The animal sacrifices (Ezek 45:15-45:15)

“‘One sheep

From every flock

Of two hundred,

From the families

Of Israel,

Shall be the offering

For grain offerings,

For burnt offerings,

For peace offerings,

To make atonement

For them.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was less demanding about the sacrifices for the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings. Only 1 sheep out of a flock of 200 had to be offered as a sacrifice, less than 1% or about .5%, certainly not 10%.

 

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The tithing Temple obligations (Neh 10:32-10:39)

We also lay upon ourselves the obligation to charge ourselves yearly one-third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God. This was to pay for the rows of bread, the regular grain offering, the regular burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed festivals, the sacred donations, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. We have also cast lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, by ancestral houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn upon the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law. We obligate ourselves to bring the first fruits of our soil and the first fruits of every tree, year by year, to the house of Yahweh. We will also bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the first-born males of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks. We will bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God. We will bring to the Levites the tithes from our soil. The Levites will collect the tithes in all our rural towns. The priest, the descendent of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. The Levites shall bring up a tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers, to the storehouse. The people of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the storehouses, where the vessels of the sanctuary are. That is where the priests that minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers are. We will not neglect the house of our God.”

The Temple in Jerusalem will be the center of worship. They are each going to give 1/3 of a shekel, the Temple tax, about the equivalent of $2.00 USA. The bread and the burnt offerings come from Leviticus, chapter 24, and Numbers, chapter 26. The bringing of wood is a new idea here. The first fruits concept comes from Deuteronomy, chapter 26. The offering of the first born male of the livestock comes from Exodus, chapter 13. However, the first part of dough, wine, and oil was not in Exodus. The Levites would collect the tithes in all the rural towns, based on Numbers, chapter 18. There is a clear procedure of how the tithes are to be brought from the rural areas to the Temple. The priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers should not be neglected. The house of God should not be neglected.

Tithing (2 Chr 31:4-31:10)

“King Hezekiah commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the law of Yahweh. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. They brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep. They brought in the tithe of the dedicated things which had been consecrated to Yahweh their God, and laid them in heaps. In the third month they began to pile up the heaps. They finished them in the seventh month. When King Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yahweh and his people Israel. King Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites about the heaps. The chief priest Azariah, who was of the house of Zadok, answered him. ‘Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of Yahweh we have had enough to eat and have plenty to spare. Yahweh has blessed his people, so that we have this great supply left over.’”

However, King Hezekiah wanted the people in Jerusalem and Judah to tithe to the Temple Levites, so that they could devote themselves to Yahweh. The response of the people was very positive as they brought in the first fruits of the field and the livestock. 10% was given to the Levites and priests. The Levites and priests had so much they had a surplus of goods. They had piles of food and plenty to eat with leftovers.