Meaning of Tithe
Word meaning “tenth,” used of the offering of a tenth for religious purposes. Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek, the priest-king (Gen. 14:18-20). The Israelites were required to give a tithe to the Levites (Num. 18:21, 24), and the Levites in turn were to give a tithe of the tithe to the priests (Num. 18:25-28). The tithe was taken from things like grain, fruits, and animals (Lev. 27:30-32). There is no command to tithe in the New Testament (cf. 1 Cor. 16:2), but many Christians believe that the concept is a useful guide in their giving.