A tithe means a tenth. Under the Law of Moses, the Israelites were asked to pay one tenth of their produce and one tenth of their flocks to God (Leviticus 27:30-32). This is called “tithing”. The basic principle in tithing is that everything actually belongs to God, and the giving of one-tenth acknowledges this.

If they wished, they could pay the value of the produce, plus an extra one-fifth, in money instead of the actual produce. The tithe was to be paid to the Levites (Numbers 18:21) in return for their religious duties since they had no source of income. Part of the tithe was to be used for the benefit of sojourners, orphans and widows (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

The New Testament does not demand the payment of tithes, but followers of Christ are taught to give willingly and generously (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

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