Abraham’s Tithe…Let’s Be Honest
by Ronald W Robey
(written October 24, 2019)

Read the text of Genesis 14:16-24 carefully.

Genesis 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
Genesis 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Genesis 14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
Genesis 14:22 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 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 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.

Then, answer the following questions…

1. Does the text of Genesis 14:16-24 say that Abraham paid tithes of his employment wages/government benefits/household monetary income?

2. Does the text of Genesis 14:16-24 say that Abraham paid tithes of his personal wealth?

3. Does the text of Genesis 14:16-24 say that Abraham was commanded to tithe?

4. Does the text of Genesis 14:16-24 say that because Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, others are obligated to tithe their employment wages/government benefits/household monetary income?

If you are honest with the Biblical text, you will answer “NO” to all four questions. And here is why…

a) Abraham was not employed by anyone to go to battle against the wicked kings so therefore the “goods” that Abraham tithed from were not his wages.

b) Abraham did not carry any of his personal wealth into battle with him, so therefore would not have had any of his personal wealth to give to Melchizedek as tithe.

c) The “tithes of all” that Abraham gave to Melchizedek (v.20) was in reference to all the goods of Sodom and Lot that Abraham recovered at Hobah. (v.16)

d) Abraham did not own any of the recovered goods that he tithed from. He had promised God that he would not claim any of the recovered goods as his own property.

e) There is no mention of a command in the Biblical text. Abraham had set off on a mission to rescue his nephew Lot. (v.14) Not by command, but because of family bond.