- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: No
- Included in Naves: No
- Included in Smiths: No
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: Yes
A tenth of the produce of the earth consecrated and set apart for special purposes. The dedication of a tenth to God was recognized as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:6); and Jacob vowed unto the Lord and said, "Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
The first Mosaic law on this subject is recorded in Leviticus 27:30-32. Subsequent legislation regulated the destination of the tithes (Numbers 18:21-24, 26-28; Deuteronomy 12:5, 6, 11, 17; 14:22, 23). The paying of the tithes was an important part of the Jewish religious worship. In the days of Hezekiah one of the first results of the reformation of religion was the eagerness with which the people brought in their tithes (2 Chronicles 31:5, 6). The neglect of this duty was sternly rebuked by the prophets (Amos 4:4; Malachi 3:8-10). It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14); and if, as is the case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians outght to go beyond the ancient Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.
Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three tithes of his property (1) one tithe for the Levites; (2) one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and (3) one for the poor of the land.
TITHE, noun The tenth part of any thing; but appropriately, the tenth part of the increase annually arising from the profits of land and stock, allotted to the clergy for their support. Tithes are personal, predial, or mixed; personal, when accruing from labor, art, trade and navigation; predial, when issuing from the earth, as hay, wood and fruit; and mixed, when accruing from beasts, which are fed from the ground.
TITHE, verb transitive To levy a tenth part on; to tax to the amount of a tenth.
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase. Deuteronomy 26:12.
Ye tithe mint and rue. Luke 11:42.
TITHE, verb intransitive To pay tithes.
the proportion of property devoted to religious uses from very early times. Instances of the use of tithes are found prior to the appointment of the Levitical tithes under the law. In biblical history the two prominent instances are
- Abram presenting the tenth of all his property, or rather of the spoils of his victory, to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:2,6)
- Jacob, after his vision at Luz, devoting a tenth of all his property to God in case he should return home in safety (Genesis 28:22) The first enactment of the law in respect of tithe is the declaration that the tenth of all produce, as well as of flocks and cattle belongs to Jehovah and must be offered to him that the tithe was to be paid in kind, or, if redeemed, with an addition of one fifth to its value. (Leviticus 27:30-33) This tenth is ordered to be assigned to the Levites as the reward of their service, and it is ordered further that they are themselves to dedicate to the Lord a tenth of these receipts, which is to be devoted to the maintenance of the high priest. (Numbers 18:21-28) This legislation is modified or extended in the book of Deuteronomy, i.e. from thirty-eight to forty years later. Commands are given to the people
- To bring their tithes, together with their votive and other offerings and first-fruits, to the chosen centre of worship, the metropolis, there to be eaten in festive celebration in company with their children their servants and the Levites. (12:5-18)
- All the produce of the soil was to be tithed every and these tithes with the firstlings of the flock and herd, were to be eaten in the metropolis.
- But in case of distance, permission is given to convert the produce into money, which is to be taken to the appointed place, and there laid out in the purchase of food for a festal celebration, in which the Levite is, by special command, to be included. (14:22-27)
- Then follows the direction that at the end of three years all the tithe of that year is to be gathered and laid up "within the gates" and that a festival is to be held of which the stranger, the fatherless and the widow together with the Levite, are to partake. Ibid. (5:28,29)
- Lastly it is ordered that after taking the tithe in each third year, "which is the year of tithing," an exculpatory declaration is to be made by every Isr'lite that he has done his best to fulfill the divine command, (26:12-14) From all this we gather
(1) That one tenth of the whole produce of the soil was to be assigned for the maintenance of the Levites. (2) That out of this the Levites were to dedicate a tenth to God for the use of the high priest. (3) That a tithe, in all probability a second tithe, was to be applied to festival purposes. (4) That in every third year, either this festival tithe or a third tenth was to be eaten in company with the poor and the Levites. (These tithes in early times took the place of our modern taxes, us well as of gifts for the support of religious institutions.
TI'THED, participle passive Taxed a tenth.
TI'THE-FREE, adjective Exempt from the payment of tithes.
TI'THE-PAYING, adjective Paying tithes; subjected to pay tithes.
TI'THER, noun One who collects tithes.
Jacob vows a tenth of all his property to God
Payment of, resumed in Hezekiah's reign
2 Chronicles 31:5-10