers 18:30-32.
The 2 understanding we will gain about what it means to eat the tithes from those 2 passages is:
- Tithes were a tenth of what the fields (farm) produce. (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
- A share of the tithes was to be given to the Levites; who are going to eat it with their household. (Numbers 18:30-32).
1. Tithes were a tenth of what the fields (farm) produced every year.
From Deuteronomy 14:22-29, we can discover that tithing used to be a tenth of all that the Jewish fields produced every year; that is a tenth of the yearly farm produce.
And according to the scriptures, the Jews were to take this tenth of the farm produce to the temple; where they would eat with their families.
As the scripture further reveals, if the location of the temple is far and they find it difficult to transport the tithes; the Jews were to sell the produce, and when they get to the temple use the money to buy the same things they sold.
And there eat it with their families in the presence of the Lord.
2. A share of the tithes was to be given to the Levites who are going to eat it with their household.
From Numbers 18;30-32, we discover tithes as the wages of the work done by the Levites in the temple.
And according to the bible, they were to eat it with their families.
When you read Numbers 18:1-7, you will discover the duties of the priests and Levites in the Jewish temple.
And when you read Numbers 18:21-24, you will see how God gave the share of the tithes to the Levites for doing the work of assisting the priest in the temple.
Tithes were also a tenth of animals used for meat.
Aside from what the fields (farm) produce each year; tithes were also a tenth of animals that were used for meat.
Let’s get proof from the next bible verse below:
“‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it.
Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord.
No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’”
These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.Leviticus 27:30-34.
Other bible verses about how tithes relate to eating.
All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.Nehemiah 13:12.
Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.
As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps.2 Chronicles 31:4-6.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.Malachi 3:10.
As we can finally see with scriptural proofs, tithes simply mean a tenth of everything we can eat.
That is why the bible says that we should eat the tithes.
And we can safely draw a final conclusion that the purpose of tithes is to provide whatever human beings can eat.
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