Bible Study Article|King James Version Used Unless Notated | Revised & Improved April 2, 2016

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 "Give, and you will receive gifts — the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap. For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you!" (Luke 6:38 Complete Jewish Bible - CJB)

"Here's the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly.  Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giverMoreover, God has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause — as the Tanakh (the Old Testament - emphasis mine) says, "He gave generously to the poor; his tzedakah [za da ka] (almsgiving or charity - emphasis mine) lasts forever.  

"He who provides both seed for the planter and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your tzedakah.  You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous in everything. And through us your generosity will cause people to thank God, because rendering this holy service not only provides for the needs of God's people, but it also overflows in the many thanks people will be giving to God.  In offering this service you prove to these people that you glorify God by actually doing what your acknowledgement of the Good News of the Messiah requires, namely, sharing generously with them and with everyone." (2 Corinthians 9:6-13 CJB)

"And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.  So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God's family with you, the believers]." (Galatians 6:9 AMP) 

Yeshua, Paul and the other Apostles received contributions from their students

Yeshua accepted gifts & contributions from his students.

"SOON AFTERWARD, [Jesus] went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve [apostles] were with Him, And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled; And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many others, who ministered to and provided for Him and them out of their property and personal belongings. (Luke 8:1-3 The Amplified Bible - AMP)

Paul, following the example of Yeshua also received gifts & contributions from his students.

"But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me. And you Philippians yourselves well know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership with me and opened up [a debit and credit] account in giving and receiving except you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent [me contributions] for my needs, not only once but a second time. Not that I seek or am eager for [your] gift, but I do seek and am eager for the fruit which increases to your credit [the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account]. But I have [your full payment] and more; I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. [They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights." (Philippians 4:14-18 AMP)

"Other churches I have robbed by accepting [more than their share of] support for my ministry [from them in order] to serve you.  And when I was with you and ran short financially, I did not burden any [of you], for what I lacked was abundantly made up by the brethren who came from Macedonia. So I kept myself from being burdensome to you in any way, and will continue to keep [myself from being so]." (2 Corinthians 11:8-9 AMP)

"Nor was there a destitute or needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses proceeded to sell them, and one by one they brought (gave back) the amount received from the sales And laid it at the feet of the apostles (special messengers). Then distribution was made according as anyone had need. Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus who was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles, which interpreted means Son of Encouragement, Sold a field which belonged to him and brought the sum of money and laid it at the feet of the apostles." (Acts 4:34-37 AMP)

Note:  The above example about selling homes should only be done if it will not cause financial hardship for yourself or your family (1 Timothy 5:8).  It is wrong to become needy and destitute because you helped someone else with their needs.  Remember, you have to love yourself in addition to loving others.  Taking care of your responsibilities and "making a living" to pay your basic necessities (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12) is one of the ways you love yourself.

The above examples prove that Torah teachers should receive gifts & contributions from their students.

"Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support]." (Galatians 6:6 AMP)

Why Do We Work?

Please read the following scriptures:

"For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: if someone won't work, he shouldn't eat!" (2 Thessalonians 3:10 CJB)

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11 - English Standard Version - ESV)

"'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day." (Deuteronomy 5:12-15 - ESV)

And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. (Matthew 12:11-12)

Christ, as our ultimate example (John 14:6, 1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21; Ephesians 5:1), did the following on the Sabbath:

"Doing Well" means caring about people and animals' needs; providing for them on the Sabbath without working for profit.  Healing, visiting the sick, feeding the poor and doing other charitable deeds is definitely in harmony with the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is a day of rest from our labors to provide food, clothes and shelter for ourselves and our families.  On the Sabbath, we should rest from our labors and seek to help those that are in need (spiritual needs via Bible Studies & Prayer and/or physical needs via visiting the sick/taking care of them & feeding the poor . . . etc).  The six days that we work should provide us with the resources to sustain our families on the Sabbath and to help others with basic needs.  For example, God provided extra food on the day before the Sabbath so that the people would not be concerned about working on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:4-30).  It is appropriate to give extra food that you have generated during the week to those who need it on the Sabbath.  God commands us to give to the poor during the Sabbath year (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7).

"The thief must stop stealing; instead, he should make an honest living by his own efforts. This way he will be able to share with those in need." (Ephesians 4:28 CJB)

"In everything I have given you an example of how, by working hard like this, you must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Yeshua (Jesus - emphasis mine) himself, 'There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.' " (Acts 20:35 CJB)

"Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do." (Galatians 2:10)

To summarize, we work for the following reasons:

What is Tzedakah? 

Let’s review the following scriptures:

“And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, silver and gold I have none . . . (Acts 3:2-6).”

According to Strong’s Concordance of the Bible (No. 1654) the word alms that is used in the above scriptures was translated from the Greek word Eleemosune (el-eh-ay-mos-oo’-nay) and it means to have compassion toward the poor.

If we let the Bible interpret itself, then alms is the giving of money or a donation to the poor.  In Matthew 6, Messiah expects His followers to give alms (Matthew 6:1-4).  The Greek word Eleemosune is used for the word alms in Matthew 6:1-4.  Please notice in Matthew 6 that Messiah emphasizes almsgiving, praying and fasting as righteous works.  Eleemosune in Hebrew is Tzedakah.  Tzedakah means giving to charity and doing acts of mercy or compassion (Jewish New Testament Commentary, by David Stern, pg. 30)

YHWH sent an angel to Cornelius to let him know that his prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before YHWH (Acts 10:1-4).  Remember, Cornelius was a Gentile and was not baptized yet when he received this vision.  Additionally, YHWH through Peter had resurrected Tabitha back to physical life.  Tabitha was full of good works and charitable deeds (Acts 9:36-42).  Paul regularly gave alms to his nation (Acts 24:17).  Obviously, YHWH appreciates very much any human being that gives alms.  Giving alms is one of the major ways of cleaning your mind of stinginess and greed so that you can be righteous. (Daniel 4:27; Luke 11:39-41) 

Tithe Formula

The Hebrew word for tithe is ma aser and it means a tenth part or 10%.  It is a law that God created to help us learn how to give.

The following formula is based on the example of Abraham the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11-13, 16; John 8:39) and the tithing law.  Abraham was so close to Elohim He considered Abraham His friend (James 2:21-23).  Abraham gave 10% of his spoils or increase (Genesis 14:19-20; Hebrews 7).  

"Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils (the best of the choice parts - The Complete WordStudy Dictionary)." (Hebrews 7:4)

The best of the choice parts was Abraham's income from the warfare spoils.  Abraham sowed or planted by conducting a righteous war to free Lot.  (Genesis 14:14-24)  He reaped spoils from the victory and the gave 10% of the income of those spoils.  To reap income, you must work, sow or plant.

"I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave the increase.  So then the planter is nothing, and the waterer is nothing; but God who gives the increase." (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 BBE)

"And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase." (Psalm 107:37)

"Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us." (Psalm 67:6)

The Bible reveals believers are the children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7, 29) and we should take note of Abraham's works (John 8:39-40; Romans 4:12).  One of the works of Abraham was tithing.  Plus, the Bible reveals that Abraham kept the commandments of Elohim (Genesis 26:5) and one of the many commandments of Elohim is tithing to Torah teachers/ministers.  When Abraham tithed there was no Levitical priesthood.  This proves tithing was a law before the Levitical priesthood.  Tithing is a form of giving and Yeshua (Jesus) commands all of us to give. (Luke 6:30-38)

Gross Income - [Taxes taken from your paycheck] -  [*Business Expenses] x .20 (20%) = 1st and 2nd Tithe

The 2nd and Poor Man's Tithe

"Do not boast against the branches. And if you boast, remember: you do not bear the root, but the root bears you! You shall say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Good! By unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by belief. Do not be arrogant, but fear. For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches, He might not spare you either." (Romans 11:18-21 The Scriptures

"thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. The Jews received no advantages from the Gentiles, but on the contrary the Gentiles from the Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God, and by whom they were faithfully kept and transmitted to the Gentiles; the Gospel itself came out first from among them; the first preachers of it were Jews, who carried it into the Gentile world, where it was greatly succeeded to the conversion of many, who by this means were brought into a Gospel church state, and so enjoyed all the privileges they did: yea, Christ himself, according to the flesh, came of them, was sent unto them, was the minister of them, lived and died among them, and wrought out the great salvation for his people; hence "salvation" itself is said to be "of the Jews", Joh_4:22, so that the root and foundation of all their enjoyments were from the Jews, and not those of the Jews from them; hence there was no room, nor reason, for boasting against them, and vaunting it over them." (John Gill Commentary)

Plus, all Jewish tradition is not bad. As a matter of fact, a significant portion of Jewish tradition is good to help you better understand Elohim and His ways.

"Therefore, brothers, stand firm; and hold to the traditions you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15 CJB) 

"Hold to the traditions. Both Christianity and Judaism have traditions which are not stated explicitly in Scripture. It is wrong to say, as some Protestants do, that Judaism has traditions but Christianity is free of them, as if this were a virtue. Not only is such a notion itself unscriptural, as proved by this verse, but, as a matter of fact, false, indeed impossible. A church group may have an ideology that upholds "Scripture only" and opposes tradition of any kind; but any observer-he need not be a professional sociologist-will have no difficulty discerning its traditions. Life without traditions simply does not exist.

Nevertheless, holding fast to traditions does not necessarily imply letting rigor mortis set in, failing to deal with new situations. While traditions conserve the wisdom of the past, the degree to which they should be modified to fit circumstances of the present is always a topic for discussion. This issue is at the root of the differences between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism. Messianic Judaism too, which upholds some non-Messianic Jewish traditions and some conveyed by the writers of the New Covenant Scriptures, has yet to join this debate in a productive way. It will have to do so because all religions, including both Judaism and Christianity, are rooted in tradition. Messianic Jews will have to make the point that believing in Yeshua does not imply giving up Jewish practices but may imply modifying them to take into account New Testament truth.

The traditions you were taught by us, by Sha'ul and his companions (2Th_1:1; compare 1Co_11:2, 1Co_11:23). Sha'ul's authority, as the one who brought the Thessalonians to faith in God and the Messiah, is to be obeyed, both here and at 3:4. In neither place is he domineering over them; rather, this expected obedience is in the context of his fervent prayer for them and his reassurance that God is faithful (2Th_2:16-17; 2Th_3:3, 2Th_3:5)." (The Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern)

After three days Sha'ul called a meeting of the local Jewish leaders. When they had gathered, he said to them: "Brothers, although I have done nothing against either our people or the traditions of our fathers, I was made a prisoner in Yerushalayim and handed over to the Romans." (Acts 28:17 CJB) 

The word translated "traditions" in the above verse is the greek word éthos.  

"éthos; gen. éthous, neut. noun. Custom, usual practice or manner, whether established by law or otherwise (Luk_1:9; Luk_2:42; Luk_22:39; Joh_19:40; Act_6:14; Act_15:1; Act_16:21; Act_21:21; Act_25:16; Act_26:3; Act_28:17; Heb_10:25)." (The Complete Word Study Dictionary)

éthos, in the KJV, is translated "custom" when referring to the priest's office in Luke 1:9.

"Luke 1:9

According to the custom of the priest's office,.... In which, every man took his part in the execution of it by lot; and which was not an original settled law of God; but a custom, which, in process of time, through the number of the priests, took place, and prevailed: the occasion of it was this, 

"at first, whoever would, might sweep the altar, or cleanse it----it happened that two alike ran, and came up to the ascent of the altar, and one thrust down the other, and he fell, and his leg was broke; and when the sanhedrim saw that they came into danger, they ordered that they should not cleanse the altar, but by lot (d). 

And so likewise all other sorts of service were settled by lot:" (John Gill Commentary)

Paul did not go against any of the Jewish traditions or customs that did not make void the Torah of Yah.  

"After three days Sha'ul called a meeting of the local Jewish leaders. When they had gathered, he said to them: "Brothers, although I have done nothing against either our people or the traditions of our fathers, I was made a prisoner in Yerushalayim and handed over to the Romans." (Acts 28:17 CJB)

Paul suggested we follow his example (1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Corinthians 4:17)

"Tithing one's possessions was a very ancient custom, existing as early as the time of the Patriarchs. Abraham gave Melchizedek "tithes of all" (Gen. xiv. 20); and Jacob made a vow that if he should return to his father's house in safety he would acknowledge Yhwh as his Lord and would give Him a tenth of everything he possessed (ib. xxviii. 20-22). Later the Mosaic law made the tithe obligatory upon the Israelites. The tithe, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, belonged to Yhwh and consequently was holy. It was redeemable by "adding thereto the fifth part thereof." The tithe of cattle, however, was not redeemable; and if one beast was exchanged for another both became holy unto the Lord. The method of levying the tithe of cattle is indicated: they were counted singly; and every tenth one that passed under the rod became the tithe animal (Lev. xxvii. 30-33).

"There is apparently a discrepancy between the Book of Numbers and that of Deuteronomy with regard to the tithe. In Num. xviii. 21-26 it is stated that "all the tenth in Israel" is given to the Levites "for an inheritance"; as they had no part in the land, the tithe was to be their principal source of sustenance. On the other hand, the Levites themselves were required to give the priests a tenth of all the tithes received by them. Deut. xiv. 22-29, however, enjoins the annual tithing of the increase of the field only; this was to be eaten before the Lord, that is to say, in the city in which the Temple was built. But if the distance to such city was so great as to render the transportation of all the tithes impracticable, the people might convert the tithe into money and spend the sum in the city on eatables, etc. ("whatsoever thy soul desireth"; ib. verse 26). Every third year the tithes were not to be carried to the city of the Temple, but were to be stored at home ("within thy gates"), and "the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow" were to "eat and be satisfied" (ib. verse 29). It is to be concluded that, the seventh year being a Sabbatical year and no tithing being permissible therein, the tithe of the first, second, fourth, and fifth years of every cycle of seven years had to be brought to the Temple and eaten by the landowner and his family, while the tithe of the third and sixth years was to be left at home for the poor.

"The third year was called the year of tithing; and after the distribution of the tithe among the Levites and others, the landowners were required to announce solemnly before the Lord that they had observed all the laws connected therewith, concluding such declaration with a prayer for God's blessing (ib. xxvi. 12-15). A mourner was not allowed to eat the tithe, nor might one employ it for any unclean use, nor give it for the dead.

"Samuel informed the Israelites that they would have to give a tenth of everything to the king (I Sam. viii. 15, 17). When the Israelites afterward fell into idolatry, they continued to bring their tithes to the temple of their idols; but they seem to have adopted another system of offering them (comp. Amos iv. 4, Hebr. and R. V.). King Hezekiah again imposed the tithe on his subjects; and the people of Judah brought it in abundance, apparently for the use of the Levites. Indeed, the quantity was so great that the king ordered special chambers in the Temple to be prepared for its reception (II Chron. xxxi. 6-12). The same arrangement was made later by Nehemiah (Neh. x. 39, xiii. 12)." (The Jewish Encyclopedia - Tithe)

"Besides those two tithes, which I have already said you are to pay every year, the one for the Levites, the other for the festivals, you are to bring every third year a third tithe to be distributed to those that want; to women also that are widows, and to children that are orphans." (Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson.)

"But I alone went often to Jerusalem at the feasts, as it was ordained unto all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree, having the firstfruits and tenths of increase, with that which was first shorn; and them gave I at the altar to the priests the children of Aaron. The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem: another tenth part I sold away, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem: And the third I gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Debora my father’s mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan by my father." (The Apocrypha: King James Version. (1995). (Tob 1:6–8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc).

"22. every year Rather, “year after year.” This verse introduces only the first tithe, which is given only in the first, second, fourth, and fifth years. Verses 28–29 deal with the third and sixth years. In the seventh year no tithe can be given since neither planting nor harvest take place then (see Exod. 23:10–11; Lev. 25:2–7; and Comment to 15:1)." 

"THE TRIENNIAL POOR TITHE (Deuteronomy 14:28–29)

"In the third and sixth year of each seven-year cycle (see 15:1), the farmers shall not eat the tithe at the sanctuary but must deposit it in their hometowns to feed the Levites and the poor. Chapter 26:12–15 prescribes a declaration for them to make when they complete delivery of this tithe. Other gifts for the poor are prescribed in 24:19–22.  Presumably the produce collected in each of these two years was expected to suffice for three or four years until the next collection.43 It seems unlikely that the poor were to be fed only two years out of seven.

"28. bring out From your property.

"the full tithe None is to be diverted to any other use. See 26:12.

"leave it within your settlements Presumably certain public locations were designated for the deposit, distribution, and long-term storage of the produce. Storage facilities and public threshing floors near the city gate would have been natural locations.

"29. the Levite … the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow The poor. See Comments to 1:16; 5:14; and 10:18.

"come and eat their fill This seems to imply that the recipients of the tithe would receive food daily as needed, rather than quantities to save for longer periods. The Mishnah understands the verse in this way and stipulates the minimum amounts that may be given of each commodity.

"so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the enterprises you undertake Such assurances are given in connection with laws that require economic sacrifice for the sake of the poor: freeing the indentured servant after six years, lending to fellow Israelites even close to the remission year and without interest, and leaving overlooked sheaves, olives, and grapes for the poor (see 15:10, 18; 23:21; 24:19–21). Lest the Israelite fear that these sacrifices will cause economic hardship, he is assured that, on the contrary, they will ultimately lead to greater prosperity."  (Tigay, J. H. (1996). Deuteronomy (pp. 142–144). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.)

Currently, Jews teach you should tithe from your net income.  

"According to Jewish law, we are required to give one-tenth of our income to the poor. This is generally interpreted as one-tenth of our net income after payment of taxes. Taxes themselves do not fulfill our obligation to give tzedakah, even though a significant portion of tax revenues in America and many other countries are used to provide for the poor and needy. Those who are dependent on public assistance or living on the edge of subsistence may give less, but must still give to the extent they are able; however, no person should give so much that he would become a public burden." (Judiasm 101 - Tzedakah: Charity)

Gross Income - [Taxes taken from your paycheck] -  [*Business Expenses] x .20 (20%) = 1st and 2nd Tithe

*Business Expenses only apply to those who operate a business.

Tithing should not be heavy or burdensome

I remember being a part of two Shabbat and Holy Day keeping churches that taught gross income tithing. One minister stated tithing does not make sense on paper when budgeting. Why would God give us a law that does not make sense? We must remember that none of Yah's commandments are grievous.

"For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous)." (1 John 5:3 AMP) 

"For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off." (Deuteronomy 30:11 JPS) 

If you are tithing and it is oppressive, then I just gave you scriptural proof that you are tithing incorrectly.

Please understand it is not necessary to tithe from all of your income.  Some Christian churches are incorrectly teaching you must tithe from your gross income.  

"I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income, . . . " (Luke 18:12 CJB)

I pay tithes on my entire income. The requirement to pay ten percent of income is based on Leviticus 27:30–33 and Numbers 18:21–26; and it is discussed in tractate Ma‛aserot of the Talmud, which sets forth which products must be tithed and states the principle that only tithed produce may be eaten (thus untithed produce is not kosher). The Mishna says, “A person who undertakes to be reliable must tithe what he eats, what he sells and what he buys; and he may not stay as a guest with an ˓am-ha˒aretz (an unlearned man)” (Demai 2:2). But in general tithing all of one’s income was regarded as beyond the call of duty. I would suppose this Parush felt he was doing something special and unique for God, for which God owed him thanks and reward. Such a mentality is, of course, neither peculiar to Pharisees in particular nor unbelievers in general; on the contrary, it is those who consider themselves believers who seem to be especially susceptible to this sort of false pride. (Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern)

Net income is gross income minus expenses to produce gross income (Barron's Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms).

To summarize, you take 10% of your net income to give to the Torah teachers (Levites) and another 10% of your net income to attend the feast of Unleavened Bread/Hag HaMatzot, Pentecost/Shavuot and Tabernacles/Sukkot. (Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16-17)  

In reference to tithing from your gross income:  If you are debt free or have plenty of monies left after tithing from your gross income and can afford to tithe from your gross income, then there is nothing wrong with giving more if you can.  Zacchaeus was rich and he decided to give 50% of his goods, possessions or net worth (Luke 19:8).  You should always give based on how God has blessed you (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).  We must be careful not to be stingy Please understand God does not require you to tithe from your gross income if it will cause financial hardship for you and your family (1 Timothy 5:8).  Yet, if you can give more you should.

The tithing law is not nailed to the cross

For those who think ministers who preach the Gospel are not considered spiritual (in character) Levites, please read the following scripture:

"Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.  And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me." (Jeremiah 33:18-22 KJV)

Remember, Yeshua stated no man has ever heard the Father's voice or seen him (John 5:37).  So, Yeshua, the Word of God, is talking in the above scripture and He stated He would always have ministers serving him.  The assembly of believers are considered to be priests (1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6) and this includes Torah teachers or ministers.

"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them." (Matthew 21:42-45 KJV) 

Yeshua stated the following about tithing:

“But woe to you Pharisees, because you tithe the mint and the rue and every plant, and pass by the right-ruling and the love of Elohim. These you should have done, without leaving the others undone." (Luke 11:42 The Scriptures)

"Without leaving the others undone" is referring to tithing.  Yeshua did not nail the concept of tithing on the cross.

"This Malki-Tzedek, king of Shalem, a cohen of God Ha‘Elyon, met Avraham on his way back from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; also Avraham gave him a tenth of everything.  Now first of all, by translation of his name, he is “king of righteousness”; and then he is also king of Shalem, which means “king of peace.” There is no record of his father, mother, ancestry, birth or death; rather, like the Son of God, he continues as a cohen for all time.  Just think how great he was! Even the Patriarch Avraham gave him a tenth of the choicest spoils. Now the descendants of Levi who became cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people, that is, from their own brothers, despite the fact that they too are descended from Avraham. But Malki-Tzedek, even though he was not descended from Levi, took a tenth from Avraham. Also, he blessed Avraham, the man who received God’s promises;  and it is beyond all dispute that the one who blesses has higher status than the one who receives the blessing. Moreover, in the case of the cohanim, the tenth is received by men who die; while in the case of Malki-Tzedek, it is received by someone who is testified to be still alive. One might go even further and say that Levi, who himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham; inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him.  Therefore, if it had been possible to reach the goal through the system of cohanim derived from Levi (since in connection with it, the people were given the Torah), what need would there have been for another, different kind of cohen, the one spoken of as to be compared with Malki-Tzedek and not to be compared with Aharon? For if the system of cohanim is transformed, there must of necessity occur a transformation of Torah."  (Hebrews 7:1-11 CJB)

"4–11 These verses show five ways in which Malki-Tzedek is great (v. 4). 

(1) He took a tithe of the spoils of battle from Avraham, even though 
   
(a) Avraham was the Patriarch, the father of all the Jews and thus the greatest of them; 
    (b) Malki-Tzedek had no family connection with Avraham, whereas the Levitical priests receive tithes from their own brothers, from whom support is more naturally to be expected than from non-relatives; and 
    (c) Malki-Tzedek was not specifically entitled to receive tithes from anyone, whereas the Levitical cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people (vv. 4–6a). 

"The comparison of the Levitical priests with Malki-Tzedek leads later to their comparison with Yeshua. 

(2) Malki-Tzedek blessed Avraham, which implies that Malki-Tzedek was greater than Avraham (vv. 6b–7). 

(3) The Levitical priests receive tithes even though mortal, whereas Malki-Tzedek is testified to be still alive, that is, the text of the Tanakh does not tell us that he died (v. 8; see v. 3&N). 

(4) An ordering of greatness is set forth as follows: Greatest, Malki-Tzedek, who received a tenth from Avraham; second greatest, Avraham, who paid it; third, L’vi, who, even though he himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham, inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him; fourth, L’vi’s descendents, the cohanim, who are the ones who actually receive tenths, rather than L’vi; and least, the people of Israel, who pay them (vv. 9–10). 

(5) The Jewish people “were given the Torah” (Greek nenomothetêtai, see 8:6b&N) in connection with the system of cohanim derived from L’vi. But this system was not the final one, nor was it possible through it to reach the goal of being eternally in God’s presence; this will be demonstrated in the next four chapters. This fact allows the possibility of and, more than that, shows the need for, another, different kind of cohen, to be compared with Malki-Tzedek, a cohen who by implication is greater than the greatest of the Levitical high priests, Aharon. 

7 Compare Ac 20:35, “There is more blessing in giving than in receiving.”

"11 If it had been possible to reach the goal. Greek teleiôsis is often rendered “perfection,” but here it means “reaching the goal” of being reconciled with God and able to be eternally in his presence, as Yeshua is now. (The same or a related Greek word appears at v. 19, 2:10, 5:9, 6:1, 9:9, 10:1, 10:14, 11:40, 12:23). In order for sinful human beings to reach this goal, they must indeed become “perfect” by having their sins forgiven by God. The author will later show that this can never come about through the Levitical priesthood but can come about through Yeshua’s priesthood. Some people might suppose that the goal can be reached through the Torah. This is why the author offers as an argument for the possibility of reaching it through the system of cohanim derived from L’vi that in connection with it, the Jewish people were given the Torah. But later, in v. 19, he destroys the validity of this argument by pointing out that “the Torah did not bring anything to the goal.” This is the same point as Sha’ul makes when he observes that mere possession of Torah or legalistic observance of its commandments does not make a person righteous in God’s sight, able to enter God’s presence; but that “what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are” (Ro 3:20). 

"12 This is the only place where the New Testament speaks of a transformation of Torah (Greek nomou metathesis, which the Revised Standard Version renders, “a change in the law”). In Ac 6:14N I observed that the Tanakh itself records at least one change in the Torah, the addition of the festival of Purim; and also that a prominent Jewish tradition speaks of a change in Torah when the Messiah comes. The logical necessity for such a transformation is demonstrated by vv. 11–14; and the Scriptural basis for the transformation is found in Psalm 110:4, quoted at 5:6, 6:20 and v. 17 below.  The context makes it overwhelmingly clear that no change or transformation in Torah is envisioned other than in connection with the priesthood and the sacrificial system. The term “metathesis” implies retention of the basic structure of Torah, with some of its elements rearranged (“transformed”); it does not imply abrogation of either the Torah as a whole or of mitzvot not connected with the priesthood and the sacrificial system. As Yeshua himself said, “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah …. I have come not to abolish but to complete” (Mt 5:17&N)."  (Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern)

To summarize:

Malki-Tzedek is greater than Abraham, the Levites and the priests.  Abraham tithed to Malki-Tzedek who Yehsua is after the order of (Hebrews 5:5-10). Yeshua's servants should tithe to Him because Yeshua is a Malki-Tzedek priest.  You tithe to Yeshua by giving your tithe to his servants (Torah teachers) and to the poor & afflicted.  Yeshua is God's representative as the Word of God and He is also God.  In Old Testament times, the people did not directly tithe to God.  They gave their tithes to the Levites and the Levites gave 10% of the tithes to the priest.  When you do not tithe, God states you are robbing Him (Malachi 3:8-12). Yeshua's servants are children of Abraham (Galatians 3:6-9, 29) and Yeshua suggested we should do the works of Abraham (John 8:39-40).  One of the works of Abraham is tithing.

The meaning of Malachi 3:8-12 for the 21st Century

Interestingly, terumah is used for the word "offerings" in a popular Old Testament scripture about giving to ministers:

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings (terumah).  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.  (Malachi 3:8-12)

Please notice the blessings consist of plenty of food and agricultural based blessings.  The inspired text does not state you will become rich and have lots of money, cars, expensive clothes and homes.  Elohim instructs a King of Israel not to, ". . .  acquire excessive quantities of silver and gold." (Deuteronomy 17:17).  We should not desire to be rich or poor (Proverbs 30:8-9). 

The Lord answers their question (v. 8)

The people had asked what they had done to necessitate a return to God. With several things from which to choose, the Lord focused on one. They had been robbing him!  This shocking accusation only led to another insolent response: ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ (v. 8). The Lord was ready with the answer: ‘In tithes and offerings’ (v. 8). A robbery can only take place if we take from someone something that belongs to him or her. God is plainly declaring that the tithe belongs to him. If the tithe belongs to him, and we use it for ourselves, what else can it be called except robbery? 

John Benton suggests another way in which people can rob God:

We can rob God by trying to keep time mostly to ourselves—time that should be given to God in personal prayer; time that should be given to God in family praise and worship; time that should be given to God in serving the needs of the local expression of the body of Christ. (Opening up Malachi 2007 edition, p. 72-73 by Roger Ellsworth)

B. The Predicament (3:9).

The disobedience of the people in respect to their tithes and offerings had brought a curse upon their land just as the unfaithfulness of the priests had brought a curse upon their ministry (cf. 2:2). The curse probably took the form of drought, poor crops and economic depression. Yet even while the curse was in progress and in evidence the people were continuing to rob God. The Hebrew word order stresses (1) the audacity of this theft: “and me you are robbing;” and (2) the universality of this despicable sin: “this whole nation” (3:9). (The Minor Prophets. Old Testament Survey Series 1994 edition, by James E. Smith)

In tithe and contribution That is, the contributions to the priests from the new grain, oil, and wine; see Num. 18:12.  The rules of tithing are complex and contradictory in Pentateuchal sources. Leviticus 27:30–32 speaks of tithes of land produce and animals being sacred by nature and due the priests; only land produce may be redeemed, but with a one-fifth penalty tax added. Numbers 18:21–29 requires tithes to be given by Israelites to Levites in exchange for their divine service and by Levites to Aaronids; nothing is specified regarding the source of the tithe, how it was gathered, or its possible redemption. Deuteronomy 14:22–29 considers tithes only from grain, wine, and oil; these are to be brought by Israelites to the central shrine for their own consumption, with a proviso of permissible conversion of the gifts to money (without penalty) during a pilgrimage. In addition, the law in Deuteronomy specifies that every third year the tithe was to be left in local settlements for the poor, including the Levite, who was without private property. The tithe is thus conceived here as a charity and not fixed payment.

The harmonious coordination of the sources is difficult and was subjected to intense rabbinic examination. The Sages called the gifts to the priests and Levites the "first" and "second tithe," respectively; whereas the tithe of the third year was called the "third" or "poor tithe." Whether on third years there were three tithes, or the last substituted for the second, double tithing seems to have been required, and this was an onerous burden. Postexilic sources show attempts to cheat on the dues (Mal. 3:10; Neh. 13:10). These sources also indicate different methods of collection. According to Mal. 3:10, the tithes were brought to collection depots; Neh. 10:38–39 describes the Levites as collectors in the cities and fields.

10. the storehouse  That is, the public storehouse; see Neh. 13:10–13 (JPS Bible Commentary:  Haftarot)

Please notice these prophetic scriptures apply to these end times.  A significant number of believers and those, who are a part of the 12 tribes of Israel, do not give as they should in the 21st century.  Please understand when you do not properly give tithes and offerings to Torah teachers, then it is like robbing Elohim.

Paul stated Yeshua's Torah teachers (ministers and servants) should receive food and offerings like the Levities and priests did.  Of course, we can not sacrifice animals because there is no temple.  Yet, we can do the best we can to help support Torah teachers.  In the 21st century, we are not a society of farmers.  Most people had their own farm before the 1800s (The End of Poverty 2005 edition, pp. 26-38 by Jeffrey D. Sachs).  Today, people depend on money to buy food instead of growing their own food on a farm.  Unfortunately, people depend too much on the grocery store.  When you give to Torah teachers, it is appropriate to consistently give them money to buy food and other things they need to survive.

"Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrifices offered there?   In the same way, the Lord directed those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News." (1 Corinthians 9:13-14 CJB).

Please notice the phrase "in the same way."  We should do the best we can to give to Torah teachers like the congregation or assembly of Israel gave to the priests and Levites.  

God's TRUE servants are not receiving the proper amount of tithes & offerings from the tribes of Israel.  The majority of the tithes & offerings is going to deceived Christian churches that are not preaching the TRUE complete Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  Remember, Satan has his own ministers and servants! (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

The purpose of teachers of the Torah is to teach the people how to obey God's commandments.  If God's servants are not properly compensated through tithes & offerings, then God allows the 12 tribes of Israel to be cursed.  God has provided a detailed list of blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 27:14-26; 28; Leviticus 26 for our convenience.  Additionally, God commanded the tithe to help widows, strangers and others who are in need.  

According to the Barna Group, only 5% of Americans tithe their income (American Donor Trends by the Barna Group).  This statistic only confirms what God prophesied, through the prophet Malachi, about modern Israel's stingy attitude about giving (Malachi 3:8-12).

Please understand the 12 tribes of Israel geographically consist of the United States, Britain, Canada, France the countries in Northwestern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, the nation of Israel in the Middle East and South Africa (Please go to www.britam.org for Biblical and secular proof).  Plus, anyone who is a believer of Yeshua the Messiah, King of the 12 Tribes of Israel (John 1:49; John 12:13), is included among the 12 Tribes of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-19; Galatians 6:15-16; Romans 9:6-8; Isaiah 56:3-7).  There are two houses:  The House of Israel (which consist of the 10 "lost" tribes of Israel-many are Christians who believe the law of Elohim is nailed to the cross and very few are Torah observant believers) and the House of Judah (which consist of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi-the Jews; most don't believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.  However, some Jews are believers).  They will reunite in these end times (Ezekiel 37:15-28). 

"Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.  By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.  Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.  Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.  They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.  And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.  For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God." (Hosea 4:1-12).

Please understand the entire book of Malachi is prophetic and its moral lessons can be applied to the time we are living in today.  God commands us, through the Apostle Yeshua (Hebrews 3:1) & Peter, that we better take the prophets of old seriously.

"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."  (Luke 16:19-31)

"Yes, we have the prophetic Word made very certain. You will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark, murky place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.  First of all, understand this: no prophecy of Scripture is to be interpreted by an individual on his own; for never has a prophecy come as a result of human willing — on the contrary, people moved by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) spoke a message from God."  (2 Peter 1:19-21 - CJB)

"Dear friends, I am writing you now this second letter; and in both letters I am trying to arouse you to wholesome thinking by means of reminders; so that you will keep in mind the predictions of the holy prophets and the command given by the Lord and Deliverer through your emissaries. First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires and asking, "Where is this promised 'coming' of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation." But, wanting so much to be right about this, they overlook the fact that it was by God's Word that long ago there were heavens, and there was land which arose out of water and existed between the waters, and that by means of these things the world of that time was flooded with water and destroyed.  It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:1-7 CJB)

God reveals we rob Him
by not giving the proper amount of tithes & offerings to His true servants and to the rest of the poor & afflicted.  Because of stealing from Him, the sons of Jacob (the 12 tribes of Israel) are cursed (Malachi 2:2 - September 11, Hurricanes Katrina, Isaac & Sandy, The Record Breaking U.S. Drought of 2012, Flooding, Tornados, Oklahoma Tornados of 2013, Wildfires, Economic Instability, Great Immorality, Unnecessary Personal Problems, Sicknesses and Diseases . . . etc).  Yet, if the sons of Jacob repent, then the curse will be eliminated (Malachi 3:10-11).  He states this through His prophet Malachi in an end time context.  

Malachi 3 starts out revealing Elohim will send His messenger (the end-time Elijah-John the Baptist fulfilled this role earlier [Matthew 17:10-12; Malachi 4:5-6]; this prophecy has a dual application), then Messiah will come and purify the sons of Levi (the Torah teachers).  This clearly indicates the Torah teachers need to be purified.  Then He states sacrifices & offerings will be reinstituted and He will judge those who are wicked including those who forsake the poor and oppress them.  Then He states the sons of Jacob are fortunate He does not change His Torah and the promises contained in them because if He did, the sons of Jacob would be destroyed.  Then He talks about the sons of Jacob robbing Him of tithes & offerings.  Malachi 4 (in the Tanakah - the Jewish Bible there is no Malachi 4; Malachi 3 & 4 are combined) describes the time of judgment and it mentions the end-time Elijah will come before His second coming.

Repenting (changing your mind to obey God) involves ACTION!  

You have to prove to God you have repented by what you do NOT what you say.  And, giving tithes & offerings to His TRUE servants, is one of the major ways of showing you are serious about changing your mind to obey God (repenting).  

Jews, in the time of John the Baptist who was a prophet, asked him what should they do to repent.  Please notice his response:

"Therefore, Yochanan said to the crowds who came out to be immersed by him, "You snakes! Who warned you to escape the coming punishment?  If you have really turned from your sins, produce fruit that will prove it! And don't start saying to yourselves, 'Avraham (Abraham) is our father'! For I tell you that God can raise up for Avraham sons from these stones!   Already the axe is at the root of the trees, ready to strike; every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown in the fire!"  The crowds asked Yochanan, "So then, what should we do?"   He answered, "Whoever has two coats should share with somebody who has none, and whoever has food should do the same."  Tax-collectors also came to be immersed; and they asked him, "Rabbi, what should we do?"   "Collect no more than the government assesses," he told them.  Some soldiers asked him, "What about us? What should we do?" To them he said, "Don't intimidate anyone, don't accuse people falsely, and be satisfied with your pay."  (Luke 3:7-14 CJB)

Yochanan's (John's) answer involves Malachi 3:8.  Malachi 3:8 is about tithes & offerings which consists of GIVING your possessions to those who are in need.  Interestingly, giving clothes and food to those in need was the first visible sign of repentance that Yochanan instructed those who desired to be TRUE believers do (Luke 3:10-11).  Tithes & offerings was created by God to teach us how to share & give to Him and mankind.

"Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break off your sins and show the reality of your repentance by righteousness (right standing with God and moral and spiritual rectitude and rightness in every area and relation) and liberate yourself from your iniquities by showing mercy and loving-kindness to the poor and oppressed, that [if the king will repent] there may possibly be a continuance and lengthening of your peace and tranquility and a healing of your error." (Daniel 4:27 AMP) 

Malachi 3:8 is a warning to all the tribes of Israel, all believers of Yeshua and to all of mankind. God commands us to give tithes and charity or tzedakah.  He commands us to consistently give it to the following groups of people (James 1:27; Isaiah 1:16-17; Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22; 25:35; Deuteronomy 12:12, 19; 14:29; 26:12-13):

Remember, when you give to other people it is like giving to Elohim; when you refuse to give to people, when you have it to give, it is like refusing to give to Elohim (Matthew 25:31-46).

Offerings and the first murder of a human being 

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.  And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:3-9)

"In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.  Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."  (1 John 3:10-18)

It is very interesting the first recorded case of a human being murdering another human involved an act of giving to Elohim (God).   According to Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish Torah teachers, Cain's fruit of the soil that He offered to Elohim was not the best (Rashi's Commentary).  The Hebrew word for "offering" in Genesis 4:3 is minchah (min-khaw') which means a gift, present, or grain offering to God. (Brown-Driver-Brigg's Hebrew Definitions - BDB)  Cain gave a grain offering to God and Abel gave an animal offering to God.

The book of Hebrews confirms Rashi:

"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." (Hebrews 11:4)

Under the inspiration of God, John explained that Cain's work (deed) was evil; that deed was failing to offer the best from the fruit of the soil.  Cain's attitude was evil because He did not want to give his best to God.  He was stingy.  His attitude influenced him to murder his brother Abel.  If you are stingy, then you do not love God and you do not love your neighbor as yourself.  Our neighbor is our fellow human being. (Luke 10:29-37)  Cain did not think he was his brother's keeper because he did not love God.  If you love God, then you are your brother's or fellow human being's keeper or protector.  If you do not love God, then God considers you a murderer.

"If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too." (1 John 4:20-21 CJB)

Whenever we offer a gift to God, it should cost us something.  Cain did not want to sacrifice the best for God.

"And the king said to Araunah, No, but I will give you a price for it; I will not give to the Lord my God burned offerings for which I have given nothing. So David got the grain-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.  And there David put up an altar to the Lord, making burned offerings and peace-offerings. So the Lord gave ear to his prayer for the land, and the disease came to an end in Israel." (2 Samuel 24:24-25 Bible in Basic English - BBE)

Cain vs. Abel was really the first war.  A war is a state of hostility & conflict and Cain was hostile toward Abel.  The cause of wars is explained by the following scriptures:

"What is the cause of wars and fighting among you? is it not in your desires which are at war in your bodies?  You are burning with desire, and have not your desire, so you put men to death; you are full of envy, and you are not able to get your desire, so you are fighting and making war; you have not your desire, because you do not make request for it.  You make your request but you do not get it, because your request has been wrongly made, desiring the thing only so that you may make use of it for your pleasure."  (James 4:1-3 Bible in Basic English - BBE)

God did not approve of Cain's offering but approved of Abel's offering.  This caused Cain to become envious, to hate Abel and to become hostile toward Abel.  This is what led to Abel's death.  Envy is feeling pain at the sight of excellence or righteous deeds; to be influenced to do evil because of the sight of excellence or righteous deedsCain desired for God to approve his unrighteous stingy offering.  He did not desire to offer the best of the grain offering.

This is serious.   To simplify, stinginess is linked with hate and can influence you to murder.  If you try to give as little as possible when you can give more, then you are stingy.  You are not stingy if you give all you can.  God does not desire to cause financial hardship by giving to Him or your fellow human being. (1 Timothy 5:8; Romans 13:8)  He desires for you to give what you have NOT what you do not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12-15)

"Anyone who claims to be in this light while hating his brother is still in the dark.  The person who keeps loving his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him that could make him trip.  But the person who hates his brother is in the dark — yes, he is walking in the dark, and he doesn't know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2:9-11 CJB)

"The eye is the lamp of the body.' So if you have a 'good eye' [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light; but if you have an 'evil eye' [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can't be a slave to both God and money."  (Matthew 6:22-24 CJB)

"That this ("having a good eye" means being generous and "having a bad eye" means being stingy - emphasis mine) is the correct interpretation is confirmed by the context, greed and anxiety about money being the topic in both preceding and following verses. This passage is another link in the chain of evidence that New Testament events took place in Hebrew . . . (Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern pg. 32)"

Cain was a slave to the devil.  He was of, ". . . that wicked one (Satan - emphasis mine)." (1 John 3:12)  He valued earthly possessions.  He did not value the creator of those possessions-Elohim.  Cain's attitude about giving caused him to hate his brother Abel, and to hate God.  The story of Cain is a warning to all of us We must learn not to be stingy and to give the best to God & our neighbor when we have it to give.   Remember, whenever we give to someone we are giving to God.  (Matthew 24:34-46)

"Don't withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it.  Don't tell your neighbor, "Go away! Come another time; I'll give it to you tomorrow," when you have it now."  (Proverbs 3:27-28 CJB)

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such "faith" able to save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, and someone says to him, 'Shalom! (Peace - emphasis mine) Keep warm and eat hearty!' without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.  But someone will say that you have faith and I have actions. Show me this faith of yours without the actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions!" (James 2:14-18 CJB)

"The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern." (Proverbs 29:7 CJB)

"Whoever stops up his ears at the cry of the poor will himself cry, but not be answered." (Proverbs 21:13 CJB)

What are Offerings?

According to The Complete WordStudy Dictionary, the Hebrew word used for offering is qorban or korban (kor-bawn') and it is used 80 times in the Old Testament.  The following information I learned from The Temple Its Ministry and Services by Alfred Edersheim.

For a more detailed study of the offerings, please refer to First Fruits of Zion's excellent Torah Club Volume 5 and The Temple Its Ministry and Services by Alfred Edersheim.  

Korban means, "in order to secure an audience, or to see the face of the superior, and find access to his presence . . . When the admittance has been secured and entrance has been obtained then the real offering or present has to be given" (The Companion Bible by E. W. Bullinger Appendixes 43, p. 36).  

Yeshua Messiah symbolizes all of these offerings & sacrifices.  They symbolize Him and His work for our benefit.  He is our burnt offering-"he is completely dedicated to God" (FirstFruits of Zion Torah Club Volume 5, p. 522).  He is our grain offering-"the bread of life" (p. 522).  He is our peace offering-"our peace & fellowship with God" (p. 522).  He is our sin & purification offering and He is our guilt offering-"repaying the debt that we cannot pay" (p. 522).  

God also accepts our sacrifices of prayer and charity as equivalent to the offerings given to the altar or table of God. (Hebrews 13:15-16; Acts 10:1-4; Philippians 4:14-19; Romans 12:1)  Ultimately, the sacrifices & offerings help encourage us to give to God, and to mankind.

The Sin & Guilt Offering was for unintentional sins only

The sin, trespass (or guilt) offering was for sins committed out of ignorance (Leviticus 4; Leviticus 7:7).  The sacrifices were created to clean and purify the physical body before Elohim.  They were not designed to clean and purify the mind of the remembrance of sin (Leviticus 4; Hebrews 9:9-14; Hebrews 10:1-4).  Intentional sins could not be atoned until the Messiah sacrificed His life for mankind.  Of course, for intentional sins to be wiped away, by the ultimate sacrifice of the Messiah, a human being must be willing to change his or her behavior (Hebrews 10:26-27; Luke 13:3, 5; Luke 3:7-9).  Additionally, the sacrifices were created to help human beings to understand they must share and give some of their possessions to Elohim and to mankind (Hebrews 13:15-16).  

Please understand for your offerings to be acceptable to Elohim, you must change your behavior (repent) from unrighteous to righteous works.

"HAVE MERCY upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment. [Rom. 3:4.]  Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful]. [John 3:6; Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3.] Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my guilt and iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice).  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise." (Psalm 51:1-15 Amplified Bible)

"For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering. [I Sam. 15:22.]  My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise. Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, justice, and right, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then bullocks will be offered upon Your altar." (Psalm 51:16-19 Amplified Bible)

"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD." (Psalm 4:5)

The physical sacrifices will resume in the future.  The future purpose of the physical sacrifices will not be for sins but to help mankind understand the tremendous sacrifice of the Messiah and why He had to die for mankind, the importance of giving and sharing; to purify the physical body to appear before Elohim (Hebrews 10:18-25; Malachi 3:1-4; Malachi 1:11; Isaiah 56:6-7).

Currently, we offer spiritual sacrifices and offerings.  The physical sacrifices point to spiritual sacrifices.  This is what the Messiah meant when He stated true believers would worship in spirit and in truth (Psalm 119:142) after the destruction of the temple (John 4:20-24).

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:15)

"Through him, therefore, let us offer God a sacrifice of praise continually.  For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge his name.  But don't forget doing good and sharing with others, for such sacrifices God is well pleased (Hebrews 13:15-16 CJB)."

"Share what you have with God's people, and practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13 CJB)

"I have been more than paid in full: I have been filled, since I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent — they are a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, one that pleases God well." (Philippians 4:18 CJB)

"Now there was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a captain of what was called the Italian Regiment, dedicated, and fearing Elohim with all his household, doing many kind deeds to the people, and praying to Elohim always. He clearly saw in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, a messenger of Elohim coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And looking intently at him, and becoming afraid, he said, “What is it, master?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your kind deeds have come up for a remembrance before Elohim." (Acts 10:1-4 CJB)

"And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4 CJB)

What are Firstfruits?

"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; (the produce or yield from the ground; a harvest or increase -  The Complete WordStudy Dictionary) then your barns (your bank accounts-most people don't have barns today in the world - emphasis mine) will be filled with plenty (the exact amount of something; a full stomach - The Complete WordStudy Dictionary), and your vats will be bursting with wine." (Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV)

The word "firstfruits" in the above scripture in Hebrew is ray-sheeth'.  It means first, in place, time, order or rank specifically a firstfruit (Strong's Concordance of the Bible).  Interestingly, in Genesis 1:1, the word "beginning" in Hebrew is ray-sheeth'.

"3:9 from the firstfruits of all that will come to you The Law required that the Israelites give the firstfruits of their harvest to Yahweh" (see Exod 23:16–19; Lev 23:10–11; Deut 26:2). (Faithlife Study Bible by Logos Software).

Yom HaBikkurim "was the first offering of the year.  It was the first of the firstfruits offered" (Israel's Feasts And Their Fullness by Batya Wootten, pg. 157).  It was a barley firstfruit offering.  "An omer/sheaf of barley begain the first fruits offerings in the Land" (Wotten, pg. 157 - Exodus 16:16; Leviticus 23:10; Joshua 5:10-12). 

". . . Minchah (The Grain Offering - emphasis mine), included, besides the meat and drink-offering, the first sheaf at the Passover, the two loaves at Pentecost, and the shewbread" (The Temple Its Ministry and Services by Alfred Edersheim, p. 77).

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits (ray-sheeth' - emphasis mine) of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete." (Leviticus 23:10-15) 

"On the morrow after the Sabbath" means Sunday.  For more information on how to properly count the days to Shavout (Pentecost), please go to the following webpage:  http://www.karaite-korner.org/shavuot.shtml

The Messiah represents the firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

Remember, Yeshua appeared to Mary Magdalene on Sunday and He stated the following to her:

"Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." (John 20:16-19)

Yeshua presented Himself to the Father as the firstfruits of the dead having a spiritual body.  He is the first of other firstfuits to inhabit a spiritual body  (James 1:18; Revelation 14:4).  Yeshua went to the house of the Lord (which is in heaven - John 14:1-3) when He was resurrected.

"The first (ray-sheeth) of the firstfruits (bikkuriym) of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God." (Exodus 23:19)

bikkûriym: A masculine plural noun meaning firstfruits. It refers to the yearly first gathering of the ripened produce of the land in honor of the fact that both the land and its produce belonged to the Lord. The produce was presented in a ritual (Exo_23:16, Exo_23:19) to the Lord in its harvested state or, in the case of some items, when the product had been properly prepared. The "day of the first fruits" or Pentecost is mentioned (Num_28:26). At this festival, "bread of the first fruits" was made from the newly harvested grain (Lev_23:20). Firstfruits were a part of the grain offering ritual (Lev_2:14; Lev_23:17, Lev_23:20) and a staple in the support of the priests (Eze_44:30). The word refers to Israel as the firstfruits of the Lord's harvest.  (The Complete WordStudy Dictionary)

Exodus 34:22

And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks,.... The feast of Pentecost, called the feast of weeks, because seven sabbaths or weeks, or fifty days, were to be reckoned . . . 

of the first fruits of wheat harvest, to distinguish it from the barley harvest, at the time of the passover, when a sheaf of barley was the wave offering to the Lord; but at this two loaves or cakes of fine wheaten flour were brought as the first fruits of the wheat harvest, see Lev_23:17. 

and the feast of ingathering at the year's end; which was the feast of tabernacles, called the feast of ingathering, because at this time all the fruits of the earth, the corn, wine, and oil, and all others were gathered in; and this was at the close of the old year, and at the beginning of the new, according to the ancient account, which made Tisri or September the first month in the year; See Gill on Exo_23:16. (John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

To simplify, the firstfruits of the barley harvest was presented during the time of Passover and the firstfruits of the wheat harvest was presented during the feast of Shavout or Pentecost.

"WHEN YOU have come into the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance and possess it and live in it, You shall take some of the first of all the produce of the soil which you harvest from the land the Lord your God gives you and put it in a basket, and go to the place [the sanctuary] which the Lord your God has chosen as the abiding place for His Name [and His Presence]. And you shall go to the priest who is in office in those days, and say to him, I give thanks this day to the Lord your God that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us. And the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall say before the Lord your God, A wandering and lost Aramean ready to perish was my father [Jacob], and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and numerous. And the Egyptians treated us very badly and afflicted us and laid upon us hard bondage. And when we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our [cruel] oppression; And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, and with great (awesome) power and with signs and with wonders; And He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And now, behold, I bring the firstfruits of the ground which You, O Lord, have given me. And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God; And you and the Levite and the stranger and the sojourner among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household." (Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Amplified Bible)

"1-11: The context is the Festival of Weeks (Shavout), when the Israelite was to make an annual pilgrimage to the central sanctuary, bringing the first fruits of the harvest, to thank God for the land's bounty"  (The Jewish Study Bible, p. 423).

"As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. We also placed ourselves under obligation to contribute yearly one third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: for the showbread, for the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.  Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites and the people so that they might bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers' households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law; and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the LORD annually, and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God.  We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns.  The priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse.  For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil to the chambers; there are the utensils of the sanctuary, the priests who are ministering, the gatekeepers and the singers. Thus we will not neglect the house of our God."  (Nehemiah 10:31-39 NASB)

" . . . and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar. On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served.  For they performed the worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon.  For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.  So all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah gave the portions due the singers and the gatekeepers as each day required, and set apart the consecrated portion for the Levites, and the Levites set apart the consecrated portion for the sons of Aaron." (Nehemiah 12:43-47 NASB)

18:4. The priests also receive the first products of the farmer and the herdsman, namely the first grain, wine, and oil and the first wool. Giving the first products to the priests is tantamount to giving them to God (see Num. 18:12–13). For the religious meaning of first products, see introductory Comment to 15:19–23, and see 26:1–11. Presumably the first products were normally brought during the pilgrimage festivals, though other times might also be permissible; according to the halakhah, any time was permissible from the Feast of Weeks through the Feast of Booths, and if necessary, as late as Hanukkah. (The JPS Torah Commentary)

The amount of the Biccurim was not fixed in the Divine Law, any more than of the wheat which was to be left in the corners of the fields in order to be gleaned by the poor.  But according to the Rabbis in both these cases one-sixtieth was to be considered as the minimum.  From Exod. 23:16 and Lev. 23:16, 17, it was argued the the Biccurim were not to be brought to Jerusalem before Pentecost; nor yet were they offered later than the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple (Hanukkah - emphasis mine) . . . 'a fine eye' (a liberal man) 'gives one-fortieth,' "an evil eye' (a covetous person) 'one-sixtieth,' while the average rate of contribution-'a middling eye'-was to give one-fiftieth, or two per cent.  The same proportion we may probably also set down as that of the Biccurim. (Edersheim, pp. 303-304)

Biccurim, Terumoth, and what was to be left in the 'corners' of the fields for the poor were always set apart before the tithing was made . . . Thus the prescribed religious contributions of every Jewish layman at the time of the second Temple were as follows:  Biccurim and Terumoth, say two per cent; from the 'first of the fleece,' at least five shekels' weight; from the 'first of the dough,' say four per cent.; 'corners of the fields' for the poor, say two per cent; the first, or Levitical tithe, ten per cent; the second, or festival tithe, to be used at the feasts in Jerusalem, and in the third and sixth years to be the 'poor's tithe,' ten per cent; the firstlings of all animals, either in kind or money-value; five shekels for every first-born son, provided he were the first child of his mother, and free of blemish; and the half-shekel of the Temple-tribute.  Together, these amounted to certainly more than the fourth of the return which an agricultural population would have.  And it is remarkable, that the Law seems to regard Israel as intended to be only an agricultural people-no contribution being provided from trade or merchandise.  Besides these prescribed, there were, of course, all manner of voluntary offerings, pious works, and, above all, the various sacrifices which each, according to this circumstances or piety, would bring in the Temple at Jerusalem. (Edersheim, p. 305)

terûmah (terumoth): A feminine noun meaning offering. This word comes from the verb rûm (H7311), meaning to be high or to lift up. The basic idea of this Hebrew noun is something being lifted up, i.e., an offering. It is normally used to describe a variety of offerings: a contribution of materials for building (Exo_25:2; Exo_35:5); an offering of an animal for sacrifice (Exo_29:27; Num_6:20); a financial offering for the priests (Num_31:52); an allotment of land for the priests (Eze_45:6-7); or even the materials for an idol (Isa_40:20). In one instance, this word is used to describe a ruler who received bribes (Pro_29:4).  (The Complete WordStudy Dictionary)

When should we give?

Numbers 28 & 29 is a more detailed description of Leviticus 23.  Notice that each offering involves a grain (meat) offering and a drink offering.  The grain offering was given to the priests to consume.  Elohim required sacrifices and offerings at the following moedim (appointed times).

Note:  The above listing is from First Fruits of Zion's Torah Club 5.

We can't give physical sacrifices as described in Numbers 28 & 29 because there is no temple.  However, the book of Hebrews 13:15-16; Psalms 27:6; 50:14, 23; 51:17; 107:22 reveals the sacrifices can represent the following (Jewish Annotated New Testament, p. 425):

We should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  We should sing songs designed to help us worship Elohim continuously in our minds and by moving our mouths-it is a form of praise (Hebrews 13:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).  We should always look for opportunities to give to those who are in need (Galatians 6:9-10; Job 29:16).  Ultimately, the sacrifices and offerings were created to help mankind understand how to give and share with each other; to Elohim.

 

We should pray and sing every day.  We should give physical items (food, clothes and money) and serve (examples:  visiting the sick, helping someone find a job, praying for someone, giving valuable information to help someone, giving money    . . . etc.) whenever we can to everyone especially believers.  Based on Numbers 28 & 29, we should give at the appointed times listed.

 

"It is good to give charity before praying. - Shulkhan Arukh, Orakh Chayim 92:10" (Jewish Wisdom 1994 edition, p. 17 by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin).

 

"A person who gives a thousand gold pieces to a worthy person is not as generous as one who gives a thousand gold pieces on a thousand different occasions, each to a worthy cause - Anonymous; sixteenth century Orhot Zaddikim (The Ways of the Righteous) - (Telushkin, p. 17)."

 

The author assumes, correctly I believe, that the very act of giving habitually, rather than sporadically and impulsively, accustoms one to become more generous.  That is why it has long been a custom, still observed by many Jews, to have children put money into charity boxes every Friday afternoon just before the Sabbath. (Telushkin, p. 17)

"The merit of fasting is the chraity [dispensed] - Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 6b (Telushkin, p. 17)."

 

In his commentary on the Talmud, a medieval scholar, the Maharsha, explains that before a fast, it was customary for people to dispense as charity the amount of money they would save by not eating (see also Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 35a).  Unfortunately, this beautiful custom is unknown among most modern Jews; it should be revived. (Telushkin, pp. 17-18)

Interestingly, in Matthew 6:1-18, Yeshua first talks about charity (Tzedakah) then prayer & fasting. 

What is net worth?

Net worth is your wealth. You produce a net worth by subtracting your debt from your assets (property or materials with monetary value).  To simplify, net worth is the money you should save from your net income. Unfortunately, many people work, and do not have a net worth.

"Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it a time for you to be living in roofed houses while this house (the physical - located in Jerusalem & the spiritual house of God/the community of believers - emphasis mine) is a waste? For this cause the Lord of armies has said, Give thought to your ways.  Much has been planted, but little got in; you take food, but have not enough; you take drink, but are not full; you are clothed, but no one is warm; and he who gets payment for his work, gets it to put it into a bag full of holes.   This is what the Lord of armies has said: Give thought to your ways.  Go up to the hills and get wood and put up the house; and I will take pleasure in it and be honoured, says the Lord.  You were looking for much, and it came to little; and when you got it into your house, I took it away with a breath. Why? says the Lord of armies. Because of my house which is a waste, while every man takes care of the house which is his.  For this cause the heaven over you is kept from giving dew, and the earth from giving her fruit.  And by my order no rain came on the land or on the mountains or the grain or the wine or the oil or the produce of the earth or on men or cattle or on any work of man's hands."  (Haggi 1:3-11 BBE)

When the 1st temple of God was built under King Solomon, the whole world was drawn to the temple of God.  King Solomon's rule is a type of the rule Yeshua Messiah will provide when He comes back to rule the world.  (1 Kings 4:24-34; 10:23-25; 2 Chronicles 8:16; 9:22-24; Psalm 72; Isaiah 2:1-4; 56:7)

Currently, the physical & spiritual house of God lies in waste.  Since 1967, the Jews have refused to rebuild the physical temple in Jerusalem.  Yet, there are signs the temple will be rebuilt (please refer to the following website for more information:  http://www.templeinstitute.org).  For prophecy to be fulfilled, there must be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.  (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; Revelation 11:1-2; Isaiah 2:1-3; 66:1; Malachi 3:1-2)

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." (Proverbs 29:2)

You should strive to save the rest of your increase after you tithe.  However, you should be very careful not to act like the rich fool (Luke 12:15-21).  Our focus is to build TREASURE IN HEAVEN by giving, sharing and caring (Luke 12:33-34; 18:22).  We should accumulate a net worth for family & personal emergency purposes and to distribute to those who are need (1 Timothy 5:8; 6:17-19).

Business & Necessary Living Expenses for Survival

The cost of living in the 1st century does not compare to the cost of living in the 21st century.  What does a human being need to generate food today?  The necessities of life in the 21st century to consistently obtain food & clothes are the following:

All of the items are necessary to function in a 21st century society in the United States.  In other parts of the world, the above list will be different.  To simplify, whatever related expenses that are necessary to generate food is also considered necessary for survival.   

After giving our 1st tithe and offerings to God and saving another tithe for the festivals and for giving to the poor in the 3rd and 6th year of the seven year cycle, we must make sure we take care of our necessary living expenses for survival (1 Timothy 5:8).

Business expenses are expenses that are necessary to operate a business and living expenses are expenses that are absolutely necessary to continue to work so you can consistently generate money.  Examples of living expenses are the following:

What if tithing from your net income is difficult?

If tithing from your net income from your paychecks or from your business will prevent you from paying for your necessary living expenses for survival, then you should strive to get out of debt (Romans 13:8; Deuteronomy 15:1-2).  This could mean eliminating the following:

Your decision to eliminate the above items is something you have to decide for yourself with help from God.  God requires we each become a living sacrifice like Messiah.  (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 5:1-2)

You should do all you can to increase your income and reduce & eliminate your debt so you can consistently give monies to those who are in need. (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Proverbs 24:3; Ephesians 4:28; Romans 13:8)  Please utilize the following information that can assist you in increasing your income, and reducing your debt.

Two Tithes for three different purposes

To summarize, we tithe our net income to give to Torah teachers throughout the year. To attend the festivals, we should tithe our net income again. This is called the 2nd tithe. During the festivals, we are commanded to share our tithes & offerings with the entire community including the Torah teachers.  During the third year and sixth year of the 7 year cycle, the 2nd tithe becomes the Poor Man's Tithe and we are commanded to distribute this tithe to the widow, stranger, fatherless and the Torah teachers/ministers in our communities.

The Bible was written in the context of an agrarian society

We must remember prior to the year 1800, society was mostly agrarian.  The old nation of Israel in Biblical times was agrarian.  What is an agrarian society?

"An agrarian society (or agricultural society) is any society whose economy is based on producing and maintaining crops and farmland. Another way to define an agrarian society is by seeing how much of a nation’s total production is in agriculture. In an agrarian society cultivating the land is the primary source of wealth. Such a society may acknowledge other means of livelihood and work habits but stresses the importance of agriculture and farming." (Agrarian society by Wikepdia.org)

When reading and studying the scriptures related to tithing, we must understand those scriptures in the context of a society that depends on cultivating the land as the primary source of wealth. In the 21st century, cultivating (preparing and using for crops or gardening-till, plow, dig, hoe, farm, work, fertilize, mulch, weed) the land is certainly not the primary source of wealth.  So, we observe the tithing law based on the type of wealth that is generated in the 21st century.  The wealth that is generated in the 21st century mostly consists of money and physical assets like real estate.  So, we tithe money or convert our physical assets into money and tithe.

"Tithing one's possessions was a very ancient custom, existing as early as the time of the Patriarchs. Abraham gave Melchizedek "tithes of all" (Gen. xiv. 20); and Jacob made a vow that if he should return to his father's house in safety he would acknowledge Yhwh as his Lord and would give Him a tenth of everything he possessed (ib. xxviii. 20-22). Later the Mosaic law made the tithe obligatory upon the Israelites. The tithe, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, belonged to Yhwh and consequently was holy. It was redeemable by "adding thereto the fifth part thereof." The tithe of cattle, however, was not redeemable; and if one beast was exchanged for another both became holy unto the Lord. The method of levying the tithe of cattle is indicated: they were counted singly; and every tenth one that passed under the rod became the tithe animal (Lev. xxvii. 30-33).

The Shmita

Based on God's Biblical Calendar, there is a 7 shmita year cycle.  During this 7 shmita year cycle, God expects His people to consistently give to those in need (Widows, Strangers, Fatherless, the Poor & Levites).  

"Judaism has several different "new years," a concept which may seem strange at first, but think of it this way: the American "new year" starts in January, but the new "school year" starts in September, and many businesses have "fiscal years" that start at various times of the year. In Judaism, Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar, Elul 1 (in August) is the new year for the tithing of animals, Shevat 15 (in February) is the new year for trees (determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc.), and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) is the new year for years (when we increase the year number. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time)." (Judiasm 101 - Rosh Hashanah)

"MISHNA I.: There are four New Year days, viz.: The first of Nissan is New Year for (the ascension of) Kings and for (the regular rotation of) festivals; 1 the first of Elul is New Year for the cattle-tithe, 2 but according to R. Eliezer and R. Simeon, it is on the first of Tishri. The first of Tishri is New Year's day, for ordinary years, and for sabbatic years 3 and jubilees; and also for the planting of trees 4 and for herbs. 5 On the first day of Shebhat is the New Year for trees, 6 according to the school of Shammai; but the school of Hillel says it is on the fifteenth of the same month." (The Jewish Virtual Library - Tractate Rosh Hashana:  Chapter 1)

Summary of the Jewish new years:

To find out why the new year for months begins in the spring instead of the fall (the Jewish new year) or in January (according to the Christian Gregorian calendar that most of the world goes by), please go to the following website:  http://www.aroodawakening.tv/us/biblical-hebrew-calendar 

To understand how we calculate exactly when the 1st Biblical month of a new year begins, go to the following websites:

We suggest you go to the following website to understand what the New Moon is:  http://www.karaite-korner.org/new_moon.shtml

If you can give more, then you should.  And, you should always look for ways to help the poor. (Proverbs 29:7; Psalm 82:2-4; Proverbs 3:27-28; Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22; Job 29:16; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17)  You should not wait for the 3rd and 6th year of the 7 year cycle to do it.

The Shmita year (the 7th year) is the year of release.  It is a year to discharge debts and to rest the land  (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:20-22; Deuteronomy 15:1-2)  In today's modern society it is very difficult for farmers to allow the land to rest for a whole year.  There is a possibility world conditions can change so much the land will rest the 7th year as God intended.  This part of the Sabbath law will be fully restored in the future. 

During the Shmita year, there is no tithing for people who depend on the land as the primary source of wealth because there is no increase for farmers during the Shmita year.  For those who are not farmers, there is increase because you are generating income from other sources.  

God expects us to be generous to the poor during the 7th year:

"For six years, you are to sow your land with seed and gather in its harvest. But the seventh year, you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people can eat; and what they leave, the wild animals in the countryside can eat. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove." (Exodus 23:10-11 CJB)

"Don't withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it.  Don't tell your neighbor, "Go away! Come another time; I'll give it to you tomorrow," when you have it now." (Proverbs 3:27-28 CJB)

7 Year Cycle

 Year  Tithe (10%)
1st

 

Tithe for Levite & Tithe for the Feasts (20% of Net Income) 

Year 3 of living from the 3 year supply

2nd  Tithe for Levite & Tithe for the Feasts (20% of Net Income)

 

3rd Tithe for Levite & Poor Man's Tithe  (20% of Net Income)

Money for the Feasts is supplied & saved by living off of the 1st & 3rd year of the 3 year supply  

4th Tithe for the Levite & for the Feasts (20% of Net Income)
5th  Tithe for the Levite & for the Feasts (20% of Net Income)
6th Tithe for the Levite & Poor Man's Tithe (20% of Net Income)

God will bless you with enough substance to last for 3 years 

Year 1 of living from the 3 year supply

7th No tithing for Farmers and for those who depend on the land as the primary source of wealth - Year of Releasing Debts 

Year 2 of living from the 3 year supply

 

Tithing mentioned in the Bible 

Support the Merciful Servants of God

God raised Torah teachers to teach His people the scriptures (2 Chronicles 31:4; 35:3; Malachi 2:4-7; Nehemiah 8; Matthew 23:24; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:26-40; Romans 10:14-17; Ephesians 4:11-24). 

"Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth." (Deuteronomy 12:19)

"The leaders who lead well should be considered worthy of double honor, especially those working hard at communicating the Word and at teaching. For the Tanakh says, "You are not to muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," in other words, 'The worker deserves his wages.' " (1 Timothy 5:17-18 CJB; Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14-15)

"But whoever is being instructed in the Word should share all the good things he has with his instructor."  (Galatians 6:6 CJB)

Your tithes/charity/tzedakah (za da kah)/almsgiving & offerings will help pay for the basic necessities:

We do not believe in becoming a 501(c)3 organization because it is not required to accept contributions and gifts.  Please review IRS publication 557 Tax Exempt Status For Your Organization.  We are encouraging you to give because God commands you to give to His servants who teach you His written words.  (1 Corinthians 9:11-14; Galatians 6:6 Complete Jewish Bible - CJB)  We are not encouraging you to give because you will receive a tax deduction, book, CD or DVD teaching.  

If you desire to give to us because God commands you support those that teach you His written words; if you realize He will repay you back and if you realize you are building treasure in heaven by giving (Luke 12:33; Luke 14:12-14; Proverbs 19:17), then we welcome your generosity. 

God commands us to give and none of His commandments are grievous (1 John 5:3).  God's way of giving is not grievous.  It is very fair, and does not require you to cause personal or family financial problems, increase your debt & file bankruptcy to help someone in need (Mark 7:9-13; Mark 12:38-40; 2 Corinthians 8:12-15; 1 Timothy 5:8; Romans 13:8).  Yet, God does command us to give whether we are rich or poor to those in need (Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 8:2-4).  

We do not encourage you to use credit cards when you give to us.  We do not want you to increase your debt by giving to us (Romans 13:8).  We suggest you use a debit card by clicking the "Donate" PayPal button below, transfer funds from your checking account by getting a PayPal account.

"The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world." (James 1:27 CJB)

We are not a 501(c)3 Church or Religious Organization that is associated with the Federal or State government of this world. However, we appreciate any tithes, offerings or donations you are willing to give to this work.