Tithing: God Did NOT Command Anyone To Tithe MONEY!

Tithing: Man Wants Money But What Did God Want? This is the first lesson in the “Understanding Tithes” series.

Revised: Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Tithing: God Did NOT Command Anyone To Tithe MONEY!

IMPORTANT: This lesson is not intended to encourage you to stop giving to your place of worship!

From Leviticus 27:30 - 'tithe of the land' i.e., the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree. From Leviticus 27:32 - 'tithe of the herd, or of the flock'

STM Bible Lesson

Lesson focus: Malachi 3:8-10. Bible lesson background Malachi 3:8-12: So many in the church believe they are required to pay tithes. Malachi 3:10 is one of the primary passages of Scripture used to support this. I, too, at one point believed that God required the church to pay tithes. Fortunately, one day God revealed the truth and set me free from this false teaching.

Malachi 3:8-10 [read Malachi 3:8-12 (8-10)]
Should [or Can] a person rob God? But you are robbing me.
“You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?
You have robbed me in your offerings and the tenth of your crops [tithes]. 9 So a curse is on you, because the whole nation has robbed me. 10 Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn [tithe] so there will be food in my house [the temple; Deuteronomy 14:22–28]. Test me in this,” says the Lord All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts]. “I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need. (EXB)
KJV: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 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.

If you think this message (prophecy) in Malachi applies to you, consider checking the first verse.

Israel was commanded to tithe, but not the church

Malachi 1:1 [read Malachi 1:1]
KJV: The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.

Verse 6, also helps us know to whom God is speaking. This time the reference is “sons of Jacob” (like “children of Israel” or “Jews”). The audience did not change, the prophecy is still TO Israel.

Don’t forget, that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel in Genesis 32:28.
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed Genesis 32:28 (KJV).

Malachi 3:6 [read Malachi 3:1-7 (6)]
KJV: For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

The tithe robbery—was it money?

What was it that Israel kept from God? Was it money? Let’s find out what they were supposed to give God.

The first mention of what to tithe

Leviticus 27:30 and 32 [read Leviticus 27:1-34 (30 and 32)]
Any tithes of the land—from grain grown on the land or from fruit grown on the trees—belong to the Lord. They are sacred to the Lord. 32 All the tithes from cattle and flocks that pass under the measuring rod are sacred to the Lord. (ISV)
KJV: And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord

Eating the tithe

Deuteronomy 12:17-18 [read Deuteronomy 12:1-28 (17-18)]
Do not eat in your own towns what belongs to the Lord: one-tenth of your grain, new wine or oil; the first animals born to your herds or flocks; whatever you have promised to give; the special gifts you want to give to the Lord, or any other gifts. 18 Eat these things when you are together with the Lord. Eat them in the place the Lord your God chooses to be worshiped. Everyone must do this: you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns. Rejoice in the Lord’s presence about the things you have worked for. (ICB)
KJV: Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: 18 But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

Tithe all the increase of thy seed

Deuteronomy 14:22 [read Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (22)]
Make sure you pay a tithe of every crop grown each year in your fields. (FBV)
KJV: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

A little more detail of what they tithed

2 Chronicles 31:5-6 [read 2 Chronicles 31:1-21 (5-6)]
As soon as the people heard what the king [Hezekiah] wanted, they brought a tenth of everything they owned, including their best grain, wine, olive oil, honey, and other crops. 6 The people from the other towns of Judah brought a tenth of their herds and flocks, as well as a tenth of anything they had dedicated to the Lord. (CEV)
KJV: And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the fields; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. 6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps.
Nehemiah 10:37 [read Nehemiah 10:28-39 (37)]
We will bring the first of our grain, our gifts, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the religious leaders in the rooms of the house of our God. And we will bring a tenth part of what we get from our ground to the Levites. For the Levites are the ones who receive a tenth part from all the farming towns. (NLV)
KJV: And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

What man wants vs. what God wanted

Man says you must tithe your money. But God wanted tithes from the following:

  1. The seed of the land (ground) and the fruit of the tree [Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:22, and Nehemiah 10:37].
  2. Every tenth animal of the herd or flock [Leviticus 27:32 and Deuteronomy 12:6]. [If a rancher only had 9 animals, did he have to tithe? It is something to consider.]
  3. Corn, wine, and oil [Deuteronomy 12:17; 14:23 and 2 Chronicles 31:5].
  4. Honey and all of the increase of the fields [2 Chronicles 31:5].
  5. Oxen, sheep, and consecrated holy things [2 Chronicles 31:6].

All of your increase

Man says that we must pay tithes of “ALL OF YOUR INCREASE”. But God said “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed“…

Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year” [Deuteronomy 14:22 (KJV)] and “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.” [2 Chronicles 31:5 (KJV)]


The Bible mentions money regarding tithing. However, God did not require that anyone pays tithes with money [Deuteronomy 14:22-29].

When the children of Israel had to travel a long distance to pay tithes. They could exchange tithes for money. Next, they had to go to the chosen place where they were to give their tithe. Once there, they could purchase, using the money, whatever they wanted to eat and/or drink. Then they (and ‘the Levite’) had to eat and/or drink it “before the Lord”.

Selling the tithe

Deuteronomy 14:24-27 [read Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (24-27)]
But the Lord’s special place may be a long way from your home. If he has blessed you with a lot of things, they may be too heavy for you to carry all that way. 25 If that is true, you may sell your tithe. Then you may take the money carefully to the place that the Lord your God will choose. 26 When you arrive there, you can use the money to buy any food that you choose: cows, sheep, wine, beer or anything else. Then you and your family should eat it there. You should enjoy your time together at the Lord’s special home. 27 Do not forget to help the Levites who live in your towns. Remember that they have not received any land as you have. (EASY)
KJV: And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: 25 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: 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household. 27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

Tithing in the New Testament

Jesus used the word ‘tithe’ twice and ‘tithes’ once! Each time He was speaking to Pharisees about the law.

‘PHARISEES (FARE-ih-seez) “the separate people”; they followed the Jewish religious laws and customs very strictly. Jesus often spoke against them for their religious teachings and traditions (from the New Century Version Dictionary).

1. Jesus mentioned “tithe”

Jesus was in the temple, warning the (Jewish) scribes and Pharisees about their conduct in following the law.
Matthew 23:23 [read Matthew 23:1-36 (23); compare {Luke’s version} Luke 11:37-54 (42)]
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. (WEB)
KJV: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and, anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone

2. Jesus mentions “tithes” in a parable

A parable of a Pharisee’s prayer.
Luke 18:11-12 [read Luke 18:9-14 (11-12)]
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. (ESV)
KJV: And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

You be the judge. Did Jesus say, teach, or imply that the church should pay tithes? More importantly, did He say anything about tithing money?

Also in Hebrews

The only place (other than in Matthew and Luke) in the New Testament that mentions ‘tithes‘ or ‘tenth’ as in paying tithes is in the book of Hebrews. The tenth is used in reference to Abraham giving a tenth of the recovered items to Melchisedec [Hebrews 7:2 and 4]. Tithing is mentioned in Hebrews 7:5, 6, 8, and 9. You decide if any of them tell you to tithe money.

Abraham’s tithe

Abraham gave a tenth of the items that he reclaimed for Lot, Sodom, and Gomorrah to Melchisedec. He promised to give the items back to their original owners. It was not his increase or his possessions, and he gave a tenth of the reclaimed items ONCE. Note: There is no mention of Abraham paying tithes of his personal belongings in the Bible.
Hebrews 7:2 and 4 [read Hebrews 7:1-10 (2 and 4)]
Abraham gave a tenth of everything to him [Melchizedek]. His name means first “king of righteousness,” and then “king of Salem,” that is, “king of peace.” 4 See how great Melchizedek was! Abraham, the father of the people, gave him a tenth of everything he captured. (CEB)
KJV: To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Descendants of Levi collect tithes

The descendants of Levi, who become priests, are commanded by the law of Moses to collect tithes from the people. That is, people that are under the law, aka the children of Israel. Not those that are under grace.
Hebrews 7:5-9 [read Hebrews 7:1-10 (5-9)]
Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. (NLT)
KJV: And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

That is all; the New Testament says nothing more about tithes or tithing.

Money existed

Make no mistake, money did exist during this time. In fact, God commanded the children of Israel to pay a mandatory amount of money as ransom for their lives. But it was not used in or for tithing.

The Temple Tax

Exodus 30:11 and 16 [read Exodus 30:11-16 (11 and 16)]
11 The Lord said to Moses, 16 “Gather this money from the Israelites. Use the money for the service in the Meeting Tent. This payment will be a way for the Lord to remember his people. They will be paying for their own lives.” (ERV)
KJV: And thou shalt take the atonement money** of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.
** All the men 20 years old or older were counted. Each man had to pay a tax of 1 beka* of silver. (Using the official measure, 1 beka* is 1/2 shekel.) There were 603,550 men. So they collected about 7550 pounds of silver. Exodus 38:25
Therefore, you must know, if God wanted money for tithes, he would have said so. Stop letting your pastor or anyone tell you otherwise.


Clearly, it is safe to say God did not command anyone, including you, to tithe money! Let’s review what was revealed.

  1. Malachi’s prophecy was to the children of Israel and not the church. So, God is not telling the church to bring all the tithes into the storehouse…
  2. The Bible (God) does not COMMAND the Church to pay TITHES. Also, no place in the Bible tells you, the church, to give a tenth of your increase. However, the Law of Moses did command the Jews (children of Israel) to tithe.
  3. God commanded the children of Israel to tithe edible things from the land. That is from land in Canaan, their covenant land (Exodus 6:4-8).

Now that you have completed this lesson you can continue tithing if you want. But are you convinced that God does not require that you (the church) tithe MONEY?

Remember, God did NOT command anyone to tithe MONEY! Thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson. I urge you to make full use of it. Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim. ☺

Related studies, lessons, and snacks for further spiritual growth:

See what is the latest on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

I look forward to your feedback via comment at the bottom of the page or by emailing tim@stministry.com. Have a fantabulous day!



4 thoughts on “Tithing: God Did NOT Command Anyone To Tithe MONEY!

  1. Thank you, Anonymous, for taking the time to respond. However, your response does not imply that you read or understood this lesson. The primary purpose was to point out that God did not require anyone, including the priests, to tithe “money”. No, the beginning of Malachi was addressed to (the people of) Israel, not primarily the priests. “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.” Malachi 1:1 (KJV) In fact, “priest” is only mentioned once in the 1st chapter.

  2. I think you need to read Malachi again. If you notice the book opens with addressing the priests. The priests(levites) were those who received tithes in the temple. The priests were to use it for the poor, needy, widows, and for their expenses. It says “will a man rob God? Notice it says A man, singular, The priest? Pretend for a moment tithe was commanded, eveb if it was offerings were not commanded. The verse says a man robs God. in “tothes and offering” the only person God could call a robber of offerings is the Priest! The church can not be accused of robbing God with offerings is offerings are free will gifts!

  3. Very well stated! Thank you for taking the time to read the lesson and comment. Very much appreciated and please forgive the delayed response. Bless you!

  4. I agree with this but I also believe that tithe is everything you have that you are willing to give 10% of. So no, you don’t have to give money if you don’t want too, but if you did that would be out of the kindness of your heart, because God doesn’t say you have too. I also believe that you don’t have to give it to a church if you do want too, you can give it back to Gods people, those who are less fortunate than you and will really appreciate it a lot more

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