Introduction: Last week we discussed that salvation is free,
but God presents challenges for us to receive special
blessings. We began a discussion about the tithing blessing.
This week we do a deep dive into the subject of tithing.
What does God expect of us? What are the opportunities that
it presents? Is tithing a moot issue? What does the Bible
really teach about tithing for Christians? Let’s dive into
our study of the Bible and learn more!

I. Tithe Timeframe

A. Genesis chapter 14 records a large battle among
nine kings in the area in which Lot, nephew of
Abraham, lived. Lot was swept up in the battle and
taken captive, along with all of his property.
Abraham heard of this tragedy and using his
standing army (yes, he had a small army), defeated
the kings who captured Lot, and recovered not only
Lot’s belongings, but the belongings of a lot of
other people. Let’s read Hebrews 7:1-2. Who did
Abraham meet when he was returning from his battle
victory? (Melchizedek, King of Salem and Priest of
the Most High God.)

1. What is unusual about the job descriptions of
Melchizdek? (He was both a priest and a king.
God never combined the position of king with
the position of priest in the Old Testament.)

B. Read Hebrews 7:3. How does the writer of Hebrews
explain this odd situation? (He says that
Melchizdek resembles Jesus. Jesus is both our King
and our High Priest.)

C. Read Hebrews 7:4-6. Our focus is not on God’s view
of the relationship between church and state, but
rather the tithe. Why did Abraham pay Melchizdek a
tithe? (Melchizedek was a “priest of the Most High
God” (Hebrews 7:1), and He blessed Abraham.
Hebrews 7:6.)

1. Is there any indication that Melchizedek, in
his position as King of Salem, helped Abraham
win the battle? (No. If you review Genesis 14
the King of Salem was not a combatant.
Instead, he showed up with wine and bread to
meet Abraham after the battle. Genesis 14:17-
18. Sounds like he created a picnic!)

a. Does this remind you of Communion?

D. Look again at Hebrews 7:6. What does this teach us
about tithing outside of the Levitical system set
up by Moses? (This verse and its context show that
tithe-paying existed independent of the tribal
system of God’s people in the Old Testament.)

1. This speaks to a major criticism of tithe-
paying today. Last week I pointed out in our
discussion of Malachi 3 that the temple system
and the “storehouse” (Malachi 3:10), were
destroyed, and the Levitical priesthood no
longer existed. Does tithe-paying stand apart
from the Old Testament temple and priesthood
system? (It does.)

2. Consider a practical question. Abraham was
between 75 and 100 years-old when he met
Melchizedek. There is no record of Abraham
previously paying tithe, and this tithe-paying
is not on Abraham’s earnings (see, Deuteronomy
14:22), but rather the spoils that he won in
battle. See Hebrews 7:4. What should we
conclude from this? (This is clearly a
different system of tithe. Melchizekek is a
type of Jesus, thus this strongly suggests
that outside of the Old Testament system
Christians have some type of tithing
obligation to Jesus.)

E. In Genesis chapter 28 we find Jacob (the grandson
of Abraham)fleeing from his brother Esau because
of Jacob’s fraud. He heads to the house of his
Uncle Laban when he receives a dream from God
making the same promise to him as was given to
Abraham. Read Genesis 28:16-18. Does Jacob
consider this to be a significant event in his
life? (Yes, because he marks it with a stone

F. Read Genesis 28:20-22. Is this tithing offer like
the situation with Abraham or the Levitical tithe?

1. What is different? (He places conditions on
his tithe-paying. God is required to do
certain things before Jacob will give back a
“full tenth” “of all that you give me.”)

2. Does it appear that Jacob paid tithe before
this? (Between the time of Abraham and
Melchizedek and this story with Jacob there is
no mention of tithing. An argument based on
absence is weak. But, Jacob’s words strongly
suggest he has not been tithing, but that he
knows about the idea.)

3. Who is Jacob going to be paying his tithe to
since Levite was his future son? (Genesis
28:22 simply says he is giving it to God.)

4. How old was Jacob when he made this
conditional promise? (I read a detailed
analysis indicating that he could not have
been more than 63 years-old.)

5. What do you think sparked his tithe offer? (He
prized a relationship with God. He spoke of
tithe in the context of being blessed.)

G. The examples of Abraham and Jacob show us that
tithe-paying existed outside of the system set up
by Moses for the support of the priestly tribe.
That tithe, however, had significant differences.
What is the central similarity between these
tithing systems? (The first is the amount. All
involve a 10% payment. The second is that they all
are tied to God’s blessings. Tithing is about
being blessed!)

II. The Storehouse

A. Read Deuteronomy 12:5-6. Did the Temple storehouse
exist as this time? (No. This directive is well
before the Temple was built. In fact, the people
had not yet crossed over the Jordan into the
promised land. See, Deuteronomy 12:10.)

1. Where are the people supposed to bring their
tithes and offerings? (The place that God
“will choose … to put His Name and make His
habitation there.”)

2. I belong to a church which has a uniform
system of payments to pastors and teachers.
Everyone is paid according to a central scale,
and their pay is not based on the wealth of
the local church. Is paying to that
“storehouse” a reasonable interpretation of
the instruction to pay where God “has put His

B. Read Numbers 18:21. For what purpose was the tithe
given? (To pay the Levites who served “in the tent
of meeting.” The payment to the Levites preceded
the existence of the Temple.)

C. Read Deuteronomy 12:8-9. What were the people
doing with their tithes before they entered the
promised land? (The were doing whatever they
thought was right.)

1. Does this text suggest that this is a good or
bad thing?

III. The Tithe Today

A. Read 1 Corinthians 9:6-7. What point is Paul
making about gospel workers? (If you are working
to advance the Kingdom of God, you should be paid
for it.)

B. Read 1 Corinthians 9:8-10. To what does Paul
appeal for his argument that Christian ministers
should be supported by their congregation? (He
refers to “the Law of Moses.”)

1. Which Law of Moses? (Deuteronomy 25:4, which
refers to letting oxen eat.)

2. Why, of all things, would Paul refer to the
law about supporting oxen and not the law
about tithing?

C. Read 1 Corinthians 9:11-13. What Law of Moses is
referred to here? (This is a reference to the
Levitical system of tithing.)

D. Read 1 Corinthians 9:14. What does this tell us
about God’s system for supporting His gospel
workers? (Paul calls it a “command” that we
support our spiritual leaders.)

1. Let’s look at that command which we can read
in Luke 10:7. Who sets the wages? (The

E. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. How much does this say
should be given? (Whatever “he has decided in his

1. Is this an amount to support the ministry? (If
you look at the entire chapter, 2 Corinthians
9, you will find this is help to other
Christians, and not supporting ministers. This
is like a free-will offering, rather than

F. Friend, consider your obligations to support the
work of God. If you are generous with God, He will
be generous with you!

IV. Next week: Offerings for Jesus.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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Holy Spirit as you study.