June 2014

Exegeting Matthew 23:23
by Ronald W Robey
(written June 25, 2014
Woe to you, (sorrows, calamities)
scribes (lawyers)
and Pharisees (religious leaders)
Hypocrites! (actors; those who put on a pretense)
For ye tithe mint, and anise, and cummin (you give a tenth of your garden products)
and have neglected (you’ve failed to observe)
the weightier matters (more important things)
of the Law (the Mosaic Law)
Judgment, Mercy and Faith (Justice & Compassion towards man, & Trust in God)
These (tithing of garden products)
ought ye to have done (you should have done)
and not to leave the others undone (not neglecting Justice & Compassion towards man & Trust in God)
The Mosaic Law stated that God’s holy tithe was to consist of crops and flocks and herds (Leviticus 27:30-33) from within the boundaries of the land of Canaan. (Deuteronomy 6:1-3; 12:1,10-11) In Matthew 23:23 (also Luke 11:42) Jesus was commending the scribes and Pharisees for keeping the command concerning tithes (tithing mint, anise and cummin, i.e.; agricultural increase) and said they should be doing exactly what they were doing.
Why? Because tithing agricultural increase is what the Law required, and as citizens of the land to which the Law applied, it was their duty to obey the Mosaic Law given to Israel just as we are to obey the laws in the state/county in which we live today.
Leviticus 27:30-33 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. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 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. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
Deuteronomy 12:1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
Deuteronomy 12:6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
The Mosaic Law commanded tithes of crops , flocks, and herds.
Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
Man could not do what seemed right in his own eyes. The commanded tithe was crops, flocks, and herds…not money. Man was forbidden to tithe money.
Jesus was not saying ‘tithe money in Matthew 23:23. Not at all. He was saying ‘Continue tithing that which the Law requires, but don’t neglect exercising Judgment, Mercy, and Faith.’ (paraphrased)
Those who insist that tithing should be done, are not even tithing in the manner that God decreed, i.e.; agricultural produce and livestock, to sons of Levi, to widows, to orphans, and to foreigners living in Israel, and eating a tithe themselves in Jerusalem every year. Those who don’t tithe in the manner that God decreed that tithes are to be observed really have no business telling others to tithe.
If one is going to insist that they are tithing because, “Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 that we are to tithe,” one should at least have the decency and respect for the Lord to tithe in the manner in which God said tithing is to be observed; tithe agricultural increase instead of money; tithe to those people who God’s Word says are authorized to receive His holy tithe; and, take the tithe to where God’s Word says His holy tithe is to be taken, i.e.; farming communities in the land of Israel.
Try That With Your Creditors!
by Ronald W Robey
Many times, we hear the argument from others that we are to “Give your Pastor God’s tithe. What the pastor does with it is between him and God. You have done your part.”
Oh really? What if the Pastor used that money on himself, Purchasing a new Jaguar? or Paying his monthly instalment on a personal loan?
Have you truly given the money to God? No! You foolishly gave it to a man who used it to satisfy his own greed.
Try that with your landlord, or with the company that has a lien on your vehicle. Tell them you gave your monthly payment to your neighbor across the street. Tell them that the current month’s debt now belongs to your neighbor and not you. After all, you paid the debt. What your neighbor did with the money is between your creditor and him, not you.
See how that flies. You may be walking next month. You may be looking for a new house..
But there is good news! You don’t owe God that 10% tithe. That’s right… God never commanded you to tithe your money in the first place. He said in His word that the tithes He commanded were agricultural crops, flocks and herds, and that they were only required of those who are living in the land of Canaan.
It would be best to pay your debts and to meet your responsibilities. Then, if you have money left over and wish to “give it to God,” do so. Use it to purchase groceries for a person in need of food and drink. Use it to purchase medicine for a person who is sick. Use it to purchase clothing for a person who has lost their clothing in a fire or accident. Don’t foolishly give it to a man who will resort to telling lies in order to garner it. God is not pleased with that type of giving.
Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.