An exegetical study of Malachi 3:6-12 with special reference to tithing
Moretsi, Lekgetho Haartlas
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This research maintains that tithing is a biblical principle, which God instructed man to fulfil and that it has to be executed with joy and gratitude. Many ancient cultures practiced tithing. It was based, as far as the Old Testament is concerned, mainly on theological perspectives rather than political, humanitarian or economic motives, although it might be difficult to separate the theological perspectives from the other perspectives. The principles regarding sacrifices and tithes were intended to encourage inward and outward actions (Lev 27:33). Israel, by giving the tithe, solemnly declares that they hand a portion back to the One who has made them prosperous (Deut 26:l0-15). By giving the tithe they recognised and acknowledged the right of the priests and Levites to receive support for their spiritual service they performed on behalf of the people. Tithing was an integral part of the social system that was established in the Mosaic laws. The New Testament emphasises love as the basis for giving. The early New Testament church existed in a different social context, and thus the principle regarding tithing or giving was adapted to the new setting and the new theological realities. Tithes were still given. The study showed that the nation was obliged to tithe as a response to God's demand of repentance. Tithe is rooted firmly in the healthy relationship between a person and his God.
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