Preachers will paraphrase Leviticus 27:30 and declare “All the tithe of Israel is mine, sayeth the Lord”. They then use that as a platform from which any number of tithe routines can be launched.
That scripture actually says “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD.”
This statement like others made at a time when the tithe was still valid, has nothing to do with proving that a tithe is valid today. The tithe would be God’s, if it existed today, but by His own Word the tithe is obsolete because it is no longer needed.
It is like arguing about who gets to drive your old ’69 Mustang, twenty years after it’s been junked and crushed. It is all irrelevant because it is all history.
This term, “all the tithe of Israel”, like the “Abraham kept my Law” verse is a general statement of scripture which is abused by pro-tithers to mean whatever they want it to say; exploiting the fact that it contains the word “tithe”. Once again, they are making God’s Word to none effect when they do this, but it is such a good, usable and marketable phrase that they cannot resist putting it out there with more spin than a Frisbee.
Apparently, if repeated often enough and loud enough like any other advertising jingle, this term supposedly makes it self-evident that the tithe is still valid, and that it justifies the doctrine that a tithe on all profit and increase worked for and earned by others, is due to the preacher. This includes your income from whatever source, be it labor, inheritance, capital gains (even false capital gains based on inflation) – anything. This is the opposite of what this scripture says regarding a “tithe of the ground”.
We also find that the pro-tithers use this verse as a bait-and-switch tactic where they lay claim to this wealth for themselves, instead of for the Levites as God intended when He made that statement.
If the tithe is God’s, as that scripture says, then what are the preachers doing by copping it? This scripture, if anything, is actually an anti-tithe condemnation of the pro-tithe preachers as apparent God-robbers.
Here is Leviticus 27:28-32 in context. “Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
[“Devoted things” is that which is set aside and reserved to give to the Levites or priests, whether it is for tithes, offerings, gifts, first fruits, or payment of vows.]
None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Again, it is food that is the subject matter.
This is an admonition that once something is dedicated to God, it is His at that point, not when the tithed items were actually delivered to the Levites. Since some of these items could have been set aside weeks ahead of time, it is a warning that they should not get any ideas about changing their minds and backing out of the deal. If anyone did come up with excuses for doing so, then fine – they could buy back their tithe, but know that there was a twenty percent penalty waiting for them as well.
Conversely, offerings, first fruits, vows, and other non-tithe obligations had no buy-back option at all. That is why Jephtah (Judges 11:30) paid such a tragic price for his rash vow.
Leviticus 27:28-32 is strictly an enforcement clause to make sure people carried through on their pledges and other obligations, and verifies what I have said so far about the nature of Old Covenant tithing. It has nothing to do with paying a cash tribute to preachers today.
“Holy unto the Lord” means that it goes exactly where it is designated to go as per God’s specific instructions. Since it does morally and literally belong to God, He can designate whatever He wants to be done with it. He specifically states that the tithe was to go to the Levites and the offerings go to the priests who were Aaron’s descendents who were a sub-set of the Levites.
God apparently forgot to include today’s preachers in those instructions.
Numbers 18:24-26 “But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.”
This tenth part was the cream of the first tithe, the best quality food, and this went to the Aaronite priests.
He also reserved the offerings to the sons of Aaron, the priests, in Numbers 18:8 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.”
He then goes on to itemize in detail that the priests get the best of the food, including the fresh ripe first fruits.
You can see already see how preachers have taken Leviticus 27:30 “All the tithe of Israel is Mine, sayeth the Lord” out of
context in order to exploit it to promote their doctrine. However, they do so without ever adequately explaining where God states that any alleged New Covenant preacher is entitled to a piece of the tithe/offering pie that was specifically contracted to one exclusive family line in the Old Covenant.
The tithe is inexorably tied to the Levites. So any phraseology where God invokes a sense of possession of the tithe, is done so with the understanding that the tithe should go where His instructions say it should go. This also applies to the “robbing God” statements of Malachi that you may have heard, and that preachers misuse to their own benefit.
Leviticus 27:30 is abused by people who are normally adept when they want to be, at matching two or more scriptures to support or clarify each other. These preachers suddenly become inept when money is involved and can not seem to connect Leviticus 27:30 which defines what is to be tithed (“All the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord”) with Numbers 18:21 which specifies exactly who is entitled to receive tithe (“And behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel to the sons of Levi as an inheritance in return for their service…”),.
Now ask yourself: Does “all” mean “all’” in that last verse? Unlike Jacob’s vow, mentioned earlier, the context in this case indicates that “all” really does mean “all”, because the “all” is defined in the statement as being limited by the context to “the tithe of Israel”.
Does “sons of Levi” mean “sons of Levi”? Yes it does. It is the physical bloodline of Levi, if God’s clearly expressed words mean anything at all. This arrangement specifically excluded everyone but Levites. Are today’s preachers genetic descendents of Levi?
If you still believe that the law instructs us to tithe today, you have to find a genuine certifiable Levite to give the tithe to, or else you are failing to obey God’s instructions, and guess what? The tribe of Levi no longer identifiably exists.
Numbers 3:9-10 “And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.
And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.”
Numbers 18:6-7 “And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.,”
and again in Numbers 18:21-24 “And, behold, 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.
Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.
But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.
But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”
These scriptures state plainly that any outsider who tries to assume the position of priest; either performing the duties, or, by extension accepting the benefit of tithe, is worthy of death; death for impersonating a Levite or priest. Do you think that maybe God was serious about dealing with these impostors?
Though the translation is messed up in the KJV, Numbers 18:31-32 specifically exempts the Levites from being punished with death for partaking of tithed food, as long as they in turn heaved the best of the tithe to the priests.
The American Standard for example, makes these verses more understandable: “And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting. And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best thereof [to the priests]: and ye shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, that ye die not.”
This extra reassurance was necessary because there was no messing around with this Law; unauthorized consumption of tithed items, like unauthorized presence at the altar, was punished by death. The Levites apparently were not too keen on suffering this fate due to misunderstanding or inadvertence.
This penalty is on par with the penalty for murder, rape, and sodomy. I do not hear our pro-tithe “seers”, “prophets” or “teachers of God’s Law” expounding on this law of infringing on the Levitical contract. Of course they can’t, because by doing so it would be obvious that they would be accurately condemning themselves to the same penalty as other criminals, because anyone claiming a right to receive tithe is breaking the Law of Numbers 18 every day.
These scriptures alone should end the tithe question, since the Levitical special standing is long gone, with no replacement provided.
This information is so clear and unambiguous, that it should also call into question the competence or integrity of any preacher who ignores scripture like this in order to promote the tithe for the illicit purpose of personal financial gain.
(Fraudulent intent aside, financial gain made from preaching God’s Word, even for honest preaching, is what 1Peter 5:2 refers to as “filthy lucre”.)
This selective preaching behavior also exposes an element of insincerity in these pro-tithe, Law-teaching preachers.
I mean, if you really believed that your car would blow up when you turned the ignition key, would you get in the car with your children and turn on the ignition key? No, of course not, we would do anything but turn that key. However we do get into our cars everyday and start them because we do not believe the car will explode into flames. In most cases that is the farthest thing from our minds.
Likewise with preachers who routinely break God’s capital Laws. If they really believed that the Bible is the Word of God and that the words are true, who in their right mind would risk offending God to a point deserving of death just for lousy money? It is a lot of money, I will grant you that, but still… who would risk death, unless they did not really believe the warnings in the very Bible that they preach out of?
1John 2:34 “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
The next time you hear some preacher proclaiming “All the tithe of Israel is mine, sayeth the Lord!” the question to ask him is “Then why should we give any of it to you?”