“All the tenth given from the land, whether from planted seed or fruit from trees, belongs to Adonai; it is holy to Adonai. If someone wants to redeem any of his tenth, he must add to it one-fifth.”-Leviticus 27:30
We now come to the last method discussed in Leviticus 27 for offering or setting apart for the Lord: the tithe.
Specifically, these verses are dealing with the following two kinds of tithes.
-a tenth of the crops from the land
-a tenth of the increase of the animals
Now understand that all of the different types of giving we’ve been studying here were done simultaneously.
It wasn’t like the Israelite was presented with a menu of option from which he could pick and choose depending on their personal circumstances.
The tithe was an automatic one tenth off the top of whatever increase occurred no matter what form that increase took and this tithe was in addition to all the other kinds of giving and devotions of things to YHWH we went over.
Since these particular tithes were in the form of crops or animals, they could redeemed by paying their equivalent value in cash plus a 20% surcharge.
Another point I should make is that the tithe being described here was to be a random sampling from the giver’s crops and herds.
In other words, he wasn’t under obligation to pick out the best portions but neither was he allowed pick out the worst portions.
These particular tithes were to simply be an honest representation of what the giver owned.
In this sense, these tithes were different than the first fruits offerings or ritual sacrifices where only the creme de la creme was to be given back to God.
And, again, these tithes were in addition to the firstfruits offerings and all the other myriad types of giving.
Okay, so this pretty much wraps up Leviticus chapter 27.
Just understand that the focus of this chapter deals with the various vows and commitments one has made to God.
The main takeaway is to understand that in general God does not desire nor is He seeking our vows.
It’s not like every year we are expected to come to the Lord with high emotion and make a vow.
This kind of reminds me of New Years resolutions, which nobody keeps anyway.
However, understand that if you do make a vow to the Lord, it is to be taken VERY SERIOUSLY, not like some flippant New Year’s resolution.
If you make a vow, understand God is going to hold you to it and if you try to get out of the vow, it can be very expensive…according to the Torah you must pay a 20% surcharge!
Never take vows lightly because they can be very costly!
Yeshua pointed out this downside by saying it’s best to just let our yes be yes and our no be no.
Doing anything more than that can lead to trouble.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN THE BOOK OF NUMBERS