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pays tithes ?" and if a man reply, “ I am not considered trustworthy, but such and such a one is,” the stranger may believe him.
Section 7 states : If two donkey-drivers enter a town and one of them says, “My fruits have not been tithed, but my companion's have,” one ought not to take his word [because his testimony may be given by collusion].
Chapter V.' says that he who buys bread from 1 Sects. 4, 5, 8. a retail bread-seller ought to tithe each loaf. Again, he who buys from a poor man, or even a poor man himself who shall have received pieces of bread or fragments of fig-cake, ought to tithe each piece separately; but in the case of dates or figs the portion due may be taken collectively.
He who buys from two places different products which have been declared untithed may levy from one purchase so much as will suffice for the other ; but notwithstanding this, it is well understood that a man ought not to sell untithed products, except in case of urgent necessity.
A man may use corn bought from an Israelite 8 Sect. 9. to redeem corn purchased from a Gentile; or even corn from an Ethiopian to redeem that of an Israelite ; or corn of an Israelite to redeem that of a Samaritan ; and similarly that of one Samaritan to redeem corn from another Samaritan, though Rabbi Eliezer condemns this last case.
Chapter VI.' lays down, that he who farms a field S Sects. 1,4,8 11. for a percentage of the crop, be it from an Israelite, Samaritan, or Gentile, should divide the harvest in the presence of the landlord (without tithing];
but the tenant who farms under an Israelite ought to levy, before everything, the priestly portion. Again, if any one sell fruits in Syria, saying that they come from Palestine, the buyer pays tithe.
It would be easy to continue these curious and interesting extracts from others of the fifty-three sections into which the seven chapters of the book on the demai tithe is divided, and the inquiry might be extended (with a view to considering rabbinic beneficence generally) to such books as that on Peah, or the corners of the field to be left for the poor ; on Terumoth, or tribute from the crop due to the priests; and on Bikkurim, or firstfruits ; but enough, perhaps, has now been presented from the Talmud to illustrate the character of its byelaws, and to afford us various items of information concerning tithe-paying as practised during the period we are considering.
The Talmud clearly recognizes the first Levitical tithe; the second or festival tithe ; the third or poor's tithe ; and also appears to add a fourth or supplementary tithe of a tithe—that is, a levy of i per cent., for the priests, in certain cases which the Pentateuch left open to doubt.
The minuteness with which these bye-laws are elaborated, indicates the standard set before religious Jews who desired to live up to the traditional requirements of their law; from which requirements, moreover, no class of society seems to have been held exempt, tithe-paying being thereby brought to bear on the daily life not only of the affluent and well-to-do, but of the labourer who weeded
onions, the errand-boy sent to market, and the man who asked his mother-in-law to cook fruit. Of course, it may be urged
may be urged that some of the minute requirements previously mentioned are of a later date, because internal evidence connected with certain of the rules points to their belonging to the time of the Roman domination of Palestine ; but it is highly probable that a larger number of the rules were of
very When we consider that the whole of what is written in the Pentateuch concerning tithes is comprised in a few verses, it will be seen at once that so soon as the laws on tithe came to be put in force, a number of questions would be immediately raised as to how the law was to be carried out; such, for instance, as to what particular seeds, fruits, or animals were to be tithed; the age at which animals and products were to become tithable; how far products of trifling value were to be disregarded, to what extent products of the second tithe might be consumed on the way to the ecclesiastical capital ; and many others.
Unless we are to imagine that every man was left to do as he pleased (which would mean confusion), it is reasonable to suppose that such questions would in the first place be referred for determination to Joshua, to the seventy elders, or to other competent authority. Such decisions, with other additions as time went on, would naturally be handed down by the priests and Levites, who, if only because their bread partly depended thereon, would be interested in preserving them; and thus
many of the decrees and traditions embodied in the Mishna may well have passed down as unwritten rules to the days not long before the Christian era, when these traditions were committed to writing, thus serving as the basis for their arrangement in the form we have them now.
These extracts, at all events, may suffice to show that during the period between the Old and New Testaments the practice of tithe-paying was in full force, and carried out by many with a minuteness and conscientiousness such as cannot be traced in the Pentateuch or in the after history of Israel as exhibited in the remaining books of the Old Testament.
There is, moreover, another and more important consideration to Christians, which adds greatly to the value of the evidence here collected, in that we trace in the Talmud what was considered the standard of tithe-paying and religious beneficence, and what was received and practised among the Jews in Palestine when Christianity appeared ; and consequently what probably was thought and practised by most, if not all, of those Jews who became the first heralds of the Cross.
CHRIST'S ATTITUDE AND EXAMPLE AS TO
Jews, in the time of Christ, ruled by Gentiles, 105.-Tithing among
the Romans, Samaritans, and Palestine Jews, 106.-Essenes, Sadducees, and Pharisees, 107.-The Pharisees, tithe-payers par excellence, and how admitted to membership, 108.Varieties of Pharisees, and our Lord's attitude towards them, 108.—Prevalence of tithe-paying, and impossibility of indifference thereto, 109.—Christ not regarded as uninstructed,” 110. -His teaching respected and consulted by the learned, 111.Christ entertained by Pharisees and not accused of withholding dues, 112.-His parents scrupulous in legal observances on His behalf, 113.-Christ's observance of the law and payment of temple money, 114.–Our Lord's purse, and its tripartite expenditure, 115.
E proceed in this, and the next chapter, to
consider Jewish tithe-paying and religious beneficence as they were received and practised in the days of Jesus Christ; together with His example and teaching thereon.
During our Lord's ministry the population of Palestine, like that of India to-day, was ruled by Europeans, who were of a different religion from that of the natives. Tithe-paying, as aware, was well known to the Romans, and among this ruling class, we occasionally read of liberal