TITHING THE TITHE – PART 2
TITHING THE TITHE – PART 2
Let’s go back to the first instance of tithing in the Scriptures, not considering the books of Enoch, Jasher, or Jubilees. Remember the story in Genesis 14, where there was a war of rebellion against Chedorlaomer, king of the suzerain state of Elam [Persia, modern Iran]? Chedorlaomer was ruling over at least the nine kingdoms mentioned in verses 1-2. Everything was fine until 5 kings rebelled against him in his thirteenth year. The battle of rebellion was joined in the valley of Siddim, the valley of the modern Dead Sea. It took Chedorlaomer another year to gather his allied forces and begin to squash the rebellion, Chedorlaomer’s four kingdoms against the five rebel kingdoms. He attacked the Amorites, which was a mistake, because they were Abram’s allies. Take special note of verse 10, which states that Bera, the king of Sodom, and Birsha, king of Gomorrah, fell in the asphalt pits. I would presume that they died there, because all their remaining troops fled to the mountain. Verse 12 shows that Abram’s nephew, Lot, a resident and subject of Sodom, was captured, so Abram, with 318 servants, and some covenant Amorite allies joined the battle and rescued Lot, his family, and many other people. Genesis 14:15-17 HRB, “And he divided against them by night, he and his slaves, and he struck them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is on the left [north] of Damascus. 16And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother [nephew Lot], and also the women and the people. 17And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, after he returned from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings which were with him, to the valley of Shaveh, it being the valley of the king.” Look at that, Abram won a great victory in a night battle! Abram could have reigned as king over at least four defeated kingdoms!! I’m sure the five rebel kingdoms would have paid him tribute also, but as we will see shortly, Abram wanted “nothing” from this world. And notice the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram, since young Bera, the heir apparent king that had led the Sodomite army, had died in the asphalt pits. Dr. Strong states that the Valley of Shaveh is in Israel. And remember, the king of Sodom is now with Abram in this valley of the king.
Then we have the following story upon Abram and Lot’s safe return: Genesis 14:18-24 HRB, “And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; and he was the priest of the most High El (El Elyone) [Yahweh]. 19And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high El, possessor of Heaven and earth; 20and blessed be the most high El, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he [Abram] gave him [Melchizedek] a tithe of all. 21And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the persons and take the goods for yourself. 22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand to Yahweh, the most high El, the possessor of Heaven and earth, 23that I will not take from all that is yours, from a thread to a shoe latchet, and that you may not say, I have made Abram rich. 24Nothing for me; only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre [Abram’s Amorite covenant allies]; let them take their portion.”
The Hebrew word for tithe in verse 20 is ma‛ăśar, Strong’s #4643, meaning a tenth part, or payment of the tenth part. As far as I can tell, this is the first use of the word in the Scriptures, many years and many generations before Moses’ Law and Deuteronomy 14:22-29. Since Abram recognized Melchizedek as Yahweh’s representative on earth, and since he had just received an increase [see Deut. 14:22] from the spoils of war, he tithed a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek. Apparently, Yahweh had laid down the law of the tithe early in human history, more than likely taught directly to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Notice that the king of Sodom did not interfere with Abram’s tithe offering, nor did he complain afterward that Abram had given a tithe to Melchizedek. The king of Sodom happily just asked for his subjects back and was willing to give Abram 100% of the remaining 90% of the spoiled goods!! The king of Sodom understood the law of war and the law of tithing, so was he a righteous king? Was he counted as one of the 10 righteous people Yahweh was looking for in Sodom so He would not have to destroy the city-state? A real possibility. See Gen. 18:32. If Lot’s entire family would have shown a repentant attitude and have been willing to leave Sodom, Yahweh would have spared Sodom for the sake of their righteousness, but Lot’s sons, sons-in-law and married daughters were in perverse rebellion and perished with Sodom. Lot’s wife perished shortly after leaving town. Lot, his two virgin daughters, and the king of Sodom were not enough righteous folk to spare Sodom!! If the king of Sodom were a wise king, he would have remained with Melchizedek or Abram. If this elder king of Sodom returned to Sodom with his recently released captive subjects, then he too perished in its destruction, but the Scriptures do not tell us his fate. This story should be a warning to earthlings today.
And look at verse 24, Abram declared that he wanted nothing from the spoils of war, not even a kingdom!! Was Abram a type of King Yeshua? You bet! Yeshua also refused acceptance of an earthly kingdom in John 6:14-15. Abram could have been crowned king of at least 9 kingdoms, but he refused earthly glory and tribute, because he had already received better promises from Yahweh in Gen. 12:1-3!! See also Hebrews 8:6. Are you righteous like Abraham? Do you have the same humble attitude as Abraham? Are you willing to give up your earthly kingdom in order to receive Yahweh’s promises of eternal glory?
Our tithing reveals our heart attitude that we recognize Yahweh is our source, just like Abram believed. We don’t want the world to make us rich, we want Yahweh’s wealth. We want true, real wealth, not the advertising imitation wealth that the devil promises. The world’s wealth is based on the lie and the liar. Yahweh’s wealth is based on His truth. Yahweh’s word is our treasure. Yahweh’s wisdom is our glory. Yahweh’s people are what’s worth all the suffering. We don’t want the rusting wealth of this dying world and its systems of death. What you see with your physical eyes is the devil’s demo version of his perverted glory. If you swallow his lies, you will get his destiny, eternity in hellfire. You’re better than that. Look with spiritual eyes, hear with spiritual ears. Believe in Yeshua today.
Gene Benjamin II
August 7, 2013 CE