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In the last chapter we saw that Elohim commands us to give a tithe to the priesthood, to fund their work. We may not use any part of the first tithe for ourselves.
In this chapter we will see that Elohim also wants us to set aside a second tithe. This second tithe is to be used to make the feasts a time of joy for us and our families.
Deuteronomy 12 speaks of commandments which apply when we live “in the land.”
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:1
1 “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which Yahweh Elohim of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the soil.”
Verse 6 says that when we come into the land, we are to seek the place Yahweh chooses, and take our tithes (plural) there. However, unlike the first tithe, verse 7 tells us that we are to eat of this tithe.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:5-7
5 “But you shall seek the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His Name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.
6 There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.
7 And there you shall eat before Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you.”
Verse 11 confirms we are to bring more than one tithe. The Hebrew word is ma’asaroteichem (מַעְשְׂרֹתֵיכֶם). This is a plural form of the word for tithe (ma’asar, or מעשר).
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:10-12
10 “But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety,
11 then there will be the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to Yahweh.
12 And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.”
In verse 17, Yahweh tells us not to eat the second tithe within our own gates. Rather, we are to eat the second tithe before Yahweh (during the festivals).
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17-19
17 “You may not eat within your gates the [second] tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand.
18 But you must eat them before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which Yahweh your Elohim chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim in all to which you put your hands.
19 Take heed to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.”
In Deuteronomy 14, Yahweh tells us that if the journey is too far for us, we may convert our tithes to money. Then, when we arrive at the place where Yahweh chooses to place His name, we can use these funds to purchase whatever our hearts desire.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:22-27
22 “You shall surely tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.
23 And you shall eat before Yahweh your Elohim in the place where He chooses to make His Name abide, the [second] tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, so that you may learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim always.
24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where Yahweh your Elohim chooses to put His Name is too far from you, when Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you,
25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which Yahweh your Elohim chooses.
26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.
27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you.”
However, because this commandment only applies when we live in the land, those of us outside of the land are not breaking the Torah if we do not go up to Jerusalem. That is why Shaul did not break the Torah by staying out on his missionary voyages for years at a time. (It is something we can do, but do not have to do.)
Sometimes people wonder if the second tithe still applies outside the land, under the Melchizedekian order. It has to, because Yeshua told us not to think that He came to do away with any part of the Torah.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-18
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled.”
Many people get confused by this, because we operated differently when we were inside the land (under the Levitical order) than we do now outside the land (under the order of Melchizedek). But Israel’s mission has never changed; we are still called to conquer the earth for Elohim. All armies organize and operate differently when they are on the defense, rather than offense, even though the overall mission (of winning the war) never changes.
The principle of setting aside a second tithe for the feasts is the same under the Melchizedekian order as it is under the Levitical order, because even though we do not need to gather in one location when we live outside the land, we still need to assemble, and pay for places to assemble—and in practical terms, that requires funds.
Just as the first tithe does not belong to the priesthood, the second tithe does not belong to us. Rather, Yahweh assigned the second tithe to us for our use during the feasts. That is, we are to steward it wisely, making His festivals a delight for ourselves and our children, so they will want to walk in His ways.
If Yahweh has blessed you so much that you cannot imagine spending ten percent of your income on yourself and your family during the feasts, then you can lovingly give to another family that is not as blessed as you are.