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“God expects us to give not as an afterthought, but as our top financial priority.”, – Alex Cook

The Purpose of the Tithe

Aug 3, 2022 | Honor God With Your Tithes, MINISTRY, Stewardship | 0 comments

The Purpose of the Tithe

Should we still practice tithing? What was God’s purpose for the tithe? Does it have the same purpose to this day, or has it changed? These questions kept the subject of tithing as one of the top subject matters here on While searching Google provides so many references to the subject, allow me to give you some in the article below.

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The Basic information

In scriptures, there are two kinds of giving that are consistently taught.

  • Compulsory giving —required or mandatory giving (as to the government in the form of taxes)
  • and Voluntary giving —when giving to God (as an offering) and to charity.

In Old Testament times, Israel was a theocratic government. The Levitical priests were acting as THE civil government.

The Purpose of the Tithe, in the Old Testament

  1. Fund the priesthood, and the national government. These tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel.In Numbers 18:21 God declared: “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.” The provision for the Levite’s tithe is also mentioned in Leviticus 27:30-33. It is a precursor to today’s income tax.
  2. Fund national festivals. Festivals and celebrations require much funding and God provided for these through the regular tithes of the people (Deuteronomy 12:17-18).
  3. Help the poor. Another tithe, one every three years, is given to help the poor. The welfare of the poor is very important to God so he instituted a system that will ensure that they are provided for (Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and Leviticus 19:9-10).

In reality, the Old Testament tithe is more than ten per cent.

The total giving required of the Israelites was not only 10 percent, but well over 23 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation. What we are seeing is God’s highly effective system of funding the economy of Israel—the ministry is funded, the poor is taken care of, and the reserves were set aside.

On the other hand, all giving that is apart from what is required to run the government was purely voluntary (Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). In our modern language and setting, this is what we call an “offering.” Each person gives whatever is in his heart to give because no percentage or amount was specified.

But for now, to answer the question of whether tithing is biblical, the answer can only be yes based on the numerous scriptural references we have seen.

But as to whether it is still relevant and required of Christians today is another matter altogether, one that has sparked heated debates among the proponents and those against who practice it in churches today.

In closing

I think what matters most is not whether you give a tithe of your income or more. What really matters is you are giving with the right attitude and heart. God owns everything, He does not need anything, including our money. As always, God is looking at the heart of the giver.

It is the giver’s heart that makes tithing relevant today.



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