Genesis 14:22 (KJV) 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

Genesis 14:23 (KJV) 23 That I will not [take] from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that [is] thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Genesis 14:24 (KJV) 24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Abram said he would not take any of the spoils as his own, AND,he would not take any of Bera’s recovered spoils either. He only implored that the king give shares to Aner, Eshcol & Mamre. None of it was for him at all.

The text reveals Abram gave the tithe. He did not pay it. There is absolutely nothing in the chapter, nor in Hebrews 7 to indicate it as something owed. The text also reveals that the tithe was given PRIOR TO Abram’s speaking to Bera, not after.

Historical research uncovers key information as to why Abram may have given those tithes to Melchizedek.

An Oxford Professor by the name of G. Maspero wrote an interesting book at the turn of the twentieth century AD. That book is called, “The Struggle of Nations”. In it, one chapter gives an account of his speaking with the curator at the British Museum. The museum had recently acquired two clay tablets with cuneiform etchings on them.

The etchings show ancient Babylonians and Assyrians tithing of war spoils to their kings.

Pagans tithing war spoils. Isn’t it interesting that, under the Mosaic Law God did not require tithes of war spoils, but that He required far, far less from war spoils? But back to the clay tablets and what significant role they may have in revealing Abram’s motives for giving that tithe.

The clay tablets, according to Charles Pinches, the curator, were dated to 2200 BC. That’s 287 years prior to Abram’s meeting Melchizedek in the Valley of Chaveh. Again, the dating of these tablets is important as we are about to find out.

The Bible discloses to the reader that Abram was from Ur of the Chaldees… a Babylonian country. Abram was a Hebrew familiar with the custom of the Chaldeeans. He would have known it was customary to give a tenth of war spoils to kings. Thus, his honoring Melchizedek with the tenth of the spoils may have been due to custom he was well acquainted with.

Abram’s tithe appears to have been voluntary and due to pagan custom. There is no indication in the Word of God that any man prior to Abram gave tithes of war spoils or anything else. So, Biblical texts and Historical records would tell us that Abram tithed to the king Melchizedek simply due to the pagan customs he was familiar with.