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1 Mal. iii. 8.
That from this tithing no produce of land, or increase of herd or flock, is excepted.
That the offerer had no voice in its disposal.
That though it was called a heave offering, the offerer did not receive any of it back again.
That this tithe was not an amount that might be diminished, or an alms that the owner might render or not as he pleased, but a divine claim, the withholding of which was regarded by God as dishonesty.
It may further be noted concerning this first tithe that the Levites, to whom it was given by God, were required by Him to render a tenth of what they received as a heave offering to Jehovah, and to pay it to Aaron the priest.®
“When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up a heave offering of it for the Lord, a tithe of the tithe. And your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshing-floor, and as the fulness of the winepress. Thus ye also shall offer a heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel ; and thereof ye shall give the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest.”
We now proceed to a second tithe, which reads 3 Deut. xiv. 2a-9. thus : 3
% Num. xviii. 26-8.
“Thou shalt surely tithe all the increase of thy seed, that which cometh forth of the field year by year.
And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herd and of thy flock; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way
be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it, because the place is too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set His name there, when the Lord thy God shall bless thee: then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: and thou shalt bestow the money for whatsoever thy soul desireth, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul asketh of thee: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou and thy household : and the Levite that is within thy gates."
Concerning the second tithe, we seem to learn :
That it consisted of the yearly increase of the land.
That it was to be eaten by the offerer, his household, and the Levite, with firstlings of herd and flock, but only at the appointed place of worship.
The object of this was that Israel might always fear Jehovah.
This tithe might be converted at home into money, to be expended at the capital for sacrifices and feasting
The tithe-payer was to eat and rejoice before God.
The due payment of this second tithe involved a stay of at least a week each at the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as a shorter period at the Feast of Weeks.1
It will help us better to understand this second, or festival tithe, as it is sometimes called, if we consider the end it was to serve. All the males in Israel (with their families, if they chose) were to
assemble at the sanctuary three times a year for 1 Deut. xii. 6-7. the worship of God.'
“And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock : and there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households."
., , Smith, vol. xxi. 132.
The primary end, therefore, of the festivals was to foster religious principles and to furnish a time and place for social observances and the offering of sacrifices, all being done in recognition of God's bounty, and as acts of fealty and worship to Him.
Now, in all nations, the main idea of a sacrifice has Encyclopædia been that of a meal offered to a deity. In some by W. Robertson cases the meal was made over entirely to the god;
but more commonly the sacrifice was a feast, of which the god and the worshippers were supposed to partake together. In other words, the offering rendered, whether animal or vegetable, was sometimes wholly burnt; at others, was consumed partly by fire and partly by the priest ; or, once more, part was burnt, part was taken by the priest, and a part returned to the offerer.
So, if an Israelite sinned, his appointed way to forgiveness was by sacrifice; and if he had vows to redeem, or thanksgivings to make, all involved the presentation of sacrifice. But this and other sacrifices were not to be offered in just any place the worshipper chose, but must be taken to the ecclesiastical capital, such as was afterwards estab
eut. xii. 17-18.
lished at the resting-places of the Ark, as in Shiloh, and in Jerusalem.
Speaking generally, the Jewish sacrifices partook more or less of the nature of expiation (for sin committed), of dedication (when seeking a favour), or of thanksgiving (for favour received); and according to the intention of the offerer was the kind of sacrifice presented.
In the case of the burnt offering proper, the priest took the skin, but all else was consumed by fire." 1 Lev. vii. 8. In the case of the sin offering, the trespass offering, and the meat (or meal) offering, that which was not burnt was for the officiating priest, or the priests generally ;' whilst, in the case of the peace offering, vil.com the breast and right shoulder only belonged to the priests, and the remainder might be consumed by the offerer.*
Thus the Israelite would have the opportunity of eating and rejoicing before God, and feasting with his household ; and the second, or festival, tithe, was intended to furnish the means for doing this.
Furthermore, if the first and second tithes be compared, it will be seen, by way of distinction, that whereas the offerer had no voice whatever in
% Lev. v. 2-10,
* I remember how these distinctions were practically brought home to my mind in India at Jaipur, where, at the daily sacrifice, I saw a goat decapitated before a Hindu altar. The head was placed on the altar, curtains were drawn, and the god was supposed to be left to partake of the meal in some mysterious way. Again, in Calcutta, as I approached the temple of Kali, I saw a man carrying the headless carcase of a goat, which he had just offered in sacrifice, the head having been taken by the priest, and the offerer being at liberty to dispose of the carcase as he pleased.
1 Deut. xiv. 28-9.
the disposal of the first tithe, the disposal of the second tithe was largely in his own hands; and that whereas the offerer did not receive again any portion for himself of the first tithe, he might receive in some cases the greater part of the second tithe for his own use, or purposes, as well as for the enjoyment of others.
We now come to a third tithe : 1
“At the end of every three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase in the same yea and shalt lay it up within thy gates; and the Levite, because he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied ; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”
This seems to teach that:
A tenth of every third year's increase was to be laid up at home.
This tenth was to be shared by the local Levite, she stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.
The object of this tithe was, that Jehovah might bless the work of the tithe-payer's hands.
Some think this was not a third tithe, but a triennial substitute for the second tithe, so that in the third, and again the sixth, years (as well as the seventh year, when the land was not to be cultivated), the Israelite would not take the second, or festival, tithe to the sanctuary, but would dispose of it among the poor at home.
Perhaps this view may have been in part suggested by the Septuagint, which varies the punctuation, and reads : “After three years thou shalt bring