Abraham’s Tithe To Melchizedek

The Hebrew word translated as “tithe” or “tenth” first appears in Genesis 14, when Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek.

Some Christians reason that since Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek before the Old Covenant, then tithing is an “eternal principle” which pre-dates the Old Covenant and remains in effect in the New Covenant.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that tithing was not a part of Abraham’s covenant with God.

If you look at all of the passages about Abraham’s covenant with God, tithing isn’t mentioned. The Lord never commanded Abraham to give one-tenth of anything as a part of his covenant.

If you choose to give 10% of your income, you are most certainly free to do so. We have liberty to decide how much we will give (2 Corinthians 9:7). But please know that tithing wasn’t a part of Abraham’s covenant with God.

The Biblical record shows that Abraham’s tenth to Melchizedek was a unique one-time event. It was not meant to establish a precedent for paying 10% of one’s income in the New Covenant. But rather, Hebrews 7 indicates that it was intended to foreshadow (through Melchizedek) Jesus Christ as our King and High Priest.

The modern day practice of “tithing income” has nothing to do with Abraham’s tenth to Melchizedek. Abraham’s tenth to Melchizedek was vastly different than the Old Covenant tithe and the modern-day practice of monetary ‘tithing.’

I encourage you to study the entire chapter of Genesis 14 and Hebrews 7:1-17, because I’m only going to provide a summary in the next article.

Join me in the next article as we explore Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek in Genesis 14.

Click here for the next article in this series.

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